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Financial leverage and the leverage effect: A market and firm analysis


  • A Cevdet Aydemir
  • Michael Gallmeyer
  • Burton Hollifield


We quantify the effect of financial leverage on stock return volatility in a dynamic general equilibrium economy with debt and equity claims. The effect of financial leverage is studied both at a market and a firm level where the firm is exposed to both idiosyncratic and market risk. In a benchmark economy with both a constant interest rate and constant price of risk, financial leverage generates little variation in stock return volatility at the market level but significant variation at the individual firm level. In an economy that generates time-variation in interest rates and the price of risk, there is significant variation in stock return volatility at the market and firm level. In such an economy, financial leverage has little effect on the dynamics of stock return volatility at the market level. Financial leverage contributes more to the dynamics of stock return volatility for a small firm.

Suggested Citation

  • A Cevdet Aydemir & Michael Gallmeyer & Burton Hollifield, "undated". "Financial leverage and the leverage effect: A market and firm analysis," GSIA Working Papers 2007-E31, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1186169825

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    Cited by:

    1. Frederico Belo & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2012. "Endogenous Dividend Dynamics and the Term Structure of Dividend Strips," NBER Working Papers 18450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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