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Dispersion and Volatility in Stock Returns: An Empirical Investigation

  • John Y. Campbell
  • Martin Lettau

This paper studies three different measures of monthly stock market volatility: the time-series volatility of daily market returns within the month; the cross-sectional volatility or 'dispersion' of daily returns on industry portfolios, relative to the market, within the month; and the dispersion of daily returns on individual firms, relative to their industries, within the month. Over the period 1962-97 there has been a noticeable increase in firm-level volatility relative to market volatility. All the volatility measures move together in a countercyclical fashion. While market volatility tends to lead the other volatility series, industry-level volatility is a particularly important leading indicator for the business cycle.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7144.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7144.

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Date of creation: May 1999
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7144
Note: AP
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  8. Campbell, John & Perron, Pierre, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots," Scholarly Articles 3374863, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Roll, Richard, 1992. " Industrial Structure and the Comparative Behavior of International Stock Market Indices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(1), pages 3-41, March.
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  18. Nelson, Daniel B., 1992. "Filtering and forecasting with misspecified ARCH models I : Getting the right variance with the wrong model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 61-90.
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