IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Returns and Volatility of Low-Grade Bonds: 1977-1989


  • Blume, Marshall E
  • Keim, Donald B
  • Patel, Sandeep A


This paper examines the risks and returns of long-term low-grade bonds for the period 1977-89. The authors find (1) low-grade bonds realized higher returns than higher-grade bonds and lower returns than common stocks, and low-grade bonds exhibited less volatility than higher-grade bonds due to their call features and high coupons; (2) there is no relation between the age of low-grade bonds and their relaxed returns; cyclical factors explain much of the observed reaction between default rates and bond age; and (3) low-grade bonds behave like both bonds and stocks. Despite this complexity there is no evidence that low-grade bonds are systematically over- or under-priced. Copyright 1991 by American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Blume, Marshall E & Keim, Donald B & Patel, Sandeep A, 1991. " Returns and Volatility of Low-Grade Bonds: 1977-1989," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 49-74, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:46:y:1991:i:1:p:49-74

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to JSTOR subscribers. See for details.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brauer, Greggory A., 1984. "`Open-ending' closed-end funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 491-507, December.
    2. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
    3. Russell, Thomas & Thaler, Richard, 1985. "The Relevance of Quasi Rationality in Competitive Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1071-1082, December.
    4. Marsh, Terry A & Merton, Robert C, 1986. "Dividend Variability and Variance Bounds Tests for the Rationality ofStock Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 483-498, June.
    5. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-436, June.
    6. Brickley, James A. & Schallheim, James S., 1985. "Lifting the Lid on Closed-End Investment Companies: A Case of Abnormal Returns," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 107-117, March.
    7. Chen, Nai-Fu & Roll, Richard & Ross, Stephen A, 1986. "Economic Forces and the Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 383-403, July.
    8. Jensen, Michael C., 1978. "Some anomalous evidence regarding market efficiency," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2-3), pages 95-101.
    9. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
    10. Zweig, Martin E, 1973. "An Investor Expectations Stock Price Predictive Model Using Closed-End Fund Premiums," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(1), pages 67-78, March.
    11. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1980. "Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 42-64, Spring.
    12. Ritter, Jay R, 1988. " The Buying and Selling Behavior of Individual Investors at the Turn of the Year," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 701-717, July.
    13. Roenfeldt, Rodney L. & Tuttle, Donald L., 1973. "An examination of the discounts and premiums of closed-end investment companies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 129-140.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:46:y:1991:i:1:p:49-74. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.