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Maxing Out: Stocks as Lotteries and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns

Author

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  • Turan G. Bali
  • Nusret Cakici
  • Robert F. Whitelaw

Abstract

Motivated by existing evidence of a preference among investors for assets with lottery-like payoffs and that many investors are poorly diversified, we investigate the significance of extreme positive returns in the cross-sectional pricing of stocks. Portfolio-level analyses and firm-level cross-sectional regressions indicate a negative and significant relation between the maximum daily return over the past one month (MAX) and expected stock returns. Average raw and risk-adjusted return differences between stocks in the lowest and highest MAX deciles exceed 1% per month. These results are robust to controls for size, book-to-market, momentum, short-term reversals, liquidity, and skewness. Of particular interest, including MAX reverses the puzzling negative relation between returns and idiosyncratic volatility recently documented in Ang et al. (2006, 2008).

Suggested Citation

  • Turan G. Bali & Nusret Cakici & Robert F. Whitelaw, 2009. "Maxing Out: Stocks as Lotteries and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns," NBER Working Papers 14804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14804
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eraker, Bjørn & Ready, Mark, 2015. "Do investors overpay for stocks with lottery-like payoffs? An examination of the returns of OTC stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 486-504.
    2. Bley, Jorg & Saad, Mohsen, 2012. "Idiosyncratic risk and expected returns in frontier markets: Evidence from GCC," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 538-554.

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    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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