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Is Default Risk Negatively Related to Stock Returns?

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  • Sudheer Chava
  • Amiyatosh Purnanandam

Abstract

We find a positive cross-sectional relationship between expected stock returns and default risk, contrary to the negative relationship estimated by prior studies. Whereas prior studies use noisy ex post realized returns to estimate expected returns, we use ex ante estimates based on the implied cost of capital. The results suggest that investors expected higher returns for bearing default risk, but they were negatively surprised by lower-than-expected returns on high default risk stocks in the 1980s. We also extend the sample compared with prior studies and find that the evidence based on realized returns is considerably weaker in the 1952--1980 period. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: 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): 23 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 2523-2559

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:23:y:2010:i:6:p:2523-2559

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Cited by:
  1. Chen, Jie & Hill, Paula, 2013. "The impact of diverse measures of default risk on UK stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5118-5131.
  2. Anginer, Deniz & Yildizhan, Celim, 2009. "Is there a Distress Risk Anomaly? Pricing of Systematic Default Risk in the Cross Section of Equity Returns," MPRA Paper 53885, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Apr 2013.
  3. Yinxia G. Nielsen , Caren, 2013. "Is Default Risk Priced in Equity Returns?," Knut Wicksell Working Paper Series 2013/2, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies, Lund University.
  4. Sunita Narang & V. K. Bhalla, 2011. "Risk-Return Trade-Off in Indian Capital Market During Last Two Decades with Special Emphasis on Crisis Period," Annals - Economic and Administrative Series -, Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, vol. 5(1), pages 77-98, December.
  5. Paula Hill & Robert Faff, 2010. "The Market Impact of Relative Agency Activity in the Sovereign Ratings Market," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(9-10), pages 1309-1347, November/.
  6. Chava, Sudheer & Purnanandam, Amiyatosh, 2011. "The effect of banking crisis on bank-dependent borrowers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 116-135, January.
  7. Nielsen, Caren Yinxia Guo, 2011. "Is Default Risk Priced in Equity Returns?," Working Papers 2011:38, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  8. Hou, Kewei & van Dijk, Mathijs A. & Zhang, Yinglei, 2012. "The implied cost of capital: A new approach," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 504-526.
  9. Hwang, Lee-Seok & Lee, Woo-Jong & Lim, Seung-Yeon & Park, Kyung-Ho, 2013. "Does information risk affect the implied cost of equity capital? An analysis of PIN and adjusted PIN," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 148-167.
  10. Wu, Jin (Ginger) & Zhang, Lu, 2010. "Does Risk Explain Anomalies? Evidence from Expected Return Estimates," Working Paper Series 2010-18, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  11. Ferreira Filipe, Sara & Grammatikos, Theoharry & Michala, Dimitra, 2014. "Pricing Default Risk: The Good, The Bad, and The Anomaly," MPRA Paper 53373, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. 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.
  13. Avino, Davide & Lazar, Emese & Varotto, Simone, 2012. "Price Discovery of Credit Spreads in Tranquil and Crisis Periods," MPRA Paper 42847, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Gay, Gerald D. & Lin, Chen-Miao & Smith, Stephen D., 2011. "Corporate derivatives use and the cost of equity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1491-1506, June.
  15. 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.
  16. Richardson, Scott & Tuna, Irem & Wysocki, Peter, 2010. "Accounting anomalies and fundamental analysis: A review of recent research advances," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 410-454, December.
  17. João Pedro Pereira & António Rua, 2012. "Asset pricing with a bank risk factor," Working Papers w201202, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  18. Campbell, T. Colin & Gallmeyer, Michael & Johnson, Shane A. & Rutherford, Jessica & Stanley, Brooke W., 2011. "CEO optimism and forced turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 695-712, September.
  19. Sadok El Ghoul & Omrane Guedhami & Yang Ni & Jeffrey Pittman & Samir Saadi, 2012. "Does Religion Matter to Equity Pricing?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(4), pages 491-518, December.

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