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Default Risk, Shareholder Advantage, and Stock Returns

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  • Lorenzo Garlappi
  • Tao Shu
  • Hong Yan
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Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between default probability and stock returns. Using the Expected Default Frequency (EDF) of Moody's KMV, we document that higher default probabilities are not associated with higher expected stock returns. Within a model of bargaining between equity holders and debt holders in default, we show that the relationship between default probability and equity return is (i) upward sloping for firms where shareholders can extract little benefit from renegotiation (low "shareholder advantage") and (ii) humped and downward sloping for firms with high shareholder advantage. This dichotomy implies that distressed firms with stronger shareholder advantage should exhibit lower expected returns in the cross section. Our empirical evidence, based on several proxies for shareholder advantage, is consistent with the model's predictions. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 2743-2778

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:6:p:2743-2778

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Cited by:
  1. Kara, A. & Marques-Ibanez, D. & Ongena, S., 2011. "Securitization and Lending Standards: Evidence from the Wholesale Loan Market," Discussion Paper 2011-081, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. : Gi H. Kim, 2013. "Credit Default Swaps, Strategic Default, and the Cost of Corporate Debt," Working Papers wpn13-12, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  3. John Y. Campbell & Jens Hilscher & Jan Szilagyi, 2005. "In Searach of Distress Risk," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2081, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Cai, Jie & Zhang, Zhe, 2011. "Leverage change, debt overhang, and stock prices," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 391-402, June.
  5. Kapadia, Nishad, 2011. "Tracking down distress risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 167-182, October.
  6. George, Thomas J. & Hwang, Chuan-Yang, 2010. "A resolution of the distress risk and leverage puzzles in the cross section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 56-79, April.
  7. Wu, Yuliang & Li, Youwei, 2011. "Long-term return reversals--Value and growth or tax? UK evidence," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 347-368, July.
  8. Ali K. Ozdagli, 2010. "The distress premium puzzle," Working Papers 10-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Charitou, Andreas & Dionysiou, Dionysia & Lambertides, Neophytos & Trigeorgis, Lenos, 2013. "Alternative bankruptcy prediction models using option-pricing theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2329-2341.
  10. Nicholas Rueilin Lee, 2012. "Firm ratings, momentum strategies, and crises: evidence from the US and Taiwanese stock markets," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 449-468, December.
  11. Kotter, Jason & Lel, Ugur, 2011. "Friends or foes? Target selection decisions of sovereign wealth funds and their consequences," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 360-381, August.
  12. Pawlina, Grzegorz, 2010. "Underinvestment, capital structure and strategic debt restructuring," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 679-702, December.
  13. Johnson, T.C. & Chebonenko, T. & Cunha, I. & D'Almeida, F. & Spencer, X., 2011. "Endogenous leverage and expected stock returns," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 132-145, September.
  14. Ratner, Mitchell & Chiu, Chih-Chieh (Jason), 2013. "Hedging stock sector risk with credit default swaps," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 18-25.
  15. Andrade, Sandro C. & Bernile, Gennaro & Hood, Frederick M., 2014. "SOX, corporate transparency, and the cost of debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 145-165.
  16. Avramov, Doron & Chordia, Tarun & Jostova, Gergana & Philipov, Alexander, 2009. "Credit ratings and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 469-499, August.

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