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Portfolio constituency rules and the value premium in the small-cap space

Kenneth E. Scislaw and David G McMillan

Managerial Finance, 2015, vol. 41, issue 5, 418-436

Abstract: Purpose - – Market-based value style equity portfolios do not systematically outperform market-based growth style equity portfolios, despite considerable academic research that suggests that they should. This is an unresolved puzzle in the long lineage of work on this topic. The purpose of this paper is to question whether portfolio constituency rules employed by active growth and value equity investment managers might explain this puzzle. Design/methodology/approach - – The authors use the traditional research design and methodology of Fama and French (1993) to ensure comparability of results to prior research. Further, the authors adapt the return decomposition method of Keim (1999) to specifically answer the question in the research. Findings - – The authors find that restrictive constituency rules that omit the smallest, most illiquid stocks improve the performance of both value and growth stock portfolios. However, the authors find the impact of constituency rule restrictions on portfolio returns to be asymmetric with respect to value and growth in the small-cap investment space. Growth portfolios benefit from these changes more than value portfolios. Consistent with prior research, the authors find that value and growth style portfolios constructed from more liquid equities to be void of a statistically significant value-minus-growth return premium. The authors suggest these results might go a long way in explaining why market-based growth fund returns generally equal those of their value fund counterparts over time. Originality/value - – The research question central to the research, the value equity premium, has been investigated by researchers around the world over the last 20 years. The 20 year lineage of global published research on the value equity premium does, however, contain several unresolved questions. The paper specifically asks why the premium, long observed in global equity market returns, does not appear in market-based passive or active equity portfolios. This puzzle exists at the heart of the origins of the return premium itself and has serious implications for investment practitioners. If the matter cannot be reconciled, then market participants might rightly view the entire 20 year lineage of published research as irrelevant. The paper is one of few that has now extended the long lineage of research to its application in real markets.

Keywords: Investment funds; Stock returns; Portfolio investment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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