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Idiosyncratic Risk, Investor Base, and Returns

Doina C. Chichernea, Michael F. Ferguson and Haimanot Kassa

Financial Management, 2015, vol. 44, issue 2, 267-293

Abstract: type="main"> Using four different proxies for a firm's investor base we demonstrate that idiosyncratic risk premiums are larger for neglected stocks and smaller or economically insignificant for visible stocks. Since neglected stocks have greater idiosyncratic volatility (IV), the total IV risk premium (price × quantity) for neglected stocks will be greater than that of visible stocks. Additionally, we find a positive size effect and negative beta effect after controlling for IV. Overall, our results provide strong support for Merton's theory that market segmentation induced by incomplete information is an important component of the influence of IV in the cross-section of returns.

Date: 2015
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