The Volatility of Liquidity and Expected Stock Returns
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The pricing of total liquidity risk is studied in the cross-section of stock returns. The study suggests that there is a positive relation between total volatility of liquidity and expected returns. Our measure of liquidity is based on Amihud (2002) and its volatility is measured using daily data. Furthermore, we document that total volatility of liquidity is priced in the presence of systematic liquidity risk: the covariance of stock returns with aggregate liquidity, the covariance of stock liquidity with aggregate liquidity, and the covariance of stock liquidity with the market return. The separate pricing of total volatility of liquidity indicates that idiosyncratic liquidity risk is important in the cross section of returns. This result is puzzling in light of Acharya and Pedersen (2005) who develop a model in which only systematic liquidity risk affects returns. The positive correlation between the volatility of liquidity and expected returns suggests that risk averse investors require a risk premium for holding stocks that have high variation in liquidity. Higher variation in liquidity implies that a stock may become illiquid with higher probability at a time when it is traded. This is important for investors who face an immediate liquidity need and are not able to wait for periods of high liquidity to sell.
Akbas, Ferhat 1981- (2011). The Volatility of Liquidity and Expected Stock Returns. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from