This paper first investigates the relationship between investor sentiment, captured by internet search behaviour, and the unexpected component of stock market volatility during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data on 12 major stock markets, our research indicates a positive correlation between the Google search volume index on COVID-19 and the unexpected volatility of stock markets. The result suggests that greater COVID-19-related investor sentiment during this pandemic is associated with higher stock market uncertainty.

Our study further examines whether country-level governance plays a role in protecting stock markets during this pandemic and reveals that the unexpected conditional volatility is lower when a country's governance is more effective. The impact of investor sentiment and country governance on unexpected volatility after the initial shock of COVID-19 is also investigated. The findings demonstrate the importance of establishing good country-level governance that can effectively reduce stock market uncertainty in the context of this pandemic, and support continual policy development related to investor protection.

Cite as

Hsu, Y. & Tang, L. 2022, 'Effects of investor sentiment and country governance on unexpected conditional volatility during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from global stock markets', International Review of Financial Analysis, 82, article no: 102186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.irfa.2022.102186

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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