In this paper we investigate the theoretical relation between financial leverage and stock returns in a dynamic world where both the corporate investment and financing decisions are endogenous. We find that the link between leverage and stock returns is more complex than the static textbook examples suggest and will be determined by the interplay of the firm’s investment opportunities and default risk which vary systematically with macroeconomic conditions. In the presence of financial market imperfections leverage and investment are generally correlated so that highly levered firms are also mature firms with relatively more (safe) book assets and fewer (risky) growth opportunities. We first formalize this in a simple continuous-time model and then show that a quantitative version of our model can replicate both the evidence in Bhandari (1988) and Fama and French (1992) about the effects of leverage on returns and the results in Welch (2004) about the impact of returns on leverage ratios.
|Date of creation:||2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA|
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Campbell, John Y. & Hilscher, Jens & Szilagyi, Jan, 2005.
"In search of distress risk,"
Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies
2005,27, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
- John Y. Campbell & Jens Hilscher & Jan Szilagyi, 2005. "In Searach of Distress Risk," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2081, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Szilagyi, Jan & Hilscher, Jens & Campbell, John, 2008. "In Search of Distress Risk," Scholarly Articles 3199070, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- John Y. Campbell & Jens Hilscher & Jan Szilagyi, 2006. "In Search of Distress Risk," NBER Working Papers 12362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Leland, Hayne E, 1994.
" Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1213-52, September.
- Hayne E. Leland., 1994. "Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-233, University of California at Berkeley.
- Dirk Hackbarth & Jianjun Miao & Erwan Morellec, 2005.
"Capital Structure, Credit Risk, and Macroeconomic Conditions,"
CEMA Working Papers
439, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Hackbarth, Dirk & Miao, Jianjun & Morellec, Erwan, 2006. "Capital structure, credit risk, and macroeconomic conditions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 519-550, December.
- Dirk Hackbarth & Jianjun Miao & Erwan Morellec, 2004. "Capital Structure, Credit Risk, and Macroeconomic Conditions," FAME Research Paper Series rp125, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
- Dirk Hackbarth & Junjian Miao & Erwan Morellec, 2005. "Capital Structure, Credit Risk, and Macroeconomic Conditions," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-005, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Ilia D. Dichev, 1998. "Is the Risk of Bankruptcy a Systematic Risk?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 1131-1147, 06.
- Maria Vassalou & Yuhang Xing, 2004. "Default Risk in Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 831-868, 04.
- Ivo Welch, 2004.
"Capital Structure and Stock Returns,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 106-131, February.
- Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
- Murray Carlson & Adlai Fisher & Ron Giammarino, 2004. "Corporate Investment and Asset Price Dynamics: Implications for the Cross-section of Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2577-2603, December.
- John M. Griffin & Michael L. Lemmon, 2002. "Book-to-Market Equity, Distress Risk, and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2317-2336, October.
- Bhandari, Laxmi Chand, 1988. " Debt/Equity Ratio and Expected Common Stock Returns: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(2), pages 507-28, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed007:1007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.