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SUMMARY

Long-horizon predictive regressions in finance pose formidable econometric problems when estimated using available sample sizes. Hodrick in 1992 proposed a remedy that is based on running a reverse regression of short-horizon returns on the long-run mean of the predictor. Unfortunately, this only allows the null of no predictability to be tested, and assumes stationary regressors. In this paper, we revisit long-horizon forecasting from reverse regressions, and argue that reverse regression methods avoid serious size distortions in long-horizon predictive regressions, even when there is some predictability and/or near unit roots. Meanwhile, the reverse regression methodology has the practical advantage of being easily applicable when there are many predictors. We apply these methods to forecasting excess bond returns using the term structure of forward rates, and find that there is indeed some return forecastability. However, confidence intervals for the coefficients of the predictive regressions are about twice as wide as those obtained with the conventional approach to inference. We also include an application to forecasting excess stock returns. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.