The economists who began using statistics to analyze financial markets in the 1950s have been credited with revolutionizing the scholarship of investing and with inaugurating modern financial economics. By examining the work of economists who used statistics to analyze financial markets before 1950, Donald Stabile provides evidence about the forerunners of modern financial economics.
In studying these predecessors, this innovative book reveals that, starting around 1900, there were economists in the United States who believed that changes in stock prices could be treated as a random variable to be analyzed with statistical methods, and who used early versions of the efficient markets theory to justify their belief. Although they did not call themselves Bayesians, the author explores how they adhered to a philosophy consistent with Bayesian statistics. An epilogue considers the linkages between the forerunners of modern finance, its innovators and modern successors.
An original work in the history of economic thought, Forerunners of Modern Financial Economics will be of great interest to both economists and historians interested in the development of statistical finance and economic thought, as well as to statisticians, financial analysts, and advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying financial economics.
Donald R. Stabile, Professor of the College, St Mary's College, Maryland, US
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction: Finance, Risk, and Statistics 2. The Highs and Lows of Bayesian Economic Statistics 3. Irving Fisher and the Mathematics of Risk 4. Thorstein Veblen and Credit Risk 5. Risk and Diversification in the Boom of the 1920s 6. Evaluating Market Forecasts: Financial Economics in the 1930s 7. Statistics and the Theory of Value Investing 8. Finance in a Period of War, Debt, and Taxes 9. The Forerunners in Relation to Modern Financial Economics Bibliography Index