Betting Against Other Betas

85 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2020

Date Written: February 1, 2020


Using several multi-factor models, I find strong "betting against beta'' effects - flat relations between betas and expected returns - for most non-market factors in US and international stock markets. "Arbitrage portfolios'' designed to profit from these effects earn average returns similar to those of the factors, with substantially reduced risk. Betas are persistent, indicating that the factor models successfully capture important dimensions of co-variation in returns. Previously-proposed explanations for the betting against market beta effect do not explain these results. These findings raise questions about the economic content of existing empirical factor models and the co-variance-based expected return paradigm.

Keywords: Betting Against Beta, Security Market Line, Security Market Plane, Arbitrage Portfolios, Factor Models, Arbitrage Pricing Theory

JEL Classification: G11, G12, G15

Suggested Citation

Murray, Scott, Betting Against Other Betas (February 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Scott Murray (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

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