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Have We Solved the Idiosyncratic Volatility Puzzle?

Author

Listed:
  • Hou, Kewei

    (OH State University)

  • Loh, Roger

    (Singapore Management University)

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). We find that surprisingly many existing explanations explain less than 10% of the puzzle. On the other hand, explanations based on investors' lottery preferences, short-term return reversal, and earnings shocks show greater promise in explaining the puzzle. Together they account for 60-80% of the negative idiosyncratic volatility-return relation. Our methodology can be applied to evaluate competing explanations for a broad range of topics in asset pricing and corporate finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Hou, Kewei & Loh, Roger, 2012. "Have We Solved the Idiosyncratic Volatility Puzzle?," Working Paper Series 2012-28, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2012-28
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    Cited by:

    1. Guo, Hui & Qiu, Buhui, 2014. "Options-implied variance and future stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 93-113.

    More about this item

    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

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