The Shrinking Space for Anomalies

38 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2011 Last revised: 1 May 2014

See all articles by George J. Jiang

George J. Jiang

Washington State University

Andrew (Jianzhong) Zhang

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - Department of Finance

Date Written: November 18, 2012


Existing literature has documented a number of cross-sectional stock return predictive patterns or the so-called anomalies. This paper examines two important issues: are the anomalies pervasive in different stock samples and do factor models provide valid inferences on anomalous returns? First, by shrinking the stock space along the dimension of predictive variable, we show that the BM and net stock issues effects are pervasive among different stock samples, whereas the size, momentum, and illiquidity effects are driven mainly by stocks on the long side, and the idiosyncratic olatility, accrual, capital expenditure, and sales growth effects mainly by stocks on the short side. Second, we provide evidence that commonly used factor models have limited explanatory power of stock returns and thus may offer invalid inference on abnormal returns. Restricting to the stock sample where the 4-factor model adequately explains the size, BM and momentum effects, we show that only the idiosyncratic volatility, accrual, and net stock issues effects have significant anomalous returns.

Keywords: Market Anomaly, Factor Model

JEL Classification: G12

Suggested Citation

Jiang, George and Zhang, Andrew (Jianzhong), The Shrinking Space for Anomalies (November 18, 2012). Journal of Financial Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

George Jiang

Washington State University ( email )

Department of Finance and Management Science
Carson College of Business
Pullman, WA 99-4746164
United States
509-3354474 (Phone)


Andrew (Jianzhong) Zhang (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - Department of Finance ( email )

4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 456008
Las Vegas, NV 89154-6008
United States

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