Covariance Risk, Mispricing, and the Cross Section of Security Returns

Kent D. Daniel, David Hirshleifer, and Avanidhar Subrahmanyam

July 2000


This paper offers a model in which asset rises reflect both covariance risk and misperceptions of firms’ prospects, and in which arbitrageurs trade against mispricing. In equilibrium, expected returns are linearly related to both risk and mispricing measures (e.g., fundamental/price ratios). With many securities, mispricing of idiosyncratic value components diminishes but systematic mispricing does not. The theory offers untested empirical implications about volume, volatility, fundamental/price ratios, and mean returns, and is consistent with several empirical findings. These include the ability of fundamental/price ratios and market value to forecast returns, and the domination of beta by these variables in some studies.

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