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Stock and Bond Returns Correlation Determinants

August 10, 2023 • Posted in Bonds, Strategic Allocation

What conditions affect the correlation between stock and bond returns, a critical input to asset allocation decisions? In their July 2023 paper entitled “Empirical Evidence on the Stock-Bond Correlation”, Roderick Molenaar, Edouard Senechal, Laurens Swinkels and Zhenping Wang relate changes in this correlation to economic variables and analyze the implications of such changes for stock-bond portfolios. They employ rolling 36-month Spearman rank correlations for stock market and 10-year government bond returns to detect correlation changes. While considering longer periods, they focus on post-1952 monthly and post-1978 daily U.S. data (after Federal Reserve independence) as most representative of the future. Using stock and bond returns and economic data starting 1875 for the U.S., 1801 for the UK, 1871 in France and 1987 for Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan, all through 2021, they find that:

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