I review 100 finance and valuation textbooks published between 1979 and 2008 by authors such as Brealey and Myers, Copeland, Damodaran, Merton, Ross, Bruner, Bodie, Penman, Weston, Brigham and Arzac and find that their recommendations regarding the equity premium range from 3% to 10%. I also find that several books use different equity premia on different pages. Some of the confusion arises from not distinguishing among the four concepts that the term equity premium designates: historical equity premium, expected equity premium, required equity premium and implied equity premium. Finance textbooks should clarify the equity premium by providing distinguishing definitions of these four concepts and conveying a clearer message about their sensible magnitudes.
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