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The q-factors and expected bond returns

Benedikt Franke, Sebastian Müller and Sonja Müller

Journal of Banking & Finance, 2017, vol. 83, issue C, 19-35

Abstract: This study provides new insight into the recent debate on profitability and investment patterns in the cross-section of expected returns. Relying on implied risk premia of U.S. corporate bonds, we document a strong negative relation between exposure to the profitability factor and cost of debt. We do not observe a robust relation between exposure to the investment factor and cost of debt. Our findings are consistent with profitability being a risk factor, but suggest that high profitability implies lower (and not higher) risk. Because the market portfolio consists of all risky assets including corporate bonds, our findings challenge a risk-based explanation for the profitability and investment patterns in stock returns.

Keywords: Anomalies; Corporate bonds; Credit markets; Expected returns; Factors; Market efficiency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G11 G12 G14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:19-35