Economists gather data on long term investing

An interesting article based on gathering data on investing and interest rates from 1870 to 2015.…

“For each of the 16 economies, they craft long-term series showing annual real rates of return—taking into account both investment income, such as dividends, and capital gains, all net of inflation—for government bonds and short-term bills, equities and housing. Theirs is the first such data set to gather all of that information for so many countries over so long a period.”

One of the more interesting tidbits for me was this.

“The falling rates of the past few decades distress some economists, who worry they betoken weak growth and complicate central bankers’ ability to manage the economy. Yet the long-run data reveal that the high rates of return on government debt seen in the 1980s were an anomaly. The real return on bonds and short-term bills is normally relatively low—and can even be negative for long periods of time—as some other economists (such as Carmen Reinhart of Harvard University and Belen Sbrancia of the IMF) have also found. Recent declines therefore represent a return to more typical conditions.”