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EFM Forthcoming Papers


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The European Financial Management was founded in 1994 by Dr. John Doukas to serve as a high quality refereed publication outlet that publishes significant new research as it relates to European corporations, financial institutions and capital markets. The EFM journal is published in five issues per year [January, March, June, September and November ] and its acceptance rate is about 3%. The June issue is based on the Keynote Address and a small set of articles selected from the papers presented at the Annual Meetings of the European Financial Management Association. The articles published in the EFM journal are indexed and abstracted in the Social Science Citation Index.


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Newly Accepted Papers




Bank Risk Dynamics Where Assets are Risky Debt Claims


Sharon Peleg and Alon Raviv


Abstract:
The structural approach views firm’s equity as a call option on the value of its assets, which motivates stockholders to increase risk. However, since bank assets are risky debt claims, bank equity resembles a subordinated debt. Using this assumption, and considering the strategic interaction between a bank and its debtor, we argue that risk shifting is limited to states in which the debtor is in financial distress. Furthermore,risk shifting increases with bankruptcy costs and decreases with bank capital. Thus, increasing a bank’s capital affects stability, not only through the additional capital buffer, but also by affecting the risk shifting incentive.


Keywords: Risk taking, Asset risk, Financial institutions, Stress test, Leverage


JEL Classification: G21, G28, G32, G38



The Market Liquidity Timing Skills of Debt-Oriented Hedge Funds


Baibing Li, Ji Luo and Kai-Hong Tee


Abstract:
We investigate the liquidity timing skills of debt-oriented hedge funds following the 2008 credit crisis, which demonstrated the importance of understanding liquidity conditions to manage the market exposure of investments. We base the analysis on the estimated co-movements of fixed income and equity market liquidity. Our findings, which are statistically robust, show evidence of liquidity timing ability in the fixed income market for all debt-oriented hedge fund strategy categories. Joint market liquidity timing skill, however, is only found in some categories. Our findings suggest that debt-oriented hedge fund managers use a sophisticated set of timing strategies in their investment managements.


Keywords: Fixed income market; hedge funds; liquidity timing skill; market exposure


JEL Classification: G1; G11; G23



Endogenous Credit Spreads and Optimal Debt Financing Structure in the Presence of Liquidity Risk


Eva Luetkebohmert, Daniel Oeltz and Yajun Xiao


Abstract:
We present a structural model that allows a firm to effectively manage its exposure to both insolvency and illiquidity risk inherent in its financing structure. Besides insolvency risk, the firm is exposed to rollover risk through possible runs by short-term creditors. Moreover, asset price volatilities are subject to macro-economic shocks and influence creditors' risk attitudes and margin requirements. Credit spreads are derived endogenously depending on the firm's total default risk. Equity holders have to bear the rollover losses. An optimal debt structure that maximizes the firm's equity value is determined by trading off lower financing costs and higher rollover risk.


Keywords: funding liquidity, optimal capital structure, rollover risk, structural credit risk models


JEL Classification: G01, G32, G33



Financial Flexibility and Investment Ability Across the Euro Area and the UK


Annalisa Ferrando, Maria-Teresa Marchica, and Roberto Mura


Abstract:
We use a very large sample of European private and public firms to show that financial flexibility attained through a conservative leverage policy is more important for private, small-medium-sized, and young firms and for firms in countries with less access to credit and weaker investor protection. Further, using the 2007 financial crisis as a natural experiment, we show that a higher degree of financial flexibility allows firms to reduce the negative impact of liquidity shocks on investment. Our findings support the hypothesis that financial flexibility improves companies’ ability to undertake future investment, despite market frictions hampering possible growth opportunities.


Keywords: low leverage, financial flexibility, investment, cross-country analysis


JEL Classification:G31, G32, D92



Announcement Effects of Contingent Convertible Securities: Evidence from the Global Banking Industry


Manuel Ammann, Kristian Blickle and Christian Ehmann


Abstract:
This paper investigates the announcement effects of CoCo bonds issued by global banks between January 2009 and June 2014. Using a sample of 34 financial institutions, we examine abnormal stock price reactions and CDS spread changes before and after the announcement dates. We find that the announcement of CoCos correlates with positive abnormal stock returns and negative CDS spread changes in the immediate post-announcement period. We explain these effects with a set of theories including the lowered probability of costly bankruptcy proceedings, a signaling framework based on pecking order theory and the cost advantage of CoCos over equity (tax shield).


Keywords: contingent convertible securities, CoCo bonds, announcement effects, event study


JEL Classification: G01, G14, G21



Risk control: Who cares?


Nick Taylor


Abstract:
The performance of recently introduced risk-control indices is evaluated and tested with respect to a set of competing indices. Applying a method of moments methodology to these data reveals that the performance of strategies that track risk-control indices have economic and statistical significance to investors with realistic risk aversion parameter values. How- ever, this performance varies over time and appears to be determined by macroeconomic and liquidity conditions.


Keywords: Risk control, volatility, certainty equivalent return, method of moments


JEL Classification: G53, G11, G17



A Theoretical Model for the Term Structure of Corporate Credit based on Competitive Advantage


Myuran Rajaratnam, Bala Rajaratnam and Kanshukan Rajaratnam


Abstract:
We derive the term structure of Corporate Credit based on the Competitive Advantage of a firm and the tax deductibility of its interest payments. We consider the competitive advantage enjoyed by the firm as the central tenet of our model and capture its eventual demise in a probabilistic manner. We compensate the bond holder for expected losses and then provide an additional spread based on the tax deductibility of interest payments. Our simple intuitive model appears to overcome some of the well-known shortcomings of structural credit risk models.


Keywords: Term Structure, Corporate Credit, Competitive Advantage, Value-Investing, Credit Spread Puzzle


JEL Classification: EFM 340 Fixed Income; JEL G12 Bond Interest Rates



The Role of the Conditional Skewness and Kurtosis in VIX Index Valuation


Simon Lalancette and Jean-Guy Simonato


Abstract:
The CBOE VIX index is a widely recognised benchmark measure of expected stock market volatility. As shown in the literature, probability distributions other than Gaussian are key features required to describe the dynamics of the S&P 500, the variable that ultimately determines the VIX index level. As such, it is important to assess if deviations from the Gaussian distribution have important impacts on the VIX index level. We examine herein how a model articulated over a time-varying non-Gaussian distribution with conditional skewness and kurtosis can contribute to the overall explanation of the VIX dynamics.


Keywords: VIX, GARCH, skewness, kurtosis, risk-neutral valuation


JEL Classification: C58, G1



Dynamic Asset Allocation with Liabilities


Daniel Giamouridis, Athanasios Sakkas, Nikolaos Tessaromatis


Abstract:
We develop an analytical solution to the dynamic multi-period portfolio choice problem of an investor with risky liabilities and time varying investment opportunities. We use the model to compare the asset allocation of investors who take liabilities into account, assuming time varying returns and a multi-period setting with the asset allocation of myopic ALM investors. In the absence of regulatory constraints on asset allocation weights, there are significant gains to investors who have access to a dynamic asset allocation model with liabilities. The gains are smaller under the typical funding ratio constraints faced by pension funds.


Keywords: Strategic Asset Allocation,Dynamic Asset Allocation, Asset-Liability Management, Return Predictability, Myopic Investors


JEL Classification: G11, G12, G23



Bankers on the Board and CEO Incentives


Min Jung Kang and Young (Andy) Kim


Abstract:
Governance improvement measures often demand more financial experts on corporate boards. Directors from the lending bank require particular attention because the conflicts of interest between shareholders and debtholders would be severe. Hence, we examine whether commercial banker directors work in the best interests of shareholders in providing incentives to the CEO. We find that the CEO’s compensation VEGA is lower if an affiliated banker director is on the board, especially when the director is the chair of the compensation committee. Further, commercial banker directors increase debt-like compensation and make it more sensitive to performance and less sensitive to risk.


Keywords: bankers on board, financial expertise, conflicts of interest, governance, board of directors, CEO compensation


JEL Classification: G14



Due Diligence and Investee Performance


Douglas Cumming and Simona Zambelli


Abstract:
We estimate the economic value of due diligence (DD) in the context of private equity by investigating the relationship between DD and investee performance, while controlling for endogeneity. With the adoption of a novel dataset, we find evidence highly consistent with the view that a thorough DD is associated with improved investee performance. We also distinguish the role of different types of DD and show that the DD performed by fund managers has a more pronounced impact on performance. Instead, the DD mainly performed by external agents, i.e., consultants, lawyers and accountants, gives rise to puzzling results and imperfect matching.


Keywords: Due Diligence, Governance, Performance, Private Equity


JEL Classification: G23, G24, G28



The Contagion versus Interdependence Controversy between Hedge Funds and Equity Markets


Tae Yoon Kim and Hee Soo Lee


Abstract:
This study considers the ‘contagion versus interdependence’ controversy between hedge funds and equity markets. We find that contagion effects break down the established interdependence between them and conditional return smoothing could play a key role in the contagion process by increasing or decreasing the contagion likelihood during crisis and prosperity. It is noted that the return smoothing tends to produce a biased pattern of returns during crisis and a decreased amount of return during prosperity. These findings are obtained by linking single equation error correction model to factor model and carrying out quantile regression, Z-test and Wald–Wolfowitz runs test.


Keywords: hedge funds; contagion; interdependence; conditional return smoothing, single equation error correction model; factor model


JEL Classification: G01, C22, C58



Asset Pricing Puzzles in an OLG Economy with Generalized Preferences


Amadeu DaSilva and Mira Farka


Abstract:
We seek to explain a number of asset pricing anomalies–the equity premium puzzle, the risk-free rate puzzle, and portfolio allocation puzzle–in a parsimonious overlapping generations model (OLG) with two key features: borrowing constraint and Epstein-Zin-Weil (1989) preference. The model is able to simultaneously match asset pricing moments and individual portfolio decisions using reasonable values of parameters governing behavior. We find that the main driver of savings behavior, equity returns and asset allocation is the relative difference between the two parameters: the level of relative risk aversion and the inverse of the elasticity of substitution.


Keywords: Equity premium puzzle, Overlapping generations model, General- ized Preferences, Portfolio allocation.


JEL Classification: G0, G12, D10, E21.



A Unified Theory of Forward- and Backward-looking M&As and Divestitures


Qing Ma and Susheng Wang


Abstract:
In a unified theory of forward- and backward-looking M&As and divestitures, an M&A today may be a cause for a divestiture in the future; conversely a divestiture today may be a consequence of an M&A in the past. M&As and divestitures are not only two sides of the same coin, they are also causes and consequences of each other. In this paper, in a two-period model, two firms consider integrating or separating in each period. We analyze forward- and backward- looking M&As and divestitures, and compare them with static M&As and divestitures.


Keywords: unified framework, forward looking, backward looking, M&A, divestiture


JEL Classification: G34



Income Uncertainty and the Decision to Invest in Bulk Shipping


Ioannis Kyriakou, Panos K. Pouliasis, Nikos C. Papapostolou, and Nikos K. Nomikos


Abstract:
We develop a coherent framework for valuing real assets and determining the optimal time to invest. To this end, we model the stochastic nature of income, present a valuation paradigm for freight-linked assets and, using real option theory, we demonstrate its usefulness in investment appraisal and optimal timing of entry in the shipping industry. We find that long-run freight rate and volatility affect the decision timing and investment value that diminishes with increasing vessel age. As time-to-build declines, the value of the option to wait increases implying a high opportunity cost embedded in the investment decision due to construction lags.


Keywords: real options, investment, uncertainty, contingent claims, shipping


JEL Classification: C13, C63, G13, G31, L92



Corporate Debt Maturity and Stock Price Crash Risk


Viet Anh Dang, Edward Lee, Yangke Liu, Cheng Zeng


Abstract:
We find that firms with a larger proportion of short-term debt have lower future stock price crash risk, consistent with short-term debt lenders playing an effective monitoring role in constraining managers’ bad-news-hoarding behavior. The inverse relation between short-maturity debt and future crash risk is more pronounced for firms that are harder to monitor due to weaker corporate governance, higher information asymmetry, and greater risk-taking. These findings suggest that short-term debt substitutes for other monitoring mechanisms in curbing managerial opportunism and reducing future crash risk. Our study implies that short-maturity debt not only preserves creditors’ interests, but also protects shareholders’ wealth.


Keywords: debt maturity, stock price crash risk, corporate governance, information asymmetry


JEL Classification: G3, G12, G14



Selling Winners, Buying Losers: Mental Decision Rules of Individual Investors on Their Holdings


Cristiana Cerqueira Leal, Gilberto Loureiro, and Manuel Armada


Abstract:
We extend the study of the disposition effect – the preference for selling (holding) current winning (losing) stocks- by adding a new element to this decision process: the investors’ preference to purchase additional units of the current losing stocks. Using a unique database, we find that individual investors prefer to sell their winning stocks and, simultaneously, hold and increase their exposure to the losing ones. The additional purchase is pervasive across investors, but stronger for less sophisticated investors. Our evidence suggests that reference prices, prior stock returns, stock visibility, and investor performance and sophistication are determinants of investors’ trading behavior.


Keywords: Disposition effect; additional purchase; portfolio choice; individual investors; mental accounting; trading decision.


JEL Classification: G02,G11,G14



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Sentiment, Order Imbalance and Co-movement. An Examination of Shocks to Retail and Institutional Trading Activity


Patricia Chelley-Steeley, Neophytos Lambertides, Christos S. Savva


Abstract:
Using order flow imbalance as a measure of sentiment we show that positive and negative shocks to sentiment lead to lower co-movement between portfolio and market returns in the post-shock period. Furthermore, an asymmetry is present as positive shocks to sentiment have less impact on co-movement changes than negative shocks. Moreover, shocks to retail sentiment and the sentiment of two types of institutional investors leads to a reduction in co-movement. Positive shocks to institutional order flow imbalance lead to smaller reductions in co-movement than associated with retail shocks. These effects exist even after controlling for firm specific and market-wide news.


Keywords: Order flow shock and sentiment, co-movement, smooth transition model


JEL Classification: G12, G14



Do Investment Banks Create Value for their Clients? Empirical Evidence from European Acquisitions


Johannes Kolb


Abstract:
Europe provides an interesting setting to explore the role that investment banks play in acquisitions because it is composed of countries with different legal regimes—the shareholder-oriented common law regime in the UK/Ireland and the stakeholder oriented civil law regime in Continental Europe. Since investment banks are hired to act in the interests of shareholders, and due to differences in disclosure requirements, market transparency, accounting standards and ownership between the UK and Continental Europe, I argue that investment banks are relatively more important in UK-only acquisitions. My findings support this conjecture.

Keywords: Hedge funds, private equity, alternative assets, portfolio choice, asset allocation


JEL Classification: G11, G14, G23



Intangible Assets and the Book-to-Market Effect


Hyuna Park


Abstract:
The book-to-market effect is well known, but prior research does not analyze the impact of goodwill and related transformations in accounting rules that may bring significant changes to the effect. This paper analyzes the impact of SFAS 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets, issued in 2001. I find that the book-to-market effect is weaker in the post-SFAS 142 period especially in the firms that have goodwill, impairment loss or risk. The book-to-market effect is stronger for subsamples of firms that do not have goodwill. These findings are robust to size groups, different factor models, and test methods.


Keywords: fair-value accounting, valuation of R&D, goodwill impairment, value premium


JEL Classification: G12, M41, O3



Stock Market Integration, Cost of Equity Capital and Corporate Investment: Evidence from Brazil


David Hillier and Tiago Loncan


Abstract:
We study the effect of stock market integration on the cost of capital and investment, using Brazil as a case study. We show that integration, as proxied by foreign ownership, has a positive impact on the financing side by reducing cost of capital. On the output side, we find that integration increases corporate investment, but only for well-governed firms. We contribute to the debate on the pros and cons of financial globalisation, particularly by providing evidence of important linkages between financial integration and real economic activity.


Keywords: Stock Market Integration; Cost of Capital; International Asset Pricing; Investment


JEL Classification: F65, F61, F36, G15, G12



An International Analysis of CEO Social Capital and Corporate Risk-Taking


Stephen P. Ferris, David Javakhadze, and Tijana Rajkovic


Abstract:
This study examines the effects of CEO social capital on corporate risk-taking around the world. We document a significant positive relation between CEO social capital and aggregate corporate risk-taking. Further, we find that CEOs with large social capital prefer riskier investment and financial policies. We also determine that the effect of CEO social capital on corporate risk-taking is moderated by the extent of legal protections provided to shareholders, the financial development, and the culture of the country in which a firm is incorporated. Our results are robust to alternative proxies of risk-taking, alternative model specifications, and tests for endogeneity.


Keywords: Social capital, social networks, corporate risk-taking


JEL Classification: G30, Z13



Discounting Methods and Personal Taxes


Michael Dempsey


Abstract:
We advance models of valuation that incorporate personal taxes. The models are general in allowing for uneven cash flows, changes in debt levels, and changes in the costs of equity and debt. The models are mutually consistent and are consistent with the CAPM and Modigliani and Miller propositions allowing personal taxes.


Keywords: valuation, taxes, tax system, CAPM, WACC.p


JEL Classification: G12, G31, G38



Does Size Matter in Predicting Hedge Funds’ Liquidation?


Adrien Becam, Andros Gregoriou, and Jairaj Gupta


Abstract:
In this study, we propose a set of covariates that exploit information content of hedge funds’ relative size, performance, growth, tail risk, and past liquidation rate, in predicting their liquidation. Empirical results show that our proposed covariates exhibit significant predictive power for up to two years even when we control for fund specific characteristics. Furthermore, we estimate separate liquidation prediction models for small, medium, and large funds. Our findings suggest that liquidation likelihood of hedge funds is inversely related to fund size, and statistical significance of factors affecting their liquidation vary across different size categories.


Keywords: hedge fund, liquidation, fund size, failure, default


JEL Classification: G11, G17, G33



The Payback of Mutual Fund Selectivity in European Markets


Feng Dong and John A. Doukas


Abstract:
Is European fund management selectivity skill (1-R2) profitable (alpha)? To examine this question, we use a sample of 2,947 actively-managed domestic equity mutual funds from 11 European countries. We find that high fund selectivity generates significant investor gains. The results are robust to investor sentiment and stock-market dispersion conditions. Moreover, we investigate the moderating effect of country characteristics on the profitability of fund selectivity and find that managers’ selectivity ability is more valuable in countries with high economic development, strong legal system, small but highly liquid equity markets, and young mutual fund industries.


Keywords: European fund selectivity skill, fund manager skill, fund performance


JEL Classification: G11, G14, G20, G23



Is Bank Capital Sensitive to a Tax Allowance on Marginal Equity?


Jose Martin Flores and Christophe Moussu


Abstract:
This paper studies how bank capital changes following the implementation and removal of a tax incentive on equity. We examine the impact of the introduction of a tax allowance in Italy granted to banks (and other firms) that increase their equity from a base year. Using a difference-in-differences setting, we observe an 8.83% increase in bank capital ratios following the implementation of this reform. When this tax mechanism is phased out, we observe an opposite effect on the equity ratio, showing the absence of a hysteresis effect in bank capital. We document a heterogeneous effect for large and small banks.


Keywords:Tax, bank capital, debt-equity tax bias.


JEL Classification: G21, G28, G32.



Contingent Capital with Repeated Interconversion Between Debt- and Equity-like Instruments


Yanping Cai, Zhaojun Yang, and Zhiming Zhao


Abstract:
This paper introduces a new form of contingent capital, contingent convertible securities (CCSs), which might repeatedly convert between debt- and equity-like instruments depending on financial conditions. We derive explicit prices of corporate securities, assuming the cash flow is modeled as a geometric Brownian motion. We present an explicit value of the increased tax shields due to CCSs. We provide an explicit optimal capital structure when CCSs are issued and interestingly, the ratio of the optimal straight bond coupon to CCS coupon is constant and independent of the firm’s financial conditions. All the conclusions hold true also for contingent convertibles.


Keywords: contingent capital, repeated interconversion, capital structure


JEL Classification: G12, G32



The Information Content of the Implied Volatility Term Structure on Future Returns


Yaw-Huei Wang and Kuang-Chieh Yen


Abstract:
We derive the theoretical relation between the term structure of implied variance and the expected excess returns of the underlying asset. Adopting three alternative approaches to compile the variables representing the information on the implied volatility index level and term structure, we show the important role of the term structure in determining future excess returns of the S&P 500 index. Both the in-sample and out-of-sample analyses suggest that the information content of the term structure variable is significant and a strong complement to that of the level variable, especially for shorter-term excess returns.


Keywords: VIX term structure, Predictability, S&P 500 index returns.


JEL Classification: G13, G14



When do Investment Banks use IPO Price Support?


Sturla Fjesme


Abstract:
Practitioners, regulators, and the financial media argue that underwriters tie Initial Public Offering (IPO) allocations to investor post-listing buying of the issuer shares in a process labelled price support. Arguably, this excess demand boosts post-listing returns which underwriters trade quid-pro-quo with investor stock-trading-commission payments. In this paper, I investigate unique data from the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) including investor stock-trading-commissions, IPO allocations, and post-listing trading. I document that investors who provide high returns to underwriters before IPOs benefit from price support through increased returns in IPOs. I conclude that price support is used when investors share boosted returns with underwriters.


Keywords:IPOs, Price Support, Stock-trading commission


JEL Classification: G24



Confucianism, Cultural Interactions and Corporate Investment Efficiency


Lei Chen, Zhi Jin,Yongqiang Ma, and Hui Xu


Abstract:
Our study presents robust findings that Confucianism significantly improves investment efficiency of Chinese listed firms and that the improvement is achieved through decreasing overinvestment without inducing underinvestment. Financial reporting quality is found to be an important mechanism for the disciplinary effect of Confucianism to work. More importantly, we provide strong and consistent evidence that openness to the West neutralizes the role of the Confucianism in overinvestment. Against the backdrop of globalization, this paper offers valuable references to emerging markets that experience intensive interactions with developed economies.


Keywords:Confucianism, Openness to the West, Investment efficiency, Financial reporting quality


JEL Classification: G31, G32, G34, M41, Z10



The Face of Risk: CEO’s Facial Masculinity and Firm Risk


Shinichi Kamiya, Y. Han (Andy) Kim, and Soohyun Park


Abstract:
We examine whether a male CEO’s facial masculinity, measured by facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR), predicts the riskiness of his firm. Using the face pictures of 1,162 CEOs in the Execucomp database, we find supporting evidence. Firms with more masculine-faced CEOs have higher stock return volatility and higher financial leverage and are more acquisitive. Their frequency of acquisitions, the dollar amount spent on acquisitions, and the takeover premium are all higher. We find that more masculine-faced CEOs’ compensation is more sensitive to the risk of the firm. The result is robust when we use AI (artificial intelligence)-measured fWHR of the CEOs.


Keywords: masculinity, testosterone, risk, CEO, leverage, M&A, fWHR, VEGA


JEL Classification: G02, G32, G34, M1, Z1



Are the Fama French Factors treated as Risk? Evidence from CEO compensation


Jeremy Bertomeu, Edwige Cheynel, and Michelle Liu-Watts


Abstract:
Asset pricing theory postulates that a risk factor correlates with individuals’ marginal utility of consumption. Hence, under plausible preferences, individuals should become more risk tolerant given favorable factor returns. We show that this wealth effect predicts a positive association between performance pay and factor returns. Our results support the hypothesized relationship for the market, book-to-market and momentum factors. Factors constructed from bond prices are positively associated to incentives, incrementally to the Fama French factors, but we obtain mixed evidence for higher-order market factors, liquidity factors or factors constructed from national income accounts, including pricing kernels.


Keywords:


JEL Classification:



Exploring Short- and Long-Run Links from Bank Competition to Risk


E Philip Davis and Dilruba Karim


Abstract:
The current literature offers diverse findings on the bank competition-risk relation. We seek to advance understanding by looking at both short- and long-run relations for banks from 27 EU countries, using a six-year period before and since 2007 and employing both the H-statistic and the Lerner index as measures of competition. We thus highlight further nuances in the competition–risk relation that are absent from the current literature. Both measures have a positive short-run relation with risk, while long-run effects differ. Underlying this, the competition measures differ in their relation to the volatility of profits, with important policy implications.


Keywords: Bank competition, financial stability, EU banking markets, Lerner index, Panzar–Rosse H-statistic, Z-score


JEL Classification: G21, G28



Lottery Preferences and the Idiosyncratic Volatility Puzzle


Doina C. Chichernea, Haimanot Kassa, and Steve Slezak


Abstract:
We investigate the empirical implications of investors’ heterogeneous preferences for skewness with respect to the idiosyncratic volatility (IVOL) puzzle, that is, the negative correlation between IVOL and mean returns. We show that the IVOL puzzle is stronger 1) within stocks held primarily by agents with a preference for lottery-like payoffs and 2) during economic downturns, when the demand for lottery-like payoffs is high. These results support recent theories that suggest lottery preferences could be a significant source of the IVOL puzzle.


Keywords: Idiosyncratic volatility; skewness; lottery preferences; economic conditions.


JEL Classification: G11; G12



Individualistic Cultures and Crash Risk


Tung Lam Dang, Robert Faff, Hoang Luong, and Lily Nguyen


Abstract:
This study examines whether individualistic national culture is associated with stock price crash risk (“crash risk”) for a sample of firms from 36 countries over the period of 1990 to 2015. We find robust evidence that firms in more individualistic cultural settings exhibit higher future crash risk. Digging deeper, we find that earnings management, excessive managerial risk-taking, and investors’ difference of opinion and overconfidence are all possible explanations for the positive effect of individualism on crash risk. Overall, our findings suggest that individualism, as a key cultural dimension, has an important impact on investor welfare, manifested through crash risk.


Keywords: National culture; Individualism; Stock price crash risk; Earnings management; Excessive managerial risk-taking


JEL Classification: G12; G15



The Impact of the Morningstar Sustainability Rating on Mutual Fund Flows


Manuel Ammanna, Christopher Bauerb, Sebastian Fischerc, Philipp.


Abstract:
We examine the effect of the introduction of Morningstar’s Sustainability Rating in March 2016 on mutual fund flows. Exploiting this shock to the availability of sustainability information we find strong evidence that retail investors shift money away fromlow-rated and into high-rated funds. An average high-rated retail fund receives between$4.1m and $10.1m higher net flows and an average low-rated retail fund suffers from$1.0m to $5.0m lower net flows than an average-rated fund during the first year afterthe publication of the Rating. Institutional investors react much more weakly to the publication of the Rating.


Keywords: Mutual Fund, Sustainability, Investment Decisions, Information


JEL Classification: G11, G14, G23



Equity Issues When in Distress


Mark D. Walker, Qingqing Wu


Abstract:
We investigate the role of financial distress in the seasoned equity market. We find that distressed firms comprise about 40% of SEOs and these distressed issuers have worse abnormal announcement returns than non-distressed issuers. Stock return volatility is an important determinant for announcement returns for non-distressed SEO issuers but not for distressed SEO issuers. Signals of firm quality are associated with better announcement returns, larger issues, increased investment, improved operating performance, and lower likelihood of delisting for distressed SEO firms as compared to non-distressed firms. Our findings suggest equity finance is valuable for financially distressed firms with strong growth prospects.


Keywords: Financial Distress, SEO


JEL Classification: G31; G32



The Positive Externalities of CEO Delta


Hongrui Feng and Yuecheng Jia.


Abstract:
Increases in Delta incentives are dramatic for a small group of firms (leader firms) but negligible for the majority. We show that leader firms have larger market capitalization and higher irreversibility, and are in industries with negative shocks. When leader firms experience substantial growth in Delta incentives, industry peers experience positive abnormal returns and abnormal improvement in fundamentals despite no significant change in Delta. Further, we provide evidence that abnormal returns are induced by peer CEOs’ extra efforts in response to the increasing competitive pressure caused by leader firms. To mitigate their competitive pressure and turnover threat, peer CEOs allocate their extra efforts to firms’ operating efficiency and product differentiation.


Keywords: : CEO Delta incentive, Positive externality, Incentive spillover.


JEL Classification: G14, G34



Overreaction to Growth Opportunities: An Explanation of the Asset Growth Anomaly


Charlie X. Cai, Peng Li and Qi Zhang


Abstract:
The negative relation between asset growth and subsequent stock returns is known as the asset growth anomaly. We propose that overreaction to growth opportunities is the source of the asset growth anomaly. This suggests that growth firms as opposed to mature firms, and firms with longer series of asset growth should experience a stronger asset growth anomaly. Our evidence supports these predictions.


Keywords: : Asset growth, Anomaly, Overreaction, Growth opportunities, US market.


JEL Classification: G1, M4



Board Structure and Role of Outside Directors in Private Firms


Huasheng Gao and Zhongda He


Abstract:
We examine the board composition and the role of outside directors in U.S. private firms. We find that compared with public firms, private firms have a higher proportion of outside directors on the boards and select their outside directors in a more responsive way to their advisory and monitoring needs. We also find that private firms’ CEO turnover-performance sensitivity, earnings quality, going-public likelihood, and IPO value increase with the proportion of outside directors. These results are consistent with the view that lack of external governance in private firms leads to a greater demand for board monitoring for private firms.


Keywords: : Private firms, Public firms, Outside director, Monitoring role, Advisory role, Earnings quality, External governance, Information environments


JEL Classification: G32, G34, L22



The Catalytic Effect of Internationalization on Innovation


Ching-Hsing Chang, Ching Hung Chang, Pi-Kun Hsu and Sheng-Yung Yang


Abstract:
This paper examines how internationalization spurs corporate innovation. Internationalization heightens the competitive environment of firms, while increasing financial flexibility. The increased competition reduces agency problems, and motivates innovation projects which are supported by improved financial flexibility. We obtain robust evidence with the difference-in-differences and instrumental variable approaches. The passage of antitakeover laws and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are treated as exogenous variations to corporate governance; shocks on firm capital supply measured by mutual fund redemptions are also considered. A less positive finding is that internationalization motivates firms to focus on the appropriability of innovation rather than on basic research.


Keywords: : internationalization; competition; financial flexibility; innovation; technological appropriability


JEL Classification: F23, F61, G30, G34, O31



Does MAX Matter for Mutual Funds?


Bradley A. Goldie,Tyler R. Henry,Haimanot Kassa


Abstract:
Extreme returns (MAX) have been shown to impact future expected stock returns. We examine whether this relationship is present in mutual fund returns. We find that high MAX funds, as measured by past extreme daily returns, underperform both in portfolio sorts and cross-sectional tests. We further test possible explanations for why MAX funds underperform. First, we measure mutual fund flows to determine investor response to MAX. Second, we examine the underlying holdings of MAX funds to measure their concentration in MAX stocks. We find evidence that both fund flows and holdings contribute to the MAX effect on mutual fund returns.


Keywords: : Mutual fund flows and performance, MAX, lottery preferences, skewness


JEL Classification: G11, G23



Is finance a veil? Lead-and-lag relationship between financial and business cycles: the case of China


Chung-Hua Shen ,Jun-Guo Shi,Meng-Wen Wu


Abstract:
This study examines the lead-and-lag relationship between financial cycles (FCs) and business cycles (BCs) by using Chinese provincial data. We construct FCs of the financial sector on the basis of three financial variables: credit-to-GDP ratios, house prices, and equity prices. We use the panel dynamic logit model to investigate the lead-and-lag effect between two sectors. Results show that each province has its own unique FCs and BCs. Hence, financial policies should be different in dissimilar provinces. Next, we find that FCs lead BCs and not vice versa. Furthermore, the leading effect is stronger in rich provinces than in poor areas.


Keywords: : financial cycle; business cycle; panel dynamic logit model; credit-to-GDP ratio; direct financing ratio


JEL Classification: E32, E44, G21, P34



How Friends with Money Affect Corporate Cash Policies? The International Evidence


David Javakhadze, Tijana Rajkovic


Abstract:
We examine the association between managerial social capital and the cash flow sensitivity of cash in an international setting. We find that social capital reduces the marginal propensity to save cash out of cash flows. This association is stronger for more financially constrained firms, firms with high hedging needs, and firms with more uncertain cash flows. The effect of social capital is partially moderated by the extent of legal protection standards and financial development. We also show that social capital matters for valuation. These findings are robust to alternative model specifications, alternative variable measurement, and tests for endogeneity.


Keywords: : Social capital, social networks, cash management


JEL Classification: G32, Z13



Local Official Turnover, Ownership, and Firm Cash Holdings: Insights from an Emerging Market


Xiaoran Ni


Abstract:
Using a hand-collected dataset of city-level local official turnover in China, I find that average cash holdings of listed firms decrease significantly upon turnover of city heads, and this effect concentrates in privately owned enterprises. Such effects are more pronounced in firms located in cities with lower government quality. I also find that local official turnover leads to decreases in equity issuance for privately owned enterprises but not for state-owned enterprises, which largely explains our primary findings. Overall, this paper reveals that the cash policy of privately owned enterprises is sensitive to local official turnover in an emerging market.


Keywords: :local official turnover; cash holdings; ownership structure; emerging market


JEL Classification: G18, G32, G38



Employee Treatment and Its Implications for Bondholders


Tsung-Kang Chen, Yan-Shing Chen, and Hsiao-Lin Yang


Abstract:
We examine the various channels through which the quality of a firm’s employee relations can affect the welfare of bondholders. Our evidence suggests that better employee treatment benefits bondholders and leads to a lower bond spread by enhancing a firm’s productivity, and by reducing the likelihood of product failures, labor strife, and employee turnover. However, a higher level of satisfaction is more costly for bondholders in firms facing more severe financial constraints or agency problems.


Keywords: : Employee treatment, bond yield spreads, cost of debt


JEL Classification: G12, J53



Target Information Asymmetry and Takeover Strategy: Insights from a New Perspective


Paul Borochin, Chinmoy Ghosh and Di Huang


Abstract:
We examine the relation between information asymmetry and firm value around an M&A. Due to the due diligence and intense scrutiny around M&A announcements, acquisitions are significant shocks to a target’s information asymmetry. We find that M&A announcement-period wealth gains are significantly related to a target’s information asymmetry and the relationship is concentrated in same-state or same-industry mergers. Our difference-in-difference analysis shows that the wealth effects become weaker when overall information environment improves. Furthermore, we document that information asymmetry is an important factor in target selection and the likelihood of diversifying deals, deal size, and deal closure time.


Keywords: :G14, G34


JEL Classification: : Information asymmetry, acquisitions, Firm valuation



How Do Speculators in Agricultural Commodity Markets Impact Production Decisions and Commodity Prices? A Theoretical Analysis


Christian Koziol and Tilo Treuter


Abstract:
TBA


Keywords: : TBA


JEL Classification: TBA



Creative Culture, Risk-taking, and Corporate Financial Decisions


Erdem Ucar


Abstract:
I examine how creative culture affects corporate financial decisions. Firms have corporate risk-taking behavior and policies consistent with variations in local risk-taking propensity induced by creative culture. Firms located in areas with a strong creative culture have higher levels of risk exposure, investment, and growth. These firms also accumulate more cash consistent with the precautionary motive. My findings remain robust after controlling for endogeneity and a series of robustness checks. The empirical findings are consistent with the risk-taking tendency associated with creativity and creative culture. This paper introduces the role of creative culture and risk-taking in corporate financial decisions.


Keywords:Creative Culture, Corporate Risk-taking, Cash Holdings, Local Factors


JEL Classification: G30, G31, G32



Getting it Right or Getting it Cursed: Auction Prices in a Residential Real Estate Bubble


Clare Branigan, Cal Muckley, and Paul Ryan


Abstract:
This is the first study to test for a winner’s curse in a bubble market. Our hand-collected sample comprises the sequence of bids and the experience of the winning bidder at Irish residential real estate auctions, prior to the collapse of the bubble. Portfolios of practitioner- and hedonic pricing model-selected self-similar properties provide benchmark property price estimates. We show neither real estate investors nor owner occupiers shade auction bids to avoid the winner’s curse and both raise bids in line with competition. Winning investor bidders pay more for properties, ride the wave of a property bubble and potentially exacerbate it.


Keywords: :Bubbles, Owner occupier, Professional investor, Residential real estate, winner’s curse


JEL Classification: G00, G01, G02, G10, R31



Median Momentum


Pin-Huang Chou & Tsung-Yu Chen


Abstract:
TBA


Keywords: TBA


JEL Classification: TBA