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Country v sector effects in equity returns and the roles of geographical and firm-size coverage

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  • Lieven Moor

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  • Piet Sercu

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Abstract

Since Roll (The Journal of Finance 47(1):3-41, 1992) and Heston and Rouwenhorst (Journal of Financial Economics 36:3-27, 1994), there has been a debate whether country factors in international stock returns are typically more variable than sector factors. The addition of emerging markets (EMs) does boost the ratio of country-factor variance relative to industry-factor variance: these markets have a higher variability, but are also less related to global factors. Investigating to what extent this phenomenon can be tracked down to the impact of adding more small firms, we find the following. (1) Small firms do have higher volatility, but only after controlling for country and sector affiliation. (2) Small firms do have weaker sector affinity, as expected. (3) Small firms unexpectedly have weaker local-market sensitivities than large firms. Facts (2) and (3) mean that adding more small firms to the data base has a diversifying effect on both the sector- and country-factor variance; while the impact on sector variance is larger, the net effect turns out to be tiny. (4) Adding emerging markets has a very marked impact on the variance ratio. In fact, the addition of small stocks to the sample hardly dents the effect of adding EMs. Thus, the role of EMs cannot be reduced to just a small-firm phenomenon. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009.
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Suggested Citation

  • Lieven Moor & Piet Sercu, 2010. "Country v sector effects in equity returns and the roles of geographical and firm-size coverage," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 433-448, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:35:y:2010:i:4:p:433-448 DOI: 10.1007/s11187-008-9170-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Enrique Sentana, 2002. "Did the EMS Reduce the Cost of Capital?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 786-809, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. De Moor, Lieven & Sercu, Piet, 2011. "Country versus sector factors in equity returns: The roles of non-unit exposures," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 64-77, January.
    2. Bai, Ye & Green, Christopher J. & Leger, Lawrence, 2012. "Industry and country factors in emerging market returns: Did the Asian crisis make a difference?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 559-580.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International stock returns; World; Country; Sector; Small firms; Diversification; G11; G12; G15; L26;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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