Risk Sharing and Asset Prices: Evidence From a Natural Experiment

By Anusha ChariPeter B. Henry
2002| Working Paper No. 1736

When countries liberalize their stock markets, firms that become eligible for purchase by foreigners (investible), experience an average stock price revaluation of 15.1 percent. Since the covariance of the mean investible firms stock return with the local market is roughly 200 times larger than its covariance with the world market, liberalization reduces the systematic risk associated with holding investible securities. Consistent with this fact: (1) the average effect of the reduction in systematic risk is 6.8 percentage points, or roughly two fifths of the total effect; and (2) variation in the firm-specific response is directly proportional to the firm-specific change in systematic risk. The statistical significance of this proportionality persists after controlling for changes in expected future profits and index inclusion criteria such as size and liquidity.