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This paper tests the relationship between average return and risk for New York Stock Exchange common stocks. The theoretical basis of the tests is the "two-parameter" portfolio model and models of market equilibrium derived from the two-parameter portfolio model. We cannot reject the hypothesis of these models that the pricing of common stocks reflects the attempts of risk-averse investors to hold portfolios that are "efficient" in terms of expected value and dispersion of return. Moreover, the observed "fair game" properties of the coefficients and residuals of the risk-return regressions are consistent with an "efficient capital market"--that is, a market where prices of securities
Journal of Political Economy © 1973 The University of Chicago Press