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Using the credit spread as an option-risk factor: Size and value effects in CAPM

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  • Hwang, Young-Soon
  • Min, Hong-Ghi
  • McDonald, Judith A.
  • Kim, Hwagyun
  • Kim, Bong-Han

Abstract

This paper takes an option-theoretic approach to explain why pricing anomalies are observed when traditional CAPM is used. By extending CAPM to incorporate the option-risk factor of stocks, we show that stockholders' limited liability can explain Fama and French's size and value effects. We use bonds' excess credit spread as a proxy for stocks' default risk to control for the changing non-diversifiable option-risk characteristic of stocks. Because sensitivity to the excess credit spread becomes smaller as size increases and as value decreases, excess credit spread explains the CAPM anomalies in a fashion similar to the Fama-French factors. While the excess credit spread is significant in explaining Fama and French's size and value effects, adding the Fama-French factors does not improve the performance of our model. Our revised model resembles conditional CAPM, but it offers a more intuitive explanation for the size and value effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Hwang, Young-Soon & Min, Hong-Ghi & McDonald, Judith A. & Kim, Hwagyun & Kim, Bong-Han, 2010. "Using the credit spread as an option-risk factor: Size and value effects in CAPM," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2995-3009, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:12:p:2995-3009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Batten, Jonathan A. & Jacoby, Gady & Liao, Rose C., 2014. "Corporate yield spreads and real interest rates," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 89-100.
    2. van Dijk, Mathijs A., 2011. "Is size dead? A review of the size effect in equity returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3263-3274.
    3. Lam, Keith S.K. & Tam, Lewis H.K., 2011. "Liquidity and asset pricing: Evidence from the Hong Kong stock market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2217-2230, September.

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