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The Role of Beta and Size in the Cross-Section of European Stock Returns

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  • Steven L. Heston
  • K. Geert Rouwenhorst
  • Roberto E. Wessels

Abstract

This paper examines the ability of beta and size to explain cross-sectional variation in average returns in twelve European countries. We find that average stock returns are positively related to beta and negatively related to firm size. The beta premium is in part due to the fact that high beta countries outperform low beta countries. Within countries high beta stocks outperform low beta stocks only in January, not in other months. We reject the hypothesis that differences in average returns on size- and beta-sorted portfolios can be explained by market risk and exposure to the excess return of small over large stocks (SMB). Consistent with recent U.S. evidence, we find that after controlling for size, there is no association between average returns and exposure to SMB.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Financial Management Association in its journal European Financial Management.

Volume (Year): 5 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 9-27

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Handle: RePEc:bla:eufman:v:5:y:1999:i:1:p:9-27

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Robert Faff, 2004. "A simple test of the Fama and French model using daily data: Australian evidence," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 83-92.
  2. Nijman, T.E. & Swinkels, L.A.P. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 2004. "Do countries or industries explain momentum in Europe?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-140720, Tilburg University.
  3. de Groot, Wilma & Pang, Juan & Swinkels, Laurens, 2012. "The cross-section of stock returns in frontier emerging markets," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 796-818.
  4. van Dijk, Mathijs A., 2011. "Is size dead? A review of the size effect in equity returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3263-3274.
  5. Barry, Christopher B. & Goldreyer, Elizabeth & Lockwood, Larry & Rodriguez, Mauricio, 2002. "Robustness of size and value effects in emerging equity markets, 1985-2000," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, March.
  6. Asgharian, Hossein & Hansson, Bjorn, 2003. "The explanatory role of factor portfolios for industries exposed to foreign competition: evidence from the Swedish stock market," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 325-353, October.
  7. Asgharian, Hossein & Hansson, Björn, 2002. "Cross Sectional Analysis of the Swedish Stock Market," Working Papers 2002:19, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  8. Fletcher, Jonathan, 2000. "On the conditional relationship between beta and return in international stock returns," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 235-245.
  9. Lajili, Souad, 2004. "Size and book to market effects: further evidence from the French case," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/2514, Paris Dauphine University.
  10. De Moor, Lieven & Sercu, Piet, 2011. "The Smallest Firm Effect: an International Study," Working Papers 2011/18, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  11. Ramiah, Vikash & Cheng, Ka Yeung & Orriols, Julien & Naughton, Tony & Hallahan, Terrence, 2011. "Contrarian investment strategies work better for dually-traded stocks: Evidence from Hong Kong," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 140-156, January.
  12. Marie-Paule Laurent, 2003. "Indices as diversification instruments in Europe," Working Papers CEB 03-004.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Lajili, Souad, 2003. "Size and book to market effects: further evidence from the French case," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/3005, Paris Dauphine University.
  14. Lajili, Souad, 2005. "Size and book to market effects vs co-skweness and co-kurtosis in explaining stock returns," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/2167, Paris Dauphine University.
  15. Mika Vaihekoski, 2000. "Unconditional international asset pricing models: empirical tests," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 71-88, Autumn.
  16. Wallmeier, Martin & Tauscher, Kathrin, 2012. "A Note on the Impact of Portfolio Overlapping in Tests of the Fama and French Three-Factor Model," FSES Working Papers 433, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
  17. Elsas, Ralf & El-Shaer, Mahmoud & Theissen, Erik, 2003. "Beta and returns revisited: Evidence from the German stock market," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-18, February.
  18. Lajili, Souad, 2007. "Explaining the Cross-Section of Stock Returns in France : Characteristics or Risk Factors?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4169, Paris Dauphine University.
  19. Adam Zaremba & Rados³aw ¯mudziñski, 2014. "The Low Price Effect On The Polish Market," "e-Finanse", University of Information Technology and Management, Institute of Financial Research and Analysis, vol. 10(1), pages 69-85, June.
  20. Kent Daniel & Sheridan Titman & K.C. John Wei, 1999. "Explaining the Cross-Section of Stock Returns in Japan: Factors or Characteristics?," NBER Working Papers 7246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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