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Assets Returns Volatility and Investment Horizon: The French Case

  • Frédérique Bec
  • Christian Gollier

This paper explores French assets returns predictability within a VAR setup. Using quarterly data from 1970Q4 to 2006Q4, it turns out that bonds, equities and bills returns are actually predictable. This feature implies that the investment horizon does indeed matter in the asset allocation. The VAR parameters estimates are then used to compute real returns conditional volatility across investment horizons. The results reveal the same kind of horizon effect as the one found in recent empirical studies using quarterly U.S. data. More specifically, the excess annualized standard deviation of French stocks returns with respect to bills and bonds returns decreases as the investment horizon grows. They suggest that long-horizon investors overstate the share of bonds in their portfolio choice when neglecting the horizon effect on risk of asset returns predictability.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-04/cesifo1_wp2622.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2622.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2622
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  1. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  2. Nicholas Barberis, 2000. "Investing for the Long Run when Returns Are Predictable," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 225-264, 02.
  3. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-79, March.
  4. Campbell, John Y. & Chan, Yeung Lewis & Viceira, Luis M., 2003. "A multivariate model of strategic asset allocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 41-80, January.
  5. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  6. Hansen, Bruce E. & Seo, Byeongseon, 2002. "Testing for two-regime threshold cointegration in vector error-correction models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 293-318, October.
  7. Robert F. Stambaugh, 1999. "Predictive Regressions," NBER Technical Working Papers 0240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bai, Jushan & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1998. "Testing for and Dating Common Breaks in Multivariate Time Series," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 395-432, July.
  9. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  10. Hansen, B.E., 1991. "Inference when a Nuisance Parameter is Not Identified Under the Null Hypothesis," RCER Working Papers 296, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  11. Robert B. Davies, 2002. "Hypothesis testing when a nuisance parameter is present only under the alternative: Linear model case," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 89(2), pages 484-489, June.
  12. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
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