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Tracking down distress risk

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  • Kapadia, Nishad

Abstract

This paper shows that exposure to aggregate distress risk is the underlying source of the premiums for the Fama-French size (SMB) and value (HML) factors. Using a unique data set of aggregate business failures of both private and public firms from 1926 to 1997, I build portfolios that track news about future firm failures. These tracking portfolios optimally hedge aggregate distress risk and earn a Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) alpha of approximately -4% a year. Both HML and SMB predict changes in future failure rates. Small stocks have lower returns than large stocks and value stocks have lower returns than growth stocks when the market expects an increase in future failure rates. Finally, a two-factor model with the market and the tracking portfolio for aggregate distress as factors does as well as the Fama-French three-factor model in pricing the 25 size and book-to-market sorted portfolios.

Suggested Citation

  • Kapadia, Nishad, 2011. "Tracking down distress risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 167-182, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:102:y:2011:i:1:p:167-182
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    Cited by:

    1. Borochin, Paul & Yang, Jie, 2017. "Options, equity risks, and the value of capital structure adjustments," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 150-178.
    2. Thomas Nitschka, 2014. "Have investors been looking for exposure to specific countries since the global financial crisis? - Insights from the Swiss franc bond market," Working Papers 2014-13, Swiss National Bank.
    3. Morana, Claudio, 2014. "Insights on the global macro-finance interface: Structural sources of risk factor fluctuations and the cross-section of expected stock returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 64-79.
    4. Thiago de Oliveira Souza, 2013. "Discount rates, market frictions and the mystery of the size premium," 2013 Papers pde868, Job Market Papers.
    5. 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.
    6. Ferreira Filipe, Sara & Grammatikos, Theoharry & Michala, Dimitra, 2016. "Pricing default risk: The good, the bad, and the anomaly," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 190-213.
    7. repec:bla:intfin:v:19:y:2016:i:3:p:292-310 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Peltomäki, Jarkko & Äijö, Janne, 2015. "Cross-sectional anomalies and volatility risk in different economic and market cycles," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 17-22.
    9. Su, Xuan-Qi, 2016. "Does systematic distress risk drive the investment growth anomaly?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 240-248.
    10. Thomas Nitschka, 2016. "Is There a Too-Big-to-Fail Discount in Excess Returns on German Banks’ Stocks?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 292-310, December.
    11. Ferreira Filipe, Sara & Grammatikos, Theoharry & Michala, Dimitra, 2014. "Pricing Default Risk: The good, the bad, and the anomaly," EIF Working Paper Series 2014/23, European Investment Fund (EIF).
    12. Paul Borochin & Jie Yang, 2016. "Options, Equity Risks, and the Value of Capital Structure Adjustments," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-097, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    13. Balvers, Ronald & Du, Ding & Zhao, Xiaobing, 2012. "The Adverse Impact of Gradual Temperature Change on Capital Investment," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124676, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. repec:taf:applec:v:50:y:2018:i:9:p:957-972 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Souza, Thiago de Oliveira, 2018. "Size-related premiums," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 3/2018, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    16. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:970-987 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Du, Ding, 2013. "Another look at the cross-section and time-series of stock returns: 1951 to 2011," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 130-146.
    18. repec:eee:jimfin:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:50-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Du, Ding, 2014. "Persistent exchange-rate movements and stock returns," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 36-53.
    20. Conrad, Jennifer & Kapadia, Nishad & Xing, Yuhang, 2014. "Death and jackpot: Why do individual investors hold overpriced stocks?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 455-475.
    21. Balvers, Ronald & Du, Ding & Zhao, Xiaobing, 2017. "Temperature shocks and the cost of equity capital: Implications for climate change perceptions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 18-34.
    22. 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.
    23. Amit Goyal, 2012. "Empirical cross-sectional asset pricing: a survey," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 26(1), pages 3-38, March.

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