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Can Growth Options Explain the Trend in Idiosyncratic Risk?

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Author Info

  • Charles Cao
  • Timothy Simin
  • Jing Zhao

Abstract

While recent studies document increasing idiosyncratic volatility over the past four decades, an explanation for this trend remains elusive. We establish a theoretical link between growth options available to managers and the idiosyncratic risk of equity. Empirically both the level and variance of corporate growth options are significantly related to idiosyncratic volatility. Accounting for growth options eliminates or reverses the trend in aggregate firm-specific risk. These results are robust for different measures of idiosyncratic volatility, different growth option proxies, across exchanges, and through time. Finally, our results suggest that growth options explain the trend in idiosyncratic volatility beyond alternative explanations. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 2599-2633

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:6:p:2599-2633

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick & Xiaoyan Zhang, 2010. "Aggregate Idiosyncratic Volatility," NBER Working Papers 16058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rubin, Amir & Smith, Daniel R., 2009. "Institutional ownership, volatility and dividends," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 627-639, April.
  3. Foucault, Thierry & Gehrig, Thomas, 2008. "Stock price informativeness, cross-listings, and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 146-168, April.
  4. Brockman, Paul & Liebenberg, Ivonne & Schutte, Maria, 2010. "Comovement, information production, and the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 107-129, July.
  5. Guo, Hui & Savickas, Robert, 2010. "Relation between time-series and cross-sectional effects of idiosyncratic variance on stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1637-1649, July.
  6. Vozlyublennaia, Nadia & Meshcheryakov, Artem, 2014. "Dynamic correlation structure and security risk," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 48-64.
  7. Rubin, Amir & Smith, Daniel R., 2011. "Comparing different explanations of the volatility trend," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1581-1597, June.
  8. Brown, Gregory & Kapadia, Nishad, 2007. "Firm-specific risk and equity market development," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 358-388, May.
  9. Kraft, Holger & Schwartz, Eduardo & Weiss, Farina, 2013. "Growth options and firm valuation," SAFE Working Paper Series 6, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
  10. José Gonzalo Rangel & Robert F. Engle, 2011. "The Factor--Spline--GARCH Model for High and Low Frequency Correlations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 109-124, May.
  11. Nartea, Gilbert V. & Wu, Ji, 2013. "Is there a volatility effect in the Hong Kong stock market?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 119-135.
  12. Desai, Chintal A. & Savickas, Robert, 2010. "On the causes of volatility effects of conglomerate breakups," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 554-571, September.
  13. Nguyen, Nhut H. & Truong, Cameron, 2013. "The information content of stock markets around the world: A cultural explanation," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 1-29.
  14. Holger Kraft & Eduardo S. Schwartz & Farina Weiss, 2013. "Growth Options and Firm Valuation," NBER Working Papers 18836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Vozlyublennaia, Nadia, 2013. "Do firm characteristics matter for the dynamics of idiosyncratic risk?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 35-46.
  16. Martijn Cremers & Hongjun Yan, 2009. "Uncertainty and Valuations," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2383, Yale School of Management, revised 01 May 2009.

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