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Idiosyncratic Risk, Long-Term Reversal, and Momentum


  • McLean, R. David


This paper tests whether the persistence of the momentum and reversal effects is the result of idiosyncratic risk limiting arbitrage. Idiosyncratic risk deters arbitrage, regardless of the arbitrageur’s diversification. Reversal is prevalent only in high idiosyncratic risk stocks, suggesting that idiosyncratic risk limits arbitrage in reversal mispricing. This finding is robust to controls for transaction costs, informed trading, and systematic relations between idiosyncratic risk and subsequent returns. Momentum is not related to idiosyncratic risk. Momentum generates a smaller aggregate return than reversal, so the findings along with those in related studies suggest that transaction costs are sufficient to prevent arbitrageurs from eliminating momentum mispricing.

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  • McLean, R. David, 2010. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Long-Term Reversal, and Momentum," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 883-906, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:45:y:2010:i:04:p:883-906_00

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    2. Jones, Steven L. & Yeoman, John C., 2014. "Initial uncertainty and the risk of setting a fixed-offer price: Implications for the pricing of bookbuilt and best-efforts IPOs," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 194-215.
    3. Ying Hao & Hsiang-Hui Chu & Kuan-Cheng Ko & Lin Lin, 2016. "Momentum Strategies and Investor Sentiment in the REIT Market," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 41-71, March.
    4. DeLisle, R. Jared & McTier, Brian C. & Smedema, Adam R., 2016. "Systematic limited arbitrage and the cross-section of stock returns: Evidence from exchange traded funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 118-136.
    5. Lakatos, Máté, 2016. "A befektetői túlreagálás empirikus vizsgálata a Budapesti Értéktőzsdén
      [An empirical test for investor over-reaction on the Budapest stock exchange]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 762-786.
    6. Robert F. Stambaugh & Yu Yuan, 2017. "Mispricing Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(4), pages 1270-1315.
    7. Muhammad A. Cheema & Gilbert V. Nartea, 2017. "Cross-Sectional and Time-Series Momentum Returns and Market Dynamics: Are Islamic Stocks Different?," Working Papers in Economics 17/14, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    8. Stavros Degiannakis & Andreas Andrikopoulos & Timotheos Angelidis & Christos Floros, 2013. "Return dispersion, stock market liquidity and aggregate economic activity," Working Papers 166, Bank of Greece.
    9. Doina C. Chichernea & Michael F. Ferguson & Haimanot Kassa, 2015. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Investor Base, and Returns," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 44(2), pages 267-293, June.
    10. Jacobs, Heiko, 2015. "What explains the dynamics of 100 anomalies?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 65-85.
    11. Atanasov, Vladimir & Merrick, John, 2011. "Financial asset demand is elastic: Evidence from new issues of Federal Home Loan Bank debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3225-3239.
    12. Lam, F.Y. Eric C. & Wei, K.C. John, 2011. "Limits-to-arbitrage, investment frictions, and the asset growth anomaly," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 127-149, October.
    13. Chiang, Thomas C. & Zheng, Dazhi, 2015. "Liquidity and stock returns: Evidence from international markets," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 73-97.
    14. Pornanong Budsaratragoon & David Hillier & Suntharee Lhaopadchan, 2014. "Does Corporate Governance Improve Transparency in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Financial Management, Markets and Institutions, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 87-104, July.
    15. David C. Ling & Andy Naranjo & Benjamin Scheick, 2014. "Investor Sentiment, Limits to Arbitrage and Private Market Returns," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 42(3), pages 531-577, September.
    16. Clifford G. Holderness & Jeffrey Pontiff, 2012. "Hierarchies and the Survival of Prisoners of War During World War II," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(10), pages 1873-1886, October.
    17. Lipson, Marc L. & Mortal, Sandra & Schill, Michael J., 2012. "On the Scope and Drivers of the Asset Growth Effect," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(06), pages 1651-1682, February.
    18. Doina C. Chichernea & Steve L. Slezak, 2013. "Idiosyncratic Risk Premia And Momentum," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 36(3), pages 389-412, September.
    19. Cao, Jie & Han, Bing, 2016. "Idiosyncratic risk, costly arbitrage, and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-15.
    20. repec:eee:pacfin:v:46:y:2017:i:pa:p:109-123 is not listed on IDEAS

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