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Nonlinear Risk

  • Chauvet, Marcelle
  • Potter, Simon

This paper proposes a flexible framework for analyzing the joint time series properties of the level and volatility of expected excess stock returns. An unobservable dynamic factor is constructed as a nonlinear proxy for the market risk premia with its first moment and conditional volatility driven by a latent Markov variable. The model allows for the possibility that the risk-return relationship may not be constant across the Markov states or over time. We find a distinct business cycle pattern in the conditional expectation and variance of the monthly value-weighted excess return. Typically, the conditional mean decreases a couple of months before or at the peak of expansions, and increases before the end of recessions. On the other hand, the conditional volatility rises considerably during economic recessions. With respect to the contemporaneous risk-return dynamics, we find an overall significantly negative relationship. However, their correlation is not stable, but instead varies according to the stage of the business cycle. In particular, around the beginning of recessions, volatility increase substantially, reflecting great uncertainty associated with these periods, while expected returns decrease, anticipating a decline in earnings. Thus, around economic peaks there is a negative relationship between conditional expectation and variance. However, toward the end of a recession, expected returns are at its highest value as an anticipation of the economic recovery, and volatility is still very high in anticipation of the end of the contraction. That is, the risk-return relation is positive around business cycle troughs. This time-varying behavior also holds for non-contemporaneous correlations of these two conditional moments.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2001)
Issue (Month): 04 (September)
Pages: 621-646

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Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:5:y:2001:i:04:p:621-646_02
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  1. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1995. " Predictability of Stock Returns: Robustness and Economic Significance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1201-28, September.
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  3. French, Kenneth R. & Schwert, G. William & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1987. "Expected stock returns and volatility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-29, September.
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  5. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-70, March.
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  7. Garcia, Rene, 1998. "Asymptotic Null Distribution of the Likelihood Ratio Test in Markov Switching Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 763-88, August.
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  17. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
  18. Backus, David K & Gregory, Allan W, 1993. "Theoretical Relations between Risk Premiums and Conditional Variances," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(2), pages 177-85, April.
  19. Chauvet, Marcelle, 1998. "An Econometric Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 969-96, November.
  20. Hansen, B.E., 1991. "The Likelihood Test Under Non-Standard Conditions: Testing the Markov Trend Model of GNP," RCER Working Papers 279, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  21. Chauvet, Marcelle & Potter, Simon, 2000. "Coincident and leading indicators of the stock market," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 87-111, May.
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