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Default risk and equity returns: Australian evidence

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  • Gharghori, Philip
  • Chan, Howard
  • Faff, Robert

Abstract

We test whether default risk is related to equity returns using the Fama and MacBeth [Fama, E.F., MacBeth, J., 1973. Risk, return, and equilibrium: empirical tests. Journal of Political Economy 81, 607-636.] regression framework. The proxy we use for default risk is the default probability obtained from option-based models. Our findings show that default probability is negatively related to returns. While we find that size and book-to-market are related to default risk, the ability of these variables to explain cross-sectional variation in returns is not because they are proxying default risk. Further, our evidence suggests that the negative relationship between default probability and returns is not due to a leverage, volatility or momentum effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Gharghori, Philip & Chan, Howard & Faff, Robert, 2009. "Default risk and equity returns: Australian evidence," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 580-593, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pacfin:v:17:y:2009:i:5:p:580-593
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Annette Nguyen & Robert Faff & Philip Gharghori, 2009. "Are the Fama–French factors proxying news related to GDP growth? The Australian evidence," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 141-158, August.
    2. Howard Chan & Robert Faff & Paul Kofman, 2011. "Is default risk priced in Australian equity? Exploring the role of the business cycle," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 36(2), pages 217-246, August.
    3. Chung, Yi-Tsai & Hsu, Chuan-Hao & Ke, Mei-Chu & Liao, Tung Liang & Chiang, Yi-Chein, 2016. "The weakening value premium in the Australian and New Zealand stock markets," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 123-133.
    4. Maria H. Kim & Graham Partington, 2015. "Dynamic forecasts of financial distress of Australian firms," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 40(1), pages 135-160, February.
    5. David R. Gallagher & Katja Ignatieva & James McCulloch & Henk Berkman, 2015. "Industry concentration, excess returns and innovation in Australia," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 55(2), pages 443-466, June.
    6. Philip Gharghori & Sebastian Stryjkowski & Madhu Veeraraghavan, 2013. "Value versus growth: Australian evidence," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(2), pages 393-417, June.
    7. Nielsen, Caren Yinxia, 2011. "Hidden in the Factors? The Effect of Credit Risk on the Cross-section of Equity Returns," Working Papers 2011:38, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Oct 2016.
    8. Naifar, Nader, 2011. "What explains default risk premium during the financial crisis? Evidence from Japan," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 412-430, September.
    9. Heaney, Richard & Koh, SzeKee & Lan, Yihui, 2016. "Australian firm characteristics and the cross-section variation in equity returns," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 104-115.
    10. Gharghori, Philip & See, Quin & Veeraraghavan, Madhu, 2011. "Difference of opinion and the cross-section of equity returns: Australian evidence," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 435-446, September.
    11. Kim, Dongcheol & Lee, Inro & Na, Haejung, 2019. "Financial distress, short sale constraints, and mispricing," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 94-111.
    12. Lanlan Liu & Dan Luo & Liang Han, 2019. "Default risk, state ownership and the cross-section of stock returns: evidence from China," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 933-966, November.

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