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Better the devil you know: The influence of political incumbency on Australian financial market uncertainty

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  • Smales, Lee A.

Abstract

The Australian federal election cycle, which occurs approximately every 3 years, causes much media attention and invokes indecision regarding investment decisions in both the real economy and financial markets. This paper constructs measures of political uncertainty and formally explores their relationship with market uncertainty, as measured by implied volatility. The empirical evidence suggests that increasing (decreasing) levels of uncertainty around the election result induce higher (lower) levels of market uncertainty. In a case of the market preferring the devil it knows, an increasing (decreasing) likelihood of the incumbent party, whose economic policies are well-known, winning the election, reduces market uncertainty. The results remain significant even after controlling for a number of macroeconomic variables, and when an alternative GARCH framework is considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Smales, Lee A., 2015. "Better the devil you know: The influence of political incumbency on Australian financial market uncertainty," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 59-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:riibaf:v:33:y:2015:i:c:p:59-74
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2014.06.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmed, Walid M.A., 2017. "The impact of foreign equity flows on market volatility during politically tranquil and turbulent times: The Egyptian experience," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 61-77.
    2. Tanha, Hassan & Dempsey, Michael, 2015. "The asymmetric response of volatility to market changes and the volatility smile: Evidence from Australian options," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 164-176.
    3. Batiston Marques, Thales & Seixas dos Santos, Nelson, 2016. "Do Political News Affect Financial Market Returns? Evidences from Brazil," MPRA Paper 75530, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political uncertainty; Investor sentiment; Financial market uncertainty; Implied volatility; Exchange traded options; Stock markets;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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