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Why Do Foreign Firms Have Less Idiosyncratic Risk Than U.S. Firms?

  • Bartram, Sohnke M.

    (Lancaster University and SSgA)

  • Brown, Gregory

    (Unviersity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

  • Stulz, Rene M.

    (Ohio State University and ECGI)

Using a large panel of firms across the world from 1991-2006, we show that the median foreign firm has lower idiosyncratic risk than a comparable U.S. firm. Country characteristics help explain variation in the level of idiosyncratic risk, but less so than firm characteristics. Idiosyncratic risk falls as government stability and respect for the rule of law improve. Idiosyncratic risk is positively related to stock market development but negatively related to bond market development. Surprisingly, we find that idiosyncratic risk is generally negatively related to corporate disclosure quality. Finally, idiosyncratic risk generally increases with shareholder protection. Though there is evidence that R[superscript 2] increases with creditor rights and falls with the quality of disclosure, these results are driven by the relations between these variables and systematic risk rather than by the impact of these variables on idiosyncratic risk.

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File URL: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/papers/2009/2009-5.pdf
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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2009-5.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2009-5
Contact details of provider: Phone: (614) 292-8449
Web page: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/list.htm
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  1. Diego Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 11388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2002. "Financial Development, Property Rights and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3295, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2007. "Liquidity and Expected Returns: Lessons from Emerging Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 1783-1831, November.
  4. claudio Michelacci & Fabiano Schivardi, 2008. "Does Idiosyncratic Business Risk Matter?," EIEF Working Papers Series 0813, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jul 2008.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1996. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. René M. Stulz, 2007. "The Limits of Financial Globalization," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 19(1), pages 8-15.
  7. Dahlquist, Magnus & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, René M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2002. "Corporate Governance and the Home Bias," SIFR Research Report Series 11, Institute for Financial Research.
  8. Steven Drucker & Manju Puri, 2005. "On the Benefits of Concurrent Lending and Underwriting," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2763-2799, December.
  9. Acharya, Viral V. & Amihud, Yakov & Litov, Lubomir, 2011. "Creditor rights and corporate risk-taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 150-166, October.
  10. Doidge, Craig & Karolyi, G. Andrew & Stulz, Rene M., 2004. "Why Do Countries Matter So Much for Corporate Governance?," Working Paper Series 2004-16, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  11. Ozgur S. Ince & R. Burt Porter, 2006. "INDIVIDUAL EQUITY RETURN DATA FROM THOMSON DATASTREAM: HANDLE WITH CARE!," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 29(4), pages 463-479.
  12. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Daniel, Naveen D. & Naveen, Lalitha, 2006. "Managerial incentives and risk-taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 431-468, February.
  13. John Y. Campbell & Martin Lettau & Burton G. Malkiel & Yexiao Xu, 2000. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," NBER Working Papers 7590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125518 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Brown, Gregory & Kapadia, Nishad, 2007. "Firm-specific risk and equity market development," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 358-388, May.
  16. Patrick J. Kelly, 2014. "Information Efficiency and Firm-Specific Return Variation," Working Papers w0208, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
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