Cross-Sectional Determinants of Expected Returns

Posted: 11 May 1998

See all articles by Michael J. Brennan

Michael J. Brennan

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Finance Area

Tarun Chordia

Emory University - Department of Finance

Avanidhar Subrahmanyam

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Finance Area; Institute of Global Finance, UNSW Business School; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Date Written: June 18, 1996

Abstract

We analyze the relation between equity returns, risk, and a rich set of security characteristics that includes institutional ownership, S&P 500 index membership, analyst following, and dispersion in analyst forecasts, in addition to previously examined variables such as the book-to-market ratio, firm size, the bid-ask spread, and lagged returns. Our primary objective is to determine whether these characteristics have marginal explanatory power relative to the Connor and Korajczyk (1988) risk factors. We also compare the different approaches that have been used to test asset pricing models against specific alternatives. We find that inferences are extremely sensitive to the sorting criteria used for portfolio formation, so that results based on regressions using portfolio returns should be interpreted with caution. Fama-MacBeth type regressions for individual securities suggest some new findings: risk-adjusted stock returns show a puzzling negative (and strongly significant) relation to the bid-ask spread, a negative relation with both size and share turnover, and a positive relation with both S&P 500 membership and analyst following. However, previously noted book-to-market and size effects are eliminated once account is taken of the above characteristics.

JEL Classification: G12, C21

Suggested Citation

Brennan, Michael John and Chordia, Tarun and Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, Cross-Sectional Determinants of Expected Returns (June 18, 1996). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=7597

Michael John Brennan

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Finance Area ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States
310-825 3587 (Phone)
310-206 8419 (Fax)

Tarun Chordia

Emory University - Department of Finance ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322-2710
United States
404-727-1620 (Phone)
404-727-5238 (Fax)

Avanidhar Subrahmanyam (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Finance Area ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States
310-825-5355 (Phone)
310-206-5455 (Fax)

Institute of Global Finance, UNSW Business School

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane
Queensland
Australia

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