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Rule Britannia! British Stock Market Returns, 1825-1870

  • Graeme G. Acheson (a1), Charles R. Hickson (a2), John D. Turner (a3) and Qing Ye (a4)

This article presents a new series of monthly equity returns for the British stock market for the period 1825-1870. In addition to calculating capital appreciation and dividend yields, the article also estimates the effect of survivorship bias on returns. Three notable findings emerge from this study. First, stock market returns in the 1825-1870 period are broadly similar for Britain and the United States, although the British market is less risky. Second, real returns in the 1825-1870 period are higher than in subsequent epochs of British history. Third, unlike the modern era, dividends are the most important component of returns.

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