IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfinec/v121y2016i1p167-194.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Have we solved the idiosyncratic volatility puzzle?

Author

Listed:
  • Hou, Kewei
  • Loh, Roger K.

Abstract

We propose a simple methodology to evaluate a large number of potential explanations for the negative relation between idiosyncratic volatility and subsequent stock returns (the idiosyncratic volatility puzzle). Surprisingly, we find that many existing explanations explain less than 10% of the puzzle. On the other hand, explanations based on investors’ lottery preferences and market frictions show some promise in explaining the puzzle. Together, all existing explanations account for 29–54% of the puzzle in individual stocks and 78–84% of the puzzle in idiosyncratic volatility-sorted portfolios. Our methodology can be applied to evaluate competing explanations for other asset pricing anomalies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hou, Kewei & Loh, Roger K., 2016. "Have we solved the idiosyncratic volatility puzzle?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 167-194.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:121:y:2016:i:1:p:167-194
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2016.02.013
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304405X16300137
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ang, Andrew & Hodrick, Robert J. & Xing, Yuhang & Zhang, Xiaoyan, 2009. "High idiosyncratic volatility and low returns: International and further U.S. evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 1-23, January.
    2. Han, Bing & Kumar, Alok, 2013. "Speculative Retail Trading and Asset Prices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 377-404, April.
    3. Amihud, Yakov, 2002. "Illiquidity and stock returns: cross-section and time-series effects," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-56, January.
    4. Michael W. Brandt & Francis X. Diebold, 2006. "A No-Arbitrage Approach to Range-Based Estimation of Return Covariances and Correlations," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(1), pages 61-74, January.
    5. Andrew Ang & Robert J. Hodrick & Yuhang Xing & Xiaoyan Zhang, 2006. "The Cross‐Section of Volatility and Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 259-299, February.
    6. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    7. Zhanhui Chen & Ralitsa Petkova, 2012. "Does Idiosyncratic Volatility Proxy for Risk Exposure?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(9), pages 2745-2787.
    8. Bali, Turan G. & Cakici, Nusret & Whitelaw, Robert F., 2011. "Maxing out: Stocks as lotteries and the cross-section of expected returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 427-446, February.
    9. Sassan Alizadeh & Michael W. Brandt & Francis X. Diebold, 2002. "Range-Based Estimation of Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1047-1091, June.
    10. Merton, Robert C, 1987. "A Simple Model of Capital Market Equilibrium with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 483-510, July.
    11. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang, 2008. "Stocks as Lotteries: The Implications of Probability Weighting for Security Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2066-2100, December.
    12. Bali, Turan G. & Cakici, Nusret, 2008. "Idiosyncratic Volatility and the Cross Section of Expected Returns," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(1), pages 29-58, March.
    13. Avramov, Doron & Chordia, Tarun & Jostova, Gergana & Philipov, Alexander, 2013. "Anomalies and financial distress," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 139-159.
    14. Boehme, Rodney D. & Danielsen, Bartley R. & Kumar, Praveen & Sorescu, Sorin M., 2009. "Idiosyncratic risk and the cross-section of stock returns: Merton (1987) meets Miller (1977)," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 438-468, August.
    15. Daniel, Kent, et al, 1997. "Measuring Mutual Fund Performance with Characteristic-Based Benchmarks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1035-1058, July.
    16. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-636, May-June.
    17. Chabi-Yo, Fousseni & Yang, Jun, 2009. "Default Risk, Idiosyncratic Coskewness and Equity Returns," Working Paper Series 2009-18, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    18. Lauren Cohen & Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy, 2007. "Supply and Demand Shifts in the Shorting Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2061-2096, October.
    19. Jiang, George J. & Xu, Danielle & Yao, Tong, 2009. "The Information Content of Idiosyncratic Volatility," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-28, February.
    20. Shumway, Tyler, 1997. "The Delisting Bias in CRSP Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 327-340, March.
    21. Fu, Fangjian, 2009. "Idiosyncratic risk and the cross-section of expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 24-37, January.
    22. David Hirshleifer, 1988. "Residual Risk, Trading Costs, and Commodity Futures Risk Premia," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(2), pages 173-193.
    23. Brian Boyer & Todd Mitton & Keith Vorkink, 2010. "Expected Idiosyncratic Skewness," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 169-202, January.
    24. Yufeng Han & David Lesmond, 2011. "Liquidity Biases and the Pricing of Cross-sectional Idiosyncratic Volatility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(5), pages 1590-1629.
    25. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2006. "The Value Premium and the CAPM," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(5), pages 2163-2185, October.
    26. Campbell R. Harvey & Akhtar Siddique, 2000. "Conditional Skewness in Asset Pricing Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1263-1295, June.
    27. Nagel, Stefan, 2005. "Short sales, institutional investors and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 277-309, November.
    28. Elena Asparouhova & Hendrik Bessembinder & Ivalina Kalcheva, 2013. "Noisy Prices and Inference Regarding Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(2), pages 665-714, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Zhong, Angel, 2018. "Idiosyncratic volatility in the Australian equity market," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 105-125.
    2. Jiang, Danling & Peterson, David R. & Doran, James S., 2014. "Short-sale constraints and the idiosyncratic volatility puzzle: An event study approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 36-59.
    3. Guo, Hui & Qiu, Buhui, 2014. "Options-implied variance and future stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 93-113.
    4. Chung, Kee H. & Wang, Junbo & Wu, Chunchi, 2019. "Volatility and the cross-section of corporate bond returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(2), pages 397-417.
    5. Berggrun, Luis & Lizarzaburu, Edmundo & Cardona, Emilio, 2016. "Idiosyncratic volatility and stock returns: Evidence from the MILA," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 422-434.
    6. Malagon, Juliana & Moreno, David & Rodríguez, Rosa, 2015. "The idiosyncratic volatility anomaly: Corporate investment or investor mispricing?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 224-238.
    7. Adam Zaremba & Jacob Koby Shemer, 2018. "Price-Based Investment Strategies," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-319-91530-2, April.
    8. Tariq Aziz & Valeed Ahmad Ansari, 2017. "Idiosyncratic volatility and stock returns: Indian evidence," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 1420998-142, January.
    9. Qadan, Mahmoud, 2019. "Risk appetite, idiosyncratic volatility and expected returns," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    10. Su, Zhi & Shu, Tengjia & Yin, Libo, 2018. "The pricing effect of the common pattern in firm-level idiosyncratic volatility: Evidence from A-Share stocks of China," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 497(C), pages 218-235.
    11. Ali, Syed Riaz Mahmood & Hasan, Mohammad Nurul & Östermark, Ralf, 2020. "Are idiosyncratic risk and extreme positive return priced in the Indian equity market?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 530-545.
    12. Wang, Huijun & Yan, Jinghua & Yu, Jianfeng, 2017. "Reference-dependent preferences and the risk–return trade-off," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 395-414.
    13. Wan, Xiaoyuan, 2018. "Is the idiosyncratic volatility anomaly driven by the MAX or MIN effect? Evidence from the Chinese stock market," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-15.
    14. Chen, Linda H. & Jiang, George J. & Xu, Danielle D. & Yao, Tong, 2020. "Dissecting the idiosyncratic volatility anomaly," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 193-209.
    15. Fernandez-Perez, Adrian & Fuertes, Ana-Maria & Miffre, Joëlle, 2016. "Is idiosyncratic volatility priced in commodity futures markets?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 219-226.
    16. Kelley Bergsma & Jitendra Tayal, 2019. "Short Interest and Lottery Stocks," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 187-227, March.
    17. Ayadi, Mohamed A. & Cao, Xu & Lazrak, Skander & Wang, Yan, 2019. "Do idiosyncratic skewness and kurtosis really matter?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    18. Benjamin M Blau & Ryan J Whitby, 2017. "Range-based volatility, expected stock returns, and the low volatility anomaly," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(11), pages 1-19, November.
    19. Gu, Ming & Kang, Wenjin & Xu, Bu, 2018. "Limits of arbitrage and idiosyncratic volatility: Evidence from China stock market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 240-258.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Idiosyncratic volatility; Cross-section of stock returns; Lottery preferences; Market frictions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:121:y:2016:i:1:p:167-194. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nithya Sathishkumar). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.