fbpx Risk Neglect in Equity Markets | Harvard Kennedy School

Additional Authors:

  • Malcolm Baker


Risk Neglect in Equity Markets. Malcolm Baker, Spring 2016, Paper. "The link between measures of risk and return within the equity market has been very weak over the past 47 years: in the United States, returns on high-risk stocks have cumulatively fallen short of the returns on low-risk stocks, during a period when the equity market as a whole experienced high returns relative to Treasury bills. In the spirit of Fischer Black’s 1993 article “Beta and Return,” published in this journal, the author takes seriously the idea that this evidence reflects a risk anomaly—a mispricing of risk for behavioral and institutional reasons—and revisits the associated implications for investing and corporate finance, examining asset allocation, high leverage in financial firms, low leverage in industrial firms, private equity, venture capital, and bank capital regulation along the way. Many of these implications fit nicely with Black’s original conjectures, and the author highlights refinements and additions to the original list."