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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2155491
 
 

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Arbitrage Asymmetry and the Idiosyncratic Volatility Puzzle


Robert F. Stambaugh


University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jianfeng Yu


University of Minnesota

Yu Yuan


Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance; University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Financial Institutions Center

January 9, 2013


Abstract:     
Short selling, as compared to purchasing, faces greater risks and other potential impediments. This arbitrage asymmetry explains the negative relation between idiosyncratic volatility (IVOL) and average return. The IVOL effect is negative among overpriced stocks but positive among underpriced stocks, with mispricing determined by combining 11 return anomalies. The negative effect is stronger, consistent with asymmetry in risks and other impediments inhibiting arbitrageurs in exploiting overpricing. Aggregating across all stocks therefore yields a negative relation, explaining the IVOL puzzle. Further supporting our explanation is a negative relation over time between the IVOL effect and investor sentiment, especially among overpriced stocks.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: arbitrage risk, idiosyncratic volatility puzzle, short-sale constraints, investor sentiment

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Date posted: October 2, 2012 ; Last revised: January 14, 2013

Suggested Citation

Stambaugh, Robert F. and Yu, Jianfeng and Yuan, Yu, Arbitrage Asymmetry and the Idiosyncratic Volatility Puzzle (January 9, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2155491 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2155491

Contact Information

Robert F. Stambaugh
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )
The Wharton School, Finance Department
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6367
United States
215-898-5734 (Phone)
215-898-6200 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Jianfeng Yu
University of Minnesota ( email )
321 19th Avenue
Suite 3-122
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
HOME PAGE: http://users.cla.umn.edu/~jianfeng/
Yu Yuan (Contact Author)
Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance ( email )
Shanghai
China
HOME PAGE: http://https://finance.wharton.upenn.edu/~yuanyu
University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Financial Institutions Center ( email )
3733 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6374
United States
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