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Can Operating Leverage Be the Cause of the Value Premium?


  • Luis García-Feijóo
  • Randy D. Jorgensen


"Recent theoretical models (Carlson, Fisher, and Giammarino, 2004) predict an association between the book-to-market equity ratio (BE/ME) and operating leverage in the cross-section. Consistent with these models, we find a positive association between BE/ME and the degree of operating leverage (DOL), between DOL and stock returns, and between DOL and systematic risk. Overall, our findings provide support for a risk-based explanation for the value premium that is consistent with existing theoretical models. The evolution of systematic risk associated with firm-level investment activity, rather than financial distress, seems to be the main determinant of the value premium." Copyright (c) 2010 Financial Management Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis García-Feijóo & Randy D. Jorgensen, 2010. "Can Operating Leverage Be the Cause of the Value Premium?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 1127-1154, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:finmgt:v:39:y:2010:i:3:p:1127-1154

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    Cited by:

    1. Chung, Chune Young & Hur, Seok-Kyun & Wang, Kainan, 2017. "Strategic merger decisions across business cycles: Evidence from bidders' time-varying appetite for operating leverage," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 143-158.
    2. Anthony Diercks, 2016. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2016 Meeting Papers 207, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Lilian de Castro Medeiros & Aureliano Angel Bressan, 2015. "Value Premium and Country Risk as Dimensions to Estimate Conditional Returns: a Study of the Brazilian Market," Brazilian Business Review, Fucape Business School, vol. 12(3), pages 67-90, May.
    4. Lee, Shih-Cheng & Lin, Chien-Ting, 2012. "Book-to-market equity, operating risk, and asset correlations: Implications for Basel capital requirement," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 973-989.
    5. Cao, Viet Nga, 2015. "What explains the value premium? The case of adjustment costs, operating leverage and financial leverage," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 350-366.
    6. Michael Poulsen & Robert Faff & Stephen Gray, 2013. "Financial Inflexibility and the Value Premium," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 327-344, September.
    7. Gil Aharoni & Tuan Q. Ho & Qi Zeng, 2012. "Testing the growth option theory: the profitability of enhanced momentum strategies in Australia," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 52(2), pages 267-290, June.
    8. Massimiliano Croce, Mariano, 2014. "Long-run productivity risk: A new hope for production-based asset pricing?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 13-31.
    9. Drobetz, Wolfgang & Menzel, Christina & Schröder, Henning, 2016. "Systematic risk behavior in cyclical industries: The case of shipping," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 129-145.
    10. Robert E. Houmes & John B. MacArthur & Harriet Stranahan, 2012. "The operating leverage impact on systematic risk within a context of choice: An analysis of the US trucking industry," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(12), pages 1184-1202, October.
    11. Diercks, Anthony M., 2015. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, & Optimal Monetary Policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-87, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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