The CAPM is Alive and Well

Posted: 14 Sep 1999

See all articles by Zenyu Wang

Zenyu Wang

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Ravi Jagannathan

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF); Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Date Written: July 1994

Abstract

In empirical studies of the CAPM, it is commonly assumed that, (a) the return to the value-weighted portfolio of all stocks is a reasonable proxy for the return on the market portfolio of all assets in the economy, and (b) betas of assets remain constant over time. Under these assumptions, Fama and French (1992) find that the relation between average return and beta is flat. We argue that these two auxiliary assumptions are not reasonable. We demonstrate that when these assumptions are relaxed, the empirical support for the CAPM is very strong. When human capital is also included in measuring wealth, the CAPM is able to explain 28% of the cross sectional variation in average returns in the 100 portfolio studied by Fama and French. When, in addition, betas are allowed to vary over the business cycle, the CAPM is able to explain 57%. More important, relative size does not explain what is left unexplained after taking sampling errors into account.

JEL Classification: G12

Suggested Citation

Wang, Zenyu and Jagannathan, Ravi, The CAPM is Alive and Well (July 1994). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=5444

Zenyu Wang (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

19th Avenue South
Carlson School of Management
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-625-0511 (Phone)
612-626-1335 (Fax)

Ravi Jagannathan

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
429 Andersen Hall
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-8338 (Phone)
847-491-5719 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) ( email )

Shanghai Jiao Tong University
211 West Huaihai Road
Shanghai, 200030
China

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )

Hyderabad, Gachibowli 500 019
India

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