The Time-Series Behavior and Pricing of Idiosyncratic Volatility: Evidence from 1926 to 1962
46 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2008
Date Written: March 1, 2008
Recent research on idiosyncratic volatility has documented three main empirical findings. First, Campbell, Lettau, Malkiel, and Xu (2001) show that idiosyncratic volatility exhibits an upward trend between 1962 and 1997. Second, Goyal and Santa-Clara (2003) find that aggregate measures of idiosyncratic volatility predict one-month-ahead excess market returns from 1962 to 1999. Third, Ang, Hodrick, Xing, and Zhang (2006) report a negative and significant relation between idiosyncratic volatility and cross-sectional stock returns from 1963 to 2000. We re-examine these three findings using a 37-year holdout sample of daily returns from 1926 to 1962. We find robust empirical evidence of (1) a statistically significant downward trend in idiosyncratic volatility, (2) an insignificant relation between average idiosyncratic volatility and one-month-ahead excess market returns, and (3) a highly significant inverse relation between idiosyncratic volatility and cross-sectional stock returns. These results shed new light on the time-series behavior and pricing of idiosyncratic volatility.
Keywords: Idiosyncratic Volatility, Expected Return, Holdout Sample
JEL Classification: G12, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation