This study examines and compares the market price of risk of the S&P 500, FTSE 100, All Ordinaries, and Nikkei 225 markets from 1984 to 2009 in the framework of Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model (ICAPM). We follow the Vector Autoregressive instrumental variable approach in identifying the risk and hedge components of market returns and argue that in the context of market integration, covariance with a world market portfolio is a better measure of market risk than conditional market variance. Evidence is documented in support of using covariance as a risk measure in explaining market risk premiums in the Australian and Japanese markets. CAY, the consumption wealth ratio from the US market is found to be a robust state variable that helps to explain both conditional variance and covariance processes in the four markets. The market prices of risk, after controlling for the hedging demands, are positive and significant with the United States having the highest price of risk. The results are confirmed using a series of robustness tests that include varying the sampling interval. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) International Review of Finance Ltd. 2009.