Indexing and Stock Market Serial Dependence Around the World
49 Pages Posted: 30 May 2016 Last revised: 29 Nov 2021
Date Written: August 16, 2017
We document a striking change in index return serial dependence across 20 major market indexes covering 15 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. While many studies found serial dependence to be positive until the 1990s, it switches to negative since the 2000s. This change happens in most stock markets around the world and is both statistically significant and economically meaningful. Further tests reveal that the decline in serial dependence links to the increasing popularity of index products (e.g., futures, ETFs, and index mutual funds). The link between serial dependence and indexing is not driven by a time trend, holds up in the cross-section of stock indexes, is confirmed by tests exploiting Nikkei 225 index weights and S&P 500 membership, and in part reflects the arbitrage mechanism between index products and the underlying stocks.
Keywords: Return autocorrelation, Stock market indexing, Arbitrage
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation