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Yield Spreads as Alternative Risk Factors for Size and Book-to-Market

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  • Hahn, Jaehoon
  • Lee, Hangyong

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the size and book-to-market factors of Fama and French (1993) proxy for the risks associated with business cycle fluctuations. We find that changes in default spread (Δ def ) and changes in term spread (Δ term ) capture the systematic differences in average returns along the size and book-to-market dimensions in the way that the Fama-French factors do: small stock portfolios have higher loadings on Δ def than large stock portfolios, while high book-to-market portfolios have higher loadings on Δ term than low book-to-market portfolios. Furthermore, in the presence of Δ def and Δ term , the Fama-French factors are superfluous in explaining the size and book-to-market effects. The results suggest that the size and value premiums are compensation for higher exposure to the risks related to changing credit market conditions and interest rates proxied by Δ def and Δ term .

Suggested Citation

  • Hahn, Jaehoon & Lee, Hangyong, 2006. "Yield Spreads as Alternative Risk Factors for Size and Book-to-Market," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 245-269, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:41:y:2006:i:02:p:245-269_00
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