The dissertation consists of three essays in financial economics. In the first essay, using historical prices for futures contracts tied to U.S. election outcomes, I develop a measure of firm-level partisan exposure. This measure captures the sensitivity of a firm's stock return to the changes in the odds of winning by a Democratic presidential candidate. I find that political beta is significantly lower in regulated industries and that it takes more extreme values for smaller and more highly levered firms. Finally, I document that firms with high political beta earn 4.0% higher annual buy-and-hold abnormal returns under Republican presidencies than firms with low political beta. The second essay studies mean monthly returns and compound long-run returns to over 64,000 global common stocks during the January 1990 to June 2020 period. The important practical distinctions between arithmetic, geometric, and dollar-weighted monthly returns are highlighted. In addition, it is documented that the majority, 56.6% of U.S. stocks and 61.3% of non-U.S. stocks, underperform one-month U.S. Treasury bills in terms of compound returns over the full sample. Focusing on aggregate shareholder outcomes, the top-performing 1.5% of firms account for all of the $US 56.2 trillion in net global stock market wealth creation. Outside the US, less than one percent of firms account for the $US 20.1 trillion in net wealth creation. The third essay documents evidence of managerial influence on shareholder voting outcomes. There are significantly more proposals that narrowly pass than narrowly fail. This behavior is more pronounced for firms with low institutional ownership and for proposals receiving a negative ISS recommendation. Mechanisms by which managers influence the outcome, such as meeting adjournment and selective campaigning, are newly identified. Finally, the market reacts more positively to the narrow failure of management proposals than to their passage. Combined with a theoretical model, these results imply that managerial influence on the voting process is value-destroying.
- Essays in Financial Economics
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- Partial requirement for: Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2021
- Field of study: Business Administration