Gold Returns. Robert Barro, February 2014, Paper, "From 1836 to 2011, gold's average annual real rate of price change is 1.1%, with a standard deviation of 13.1% and a negligible covariance with consumption growth. Because gold does not serve as a hedge against macroeconomic declines, its expected real rate of return should be close to the risk-free rate of around 1%. These properties fit an asset-pricing model with rare disasters and a high elasticity of substitution between gold services and ordinary consumption. In this scenario, gold's expected rate of return corresponds mostly to the unobserved dividend yield, with a small part comprising expected real price appreciation." Link