IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Cross-sectional Variation in Stock Returns: Liquidity and Idiosyncratic Risk

  • Matthew Spiegel
  • Xiaotong Wang
Registered author(s):

    The roles played by idiosyncratic risk and liquidity in determining stock returns have recently received a great deal of attention. However, recent empirical tests have not examined the interaction between these two factors. As others have shown (and this paper confirms) stocks idiosyncratic risk and liquidity are negatively correlated. To what extent then is each variable responsible for the observed cross sectional patterns in stock returns? Overall, using monthly data, the paper finds that stock returns are increasing with the level of idiosyncratic risk and decreasing in a stock's liquidity. However, while both liquidity and idiosyncratic risk play a role in determining returns, the impact of idiosyncratic risk is much stronger and often eliminates liquidity's explanatory power. The point estimates indicate that a one standard deviation change in idiosyncratic risk has between 2.5 and 8 times the impact of a corresponding change in liquidity on cross sectional expected returns.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number amz2540.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
    Date of revision: 01 Mar 2006
    Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:amz2540
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Acharya, Viral V & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2004. "Asset Pricing with Liquidity Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 4718, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim, 1986. "Asset pricing and the bid-ask spread," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 223-249, December.
    3. Thomas Ho & Hans Stoll, . "On Dealer Markets Under Competition," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 01-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    4. Easley, David & Kiefer, Nicholas M & O'Hara, Maureen, 1997. "One Day in the Life of a Very Common Stock," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 805-35.
    5. Constantinides, George M, 1986. "Capital Market Equilibrium with Transaction Costs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 842-62, August.
    6. Spiegel, Matthew & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1995. " On Intraday Risk Premia," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 319-39, March.
    7. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2003. "There is a Risk-Return Tradeoff After All," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-26, CIRANO.
    8. Stoll, Hans R, 1978. "The Pricing of Security Dealer Services: An Empirical Study of NASDAQ Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1153-72, September.
    9. Merton, Robert C., 1987. "A simple model of capital market equilibrium with incomplete information," Working papers 1869-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    10. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2003. "Liquidity Risk and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 642-685, June.
    11. Amihud, Yakov, 2002. "Illiquidity and stock returns: cross-section and time-series effects," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-56, January.
    12. Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1991. "A Theory of Trading in Stock Index Futures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 17-51.
    13. Brennan, Michael J. & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1996. "Market microstructure and asset pricing: On the compensation for illiquidity in stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 441-464, July.
    14. Maureen O'Hara, 2003. "Presidential Address: Liquidity and Price Discovery," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1335-1354, 08.
    15. Vayanos, Dimitri, 1998. "Transaction Costs and Asset Prices: A Dynamic Equilibrium Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 1-58.
    16. Malcolm Baker & Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Market Liquidity as a Sentiment Indicator," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1977, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    17. Amit Goyal & Pedro Santa-Clara, 2003. "Idiosyncratic Risk Matters!," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 975-1008, 06.
    18. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-70, March.
    19. Turan G. Bali & Nusret Cakici & Xuemin (Sterling) Yan & Zhe Zhang, 2005. "Does Idiosyncratic Risk Really Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 905-929, 04.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:amz2540. 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: ()

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.