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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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  1. Schwert, G William, 1989. " Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change over Time?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1115-53, December.
  2. Eden, B. & Jovanovic, B., 1992. "Asymmetric Information and the Excess Volatility to Stock Prices," Working Papers 92-47, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. John Y. Campbell, 1993. "Understanding Risk and Return," NBER Working Papers 4554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Heston, Steven L. & Rouwenhorst, K. Geert, 1994. "Does industrial structure explain the benefits of international diversification?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 3-27, August.
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  6. Hamilton, James D & Gang, Lin, 1996. "Stock Market Volatility and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(5), pages 573-93, Sept.-Oct.
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  8. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1994. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1350-68, December.
  9. John Y. Campbell & Pierre Perron, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know About Unit Roots," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 141-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Whitelaw, Robert F, 1994. " Time Variations and Covariations in the Expectation and Volatility of Stock Market Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 515-41, June.
  11. Torben Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Paul Labys, 1999. "The Distribution of Exchange Rate Volatility," NBER Working Papers 6961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Kenneth A. Froot & Andre F. Perold, 1990. "New Trading Practices and Short-run Market Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 3498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. John Y. Campbell & Martin Lettau, 1999. "Dispersion and Volatility in Stock Returns: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Loungani, Prakash & Rush, Mark & Tave, William, 1990. "Stock market dispersion and unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 367-388, June.
  18. Andrei Shleifer ad Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1725, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. Officer, R R, 1973. "The Variability of the Market Factor of the New York Stock Exchange," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 434-53, July.
  20. Leahy, John V & Whited, Toni M, 1996. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 64-83, February.
  21. Robert C. Merton, 1980. "On Estimating the Expected Return on the Market: An Exploratory Investigation," NBER Working Papers 0444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. 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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