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Individual Investors and Volatility

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  • Foucault, Thierry
  • Sraer, David
  • Thesmar, David

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that individual investors contribute to the idiosyncratic volatility of stock returns because they act as noise traders. To this end, we consider a reform that makes short selling or buying on margin more expensive for retail investors relative to institutions, for a subset of French stocks. If retail investors are noise traders, theory implies that the volatility of stocks affected by the reform should decrease relative to other stocks. This prediction is borne out by the data. Moreover, around the reform, we observe a significant decrease in (i) the magnitude of returns reversals, and (ii) the Amihud ratio for the stocks affected by the reform relative to other stocks. We show that these findings are also consistent with models in which individual investors, acting as noise traders, are a source of volatility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6915.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6915

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Keywords: Idiosyncratic volatility; Noise trading; Retail investors;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Greenwood, Robin & Thesmar, David, 2011. "Stock price fragility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 471-490.
  2. Mariusz Kicia, 2013. "Can Heuristic Valuation Improve Investment Performance Of Individual Investors?," Diversity, Technology, and Innovation for Operational Competitiveness: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management, ToKnowPress.
  3. Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Olena Havrylchyk, 2013. "The Impact of the French Securities Transaction Tax on Market Liquidity and Volatility," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13085, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  4. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J. & Zhang, Xiaoyan, 2012. "Aggregate Idiosyncratic Volatility," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(06), pages 1155-1185, December.
  5. Hoffmann, Arvid O.I. & Post, Thomas & Pennings, Joost M.E., 2013. "Individual investor perceptions and behavior during the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 60-74.
  6. Rawley Z Heimer, 2013. "Friends do let friends buy stocks actively," Working Paper 1314, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Amal Aouadi & Mohamed Arouri & Frédéric Teulon, 2014. "Investor Following and Volatility: A GARCH Approach," Working Papers 2014-286, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  8. Patrick Roger, 2012. "Portfolio diversification dynamics of individual investors: a new measure of investor sentiment," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2012-01, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg (France).
  9. Vozlyublennaia, Nadia, 2014. "Investor attention, index performance, and return predictability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 17-35.
  10. Erdem, Orhan & Yüksel, Serkan & Arık, Evren, 2013. "Trading Puzzle, Puzzling Trade," MPRA Paper 46804, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 21 Feb 2013.
  11. Dimpfl, Thomas & Jank, Stephan, 2011. "Can Internet search queries help to predict stock market volatility?," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 18, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  12. Patrick Roger & Marie-Hélène Broihanne & Maxime Merli, 2012. "In search of positive skewness: the case of individual investors," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2012-04, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg (France).
  13. Cheng, Su-Yin, 2012. "Substitution or complementary effects between banking and stock markets: Evidence from financial openness in Taiwan," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 508-520.
  14. Jung, Chan Shik & Kim, Woojin & Lee, Dong Wook, 2013. "Short selling by individual investors: Destabilizing or price discovering?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1232-1248.

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