Expected Idiosyncratic Skewness
54 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2008 Last revised: 17 May 2011
Date Written: March 11, 2009
We test the prediction of recent theories that stocks with high idiosyncratic skewness should have low expected returns. Because lagged skewness alone does not adequately forecast skewness, we estimate a cross-sectional model of expected skewness that uses additional predictive variables. Consistent with recent theories, we find that expected idiosyncratic skewness and returns are negatively correlated. Specifically, the Fama-French alpha of a low-expected-skewness quintile exceeds the alpha of a high-expected-skewness quintile by 1.00% per month. Furthermore, the coefficients on expected skewness in Fama-MacBeth cross-sectional regressions are negative and significant. In addition, we find that expected skewness helps explain the phenomenon that stocks with high idiosyncratic volatility have low expected returns.
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