The Cross-Section of Expected Corporate Bond Returns: Betas or Characteristics?
William R. Gebhardt
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Copenhagen Business School
LSV Asset Management
Cornell University; Johnson Graduate School of Management Working Paper
This paper finds that default betas are significantly related to the cross-section of average bond returns even after controlling for characteristics such as duration, ratings, and yield-to-maturity. Among characteristics, only yield-to-maturity is significantly related to average bond returns after controlling for default and term betas. The default and term factors are able to price the returns of beta-sorted portfolios better than they do the returns of yield-sorted portfolios. The magnitude of the ex ante Sharpe ratio generated by yield-sorted portfolios suggests non-risk based explanations. Overall, given the elusive nature of systematic risk in empirical asset pricing, the central finding of our paper is that systematic risk matters for corporate bonds.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43working papers series
Date posted: August 26, 2001
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