Demographics And Industry Returns
Source: Emory University (Goizueta)
How do investors respond to predictable shifts in profitability? The paper considers how demographic shifts affect profits and returns across industries. Cohort size fluctuations produce forecastable demand changes for age-sensitive sectors, such as toys, bicycles, beer, life insurance, and nursing homes. These demand changes are predictable once a specific cohort is born. The author uses lagged consumption and demographic data to forecast future consumption demand growth induced by changes in age structure. It's found that demand forecasts predict profitability by industry. Moreover, forecast demand changes five to ten years in the future predict annual industry stock returns. One additional percentage point of annualized demand growth due to demographics predicts a 5 to 10 percentage point increase in annual abnormal industry stock returns.