Idiosyncratic Risk and Security Returns
57 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2001
Date Written: May 2004
The traditional CAPM approach argues that only market risk should be incorporated into asset prices and command a risk premium. This result may not hold, however, if some investors can not hold the market portfolio. For example, if one group of investors fails to hold the market portfolio for exogenous reasons, the remaining investors will also be unable to hold the market portfolio. Therefore, idiosyncratic risk could also be priced to compensate rational investors for an inability to hold the market portfolio. A variation of the CAPM model is derived to capture this observation as well as to draw testable implications. Under both the Fama and MacBeth (1973) and Fama and French (1992) testing frameworks, we find that idiosyncratic volatility is useful in explaining cross-sectional expected returns. We also discover that returns from constructed portfolios directly co-vary with idiosyncratic risk hedging portfolio returns.
Keywords: APT, CAPM, Cross-sectional Regression, Imperfect Market Portfolio, Idiosyncratic Risk, Risk Premium
JEL Classification: G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation