Professor Chris Brooks
Professor Chris Brooks
- Professor in Finance
- Deputy Head of School
Profile & Expertise
Chris Brooks is Professor of Finance, Deputy Head of School and Director of Research at the ICMA Centre. He was formerly Professor of Finance at the Cass Business School, London. He holds a PhD and a BA in Economics and Econometrics, both from the University of Reading. His areas of research interest include asset pricing, fund management, behavioural finance, financial history, and econometric analysis and modelling in finance and real estate. He has published widely in these areas, and has over a hundred articles in leading academic and practitioner journals including the Journal of Business, Economic Journal, Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Banking and Finance, and Journal of Empirical Finance. Chris is Associate Editor of several journals, including the JBFA, the International Journal of Forecasting and the British Accounting Review. He was a member of the RAE2008 Accounting and Finance sub-panel and is a member of the REF2014 Business and Management sub-panel. Chris acts as consultant for various banks, corporations and professional bodies in the fields of finance, real estate, and econometrics.
He is Course Convenor of the Securities, Futures and Options, and Introductory Finance modules and also teaches on the PhD programme.
Chris is probably best known as author of the first introductory econometrics textbook targeted at finance students, “Introductory Econometrics for Finance“ (2014, Cambridge University Press), which is now in its third edition and has now sold over 50,000 copies worldwide.
- Financial Econometrics
- Investment Management
- Asset Pricing
- Historical Finance
Key publications, books, research & papers
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Did purchasing power parity hold in medieval Europe?
Bell, A. R.
This paper employs a unique, hand-collected dataset of exchange rates for five major currencies (the lira of Barcelona, the pound sterling of England, the pond groot of Flanders, the florin of Florence and the livre tournois of France) to consider whether the law of one price and purchasing power parity held in Europe during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Using single series and panel unit root and stationarity tests and cointegration analysis on ten real exchange rates between 1383 and 1411, we show that the parity relationship held for the pound sterling and some of the Florentine florin series individually and for almost all of the groups that we investigate. Our findings add to the weight of evidence that trading and arbitrage activities stopped real exchange rates deviating permanently from fair values. This research extends the results reported in other studies back more than 600 years.
Commodity risks and the cross-section of equity returns
The article examines whether commodity risk is priced in the cross-section of global equity returns. We employ a long-only equally-weighted portfolio of commodity futures and a term structure portfolio that captures phases of backwardation and contango as mimicking portfolios for commodity risk. We find that equity-sorted portfolios with greater sensitivities to the excess returns of the backwardation and contango portfolio command higher average excess returns, suggesting that when measured appropriately, commodity risk is pervasive in stocks. Our conclusions are robust to the addition to the pricing model of financial, macroeconomic and business cycle-based risk factors.
Cambium non est mutuum: exchange and interest rates in medieval Europe
Bell, A. R.
A major gap in our understanding of the medieval economy concerns interest rates, especially relating to commercial credit. Although direct evidence about interest rates is scattered and anecdotal, there is much more surviving information about exchange rates. Since both contemporaries and historians have suggested that exchange and rechange transactions could be used to disguise the charging of interest in order to circumvent the usury prohibition, it should be possible to back out the interest rates from exchange rates. The following analysis is based on a new dataset of medieval exchange rates collected from commercial correspondence in the archive of Francesco di Marco Datini of Prato, c.1383-1411. It demonstrates that the time value of money was consistently incorporated into market exchange rates. Moreover, these implicit interest rates are broadly comparable to those received from other types of commercial loan and investment. Although on average profitable, the return on any individual exchange and rechange transaction did involve a degree of uncertainty that may have justified their non-usurious nature. However, there were also practical reasons why medieval merchants may have used foreign exchange transactions as a means of extending credit.
Do investors care about corporate tax?
This paper conducts a comprehensive examination of the link between corporation tax payment and financial performance in the UK. We find no discernible link between tax rates and stock returns for the UK, no matter how tax payment is measured. This is true throughout the sample period and for both customer-facing and non-customer-facing companies. However, allowing for industry norms and a host of firm characteristics, companies with lower effective tax rates have significantly higher levels of stock market risk. Firms that are reported in the newspapers in a negative way in relation to their level of corporation tax payment experience small negative stock returns, which are partially reversed within a month. However, the initial negative effects and subsequent rebound are both more pronounced for smaller companies. News announcements of the potential involvement of a firm in a corporate inversion (expatriation) result in steeper and much longer-lasting falls in share prices, whereas news stories of a more general nature relating to a firm’s tax avoidance or tax payments have little noticeable effect.
Le credit au Moyen Age: les prets a la couronne D'Angleterre entre 1272 et 1345
A summary of some of the key findings of a recent ESRC-funded project based at the ICMA centre, University of Reading. This study applied modern financial analysis and theories to the early history of sovereign debt, in this case the credit arrangements between the ‘Three Edwards’, kings of England 1272-1377, and a succession of Italian merchant societies.
Finite sample weighting of recursive forecast errors
This paper proposes and tests a new framework for weighting recursive out-of-sample prediction errors according to their corresponding levels of in-sample estimation uncertainty. In essence, we show how to use the maximum possible amount of information from the sample in the evaluation of the prediction accuracy, by commencing the forecasts at the earliest opportunity and weighting the prediction errors. Via a Monte Carlo study, we demonstrate that the proposed framework selects the correct model from a set of candidate models considerably more often than the existing standard approach when only a small sample is available. We also show that the proposed weighting approaches result in tests of equal predictive accuracy that have much better sizes than the standard approach. An application to an exchange rate dataset highlights relevant differences in the results of tests of predictive accuracy based on the standard approach versus the framework proposed in this paper.
The determinants of a cross market arbitrage opportunity: theory and evidence for the European bond market
Perlin, M., Dufour, A.
This paper examines the determinants of cross-platform arbitrage profits. We develop a structural model that enables us to decompose the likelihood of an arbitrage opportunity into three distinct factors: the fixed cost to trade the opportunity, the level at which one of the platforms delays a price update and the impact of the order flow on the quoted prices (inventory and asymmetric information effects). We then investigate the predictions from the theoretical model for the European Bond market with the estimation of a probit model. Our main finding is that the results found in the empirical part corroborate strongly the predictions from the structural model. The event of a cross market arbitrage opportunity has a certain degree of predictability where an optimal ex ante scenario is represented by a low level of spreads on both platforms, a time of the day close to the end of trading hours and a high volume of trade.
On the predictive content of leading indicators: the case of U.S. real estate markets
This paper employs a probit and a Markov switching model using information from the Conference Board Leading Indicator and other predictor variables to forecast the signs of future rental growth in four key U.S. commercial rent series. We find that both approaches have considerable power to predict changes in the direction of commercial rents up to two years ahead, exhibiting strong improvements over a naïve model, especially for the warehouse and apartment sectors. We find that while the Markov switching model appears to be more successful, it lags behind actual turnarounds in market outcomes whereas the probit is able to detect whether rental growth will be positive or negative several quarters ahead.
Booms and busts in commodity markets: bubbles or fundamentals?
This paper considers whether there were periodically collapsing rational speculative bubbles in commodity prices over a 40-year period from the late 1960s. We apply a switching regression approach to a broad range of commodities using two different measures of fundamental values—estimated from convenience yields and from a set of macroeconomic factors believed to affect commodity demand. We find reliable evidence for bubbles only among crude oil and feeder cattle, showing the popular belief that the extreme price movements observed in commodity markets were caused by pure speculation to be unsustainable
Speculative bubble spillovers across regional housing markets
In this paper we determine whether speculative bubbles in one region in the United States can lead bubbles to form in others. We first apply a regime-switching model to determine whether speculative bubbles existed in the U.S. regional residential real estate markets. Our findings suggest that the housing markets in five of the nine census divisions investigated were characterized by speculative bubbles. We then examine the extent to which bubbles spill over between neighboring and more distant regions, finding that the transmission of speculative bubbles and nonfundamentals between regions is multidirectional and does not depend on contiguity or distance
Time-varying price discovery in the eighteenth century: empirical evidence from the London and Amsterdam stock markets
Bell, A. R.
This paper examines the time-varying nature of price discovery in eighteenth century cross-listed stocks. Specifically, we investigate how quickly news is reflected in prices for two of the great moneyed com- panies, the Bank of England and the East India Company, over the period 1723 to 1794. These British companies were cross-listed on the London and Amsterdam stock exchange and news between the capitals flowed mainly via the use of boats that transported mail. We examine in detail the historical context sur- rounding the defining events of the period, and use these as a guide to how the data should be analysed. We show that both trading venues contributed to price discovery, and although the London venue was more important for these stocks, its importance varies over time.
The long-run performance of IPOs: the case of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius
Agathee, U. S., Sannassee, R. V. and Brooks, C.
This study examines the long-run performance of initial public offerings on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM). The results show that the 3-year equally weighted cumulative adjusted returns average −16.5%. The magnitude of this underperformance is consistent with most reported studies in different developed and emerging markets. Based on multivariate regression models, firms with small issues and higher ex ante financial strength seem on average to experience greater long-run underperformance, supporting the divergence of opinion and overreaction hypotheses. On the other hand, Mauritian firms do not on average time their offerings to lower cost of capital and as such, there seems to be limited support for the windows of opportunity hypothesis.
Speculative bubbles and the cross-sectional variation in stock returns
Anderson, K. and Brooks, C.
Evidence suggests that rational, periodically collapsing speculative bubbles may be pervasive in stock markets globally, but there is no research that considers them at the individual stock level. In this study we develop and test an empirical asset pricing model that allows for speculative bubbles to affect stock returns. We show that stocks incorporating larger bubbles yield higher returns. The bubble deviation, at the stock level as opposed to the industry or market level, is a priced source of risk that is separate from the standard market risk, size and value factors. We demonstrate that much of the common variation in stock returns that can be attributable to market risk is due to the co-movement of bubbles rather than being driven by fundamentals.
Does more detailed information mean better performance? An experiment in information explicitness
Shang, Z., Brooks, C.
Purpose – Investors are now able to analyse more noise-free news to inform their trading decisions than ever before. Their expectation that more information means better performance is not supported by previous psychological experiments which argue that too much information actually impairs performance. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the degree of information explicitness improves stock market performance. Design/methodology/approach – An experiment is conducted in a computer laboratory to examine a trading simulation manipulated from a real market-shock. Participants’ performance efficiency and effectiveness are measured separately. Findings – The results indicate that the explicitness of information neither improves nor impairs participants’ performance effectiveness from the perspectives of returns, share and cash positions, and trading volumes. However, participants’ performance efficiency is significantly affected by information explicitness. Originality/value – The novel approach and findings of this research add to the knowledge of the impact of information explicitness on the quality of decision making in a financial market environment.
Gender and the evaluation of research
This study examines if and how gender relates to research evaluation via panel assessment and journal ratings lists. Using data from UK business schools we find no evidence that the proportion of women in a submission for panel assessment affected the score received by the submitting institution. However, we do find that women on average receive lower scores according to some journal ratings lists. There are important differences in the rated quality of journals that men and women publish in across the sub-disciplines with men publishing significantly more research in the highest rated accountancy, information management and strategy journals. In addition, women who are able to utilise networks to co-author with individuals outside their institution are able to publish in higher-rated journals, although the same is not true for men; women who are attributed with “individual staff circumstances” (e.g. maternity leave or part-time working) have lower scores according to journal ratings lists.
Are investors guided by the news disclosed by companies or by journalists?
Shang, Z., Brooks, C.
Most previous studies demonstrating the influential role of the textual information released by the media on stock market performance have concentrated on earnings-related disclosures. By contrast, this paper focuses on disposal announcements, so that the impacts of listed companies’ announcements and journalists’ stories can be compared concerning the same events. Consistent with previous findings, negative words, rather than those expressing other types of sentiment, statistically significantly affect adjusted returns and detrended trading volumes. However, extending previous studies, the results of this paper indicate that shareholders’ decisions are mainly guided by the negative sentiment in listed companies’ announcements rather than that in journalists’ stories. Furthermore, this effect is restricted to the announcement day. The average market reaction–measured by adjusted returns–is inversely related only when the announcements are ignored by the media, but the dispersion of market reaction–measured by detrended trading volume–is positively affected only when announcements are followed up by journalists.
Low-cost momentum strategies
Li, X., Brooks, C.
This paper analyses the impact of trading costs on the profitability of momentum strategies in the United Kingdom and concludes that losers are more expensive to trade than winners. The observed asymmetry in the costs of trading winners and losers crucially relates to the high cost of selling loser stocks with small size and low trading volume. Since transaction costs severely impact net momentum profits, the paper defines a new low-cost relative-strength strategy by shortlisting from all winner and loser stocks those with the lowest total transaction costs. While the study severely questions the profitability of standard momentum strategies, it concludes that there is still room for momentum-based return enhancement, should asset managers decide to adopt low-cost relative-strength strategies.
Can profitable trading strategies be derived from investment best-sellers?
A glance along the finance shelves at any bookshop reveals a large number of books that seek to show readers how to ‘make a million’ or ‘beat the market’ with allegedly highly profitable equity trading strategies. This paper investigates whether useful trading strategies can be derived from popular books of investment strategy, with What Works on Wall Street by James P. O’Shaughnessy used as an example. Specifically, we test whether this strategy would have produced a similarly spectacular performance in the UK context as was demonstrated by the author for the US market. As part of our investigation, we highlight a general methodology for determining whether the observed superior performance of a trading rule could be attributed in part or in entirety to data mining. Overall, we find that the O’Shaughnessy rule performs reasonably well in the UK equity market, yielding higher returns than the FTSE All-Share Index, but lower returns than an equally weighted benchmark
A measure of persistence in daily pound exchange rates
An alternative procedure to that of Lo is proposed for assessing whether there is significant evidence of persistence in time series. The technique estimates the Hurst exponent itself, and significance testing is based on an application of bootstrapping using surrogate data. The method is applied to a set of 10 daily pound exchange rates. A general lack of long-term memory is found to characterize all the series tested, in sympathy with the findings of a number of other recent papers which have used Lo’s techniques.
Testing for non-linearity in daily sterling exchange rates
A number of tests for non-linear dependence in time series are presented and implemented on a set of 10 daily sterling exchange rates covering the entire post Bretton-Woods era until the present day. Irrefutable evidence of non-linearity is shown in many of the series, but most of this dependence can apparently be explained by reference to the GARCH family of models. It is suggested that the literature in this area has reached an impasse, with the presence of ARCH effects clearly demonstrated in a large number of papers, but with the tests for non-linearity which are currently available being unable to classify any additional non-linear structure.
Linear and non-linear (non-)forecastability of high-frequency exchange rates
This paper forecasts Daily Sterling exchange rate returns using various naive, linear and non-linear univariate time-series models. The accuracy of the forecasts is evaluated using mean squared error and sign prediction criteria. These show only a very modest improvement over forecasts generated by a random walk model. The Pesaran–Timmerman test and a comparison with forecasts generated artificially shows that even the best models have no evidence of market timing ability.
Predicting stock index volatility: can market volume help?
This paper explores a number of statistical models for predicting the daily stock return volatility of an aggregate of all stocks traded on the NYSE. An application of linear and non-linear Granger causality tests highlights evidence of bidirectional causality, although the relationship is stronger from volatility to volume than the other way around. The out-of-sample forecasting performance of various linear, GARCH, EGARCH, GJR and neural network models of volatility are evaluated and compared. The models are also augmented by the addition of a measure of lagged volume to form more general ex-ante forecasting models. The results indicate that augmenting models of volatility with measures of lagged volume leads only to very modest improvements, if any, in forecasting performance.
Chaos in foreign exchange markets: a sceptical view
This paper tests directly for deterministic chaos in a set of ten daily Sterling-denominated exchange rates by calculating the largest Lyapunov exponent. Although in an earlier paper, strong evidence of nonlinearity has been shown, chaotic tendencies are noticeably absent from all series considered using this state-of-the-art technique. Doubt is cast on many recent papers which claim to have tested for the presence of chaos in economic data sets, based on what are argued here to be inappropriate techniques.
Episodic nonstationarity in exchange rates
We examine a method recently proposed by Hinich and Patterson (mimeo, University of Texas at Austin, 1995) for testing the validity of specifying a GARCH error structure for financial time series data in the context of a set of ten daily Sterling exchange rates. The results demonstrate that there are statistical structures present in the data that cannot be captured by a GARCH model, or any of its variants. This result has important implications for the interpretation of the recent voluminous literature which attempts to model financial asset returns using this family of models.
Tests of non-linearity using LIFFE futures transactions price data
Ap Gwilym, O., Brooks, C.
This paper presents and implements a number of tests for non-linear dependence and a test for chaos using transactions prices on three LIFFE futures contracts: the Short Sterling interest rate contract, the Long Gilt government bond contract, and the FTSE 100 stock index futures contract. While previous studies of high frequency futures market data use only those transactions which involve a price change, we use all of the transaction prices on these contracts whether they involve a price change or not. Our results indicate irrefutable evidence of non-linearity in two of the three contracts, although we find no evidence of a chaotic process in any of the series. We are also able to provide some indications of the effect of the duration of the trading day on the degree of non-linearity of the underlying contract. The trading day for the Long Gilt contract was extended in August 1994, and prior to this date there is no evidence of any structure in the return series. However, after the extension of the trading day we do find evidence of a non-linear return structure.
The effect of (mis-specified) GARCH filters on the finite sample distribution of the BDS test
This paper considers the effect of using a GARCH filter on the properties of the BDS test statistic as well as a number of other issues relating to the application of the test. It is found that, for certain values of the user-adjustable parameters, the finite sample distribution of the test is far-removed from asymptotic normality. In particular, when data generated from some completely different model class are filtered through a GARCH model, the frequency of rejection of iid falls, often substantially. The implication of this result is that it might be inappropriate to use non-rejection of iid of the standardised residuals of a GARCH model as evidence that the GARCH model ‘fits’ the data.
Forecasting exchange rate volatility using conditional variance models selected by information criteria
This paper uses appropriately modified information criteria to select models from the GARCH family, which are subsequently used for predicting US dollar exchange rate return volatility. The out of sample forecast accuracy of models chosen in this manner compares favourably on mean absolute error grounds, although less favourably on mean squared error grounds, with those generated by the commonly used GARCH(1, 1) model. An examination of the orders of models selected by the criteria reveals that (1, 1) models are typically selected less than 20% of the time.
Portmanteau model diagnostics and tests for nonlinearity: a comparative Monte Carlo study of two alternative methods
This paper employs an extensive Monte Carlo study to test the size and power of the BDS and close return methods of testing for departures from independent and identical distribution. It is found that the finite sample properties of the BDS test are far superior and that the close return method cannot be recommended as a model diagnostic. Neither test can be reliably used for very small samples, while the close return test has low power even at large sample sizes
Can portmanteau nonlinearity tests serve as general mis-specification tests?
A number of recent papers have employed the BDS test as a general test for mis-specification for linear and nonlinear models. We show that for a particular class of conditionally heteroscedastic models, the BDS test is unable to detect a common mis-specification. Our results also demonstrate that specific rather than portmanteau diagnostics are required to detect neglected asymmetry in volatility. However for both classes of tests reasonable power is only obtained using very large sample sizes.
Bicorrelations and cross-bicorrelations as non-linearity tests and tools for exchange rate forecasting
This paper proposes and implements a new methodology for forecasting time series, based on bicorrelations and cross-bicorrelations. It is shown that the forecasting technique arises as a natural extension of, and as a complement to, existing univariate and multivariate non-linearity tests. The formulations are essentially modified autoregressive or vector autoregressive models respectively, which can be estimated using ordinary least squares. The techniques are applied to a set of high-frequency exchange rate returns, and their out-of-sample forecasting performance is compared to that of other time series models
A Double-threshold GARCH Model for the French Franc/Deutschmark exchange rate
This paper combines and generalizes a number of recent time series models of daily exchange rate series by using a SETAR model which also allows the variance equation of a GARCH specification for the error terms to be drawn from more than one regime. An application of the model to the French Franc/Deutschmark exchange rate demonstrates that out-of-sample forecasts for the exchange rate volatility are also improved when the restriction that the data it is drawn from a single regime is removed. This result highlights the importance of considering both types of regime shift (i.e. thresholds in variance as well as in mean) when analysing financial time series.
Linear and non-linear transmission of equity return volatility: evidence from the US, Japan and Australia
This paper models the transmission of shocks between the US, Japanese and Australian equity markets. Tests for the existence of linear and non-linear transmission of volatility across the markets are performed using parametric and non-parametric techniques. In particular the size and sign of return innovations are important factors in determining the degree of spillovers in volatility. It is found that a multivariate asymmetric GARCH formulation can explain almost all of the non-linear causality between markets. These results have important implications for the construction of models and forecasts of international equity returns.
Threshold autoregressive and Markov switching models: an application to commercial real estate
Maitland-Smith, J. K. and Brooks, C.
Although financial theory rests heavily upon the assumption that asset returns are normally distributed, value indices of commercial real estate display significant departures from normality. In this paper, we apply and compare the properties of two recently proposed regime switching models for value indices of commercial real estate in the US and the UK, both of which relax the assumption that observations are drawn from a single distribution with constant mean and variance. Statistical tests of the models’ specification indicate that the Markov switching model is better able to capture the non-stationary features of the data than the threshold autoregressive model, although both represent superior descriptions of the data than the models that allow for only one state. Our results have several implications for theoretical models and empirical research in finance.
The impact of economic and financial factors on UK property performance
This paper employs a vector autoregressive model to investigate the impact of macroeconomic and financial variables on a UK real estate return series. The results indicate that unexpected inflation, and the interest rate term spread have explanatory powers for the property market. However, the most significant influence on the real estate series are the lagged values of the real estate series themselves. We conclude that identifying the factors that have determined UK property returns over the past twelve years remains a difficult task.
Does orthogonalization really purge equity based property valuations of their general stock market influences?
This paper uses a recently developed nonlinear Granger causality test to determine whether linear orthogonalization really does remove general stock market influences on real estate returns to leave pure industry effects in the latter. The results suggest that there is no nonlinear relationship between the US equity-based property index returns and returns on a general stock market index, although there is evidence of nonlinear causality for the corresponding UK series.
Forecasting models of retail rents
The authors model retail rents in the United Kingdom with use of vector-autoregressive and time-series models. Two retail rent series are used, compiled by LaSalle Investment Management and CB Hillier Parker, and the emphasis is on forecasting. The results suggest that the use of the vector-autoregression and time-series models in this paper can pick up important features of the data that are useful for forecasting purposes. The relative forecasting performance of the models appears to be subject to the length of the forecast time-horizon. The results also show that the variables which were appropriate for inclusion in the vector-autoregression systems differ between the two rent series, suggesting that the structure of optimal models for predicting retail rents could be specific to the rent index used. Ex ante forecasts from our time-series suggest that both LaSalle Investment Management and CB Hillier Parker real retail rents will exhibit an annual growth rate above their long-term mean.
The cyclical relations between traded property stock prices and aggregate time-series
This paper examines the cyclical regularities of macroeconomic, financial and property market aggregates in relation to the property stock price cycle in the UK. The Hodrick Prescott filter is employed to fit a long-term trend to the raw data, and to derive the short-term cycles of each series. It is found that the cycles of consumer expenditure, total consumption per capita, the dividend yield and the long-term bond yield are moderately correlated, and mainly coincident, with the property price cycle. There is also evidence that the nominal and real Treasury Bill rates and the interest rate spread lead this cycle by one or two quarters, and therefore that these series can be considered leading indicators of property stock prices. This study recommends that macroeconomic and financial variables can provide useful information to explain and potentially to forecast movements of property-backed stock returns in the UK.
Linkages between property asset returns and interest rates: evidence for the UK
This paper considers the effect of short- and long-term interest rates, and interest rate spreads upon real estate index returns in the UK. Using Johansen’s vector autoregressive framework, it is found that the real estate index cointegrates with the term spread, but not with the short or long rates themselves. Granger causality tests indicate that movements in short term interest rates and the spread cause movements in the returns series. However, decomposition of the forecast error variances from VAR models indicate that changes in these variables can only explain a small proportion of the overall variability of the returns, and that the effect has fully worked through after two months. The results suggest that these financial variables could potentially be used as leading indicators for real estate markets, with corresponding implications for return predictability.
Forecasting real estate returns using financial spreads
This paper examines the predictability of real estate asset returns using a number of time series techniques. A vector autoregressive model, which incorporates financial spreads, is able to improve upon the out of sample forecasting performance of univariate time series models at a short forecasting horizon. However, as the forecasting horizon increases, the explanatory power of such models is reduced, so that returns on real estate assets are best forecast using the long term mean of the series. In the case of indirect property returns, such short-term forecasts can be turned into a trading rule that can generate excess returns over a buy-and-hold strategy gross of transactions costs, although none of the trading rules developed could cover the associated transactions costs. It is therefore concluded that such forecastability is entirely consistent with stock market efficiency.
Testing for bubbles in indirect property price cycles
Speculative bubbles are generated when investors include the expectation of the future price in their information set. Under these conditions, the actual market price of the security, that is set according to demand and supply, will be a function of the future price and vice versa. In the presence of speculative bubbles, positive expected bubble returns will lead to increased demand and will thus force prices to diverge from their fundamental value. This paper investigates whether the prices of UK equity-traded property stocks over the past 15 years contain evidence of a speculative bubble. The analysis draws upon the methodologies adopted in various studies examining price bubbles in the general stock market. Fundamental values are generated using two models: the dividend discount and the Gordon growth. Variance bounds tests are then applied to test for bubbles in the UK property asset prices. Finally, cointegration analysis is conducted to provide further evidence on the presence of bubbles. Evidence of the existence of bubbles is found, although these appear to be transitory and concentrated in the mid-to-late 1990s.
An alternative approach to investigating lead-lag relationships between stock and stock index futures markets
In the absence of market frictions, the cost-of-carry model of stock index futures pricing predicts that returns on the underlying stock index and the associated stock index futures contract will be perfectly contemporaneously correlated. Evidence suggests, however, that this prediction is violated with clear evidence that the stock index futures market leads the stock market. It is argued that traditional tests, which assume that the underlying data generating process is constant, might be prone to overstate the lead-lag relationship. Using a new test for lead-lag relationships based on cross correlations and cross bicorrelations it is found that, contrary to results from using the traditional methodology, periods where the futures market leads the cash market are few and far between and when any lead-lag relationship is detected, it does not last long. Overall, the results are consistent with the prediction of the standard cost-of-carry model and market efficiency.
Cross-correlations and cross-bicorrelations in Sterling exchange rates
This paper proposes two new tests for linear and nonlinear lead/lag relationships between time series based on the concepts of cross-correlations and cross-bicorrelations, respectively. The tests are then applied to a set of Sterling-denominated exchange rates. Our analysis indicates that there existed periods during the post-Bretton Woods era where the temporal relationship between different exchange rates was strong, although these periods have become less frequent over the past 20 years. In particular, our results demonstrate the episodic nature of the nonlinearity, and have implications for the speed of flow of information between financial series. The method generalises recently proposed tests for nonlinearity to the multivariate context.
What will be the risk-free rate and benchmark yield curve following European monetary union?
Using a linear factor model, we study the behaviour of French, Germany, Italian and British sovereign yield curves in the run up to EMU. This allows us to determine which of these yield curves might best approximate a benchmark yield curve post EMU. We find that the best approximation for the risk free yield is the UK three month T-bill yield, followed by the German three month T-bill yield. As no one sovereign yield curve dominates all others, we find that a composite yield curve, consisting of French, Italian and UK bonds at different maturity points along the yield curve should be the benchmark post EMU.
A word of caution on calculating market-based minimum capital risk requirements
This paper demonstrates that the use of GARCH-type models for the calculation of minimum capital risk requirements (MCRRs) may lead to the production of inaccurate and therefore inefficient capital requirements. We show that this inaccuracy stems from the fact that GARCH models typically overstate the degree of persistence in return volatility. A simple modification to the model is found to improve the accuracy of MCRR estimates in both back- and out-of-sample tests. Given that internal risk management models are currently in widespread usage in some parts of the world (most notably the USA), and will soon be permitted for EC banks and investment firms, we believe that our paper should serve as a valuable caution to risk management practitioners who are using, or intend to use this popular class of models.
Seasonality in Southeast Asian stock markets: some new evidence on day-of-the-week effects
This paper examines the evidence for a day-of-the-week effect in five Southeast Asian stock markets: South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Findings indicate significant seasonality for three of the five markets. Market risk, proxied by the return on the FTA World Price Index, is not sufficient to explain this calendar anomaly. Although an extension of the risk-return equation to incorporate interactive seasonal dummy variables can explain some significant day-of-the-week effects, market risk alone appears insufficient to characterize this phenomenon.
Benchmarks and the accuracy of GARCH model estimation
This paper reviews nine software packages with particular reference to their GARCH model estimation accuracy when judged against a respected benchmark. We consider the numerical consistency of GARCH and EGARCH estimation and forecasting. Our results have a number of implications for published research and future software development. Finally, we argue that the establishment of benchmarks for other standard non-linear models is long overdue.
A trading strategy based on the lead–lag relationship between the spot index and futures contract for the FTSE 100
This paper examines the lead–lag relationship between the FTSE 100 index and index futures price employing a number of time series models. Using 10-min observations from June 1996–1997, it is found that lagged changes in the futures price can help to predict changes in the spot price. The best forecasting model is of the error correction type, allowing for the theoretical difference between spot and futures prices according to the cost of carry relationship. This predictive ability is in turn utilised to derive a trading strategy which is tested under real-world conditions to search for systematic profitable trading opportunities. It is revealed that although the model forecasts produce significantly higher returns than a passive benchmark, the model was unable to outperform the benchmark after allowing for transaction costs.
GARCH modelling in finance: a review of the software options
Hot and cold IPO markets : the case of the stock exchange of Mauritius
Subadar Agathee, U., Brooks, C.
The aim of this study is to assess the characteristics of the hot and cold IPO markets on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM). The results show that the hot issues exhibit, on average, a greater degree of underpricing than the cold issues, although the hot issue phenomenon is not a significant driving force in explaining this short-run underpricing. The results are consistent with the predictions of the changing risk composition hypothesis in suggesting that firms going public during hot markets are on average relatively more risky. The findings also support the time adverse selection hypothesis in that the firms’ quality dispersion is statistically different between hot and cold markets. Finally, the study concludes that firms which go public during hot markets do not underperform those going public in cold markets over the longer term.
The trading profitability of forecasts of the gilt–equity yield ratio
Research has highlighted the usefulness of the Gilt–Equity Yield Ratio (GEYR) as a predictor of UK stock returns. This paper extends recent studies by endogenising the threshold at which the GEYR switches from being low to being high or vice versa, thus improving the arbitrary nature of the determination of the threshold employed in the extant literature. It is observed that a decision rule for investing in equities or bonds, based on the forecasts from a regime switching model, yields higher average returns with lower variability than a static portfolio containing any combinations of equities and bonds. A closer inspection of the results reveals that the model has power to forecast when investors should steer clear of equities, although the trading profits generated are insufficient to outweigh the associated transaction costs.
The cross-currency hedging performance of implied versus statistical forecasting models
This article examines the ability of several models to generate optimal hedge ratios. Statistical models employed include univariate and multivariate generalized autoregressive conditionally heteroscedastic (GARCH) models, and exponentially weighted and simple moving averages. The variances of the hedged portfolios derived using these hedge ratios are compared with those based on market expectations implied by the prices of traded options. One-month and three-month hedging horizons are considered for four currency pairs. Overall, it has been found that an exponentially weighted moving-average model leads to lower portfolio variances than any of the GARCH-based, implied or time-invariant approaches.
Do long-short speculators destabilize commodity futures markets?
Miffre, J. and Brooks, C.
This paper contributes to the debate on the effects of the financialization of commodity futures markets by studying the conditional volatility of long–short commodity portfolios and their conditional correlations with traditional assets (stocks and bonds). Using several groups of trading strategies that hedge fund managers are known to implement, we show that long–short speculators do not cause changes in the volatilities of the portfolios they hold or changes in the conditional correlations between these portfolios and traditional assets. Thus calls for increased regulation of commodity money managers are, at this stage, premature. Additionally, long–short speculators can take comfort in knowing that their trades do not alter the risk and diversification properties of their portfolios.
Idiosyncratic volatility and the pricing of poorly-diversified portfolios
Miffre, J., Brooks, C.
This article examines the role of idiosyncratic volatility in explaining the cross-sectional variation of size- and value-sorted portfolio returns. We show that the premium for bearing idiosyncratic volatility varies inversely with the number of stocks included in the portfolios. This conclusion is robust within various multifactor models based on size, value, past performance, liquidity and total volatility and also holds within an ICAPM specification of the risk–return relationship. Our findings thus indicate that investors demand an additional return for bearing the idiosyncratic volatility of poorly-diversified portfolios.
Medieval foreign exchange: a time series analysis
This chapter applies rigorous statistical analysis to existing datasets of medieval exchange rates quoted in merchants’ letters sent from Barcelona, Bruges and Venice between 1380 and 1310, which survive in the archive of Francesco di Marco Datini of Prato. First, it tests the exchange rates for stationarity. Second, it uses regression analysis to examine the seasonality of exchange rates at the three financial centres and compares them against contemporary descriptions by the merchant Giovanni di Antonio da Uzzano. Third, it tests for structural breaks in the exchange rate series.
The effects of corporate social performance on the cost of corporate debt and credit ratings
This study investigates the differential impact that various dimensions of corporate social performance have on the pricing of corporate debt as well as the assessment of the credit quality of specific bond issues. The empirical analysis, based on an extensive longitudinal data set, suggests that overall, good performance is rewarded and corporate social transgressions are penalized through lower and higher corporate bond yield spreads, respectively. Similar conclusions can be drawn when focusing on either the bond rating assigned to a specific debt issue or the probability of it being considered to be an asset of speculative grade.
The financial effects of uniform and mixed corporate social performance
Firms typically present a mixed picture of corporate social performance (CSP), with positive and negative indicators exhibited by the same firm. Thus, stakeholders’ judgements of corporate social responsibility (CSR) typically evaluate positives in the context of negatives, and vice versa. Building on social judgement theory, we present two alternative accounts of how stakeholders respond to such complexity, which provide differing implications for the financial effects of CSP: reciprocal dampening and rewarding uniformity. Echoing notable findings on strategic consistency, our US panel study finds that firms that exhibit uniformly positive or uniformly negative indicators in particular dimensions of CSP outperform firms that exhibit a mixed picture of positives and negatives, which supports the notion that stakeholders’ judgements of CSR reward uniformity.
The performance effects of composition changes on sector specific stock indices: The case of European listed real estate
This paper examines the impact of changes in the composition of real estate stock indices, considering companies both joining and leaving the indices. Stocks that are newly included not only see a short-term increase in their share price, but trading volumes increase in a permanent fashion following the event. This highlights the importance of indices in not only a benchmarking context but also in enhancing investor awareness and aiding liquidity. By contrast, as anticipated, the share prices of firms removed from indices fall around the time of the index change. The fact that the changes in share prices, either upwards for index inclusions or downwards for deletions, are generally not reversed, would indicate that the movements are not purely due to price pressure, but rather are more consistent with the information content hypothesis. There is no evidence, however, that index changes significantly affect the volatility of price changes or their operating performances as measured by their earnings per share.
On the performance of the tick test
Perlin, M., Brooks, C.
In financial research, the sign of a trade (or identity of trade aggressor) is not always available in the transaction dataset and it can be estimated using a simple set of rules called the tick test. In this paper we investigate the accuracy of the tick test from an analytical perspective by providing a closed formula for the performance of the prediction algorithm. By analyzing the derived equation, we provide formal arguments for the use of the tick test by proving that it is bounded to perform better than chance (50/50) and that the set of rules from the tick test provides an unbiased estimator of the trade signs. On the empirical side of the research, we compare the values from the analytical formula against the empirical performance of the tick test for fifteen heavily traded stocks in the Brazilian equity market. The results show that the formula is quite realistic in assessing the accuracy of the prediction algorithm in a real data situation.
Handbook of research methods and applications in empirical finance
The objective of this book is to present the quantitative techniques that are commonly employed in empirical finance research together with real world, state of the art research examples. Each chapter is written by international experts in their fields. The unique approach is to describe a question or issue in finance and then to demonstrate the methodologies that may be used to solve it. All of the techniques described are used to address real problems rather than being presented for their own sake and the areas of application have been carefully selected so that a broad range of methodological approaches can be covered. This book is aimed primarily at doctoral researchers and academics who are engaged in conducting original empirical research in finance. In addition, the book will be useful to researchers in the financial markets and also advanced Masters-level students who are writing dissertations.
Does managerial turnover affect football club share prices?
This paper analyses the 53 managerial sackings and resignations from 16 stock exchange listed English football clubs during the nine seasons between 2000/01 and 2008/09. The results demonstrate that, on average, a managerial sacking results in a post-announcement day market-adjusted share price rise of 0.3%, whilst a resignation leads to a drop in share price of 1% that continues for a trading month thereafter, cumulating in a negative abnormal return of over 8% from a trading day before the event. These findings are intuitive, and suggest that sacking a poorly performing manager may be welcomed by the markets as a possible route to better future match performance, while losing a capable manager through resignation, who typically progresses to a superior job, will result in a drop in a club’s share price. The paper also reveals that while the impact of managerial departures on stock price volatilities is less clear-cut, speculation in the newspapers is rife in the build-up to such an event.
Commercial real estate and equity market bubbles: are they contagious to REITs?
This paper uses a regime-switching approach to determine whether prices in the US stock, direct real estate and indirect real estate markets are driven by the presence of speculative bubbles. The results show significant evidence of the existence of periodically partially collapsing speculative bubbles in all three markets. A multivariate bubble model is then developed and implemented to evaluate whether the stock and real estate bubbles spill over into REITs. The underlying stock market bubble is found to be a stronger influence on the securitised real estate market bubble than that of the property market. Furthermore, the findings suggest a transmission of speculative bubbles from the direct real estate to the stock market, although this link is not present for the returns themselves.
House price dynamics and their reaction to macroeconomic changes
This article applies a three-regime Markov switching model to investigate the impact of the macroeconomy on the dynamics of the residential real estate market in the US. Focusing on the period between 1960 and 2011, the methodology implemented allows for a clearer understanding of the drivers of the real estate market in “boom”, “steady-state” and “crash” regimes. Our results show that the sensitivity of the real estate market to economic changes is regime-dependent. The paper then proceeds to examine whether policymakers are able to influence a regime switch away from the crash regime. We find that a decrease in interest rate spreads could be an effective catalyst to precipitate such a change of state.
The dynamics of commodity prices
In this paper we study the stochastic behavior of the prices and volatilities of a sample of six of the most important commodity markets and we compare these properties with those of the equity market. we observe a substantial degree of heterogeneity in the behavior of the series. Our findings show that it is inappropriate to treat different kinds of commodities as a single asset class as is frequently the case in the academic literature and in the industry. We demonstrate that commodities can be a useful diversifier of equity volatility as well as equity returns. Options pricing and hedging applications exemplify the economic impacts of the differences across commodities and between model specifications.
Commodity futures prices: more evidence on forecast power, risk premia and the theory of storage
In this paper, we examine the temporal stability of the evidence for two commodity futures pricing theories. We investigate whether the forecast power of commodity futures can be attributed to the extent to which they exhibit seasonality and we also consider whether there are time varying parameters or structural breaks in these pricing relationships. Compared to previous studies, we find stronger evidence of seasonality in the basis, which supports the theory of storage. The power of the basis to forecast subsequent price changes is also strengthened, while results on the presence of a risk premium are inconclusive. In addition, we show that the forecasting power of commodity futures cannot be attributed to the extent to which they exhibit seasonality. We find that in most cases where structural breaks occur, only changes in the intercepts and not the slopes are detected, illustrating that the forecast power of the basis is stable over different economic environments.
The performance of football club managers: skill or luck?
This paper evaluates the extent to which the performance of English Premier League football club managers can be attributed to skill or luck when measured separately from the characteristics of the team. We first use a specification that models managerial skill as a fixed effect and we examine the relationship between the number of points earned in league matches and the club’s wage bill, transfer spending, and the extent to which they were hit by absent players through injuries, suspensions or unavailability. We next implement a bootstrapping approach to generate a simulated distribution of average points that could have taken place after the impact of the manager has been removed. The findings suggest that there are a considerable number of highly skilled managers but also several who perform below expectations. The paper proceeds to illustrate how the approach adopted could be used to determine the optimal time for a club to part company with its manager. We are able to identify in advance several managers who the analysis suggests could have been fired earlier and others whose sackings were hard to justify based on their performances.
The credit relationship between Henry III and merchants of Douai and Ypres, 1247-70
Bell, A. R.
This article looks at an important but neglected aspect of medieval sovereign debt, namely ‘accounts payable’ owed by the Crown to merchants and employees. It focuses on the unusually well-documented relationship between Henry III, King of England between 1216 and 1272, and Flemish merchants from the towns of Douai and Ypres, who provided cloth on credit to the royal wardrobe. From the surviving royal documents, we reconstruct the credit advanced to the royal wardrobe by the merchants of Ypres and Douai for each year between 1247 and 1270, together with the king’s repayment history. The interactions between the king and the merchants are then analysed. The insights from this analysis are applied to the historical data to explain the trading decisions made by the merchants during this period, as well as why the strategies of the Yprois sometimes differed from those of the Douaissiens.
Futures basis, inventory and commodity price volatility: an empirical analysis
Symeonidis, L., Prokopczuk, M.
We employ a large dataset of physical inventory data on 21 different commodities for the period 1993–2011 to empirically analyze the behavior of commodity prices and their volatility as predicted by the theory of storage. We examine two main issues. First, we analyze the relationship between inventory and the shape of the forward curve. Low (high) inventory is associated with forward curves in backwardation (contango), as the theory of storage predicts. Second, we show that price volatility is a decreasing function of inventory for the majority of commodities in our sample. This effect is more pronounced in backwardated markets. Our findings are robust with respect to alternative inventory measures and over the recent commodity price boom.
Testing for periodically collapsing rational speculative bubbles in US REITs
Anderson, K., Brooks, C.
Intrinsic and rational speculative bubbles in the U.S. housing market 1960-2011
This paper examines the dynamics of the residential property market in the United States between 1960 and 2011. Given the cyclically and apparent overvaluation of the market over this period, we determine whether deviations of real estate prices from their fundamentals were caused by the existence of two genres of bubbles: intrinsic bubbles and rational speculative bubbles. We find evidence of an intrinsic bubble in the market pre-2000, implying that overreaction to changes in rents contributed to the overvaluation of real estate prices. However, using a regime-switching model, we find evidence of periodically collapsing rational bubbles in the post-2000 market
Optimal hedging with higher moments
This study proposes a utility-based framework for the determination of optimal hedge ratios (OHRs) that can allow for the impact of higher moments on hedging decisions. We examine the entire hyperbolic absolute risk aversion family of utilities which include quadratic, logarithmic, power, and exponential utility functions. We find that for both moderate and large spot (commodity) exposures, the performance of out-of-sample hedges constructed allowing for nonzero higher moments is better than the performance of the simpler OLS hedge ratio. The picture is, however, not uniform throughout our seven spot commodities as there is one instance (cotton) for which the modeling of higher moments decreases welfare out-of-sample relative to the simpler OLS. We support our empirical findings by a theoretical analysis of optimal hedging decisions and we uncover a novel link between OHRs and the minimax hedge ratio, that is the ratio which minimizes the largest loss of the hedged position. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark
The impact of corporate social performance on financial risk and utility: a longitudinal analysis
This study focuses on the wealth-protective effects of socially responsible firm behavior by examining the association between corporate social performance (CSP) and financial risk for an extensive panel data sample of S&P 500 companies between the years 1992 and 2009. In addition, the link between CSP and investor utility is investigated. The main findings are that corporate social responsibility is negatively but weakly related to systematic firm risk and that corporate social irresponsibility is positively and strongly related to financial risk. The fact that both conventional and downside risk measures lead to the same conclusions adds convergent validity to the analysis. However, the risk-return trade-off appears to be such that no clear utility gain or loss can be realized by investing in firms characterized by different levels of social and environmental performance. Overall volatility conditions of the financial markets are shown to play a moderating role in the nature and strength of the CSP-risk relationship.
The underpricing of IPOs on the stock exchange of Mauritius
Agathee, U. S., Sannassee, R. V. and Brooks, C.
This paper investigates the underpricing of IPOs on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM). Taking into account the whole population of firms which went public since the inception of the SEM until 2010, the results show an average degree of underpricing within the range 10 to 20%. Using a regression approach, we demonstrate that the aftermarket risk level and auditor’s reputation both have a significant positive impact on initial returns. We propose the use of the Z-score as a composite measure of a firm’s ex ante financial strength, and find that it has a significant negative effect on the degree of short-run underpricing.
Testing for a unit root in a process exhibiting a structural break in the presence of GARCH errors
This paper considers the effect of GARCH errors on the tests proposed byPerron (1997) for a unit root in the presence of a structural break. We assessthe impact of degeneracy and integratedness of the conditional varianceindividually and find that, apart from in the limit, the testing procedure isinsensitive to the degree of degeneracy but does exhibit an increasingover-sizing as the process becomes more integrated. When we consider the GARCHspecifications that we are likely to encounter in empirical research, we findthat the Perron tests are reasonably robust to the presence of GARCH and donot suffer from severe over-or under-rejection of a correct null hypothesis.
Testing for non-stationarity and cointegration allowing for the possibility of a structural break: an application to EuroSterling interest rates
In this paper we examine the order of integration of EuroSterling interest rates by employing techniques that can allow for a structural break under the null and/or alternative hypothesis of the unit-root tests. In light of these results, we investigate the cointegrating relationship implied by the single, linear expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates employing two techniques, one of which allows for the possibility of a break in the mean of the cointegrating relationship. The aim of the paper is to investigate whether or not the interest rate series can be viewed as I(1) processes and furthermore, to consider whether there has been a structural break in the series. We also determine whether, if we allow for a break in the cointegration analysis, the results are consistent with those obtained when a break is not allowed for. The main results reported in this paper support the conjecture that the ‘short’ Euro-currency rates are characterised as I(1) series that exhibit a structural break on or near Black Wednesday, 16 September 1992, whereas the ‘long’ rates are I(1) series that do not support the presence of a structural break. The evidence from the cointegration analysis suggests that tests of the expectations hypothesis based on data sets that include the ERM crisis period, or a period that includes a structural break, might be problematic if the structural break is not explicitly taken into account in the testing framework.
A model for exchange rates with crawling bands: an application to the Colombian peso
This paper builds upon previous research on currency bands, and provides a model for the Colombian peso. Stochastic differential equations are combined with information related to the Colombian currency band to estimate competing models of the behaviour of the Colombian peso within the limits of the currency band. The resulting moments of the density function for the simulated returns describe adequately most of the characteristics of the sample returns data. The factor included to account for the intra-marginal intervention performed to drive the rate towards the Central Parity accounts only for 6.5% of the daily change, which supports the argument that intervention, if performed by the Central Bank, it is not directed to push the currency towards the limits. Moreover, the credibility of the Colombian Central Bank, Banco de la República’s ability to defend the band seems low.
Selecting from amongst non–nested conditional variance models: information criteria and portfolio determination
We consider the finite sample properties of model selection by information criteria in conditionally heteroscedastic models. Recent theoretical results show that certain popular criteria are consistent in that they will select the true model asymptotically with probability 1. To examine the empirical relevance of this property, Monte Carlo simulations are conducted for a set of non–nested data generating processes (DGPs) with the set of candidate models consisting of all types of model used as DGPs. In addition, not only is the best model considered but also those with similar values of the information criterion, called close competitors, thus forming a portfolio of eligible models. To supplement the simulations, the criteria are applied to a set of economic and financial series. In the simulations, the criteria are largely ineffective at identifying the correct model, either as best or a close competitor, the parsimonious GARCH(1, 1) model being preferred for most DGPs. In contrast, asymmetric models are generally selected to represent actual data. This leads to the conjecture that the properties of parameterizations of processes commonly used to model heteroscedastic data are more similar than may be imagined and that more attention needs to be paid to the behaviour of the standardized disturbances of such models, both in simulation exercises and in empirical modelling.
Speculative bubbles in asset prices: hot topic or hot air?
An extreme value theory approach to calculating minimum capital risk requirements
This paper investigates the frequency of extreme events for three LIFFE futures contracts for the calculation of minimum capital risk requirements (MCRRs). We propose a semiparametric approach where the tails are modelled by the Generalized Pareto Distribution and smaller risks are captured by the empirical distribution function. We compare the capital requirements form this approach with those calculated from the unconditional density and from a conditional density – a GARCH(1,1) model. Our primary finding is that both in-sample and for a hold-out sample, our extreme value approach yields superior results than either of the other two models which do not explicitly model the tails of the return distribution. Since the use of these internal models will be permitted under the EC-CAD II, they could be widely adopted in the near future for determining capital adequacies. Hence, close scrutiny of competing models is required to avoid a potentially costly misallocation capital resources while at the same time ensuring the safety of the financial system.
The statistical properties of hedge fund index returns and their implications for investors
Model choice and value-at-risk performance
Can we explain the dynamics of the UK FTSE 100 stock and stock index futures markets?
If stock and stock index futures markets are functioning properly price movements in these markets should best be described by a first order vector error correction model with the error correction term being the price differential between the two markets (the basis). Recent evidence suggests that there are more dynamics present than should be in effectively functioning markets. Using self-exciting threshold autoregressive (SETAR) models, this study analyses whether such dynamics can be related to different regimes within which the basis can fluctuate in a predictable manner without triggering arbitrage. These findings reveal that the basis shows strong evidence of autoregressive behaviour when its value is between the two thresholds but that the extra dynamics disappear once the basis moves above the upper threshold and their persistence is reduced, although not eradicated, once the basis moves below the lower threshold. This suggests that once nonlinearity associated with transactions costs is accounted for, stock and stock index futures markets function more effectively than is suggested by linear models of the pricing relationship.
Modelling the implied volatility of options on long gilt futures
This paper investigates the properties of implied volatility series calculated from options on Treasury bond futures, traded on LIFFE. We demonstrate that the use of near-maturity at the money options to calculate implied volatilities causes less mis-pricing and is therefore superior to, a weighted average measure encompassing all relevant options. We demonstrate that, whilst a set of macroeconomic variables has some predictive power for implied volatilities, we are not able to earn excess returns by trading on the basis of these predictions once we allow for typical investor transactions costs.
A note on estimating market–based minimum capital risk requirements: a multivariate GARCH approach
Internal risk management models of the kind popularized by J. P. Morgan are now used widely by the world’s most sophisticated financial institutions as a means of measuring risk. Using the returns on three of the most popular futures contracts on the London International Financial Futures Exchange, in this paper we investigate the possibility of using multivariate generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity (GARCH) models for the calculation of minimum capital risk requirements (MCRRs). We propose a method for the estimation of the value at risk of a portfolio based on a multivariate GARCH model. We find that the consideration of the correlation between the contracts can lead to more accurate, and therefore more appropriate, MCRRs compared with the values obtained from a univariate approach to the problem.
The effect of asymmetries on optimal hedge ratios
There is widespread evidence that the volatility of stock returns displays an asymmetric response to good and bad news. This article considers the impact of asymmetry on time-varying hedges for financial futures. An asymmetric model that allows forecasts of cash and futures return volatility to respond differently to positive and negative return innovations gives superior in-sample hedging performance. However, the simpler symmetric model is not inferior in a hold-out sample. A method for evaluating the models in a modern risk-management framework is presented, highlighting the importance of allowing optimal hedge ratios to be both time-varying and asymmetric.
The impact of news on measures of undiversifiable risk: evidence from the UK stock market
Using UK equity index data, this paper considers the impact of news on time varying measures of beta, the usual measure of undiversifiable risk. The empirical model implies that beta depends on news about the market and news about the sector. The asymmetric response of beta to news about the market is consistent across all sectors considered. Recent research is divided as to whether abnormalities in equity returns arise from changes in expected returns in an efficient market or over-reactions to new information. The evidence suggests that such abnormalities may be due to changes in expected returns caused by time-variation and asymmetry in beta.
Has the UK equity bubble burst completely?
Over the moon or sick as a parrot? The effects of football results on a club's share price
Bell, A. R.
International evidence on the predictability of returns to securitized real estate assets: econometric models versus neural networks
The performance of various statistical models and commonly used financial indicators for forecasting securitised real estate returns are examined for five European countries: the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Italy. Within a VAR framework, it is demonstrated that the gilt-equity yield ratio is in most cases a better predictor of securitized returns than the term structure or the dividend yield. In particular, investors should consider in their real estate return models the predictability of the gilt-equity yield ratio in Belgium, the Netherlands and France, and the term structure of interest rates in France. Predictions obtained from the VAR and univariate time-series models are compared with the predictions of an artificial neural network model. It is found that, whilst no single model is universally superior across all series, accuracy measures and horizons considered, the neural network model is generally able to offer the most accurate predictions for 1-month horizons. For quarterly and half-yearly forecasts, the random walk with a drift is the most successful for the UK, Belgian and Dutch returns and the neural network for French and Italian returns. Although this study underscores market context and forecast horizon as parameters relevant to the choice of the forecast model, it strongly indicates that analysts should exploit the potential of neural networks and assess more fully their forecast performance against more traditional models.
Volatility forecasting for risk management
Recent research has suggested that forecast evaluation on the basis of standard statistical loss functions could prefer models which are sub-optimal when used in a practical setting. This paper explores a number of statistical models for predicting the daily volatility of several key UK financial time series. The out-of-sample forecasting performance of various linear and GARCH-type models of volatility are compared with forecasts derived from a multivariate approach. The forecasts are evaluated using traditional metrics, such as mean squared error, and also by how adequately they perform in a modern risk management setting. We find that the relative accuracies of the various methods are highly sensitive to the measure used to evaluate them. Such results have implications for any econometric time series forecasts which are subsequently employed in financial decisionmaking.
The effect of asymmetries on stock index return value-at-risk estimates
It is widely accepted that equity return volatility increases more following negative shocks rather than positive shocks. However, much of value-at-risk (VaR) analysis relies on the assumption that returns are normally distributed (a symmetric distribution). This article considers the effect of asymmetries on the evaluation and accuracy of VaR by comparing estimates based on various models.
Rational speculative bubbles: an empirical investigation of the London Stock Exchange
In recent years, a sharp divergence of London Stock Exchange equity prices from dividends has been noted. In this paper, we examine whether this divergence can be explained by reference to the existence of a speculative bubble. Three different empirical methodologies are used: variance bounds tests, bubble specification tests, and cointegration tests based on both ex post and ex ante data. We find that, stock prices diverged significantly from their fundamental values during the late 1990’s, and that this divergence has all the characteristics of a bubble.
Extreme returns from extreme value stocks: enhancing the value premium
Anderson, K. and Brooks, C.
Modern finance in the Middle Ages? Advance contracts with Cistercian abbeys for the supply of wool c. 1270-1330: a summary of findings
Bell, A. R.
Measuring the response of macroeconomic uncertainty to shocks
Shields, K., Olekalns, N., Henry, Ó. T. and Brooks, C.
Recent research documents the importance of uncertainty in determining macroeconomic outcomes, but little is known about the transmission of uncertainty across such outcomes. This paper examines the response of uncertainty about inflation and output growth to shocks documenting statistically significant size and sign bias and spillover effects. Uncertainty about inflation is a determinant of output uncertainty, whereas higher growth volatility tends to raise inflation volatility. Both inflation and growth volatility respond asymmetrically to positive and negative shocks. Negative growth and inflation shocks lead to higher and more persistent uncertainty than shocks of equal magnitude but opposite sign.
Trading rules from forecasting the collapse of speculative bubbles for the S&P 500 composite index
A three-regime model of speculative behaviour: modelling the evolution of the S&P 500 composite index
We examine whether a three-regime model that allows for dormant, explosive and collapsing speculative behaviour can explain the dynamics of the S&P 500. We extend existing models of speculative behaviour by including a third regime that allows a bubble to grow at a steady rate, and propose abnormal volume as an indicator of the probable time of bubble collapse. We also examine the financial usefulness of the three-regime model by studying a trading rule formed using inferences from it, whose use leads to higher Sharpe ratios and end of period wealth than from employing existing models or a buy-and-hold strategy.
A comparison of extreme value theory approaches for determining value at risk
This paper compares a number of different extreme value models for determining the value at risk (VaR) of three LIFFE futures contracts. A semi-nonparametric approach is also proposed, where the tail events are modeled using the generalised Pareto distribution, and normal market conditions are captured by the empirical distribution function. The value at risk estimates from this approach are compared with those of standard nonparametric extreme value tail estimation approaches, with a small sample bias-corrected extreme value approach, and with those calculated from bootstrapping the unconditional density and bootstrapping from a GARCH(1,1) model. The results indicate that, for a holdout sample, the proposed semi-nonparametric extreme value approach yields superior results to other methods, but the small sample tail index technique is also accurate.
Autoregressive conditional kurtosis
This article proposes a new model for autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity and kurtosis. Via a time-varying degrees of freedom parameter, the conditional variance and conditional kurtosis are permitted to evolve separately. The model uses only the standard Student’s t-density and consequently can be estimated simply using maximum likelihood. The method is applied to a set of four daily financial asset return series comprising U.S. and U.K. stocks and bonds, and significant evidence in favor of the presence of autoregressive conditional kurtosis is observed. Various extensions to the basic model are proposed, and we show that the response of kurtosis to good and bad news is not significantly asymmetric.
Multivariate stochastic volatility model
The long-term price-earnings ratio
Anderson, K. and Brooks, C.
price-earnings ratio;value premium;arbitrage trading rule;UK stock returns;contrarian investment Abstract: The price-earnings effect has been thoroughly documented and is the subject of numerous academic studies. However, in existing research it has almost exclusively been calculated on the basis of the previous year’s earnings. We show that the power of the effect has until now been seriously underestimated due to taking too short-term a view of earnings. Looking at all UK companies since 1975, using the traditional P/E ratio we find the difference in average annual returns between the value and glamour deciles to be 6%. This is similar to other authors’ findings. We are able to almost double the value premium by calculating the P/E ratio using earnings averaged over the previous eight years.
‘Leger est aprendre mes fort est arendre’: wool, debt, and the dispersal of Pipewell Abbey (1280-1330)
Bell, A. R.
It has long been known that English Cistercian monasteries often sold their wool in advance to foreign merchants in the late thirteenth century. The abbey of Pipewell in Northamptonshire features in a number of such contracts with Cahorsin merchants. This paper looks again at these contracts in the context of over 200 other such agreements found in the governmental records. Why did Pipewell descend into penury over this fifty year period? This case study demonstrates that the promise of ready cash for their most valuable commodity led such abbots to make ambitious agreements – taking on yet more debt to service existing creditors – that would lead to their eventual bankruptcy.
Interest rates and efficiency in medieval wool forward contracts
Bell, A. R.
Detecting intraday periodicities with application to high frequency exchange rates
Many recent papers have documented periodicities in returns, return volatility, bid–ask spreads and trading volume, in both equity and foreign exchange markets. We propose and employ a new test for detecting subtle periodicities in time series data based on a signal coherence function. The technique is applied to a set of seven half-hourly exchange rate series. Overall, we find the signal coherence to be maximal at the 8-h and 12-h frequencies. Retaining only the most coherent frequencies for each series, we implement a trading rule that is based on these observed periodicities. Our results demonstrate in all cases except one that, in gross terms, the rules can generate returns that are considerably greater than those of a buy-and-hold strategy, although they cannot retain their profitability net of transactions costs. We conjecture that this methodology could constitute an important tool for financial market researchers which will enable them to detect, quantify and rank the various periodic components in financial data better.
Cross hedging with single stock futures
Corporate social performance and stock returns: UK evidence from disaggregate measures
Brammer, S., Brooks, C.
This study examines the relation between corporate social performance and stock returns in the UK. We closely evaluate the interactions between social and financial performance with a set of disaggregated social performance indicators for environment, employment, and community activities instead of using an aggregate measure. While scores on a composite social performance indicator are negatively related to stock returns, we find the poor financial reward offered by such firms is attributable to their good social performance on the environment and, to a lesser extent, the community aspects. Considerable abnormal returns are available from holding a portfolio of the socially least desirable stocks. These relationships between social and financial performance can be rationalized by multi-factor models for explaining the cross-sectional variation in returns, but not by industry effects.
Advance contracts for sale of wool c.1200-c.1327
A re-examination of the index effect: gambling on additions to and deletions from the S&P 500's ‘gold seal’
Integration of international office markets and signal extraction
Introductory econometrics for finance. 2nd edition
The transmission of speculative bubbles between sectors of the S&P 500 during the tech bubble
Anderson, K., Brooks, C.
Credit finance in thirteenth-century England: the Ricciardi of Lucca and Edward I, 1272-1294
Bell, A. R.
Interest in Medieval accounts: examples from England, 1272-1340
Bell, A. R.
The charging of interest for borrowing money, and the level at which it is charged, is of fundamental importance to the economy. Unfortunately, the study of the interest rates charged in the middle ages has been hampered by the diversity of terms and methods used by historians. This article seeks to establish a standardized methodology to calculate interest rates from historical sources and thereby provide a firmer foundation for comparisons between regions and periods. It should also contribute towards the current historical reassessment of medieval economic and financial development. The article is illustrated with case studies drawn from the credit arrangements of the English kings between 1272 and c.1340, and argues that changes in interest rates reflect, in part, contemporary perceptions of the creditworthiness of the English crown.
The value premium and time-varying volatility
Li, X., Brooks, C.
Numerous studies have documented the failure of the static and conditional capital asset pricing models to explain the difference in returns between value and growth stocks. This paper examines the post-1963 value premium by employing a model that captures the time-varying total risk of the value-minus-growth portfolios. Our results show that the time-series of value premia is strongly and positively correlated with its volatility. This conclusion is robust to the criterion used to sort stocks into value and growth portfolios and to the country under review (the US and the UK). Our paper is consistent with evidence on the possible role of idiosyncratic risk in explaining equity returns, and also with a separate strand of literature concerning the relative lack of reversibility of value firms’ investment decisions.
Accounts of the English Crown with Italian merchant societies, 1272-1345
The credit arrangements between the three Edwards and Italian merchants were crucial for financing England’s ambitious foreign policies and ensuring the smooth running of governmental administration. The functioning of this credit system can be followed in detail through the well-kept but mostly unpublished records of the English Exchequer. This volume combines a transcription of the most important surviving accounts between the merchants and the Crown, with a parallel abstract presenting the core data in a double-entry format as credits to or debits from the king’s account. This dual format was chosen to facilitate the interpretation of the source while still retaining the language and, as far as possible, the structure of the original documents. The wealth of evidence presented here has much value to add to our understanding of the financing of medieval government and the early development of banking services provided by Italian merchant societies. In particular, although the relationship between king and banker was, for the most part, mutually profitable, the English kings also acquired a reputation for defaulting on their debts and thus ‘breaking’ a succession of merchant societies. These documents provide an essential basis for a re-examination of the ‘credit rating’ of the medieval English Crown.
British research in accounting and finance (2001–2007): the 2008 research assessment exercise
Ashton, D., Beattie, V., Broadbent, J., Brooks, C.
Momentum profits and time-varying unsystematic risk
Li, X., Miffre, J., Brooks, C.
The stock performance of America's 100 best corporate citizens
Brammer, S., Brooks, C.
Speculative bubbles in the S&P 500: was the tech bubble confined to the tech sector?
Anderson, K., Brooks, C.
The S&P500 index effect reconsidered: evidence from overnight and intraday stock price performance and volume
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