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Evidence on the value of director monitoring: a natural experiment

Description

I examine the determinants and implications of the level of director monitoring. I use the distance between directors' domiciles and firm headquarters as a proxy for the level of monitoring and the introduction of a new airline route between director

I examine the determinants and implications of the level of director monitoring. I use the distance between directors' domiciles and firm headquarters as a proxy for the level of monitoring and the introduction of a new airline route between director domicile and firm HQ as an exogenous shock to the level of monitoring. I find a strong relation between distance and both board meeting attendance and director membership on strategic versus monitoring committees. Increased monitoring, as measured by a reduction in effective distance, by way of addition of a direct flight, is associated with a 3% reduction in firm value. A reduction in effective distance is also associated with less risk-taking, lower stock return volatility, lower accounting return volatility, lower R&D; spending, fewer acquisitions, and fewer patents.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Essays in finance

Description

In the first chapter, I develop a representative agent model in which the purchase of consumption goods must be planned in advance. Volatility in the agent's portfolio increases the risk that a purchase cannot be implemented. This implementation risk causes

In the first chapter, I develop a representative agent model in which the purchase of consumption goods must be planned in advance. Volatility in the agent's portfolio increases the risk that a purchase cannot be implemented. This implementation risk causes the agent to make conservative consumption plans. In the model, this leads to persistent and negatively skewed consumption growth and a slow reaction of consumption to wealth shocks. The model proposes a novel explanation for the negative relation between volatility and expected utility. In equilibrium, prices of risky assets must compensate for the utility loss. Hence, the model suggests a new mechanism for generating the equity risk premium. Importantly, because implementation risk does not rely on the co-movement of asset prices with marginal utility, the resulting equity premium does not require concavity of the intratemporal utility function.

In the second chapter, I challenge the view that equity market timing always benefits

shareholders. By distinguishing the effect of a firm's equity decisions from the effect of mispricing itself, I show that market timing can decrease shareholder value. Additionally, the timing of equity sales has a more negative effect on existing shareholders than the timing of share repurchases. My theory can be used to infer firms' maximization objectives from their observed market timing strategies. I argue that the popularity of stock buybacks, the low frequency of seasoned equity offerings, and the observed post-event stock returns are consistent with managers maximizing current shareholder value.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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From Playground to Boardroom: Endowed Social Status and Managerial Performance

Description

By matching a CEO's place of residence in his or her formative years with U.S. Census survey data, I obtain an estimate of the CEO's family wealth and study the link between the CEO's endowed social status and firm performance.

By matching a CEO's place of residence in his or her formative years with U.S. Census survey data, I obtain an estimate of the CEO's family wealth and study the link between the CEO's endowed social status and firm performance. I find that, on average, CEOs born into poor families outperform those born into wealthy families, as measured by a variety of proxies for firm performance. There is no evidence of higher risk-taking by the CEOs from low social status backgrounds. Further, CEOs from less privileged families perform better in firms with high R&D spending but they underperform CEOs from wealthy families when firms operate in a more uncertain environment. Taken together, my results show that endowed family wealth of a CEO is useful in identifying his or her managerial ability.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018

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Partisan Investment Cycles

Description

This paper studies the relation between alignment in partisan affiliation between a firm's management team and the president and corporate investment. Survey evidence suggest that households have higher expectations of economic growth when their preferred party controls the presidency. I

This paper studies the relation between alignment in partisan affiliation between a firm's management team and the president and corporate investment. Survey evidence suggest that households have higher expectations of economic growth when their preferred party controls the presidency. I therefore investigate whether finance professionals, specifically corporate managers, are subject to the same partisan-based optimism and make investment decisions not based on fundamentals. Consistent with the behavior displayed by the general public, I find that managers invest more and become more optimistic about their companies' prospects when their preferred party is in power. Using insider trades, I am able to separate optimism from alternative explanations such as industry sorting of partisan managers, political connections, etc. This optimism-driven increase in investment is associated with lower profitability and stock returns. Overall, managers' partisan beliefs produce heterogeneous expectations about future cash flows and distort investment decisions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021