Essays In International Asset Pricing

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The empirical research focuses on the common risk factors in stock returns and trading activities. The first essay is titled "Asset Pricing with Extreme Liquidity Risk". Defining extreme liquidity as the tails of illiquidity for all stocks, I propose a direct measure of market-wide extreme liquidity risk and find that extreme liquidity risk is priced cross-sectionally in the U.S. equity market. From 1973 through 2011, stocks in the highest quintile of extreme liquidity risk loadings earned value-weighted average returns 6.6% per year higher than stocks in the lowest quintile. The extreme liquidity risk premium is robust to common risk factors related to size, value and momentum. The premium is different from that on aggregate liquidity risk documented in Pástor and Stambaugh (2003) as well as that based on tail risk of Kelly (2011). Extreme liquidity estimates can offer a warning sign of extreme liquidity events. Predictive regressions show that extreme liquidity measure reliably outperforms aggregate liquidity measures in predicting future market returns. Finally, I incorporate the extreme liquidity risk into Acharya and Pedersen's (2005) framework and find new supporting evidence for their liquidity-adjusted capital asset pricing model. The second essay is co-authored with Prof. Andrew Karolyi. We have developed a multi-factor returns-generating model for an international setting that captures how restrictions on investability or accessibility can matter. The model works reasonably well in a wide variety of settings. More specifically, using monthly returns for over 37,000 stocks from 46 developed and emerging market countries over a two-decade period, we propose and test a multi-factor model that includes factor portfolios based on firm characteristics and that builds separate factors comprised of globally-accessible stocks, which we call "global factors," and of locally-accessible stocks, which we call "local factors." Our new "hybrid" multi-factor model with both global and local factors not only captures strong common variation in global stock returns, but also achieves low pricing errors and rejection rates using conventional testing procedures for a variety of regional and global test asset portfolios formed on size, value, and momentum. In the third essay, I examine the implications of the Lo and Wang (2000, 2006) mutual fund separation model in the cross-sectional behavior of global trading activity. It demonstrates that return-based factors work poorly around the world. On average across countries, market-wide turnover captures 37% of all systematic turnover components in individual stock trading, and two additional Fama and French (1993) factor turnovers increase the explanatory power by 23%. Similarly Lo and Wang's (2000) turnovers only capture on average 64% of all systematic turnover components. Using this multi-factor asset pricing-trading framework, a horserace is further performed to explore other factors in return by examining the turnover behavior of different factor mimicking portfolios. All the return-based factors capture at most 67% of the common variation in trading, suggesting that stock pricing and trading volume may not be compatible around the world. In cross-country analysis, the explanatory power of the returnbased factor model varies substantially across countries and markets, with better performance for European developed markets and China. Surprisingly, in North America, Japan and most emerging markets there are larger amounts of commonality in trading, mostly higher than 47 %, for reasons other than return motive.

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Karolyi, George Andrew

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Bailey, Warren B.
Ng, David T.
Gao, Pengqin

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Ph. D., Economics

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Doctor of Philosophy

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dissertation or thesis

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