Critical Finance Review > Vol 8 > Issue 1-2

Liquidity Risk?

Jeffrey Pontiff, Boston College, USA, , Rohit Singla, University of Michigan, USA
Suggested Citation
Jeffrey Pontiff and Rohit Singla (2019), "Liquidity Risk?", Critical Finance Review: Vol. 8: No. 1-2, pp 257-276.

Publication Date: 17 Dec 2019
© 2019 Jeffrey Pontiff and Rohit Singla
JEL codes: G00G14L3C1
LiquidityRiskFactor modelReplication


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In this article:
1. Replicating the Pastor–Stambaugh Gamma Index 
2. Out-of-Time-Period Stability 
3. Modifying the Gamma Index 
4. Liquidity Risk Beyond Pastor–Stambaugh 
5. Conclusions 


We revisit the role of liquidity risk. We successfully replicate Pastor and Stambaugh’s (2003) gamma liquidity risk index, and within their time period, concur with their risk premium estimate. An out-of-their-time-period analysis finds post-time-period returns that are higher and pre-time-period returns that are lower than in-time-period returns. Modest variations to the index that are intended to improve power—such as value weighting, including zero volume days, including all stock price levels, and a modification intended to reduce estimation error—all cast doubt on whether the gamma premium is compensation for liquidity risk. We create five alternative liquidity risk indices from various popular liquidity proxies. Using time-series that start in either 1932 or 1968, none of the 10 specifications produce statistically significant risk premia.