Consumption Risk and the Cost of Equity Capital

35 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2005 Last revised: 19 Aug 2010

See all articles by Yong Wang

Yong Wang

Hong Kong Polytechnic University - School of Accounting and Finance

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: January 2005

Abstract

We demonstrate, using data for the period 1954-2003, that differences in exposure to consumption risk explains cross sectional differences in average excess returns (cost of equity capital) across the 25 benchmark equity portfolios constructed by Fama and French (1993). We use yearly returns on stocks to take into account well documented within year deterministic seasonal patterns in returns, measurement errors in the consumption data, and possible slow adjustment of consumption to changes in wealth due to habit and prior commitments. Consumption during the fourth quarter is likely to have a larger discretionary component. Further, given the availability of more leisure time during the holiday season and the ending of the tax year in December, investors are more likely to review their asset holdings and make trading decisions during the fourth quarter. We therefore match the growth rate in the fourth quarter consumption from one year to the next with the corresponding calendar year return when computing the latter's exposure to consumption risk. We find strong support for our consumption risk model specification in the data.

Suggested Citation

Wang, Yong and Jagannathan, Ravi, Consumption Risk and the Cost of Equity Capital (January 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11026. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=645268

Yong Wang

Hong Kong Polytechnic University - School of Accounting and Finance ( email )

Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Ravi Jagannathan (Contact Author)

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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