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Levered Returns

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  • JOAO F. GOMES
  • LUKAS SCHMID

Abstract

This paper revisits the theoretical relation between financial leverage and stock returns in a dynamic world where both corporate investment and financing decisions are endogenous. We find that the link between leverage and stock returns is more complex than static textbook examples suggest, and depends on the investment opportunities available to the firm. In the presence of financial market imperfections, leverage and investment are generally correlated so that highly levered firms are also mature firms with relatively more (safe) book assets and fewer (risky) growth opportunities. A quantitative version of our model matches several stylized facts about leverage and returns. Copyright (c) 2010 the American Finance Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 65 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 467-494

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:2:p:467-494

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  1. Ivo Welch, 2004. "Capital Structure and Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 106-131, February.
  2. Hackbarth, Dirk & Miao, Jianjun & Morellec, Erwan, 2006. "Capital structure, credit risk, and macroeconomic conditions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 519-550, December.
  3. Maria Vassalou & Yuhang Xing, 2004. "Default Risk in Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 831-868, 04.
  4. Leland, Hayne E, 1994. " Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1213-52, September.
  5. Campbell, John Y. & Hilscher, Jens & Szilagyi, Jan, 2005. "In search of distress risk," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,27, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  7. Murray Carlson & Adlai Fisher & Ron Giammarino, 2004. "Corporate Investment and Asset Price Dynamics: Implications for the Cross-section of Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2577-2603, December.
  8. Ilia D. Dichev, 1998. "Is the Risk of Bankruptcy a Systematic Risk?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 1131-1147, 06.
  9. Bhandari, Laxmi Chand, 1988. " Debt/Equity Ratio and Expected Common Stock Returns: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(2), pages 507-28, June.
  10. John M. Griffin & Michael L. Lemmon, 2002. "Book-to-Market Equity, Distress Risk, and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2317-2336, October.
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