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Title: Essays in behavioural finance and investment
Authors: Ahmed, Mohamed Ahmed Shaker
Advisors: Skinner, F
Chen, Q
Elgiziry, K
Keywords: Behavioural finance;Capital gains overhang;Momentum and disposition effect;Hi-tech stocks;Quantile regression
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This thesis is an attempt to bridge some research gaps in the area of behavioural finance and investment through adopting the three essays scheme of PhD dissertations. There is a widespread belief that the traditional finance theory failed to provide a sufficient and plausible explanation for (1) what motivates individual investors to trade, (2) the pattern of their trading and the formation of their portfolios, (3) the determinants of cross section of expected returns other than risk. Behavioural Finance, however, offers more realistic assumptions based on two building blocks; behavioural biases of irrational investors and the limits of arbitrage that prevent the arbitrageurs from correcting mispricing and pushing prices back to fundamental values. This dissertation is structured as follows: In the first essay, the disposition effect is defined as the propensity of investors to realize gains too early while being loath to realize losses. Capital gains overhang is a measure of unrealized capital gains and losses that is associated with the disposition effect and the trading activities of behaviourally biased investors. We discover that firm characteristics can play a role in explaining variations in the capital gains overhang that is consistent with the activities of behaviourally biased and disposition investors. Specifically, we find that capital gains overhang is increasing in firm attributes that attract behaviourally biased investors, namely, earnings per share, leverage, growth and size. Capital gains overhang is also declining in market liquidity, possibly because liquidity allows behaviourally biased investors to excessively trade shares and beta and corporate earnings, probably because when high risk and inefficient firms experience losses, disposition investors experience capital losses that they are reluctant to realize. In the second essay, quantile regressions are employed to analyse the relationship between the unrealized capital gains overhang and expected returns. The ability of the disposition effect to generate momentum is also considered for the extreme expected return regions (0.05th) and (0.95th) quantiles. To do so, 450,617 observations belonging to 5176 US firms are employed, covering a time span from January 1998 to June 2015. Following the methodology of Grinblatt and Han (2005), the findings show significant differences across various quantiles in terms of signs and magnitudes. These findings indicate a nonlinear relationship between capital gains overhang and expected returns since the impact of capital gains overhang as a proxy for disposition effect on expected returns vary across the expected return distribution. More precisely, the coefficients of capital gains overhang are significantly positive and decline as the expected returns quantiles increase from the lowest to the median expected return quantiles. However, they become significantly negative and rise with the increase in expected returns quantiles above median expected returns quantiles. The findings also suggest that the disposition effect is not a good noisy proxy for momentum at the lowest expected return quantile (0.05th). However, interestingly it seems to generate contrarian in returns at the highest expected returns quantile (0.95th). In the third essays, we try to discover systematic disagreements in momentum, asymmetric volatility and the idiosyncratic risk momentum return relationship between high-tech stocks and low-tech stocks. We develop several hypotheses that suggest greater momentum profits, fainter asymmetric volatility and weaker idiosyncratic risk-momentum return relation in the high-tech stocks relative to the low tech stocks. To this end, we divide 5795 stocks that are listed in the Russell 3000 index from January 1995 to December 2015 into two samples SIC code and analysed them using the Fama French with GJR-GARCH-M term. The results show that the high-tech stocks provide greater momentum profits especially for portfolios that have holding and ranking periods of less than 12 months. In most cases momentum returns in the high-tech stocks explain a symmetric response to good and bad news while the momentum returns in the low-tech stocks show an asymmetric response. Finally, the idiosyncratic risk-momentum return relation is insignificant for high-tech stocks while it is significant and negative for low-tech stocks. That is, as idiosyncratic risk increases, momentum decreases for low-tech stocks. These findings are robust to different momentum strategies and to different breakpoints.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Economics and Finance
Dept of Economics and Finance Theses

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