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Inventory accumulation, cash flow, and corporate investment

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I show that firms' ability to adjust variable capital in response to productivity shocks has important implications for the interpretation of the widely documented investment-cash flow sensitivities. The variable capital adjustment is sufficient for firms to capture small variations in

I show that firms' ability to adjust variable capital in response to productivity shocks has important implications for the interpretation of the widely documented investment-cash flow sensitivities. The variable capital adjustment is sufficient for firms to capture small variations in profitability, but when the revision in profitability is relatively large, limited substitutability between the factors of production may call for fixed capital investment. Hence, firms with lower substitutability are more likely to invest in both factors together and have larger sensitivities of fixed capital investment to cash flow. By building a frictionless capital markets model that allows firms to optimize over fixed capital and inventories as substitutable factors, I establish the significance of the substitutability channel in explaining cross-sectional differences in cash flow sensitivities. Moreover, incorporating variable capital into firms' investment decisions helps explain the sharp decrease in cash flow sensitivities over the past decades. Empirical evidence confirms the model's predictions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Essays in corporate policy: dividend policy, index labeling effect, investment, and cash flow duration

Description

This dissertation consists of two essays on corporate policy. The first chapter analyzes whether being labeled a “growth” firm or a “value” firm affects the firm’s dividend policy. I focus on the dividend policy because of its discretionary nature and

This dissertation consists of two essays on corporate policy. The first chapter analyzes whether being labeled a “growth” firm or a “value” firm affects the firm’s dividend policy. I focus on the dividend policy because of its discretionary nature and the link to investor demand. To address endogeneity concerns, I use regression discontinuity design around the threshold to assign firms to each category. The results show that “value” firms have a significantly higher dividend payout - about four percentage points - than growth firms. This approach establishes a causal link between firm “growth/value” labels and dividend policy.

The second chapter develops investment policy model which associated with du- ration of cash flow. Firms are doing their business by operating a portfolio of projects that have various duration, and the duration of the project portfolio generates dif- ferent duration of cash flow stream. By assuming the duration of cash flow as a firm specific characteristic, this paper analyzes how the duration of cash flow affects firms’ investment decision. I develop a model of investment, external finance, and savings to characterize how firms’ decision is affected by the duration of cash flow. Firms maximize total value of cash flow, while they have to maintain their solvency by paying a fixed cost for the operation. I empirically confirm the positive correlation between duration of cash flow and investment with theoretical support. Financial constraint suffocates the firm when they face solvency issue, so that model with financial constraint shows that the correlation between duration of cash flow and investment is stronger than low financial constraint case.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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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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Debt structure and future financing and investment

Description

I study the relation between firm debt structure and future external financing and investment. I find that greater reliance on long-term debt is associated with increased access to external financing and ability to undertake profitable investments. This contrasts with previous

I study the relation between firm debt structure and future external financing and investment. I find that greater reliance on long-term debt is associated with increased access to external financing and ability to undertake profitable investments. This contrasts with previous empirical results and theoretical predictions from the agency cost literature, but it is consistent with predictions regarding rollover risk. Furthermore, I find that firms with lower total debt (high debt capacity) have greater access to new financing and investment. Lower leverage increases future debt issues and capital expenditures, and firms do not fully rebalance by reducing the use of external financing sources such as equity. Finally, my results support the view that greater reliance on unsecured debt can increase future debt financing. Overall, my paper offers new insights into how aspects of debt structure, in particular maturity, are related ex-post to firms' ability to raise new financing and invest.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Innovator Sorting and Firm Size

Description

This paper examines the link between firm size and innovation. Given that innovation is highly reliant on human capital, the ability to attract, motivate, and retain high quality inventors is a key determinant of firm innovation. Firm size may affect

This paper examines the link between firm size and innovation. Given that innovation is highly reliant on human capital, the ability to attract, motivate, and retain high quality inventors is a key determinant of firm innovation. Firm size may affect these abilities, and small firms are known to account for a disproportionate share of aggregate innovation. I therefore investigate the role that sorting of inventors across firms plays in explaining this disparity. Talented inventors may find employment at a large firm less attractive due to the relative absence of growth options and a lower ability to link compensation to performance. Using inventor-level patent data, I construct employment histories for inventors at U.S. public firms. I find that the most productive inventors are disproportionately likely to move to small firms, while the least productive inventors disproportionately remain at large firms. These results cannot be explained fully by small firms' superior growth opportunities. In addition, productive innovators' turnover in small firms is sensitive to the level of option compensation. Taken together, this evidence is consistent with inventor sorting explaining part of the firm size innovation gap.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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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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Essays in Financial Economics

Description

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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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Essays on Mutual Fund Investor Attention

Description

I propose new measures of investor attention for Mutual Funds. Using the Security and Exchange Commissions’ Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system’s server log files, this study is the first to explore investor attention to specific mutual funds.

I propose new measures of investor attention for Mutual Funds. Using the Security and Exchange Commissions’ Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system’s server log files, this study is the first to explore investor attention to specific mutual funds. I find that changes, or spikes, in mutual fund investor attention are associated with funds’ introduction of a new share class, decreases in expense ratio, past performance and volatility. On average, spikes to investor attention predict net inflows into mutual funds which outpace the overall growth of the mutual fund sector. Attention via this EDGAR channel is more important when investors are researching more opaque funds. Moreover, there is a positive relationship between mutual fund investor attention and fund returns. Yet, there is evidence that investors appear to be responding to the acquisition of stale information with flows. I additionally utilize Google Trends data for individual fund tickers and investigate its effects in Mutual Fund Market. I find that Investor Attention to individual mutual funds is concentrated within Equity funds, Index funds, and Institutional funds. Individual fund attention is strongly negatively associated with expense ratios, 12B-1 Fees, and 'broker sold' funds, suggesting that funds with higher fees get less attention than low cost index funds. I find limited support for the controversial convexity in the flow to performance sensitivity in the Mutual Fund market, but only in funds with high levels of individual attention.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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Essays on Dynamic Contracting

Description

This dissertation consists of two essays related to dynamic debt contracting and financial economics. The first chapter studies key determinants of inclusion of a financial covenant in corporate loans from theoretical and empirical angles. Using a novel manually collected loan

This dissertation consists of two essays related to dynamic debt contracting and financial economics. The first chapter studies key determinants of inclusion of a financial covenant in corporate loans from theoretical and empirical angles. Using a novel manually collected loan dataset of small to medium-sized publicly-listed U.S. firms, I find that firms that issue loans without financial covenants tend to have (i) lower accounting quality, (ii) lower assets, and (iii) are experiencing faster growth in profitability relative to firms that issue loans with financial covenants. I build a theoretical model of project financing in which there is noisy public information about the project’s profitability, and the lender can privately monitor to improve the information quality. I show that if the signal precision without monitoring is sufficiently low (high), the equilibrium contract does not include (includes) a covenant. Covenant inclusion plays a key role in providing incentives to the lender to monitor. I show that the lender monitors less often relative to the first best. Insufficient monitoring leads to “excessive risk-taking,” namely, bad quality firms continuing with the project too often. Relatedly, I also show that covenants are used less often in equilibrium relative to the first best. The second chapter examines equilibrium consequences of litigation by holdout creditors in sovereign debt renegotiation. I show that given a sufficiently high probability of winning the litigation case against the borrowing country and/or a high enough defaulted sovereign debt, the presence of the holdout creditors increases the expected debt recovery rate, which makes the default option less attractive, and decreases the country’s default probability and the interest rate on the country’s debt. The country responds by borrowing more but defaults less often along the equilibrium path as it wants to avoid default and facing holdout creditors. Having a non-zero probability of successful litigation is welfare improving for the country as it sustains higher debt and defaults less frequently.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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Essays in Financial Economics

Description

This dissertation consists of two essays. The essay “Is Capital Reallocation Really Procyclical?” studies the cyclicality of corporate asset reallocation and its implication for aggregate productivity efficiency. Empirically, aggregate reallocation is procyclical. This is puzzling given the documented evidence that

This dissertation consists of two essays. The essay “Is Capital Reallocation Really Procyclical?” studies the cyclicality of corporate asset reallocation and its implication for aggregate productivity efficiency. Empirically, aggregate reallocation is procyclical. This is puzzling given the documented evidence that the benefits of reallocation are countercyclical. I show that this procyclicality is driven entirely by the reallocation of bundled capital (e.g., business divisions), which is highly correlated with market valuations and is unrelated to measures of productivity dispersion. In contrast, reallocation of unbundled capital (e.g., specific machinery or equipment) is countercyclical and highly correlated with dispersion in productivity growth. To gauge the aggregate productivity impact of bundled transactions, I propose a heterogeneous agentmodel of investment featuring two distinct used-capital markets as well as a sentiment component. In equilibrium, unbundled capital is reallocated for productivity gains, whereas bundled capital is also reallocated for real, or perceived, synergies in the equity market. While equity overvaluation negatively affects aggregate productivity by encouraging excessive trading of capital, its adverse impact is largely offset by its positive externality on asset liquidity in the unbundled capital market. The second essay “The Profitability of Liquidity Provision” studies the profitability of liquidity provision in the US equity market. By tracking the cumulative inventory position of all passive liquidity providers and matching each aggregate position with its offsetting trade, I construct a measure of profits to liquidity provision (realized profitability) and assess how profitability varies with the average time to offset. Using a sample of all common stocks from 2017 to 2020, I show that there is substantial variation in the horizon at which trades are turned around even for the same stock. As a
mark-to-market profit, the conventional realized spread—measured with a prespecified horizon—can deviate significantly from the realized profits to liquidity provision both in the cross-section and in the time series. I further show that, consistent with the risk-return tradeoff faced by liquidity providers as a whole, realized profitability is low for trades that are quickly turned around and high for trades that take longer to reverse.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2022