Financially distressed stocks in the United States earn puzzlingly low returns giving rise to the distress risk anomaly. We provide evidence that the anomaly exists in developed countries, but not in emerging ones. Using cross-country analyses, we explore several potential drivers of returns to distressed stocks. The distress anomaly is stronger in countries with stronger takeover legislation, lower barriers to arbitrage, and higher information transparency. In contrast, shareholder bargaining power and expected stock return skewness in a country do not affect the anomaly. These findings suggest that various aspects of shareholders’ risk play an important role in shaping distressed stocks returns.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics