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We find that consumption risk is lower in states that implement countercyclical fiscal policies. Moreover, firms with an investor base that is concentrated in countercyclical states have lower stock returns, along with firms that relocate their headquarters to a countercyclical state. Therefore, countercyclical fiscal policies lower the consumption risk of investors and, consequently, their required equity return premium. This conclusion is confirmed by smaller declines in market participation during recessions in countercyclical states. Overall, the location of a firm’s investor base enables state-level fiscal policy to influence stock returns.


This article was originally published in Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, volume 53, issue 11, in 2018.

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Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington



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