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Liquidity and Expected Returns: Lessons From Emerging Markets

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  • Geert Bekaert
  • Campbell R. Harvey
  • Christian Lundblad

Abstract

Given the cross-sectional and temporal variation in their liquidity, emerging equity markets provide an ideal setting to examine the impact of liquidity on expected returns. Our main liquidity measure is a transformation of the proportion of zero daily firm returns, averaged over the month. We find that our liquidity measures significantly predict future returns, whereas alternative measures such as turnover do not. Consistent with liquidity being a priced factor, unexpected liquidity shocks are positively correlated with contemporaneous return shocks and negatively correlated with shocks to the dividend yield. We consider a simple asset pricing model with liquidity and the market portfolio as risk factors and transaction costs that are proportional to liquidity. The model differentiates between integrated and segmented countries and periods. Our results suggest that local market liquidity is an important driver of expected returns in emerging markets, and that the liberalization process has not eliminated its impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2005. "Liquidity and Expected Returns: Lessons From Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 11413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11413
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    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
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration

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