Volume 19, Number 3 / September , Pages 149-221
Idiosyncratic Volatility, Momentum, Liquidity, and Expected Stock Returns in Developed and Emerging Markets
Multinational Finance Journal, 2015, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 169-221
Lorne Switzer , Concordia University, Canada    Corresponding Author
Alan Picard , Concordia University, Canada

This paper re-examines the link between idiosyncratic risk and expected returns for a large sample of firms in both developed and emerging markets. Recent studies using Fama-French three-factor models have shown a negative relationship between idiosyncratic volatility and expected returns for developed markets. This relationship has not been studied to date for emerging markets. This study relates the current-month’s idiosyncratic volatility to the subsequent month’s stock returns for a sample of both developed and emerging markets expanding benchmark factors by including both a momentum and a systematic liquidity risk component. Using a five-factor model, the results suggest that idiosyncratic risk does not play a role on stock returns for most of the developed markets analyzed. In contrast, the paper shows, for the first time, that idiosyncratic risk is positively related to month-ahead expected returns for many emerging markets for this model.

Keywords : idiosyncratic volatility; expected returns; developed vs. emerging markets; asset pricing; multifactor models
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