Department of Economics and Business Economics

The impact of financial crises on the risk-return tradeoff and the leverage effect

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  • Bent Jesper Christensen
  • Morten Ørregaard Nielsen, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Denmark
  • Jie Zhu, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Denmark
We investigate the impact of financial crises on two fundamental features of stock returns, namely, the risk-return tradeoff and the leverage effect. We apply the fractionally integrated exponential GARCH-in-mean (FIEGARCH-M) model for daily stock return data, which includes both features and allows the co-existence of long memory in volatility and short memory in returns. We extend this model to allow the financial parameters governing the volatility-in-mean effect and the leverage effect to change during financial crises. An application to the daily U.S. stock index return series from 1926 through 2010 shows that both financial effects increase significantly during crises. Strikingly, the risk-return tradeoff is significantly positive only during financial crises, and insignificant during non-crisis periods. The leverage effect is negative throughout, but increases significantly by about 50% in magnitude during financial crises. No such changes are observed during NBER recessions, so in this sense financial crises are special. Applications to a number of major developed and emerging international stock markets confirm the increase in the leverage effect, whereas the international evidence on the risk-return tradeoff is mixed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomic Modelling
Volume49
Pages (from-to)407-418
ISSN0264-9993
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • FIEGARCH-M, financial crises, financial leverage, international markets, long memory, risk-return tradeoff, stock returns, volatility feedback.

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