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Common Risk Factors in Explaining Canadian Equity Returns


  • Michael Berkowitz


This paper adopts the Fama and French (1993) methodology for determining the common risk factors in the returns of Canadian stocks. Our results suggest that the three stock market factors, the excess stock market returns, a size factor, and a book-to-market equity factor, explain most of the variation in Canadian equity returns over time. Unlike in the U.S. equity market, the addition of bond market variables provides little explanatory power in the Canadian equity market, suggesting that the underlying factors influencing stocks and bonds are more distinct in Canada. The stock and bond market factors are then used to estimate the required returns on a sample of Canadian utilities separated into telco, gas/electric and pipeline portfolios. The results presented in this paper suggest that the Fama and French model can make an important contribution to cost of capital determination in regulatory proceedings, especially when combined with estimates based upon alternative methodologies, to provide the regulator with additional insight in deciding the allowed return.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Berkowitz, 2001. "Common Risk Factors in Explaining Canadian Equity Returns," Working Papers berk-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:berk-00-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel, Kent & Titman, Sheridan, 1997. " Evidence on the Characteristics of Cross Sectional Variation in Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 1-33, March.
    2. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    3. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
    4. Bhandari, Laxmi Chand, 1988. " Debt/Equity Ratio and Expected Common Stock Returns: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(2), pages 507-528, June.
    5. Chen, Nai-Fu & Roll, Richard & Ross, Stephen A, 1986. "Economic Forces and the Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 383-403, July.
    6. Banz, Rolf W., 1981. "The relationship between return and market value of common stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-18, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stehle, Richard & Schulz, Anja & Schröder, Michael & Eberts, Elke & Ziegler, Andreas, 2003. "Multifaktormodelle zur Erklärung deutscher Aktienrenditen: eine empirische Analyse," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-45, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Mollet, Janick Christian & Ziegler, Andreas, 2014. "Socially responsible investing and stock performance: New empirical evidence for the US and European stock markets," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 208-216.
    3. Oberndorfer, Ulrich & Schmidt, Peter & Wagner, Marcus & Ziegler, Andreas, 2013. "Does the stock market value the inclusion in a sustainability stock index? An event study analysis for German firms," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 497-509.
    4. Ziegler, Andreas & Busch, Timo & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2011. "Disclosed corporate responses to climate change and stock performance: An international empirical analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1283-1294.
    5. Janick Christian Mollet & Andreas Ziegler, 2012. "Is Socially Responsible Investing Really Beneficial? New Empirical Evidence for the US and European Stock Markets," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201228, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Berkowitz, Michael K. & Qiu, Jiaping, 2003. "Ownership, risk and performance of mutual fund management companies," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 109-134.
    7. Oberndorfer, Ulrich & Ziegler, Andreas, 2006. "Environmentally oriented energy policy and stock returns: an empirical analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-079, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Urs von Arx & Andreas Ziegler, 2008. "The Effect of CSR on Stock Performance: New Evidence for the USA and Europe," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/85, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    9. Rob Bauer & Jeroen Derwall & Rogér Otten, 2007. "The Ethical Mutual Fund Performance Debate: New Evidence from Canada," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 111-124, January.
    10. Andreas Ziegler & Michael Schröder & Klaus Rennings, 2008. "The Effect of Environmental and Social Performance on the Stock Performance of European Corporations," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 609-609, August.
    11. Maher Kooli & Jean-François L'Her & Jean-Marc Suret, 2003. "Do IPOs Underperform in the Long-Run? New Evidence from the Canadian Stock Market," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-16, CIRANO.

    More about this item


    Equity returns; Factor loadings;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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