IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Common Risk Factors and the Macroeconomy: New Evidence from the Japanese Stock Market




Using new data on returns and risk factors the paper considers the stock performance on the Japanese market, which is the second largest in the world and operates under unique macroeconomic conditions. We find that the CAPM model is not an adequate approach for the Japanese market. The Carhart model performs reasonably well but fails to reject the null hypothesis of a zero intercept for the full period. Extended tests reveal a structural change in asset prices in the year 1998. When separating the sample into two periods, the standard four factor model explains market returns much better. We show that the relation between stock returns and risk factors is affected by macroeconomic conditions, especially when considering the momentum strategy. The Japanese case illustrates the necessity of considering structural instability related to the macroeconomic development, which is especially important for countries and time periods with a sluggish economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucas Bretschger & Filippo Lechthaler, 2012. "Common Risk Factors and the Macroeconomy: New Evidence from the Japanese Stock Market," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 12/160, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:12-160

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chan, Louis K C & Hamao, Yasushi & Lakonishok, Josef, 1991. " Fundamentals and Stock Returns in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1739-1764, December.
    2. Elhaj Walid, 2009. "New Evidence on Risk Factors, Characteristics and the Cross-Sectional Variation of Japanese Stock Returns," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 16(1), pages 33-50, March.
    3. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    4. John M. Griffin & Xiuqing Ji & J. Spencer Martin, 2003. "Momentum Investing and Business Cycle Risk: Evidence from Pole to Pole," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2515-2547, December.
    5. Aretz, Kevin & Bartram, Söhnke M. & Pope, Peter F., 2010. "Macroeconomic risks and characteristic-based factor models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1383-1399, June.
    6. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    7. Kent Daniel, 2001. "Explaining the Cross-Section of Stock Returns in Japan: Factors or Characteristics?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 743-766, April.
    8. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
    9. Peter S. Schmidt & Andreas Schrimpf & Urs von Arx & Alexander F. Wagner & Andreas Ziegler, 2011. "On the Construction of Common Size, Value and Momentum Factors in International Stock Markets: A Guide with Applications," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 11/141, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:pal:assmgt:v:17:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1057_jam.2016.1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Risk factors; value; size; momentum; Japanese stocks; macroeconomic conditions; structural break;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • C89 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:12-160. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.