Relationship between Labor-Income Risk and Average Return: Empirical Evidence from the Japanese Stock Market
33 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 1997
In Japan, as in the United States, stocks that are more sensitive to changes in the monthly growth rate of labor income earn a higher return on average. Whereas the stock-index beta can only explain 2 percent of the cross-sectional variation in the average return on stock portfolios, the stock-index beta and the labor-beta together explain 75 percent of the variation. We find that the labor-beta drives out the size effect but not the book-to-market-price effect that is documented in the literature. We explore the extent to which these results are an artifact of seasonal patterns in labor-income growth rates as well as asset returns. In Japan, the book-to-market-price characteristic can be adequately captured by a particular factor-beta, as suggested by Fama and French (1993).
JEL Classification: G0, G1, G11, G12, G15, F3, F30
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