The Rate of Return on Everything

This paper answers fundamental questions that have preoccupied modern economic
thought since the 18th century. What is the aggregate real rate of return in the economy?
Is it higher than the growth rate of the economy and, if so, by how much? Is there a
tendency for returns to fall in the long-run? Which particular assets have the highest
long-run returns? We answer these questions on the basis of a new and comprehensive
dataset for all major asset classes, including—for the first time—total returns to the
largest, but oft ignored, component of household wealth, housing. The annual data on
total returns for equity, housing, bonds, and bills cover 16 advanced economies from
۱۸۷۰ to 2015, and our new evidence reveals many new insights and puzzles.
Keywords: return on capital, interest rates, yields, dividends, rents, capital gains, risk

premiums, household wealth, housing markets.

The Rate of Return of Everything

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