# Finance Research Letters

Published by Elsevier

Online ISSN: 1544-6123

Published by Elsevier

Online ISSN: 1544-6123

Publications

Article

This study provides empirical evidence from the U.S. firms that shareholders perceived corporate boards to be more important during than surrounding the October 1987 stock market crisis. The results indicate that during the crisis market-adjusted stock returns are negatively associated with CEO-chair duality, board size, and the presence of inside blockholders on board. The valuation effects of CEO-chair duality, percent of inside directors, and the presence of inside blockholders on board are stronger during than surrounding the crisis. The results are consistent with the view that corporate boards have valuation effects.

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Article

While many studies have investigated the link between macroeconomic events and equity market volatility, few have considered the impact on option implied volatilities. Given the recent focus on trading in implied volatility, in the context of the S&P 500 VIX index, this paper examines how the VIX index behaves around US monetary policy announcements. It is revealed that the VIX index falls significantly on the day of Federal Open Market Committee meetings.

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Article

In this paper we provide both a decision framework to estimate transaction costs and develop optimal trading strategies to achieve best execution. The methodology is based on an unbundling approach whereby costs are categorized into transparent and hidden, and fixed and variable components. The classification serves as the foundation for developing execution strategies for a fund's implementation goals. For example, the methodology easily adapts to strategies aimed at preserving asset value, achieving the closing price or volume weighted average price (“VWAP”), and minimizing tracking error. Further, we show how to determine the best execution strategy (“BES”) from a set of optimal strategies given a fund's goal and objectives via a set of decision-making criteria. Ultimately, best execution translates to lower transaction costs and higher portfolio returns.

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Article

Give a risk-neutral investor the choice to acquire a costly signal prior to asset market equilibrium. She refuses to pay for the signal under general conditions. The reason is that a risk-neutral investor is indifferent between a risky asset or a safe bond in optimum and expects the same return to her portfolio ex ante, whether or not she acquires information. Risk neutrality thus implies the absence of costly information from asset price in competitive asset markets.

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Article

Building on work of Maug [Journal of Finance 53 (1998)], we characterize the relationship between market liquidity and large shareholder activism when a minimum ownership share is required to change the management. We show that the sign of this relationship depends on whether the block constraint is binding. Specifically, the probability of intervention is decreasing in the liquidity of the stock when the constraint is binding (which happens in markets with intermediate liquidity), and it is increasing when it is not (which happens in highly liquid markets). We also show that the probability of intervention is zero in illiquid markets.

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Article

This study examines the adaptive market hypothesis (AMH) in Japanese stock
markets (TOPIX and TSE2). In particular, we measure the degree of market
efficiency by using a time-varying model approach. The empirical results show
that (1) the degree of market efficiency changes over time in the two markets,
(2) the level of market efficiency of the TSE2 is lower than that of the TOPIX
in most periods, and (3) the market efficiency of the TOPIX has evolved, but
that of the TSE2 has not. We conclude that the results support the AMH for the
more qualified stock market in Japan.

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Article

This paper implements empirical tests of the recently proposed float-adjusted return model by using Chinese stock-market data. The results show that variation in free float can explain cross-sectional variation in asset returns by about 6.7% annually, after we control for market risk, size, and book-to-market equity. In addition, we also find that size and book-to-market equity help explain cross-sectional variations in returns even after controlling for free float. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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Article

The empirical implications of the trade-off theory, the market timing theory, and Welch's theory [Journal of Political Economy (in press)] of capital structure are examined using aggregate US data for 1952 to 2000. There is a long-run leverage ratio to which the system reverts. Deviations from that ratio help to predict debt adjustments, but not equity adjustments. A high market-to-book ratio is associated with subsequent debt reduction, but there is no effect in the equity market.

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Article

This paper presents a novel application of advanced methods from Fourier analysis to the study of ultra-high-frequency financial data. The use of Lomb–Scargle Fourier transform, provides a robust framework to take into account the irregular spacing in time, minimising the computational effort. Likewise, it avoids complex model specifications (e.g. ACD or intensity models) or resorting to traditional methods, such as (linear or cubic) interpolation and regular resampling, which not only cause artifacts in the data and loss of information, but also lead to the generation and use of spurious information.

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Article

This paper investigates the empirical association between stock market volatility and investor mood-proxies related to the weather (cloudiness, temperature and precipitation) and the environment (nighttime length). Overall, our results suggest that cloudiness and length of nighttime are inversely related to historical, implied and realized measures of volatility. The strength of association seems to vary with the location of an exchange on Earth with respect to the equator. Weather deviations from seasonal norms and dummies representing extreme weather conditions do not offer additional explanatory power in our datasets.

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Article

This study investigates the relationship between earnings management and equity liquidity, positing that as incentives arise for the manipulation of firm performance through earnings management (due partly to conflicts of interest between firm insiders and outsiders), greater earnings management may signal higher adverse selection costs. If earnings manipulation reveals aggressive accounting practices, liquidity providers tend to widen bid-ask spreads to protect themselves. The empirical results indicate that companies with higher earnings management suffer lower equity liquidity.

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Article

Positive economics predicts that Sub-S banks, with no taxes paid at the corporate level, will price their products lower than otherwise identical C corporation banks in a competitive environment. Alternatively, if banks price bundle their products, Sub-S tax benefits might have little (no) effect on product rates. The empirical analysis finds that Sub-S deposit (loan) rates are equal to or lower (higher) than similar C corporation bank rates. Thus, there is little evidence of any tax benefits accruing to Sub-S bank customers. In contrast, tax-exempt credit unions do offer higher deposit rates and lower loan rates than C corporation banks.

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Article

In a recent paper, Judd et al. [2003. Journal of Finance 58, 2203–2217] study asset trading in a version of the standard Lucas infinite horizon economy with heterogeneous agents. They report the surprising finding that (for generic economies in their class), in equilibrium, there is no trade in (long-lived) assets after the initial date. This note points out that the conclusions of Judd et al. [2003. Journal of Finance 58, 2203–2217] are artifacts of the assumption that asset dividends and individual endowments follow the same stationary finite state Markov process. Without this assumption—and even if asset dividends and aggregate endowments follow the same stationary process—there will necessarily be trade at many histories.

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Article

Safer firms receive funding from reputable venture capitalists and offer new securities underwritten by reputable investment banks. We offer a new explanation for these facts employing a moral-hazard model in which a firm and an agent are matched endogenously. More reputable agent's effort has a greater impact on output. Safer firm's output reflects the agent's hidden effort more accurately and therefore the agent's pay scheme tied with the output powerfully motivates her to exert effort. In equilibrium, a safer firm should be matched with a reputable agent since this combination allows to maximize effort of the reputable agent.

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Article

The function form of a linear intertemporal relation between risk and return is suggested by Merton's (1973) analytical work for instantaneous returns, whereas empirical studies have examined the nature of this relation using temporally aggregated data, i.e., daily, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly returns. Our paper carefully examines the temporal aggregation effect on the validity of the linear specification of the risk-return relation at discrete horizons, and on its implications on the reliablility of the resulting inference about the risk-return relation based on different observation intervals. Surprisingly, we show that, based on the standard Heston's (1993) dynamics, the linear relation between risk and return will not be distorted by the temporal aggregation at all. Neither will the sign of this relation be flipped by the temporal aggregation, even at the yearly horizon. This finding excludes the temporal aggregation issue as a potential source for the conflicting empirical evidence about the risk-return relation in the earlier studies.

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Article

I extend the option pricing framework for the underwriting of rights issues, by considering that the funds received at maturity may already have been committed to a project at the time of signing of the underwriting agreement (investment commitment). The model yields valuations that are up to several times the amount implied by no investment commitment, and this is most pronounced for large issues. An upper bound for the model's explanatory power is obtained by assuming that all issues exhibit full investment commitment; under this assumption, the model explains 40-65% of the overpricing of underwriting agreements in the United Kingdom.

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Article

Using an elegant simple model, Allen and Gale [Comparing Financial Systems, MIT Press, 2001] obtain a result with significant policy implications: portfolio risk of banks increases as competition in banking, measured by the number of banks, increases. That result is, however, lacking in robustness. If banks play a game not all that different from that assumed by Allen and Gale, then, we show, a markedly different result obtains: risk-taking by banks is independent of the number of banks.

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Article

We examine the problem of selecting the discount rate for far distant cash-flows when there is much uncertainty about what will be the future investment opportunities in the economy. We show that it is efficient to take a discount rate that is increasing with the time horizon, and that this rate should tend to the largest possible rate as the horizon tends to infinity. These recommendations are opposite to the ones proposed by Weitzman [Amer. Econ. Rev. 91 (2001) 260].

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Article

We show that VaR (Value-at-Risk) is not time-consistent and discuss examples where this can lead to dynamically inconsistent behavior. Then we propose two time-consistent alternatives to VaR. The first one is a composition of one-period VaR's. It is time-consistent but not coherent. The second one is a composition of average VaR's. It is a time-consistent coherent risk measure.

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Article

We present an algorithm that merges a certainty-equivalence framework with the least-squares Monte Carlo algorithm to obtain the executive stock option (ESO) value for a risk-averse and undiversified agent. We account for the difference between executive's value and firm cost of the ESO. We show how early-exercise decisions depend on executive's preferences and its diversification degree. Because of the algorithm flexibility, it allows for multiple state-variables. As an example, we consider the case of indexed ESOs revealing a significant improvement in terms of executive's discount respect to fixed strike ESOs.

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Article

This paper investigates the cross hedging effectiveness of individual stock in a market that does not have single stock futures traded using American Depositary Receipt (ADR) and stock index futures. We apply Caporin and Billio's Multivariate regime switching GARCH to capture the state-dependent covariance structure of underlying stock, ADR and stock index futures. Empirical results indicate that in general simultaneous hedging with both ADR and index futures creates hedging gains and incorporating regime switching effects further increases the hedging performances.

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Article

We derive a simple relationship between the critical stock price and the gamma of the American put. We use this relationship to derive the correct expression for the critical stock price as time to maturity goes to zero and an analytic approximation for the in-the-money American put price. We present simple, analytical expressions for the critical stock price.

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Article

An American call option on a stock paying a single known dividend can be valued using the Roll–Geske–Whaley formula. This paper extends the Roll–Geske–Whaley model to the n dividends case by using the generalized n-fold compound option model. In this way this paper offers a closed-form solution for American options on stocks paying n known discrete dividends. Moreover, the model also offers the critical values of the early exercise boundaries at each ex-dividend date instant, making it easy to define an early exercise strategy. Numerical examples are included to illustrate this approach.

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Article

This note examines a numerical approach for computing American option prices in the lognormal jump–diffusion context. The approach uses the known transition density of the process to build a discrete-time, homogenous Markov chain to approximate the target jump–diffusion process. Numerical results showing the performance of the proposed method are examined.

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Article

We use the copula approach to study the structure of dependence between
sell-side analysts' consensus recommendations and subsequent security returns,
with a focus on asymmetric tail dependence. We match monthly vintages of
I/B/E/S recommendations for the period January to December 2011 with excess
security returns during six months following recommendation issue. Using a
symmetrized Joe-Clayton Copula (SJC) model we find evidence to suggest that
analysts can identify stocks that will substantially outperform, but not
underperform relative to the market, and that their predictive ability is
conditional on recommendation changes.

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Article

Both insiders and analysts are involved in the collection and dissemination of information to the market, roles which impact heavily on price efficiency and resource allocation. The differences between the two groups, however, result in a competitive relationship with analysts at a disadvantage due to greater costs associated with information gathering. As a result they may choose not to participate in this one-sided competition. We employ transaction data to examine the impact of firm-year aggregate insider trading intensity on the level of analyst following. We find a negative relationship between the prevalence of insider trading and analyst coverage lending support to the crowding out hypothesis.

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Article

This paper provides an introduction to alternative models of uncertain commodity prices. A model of commodity price movements is the engine around which any valuation methodology for commodity production projects is built, whether discounted cash flow (DCF) models or the recently developed modern asset pricing (MAP) methods. The accuracy of the valuation is in part dependent on the quality of the engine employed. This paper provides an overview of several basic commodity price models and explains the essential differences among them. We also show how futures prices can be used to discriminate among the models and to estimate better key parameters of the model chosen.

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Article

It is well known that the use of Gaussian models to assess financial risk leads to an underestimation of risk. The reason is because these models are unable to capture some important facts such as heavy tails and volatility clustering which indicate the presence of large fluctuations in returns. An alternative way is to use regime-switching models, the latter are able to capture the previous facts. Using regime-switching model, we propose an analytical approximation for multi-horizon conditional Value-at-Risk and a closed-form solution for conditional Expected Shortfall. By comparing the Value-at-Risks and Expected Shortfalls calculated analytically and using simulations, we find that the both approaches lead to almost the same result. Further, the analytical approach is less time and computer intensive compared to simulations, which are typically used in risk management.

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Article

We investigate whether a rare event (like the default of the annuity provider) can explain the annuity market participation puzzle. High risk aversion is needed to change behavior in the presence of such a disastrous shock but higher risk aversion also makes annuities more valuable. Therefore, these rare events are unlikely candidates to explain the low take-up of voluntary annuities: the conclusion is robust to disentangling risk aversion from intertemporal substitution and to allowing portfolio investment in a stock market index.

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Article

The paper shows that mispriced deposit insurance and capital regulation were of second order importance in determining the capital structure of large U.S. and European banks during 1991 to 2004. Instead, standard cross-sectional determinants of non-financial firms’ leverage carry over to banks, except for banks whose capital ratio is close to the regulatory minimum. Consistent with a reduced role of deposit insurance, we document a shift in banks’ liability structure away from deposits towards non-deposit liabilities. We find that unobserved timeinvariant bank fixed effects are ultimately the most important determinant of banks’ capital structures and that banks’ leverage converges to bank specific, time invariant targets. JEL Classification: G32, G21.

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Article

This paper explores a reasonable coupon rate for basket credit linked notes (BCLN) with issuer default risk. Based on the one factor Gaussian copula model, this paper proposes three methods of incorporating issuer default into BCLN pricing. Numerical results indicate that issuer default risk impacts BCLN coupon rate. Furthermore, coupon rate differs with changes in correlation structure among the three methods. One of the three methods is ultimately identified as the most suitable.

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Article

It is shown that the absence of call spread, butterfly spread and calendar spread arbitrages is sufficient to exclude all static arbitrages from a set of option price quotes across strikes and maturities on a single underlier.

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Article

A copula approach is used to examine the extreme return–volume relationship in six emerging East-Asian equity markets. The empirical results indicate that there is significant and asymmetric return–volume dependence at extremes for these markets. In particular, extremely high returns (large gains) tend to be associated with extremely large trading volumes, but extremely low returns (big losses) tend not to be related to either large or small volumes.

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Article

The finding that spot and lagged forward exchange rates are cointegrated with the vector (1,−1) is often given as evidence for long-run market efficiency. This paper examines the conjecture that a small unit root or fractionally integrated component in the relationship is dominated in finite samples by a large stationary component. Monte Carlo techniques demonstrate that with typical sample sizes and variable magnitudes, the Engle–Granger test overwhelmingly finds spurious cointegration. Conversely, under certain conditions, Johansen tests are shown to be relatively robust to differences in variable magnitudes. Although developed from recent empirical work in the forward currency market this result clearly has relevance for the use of predictive regressions in any asset market.

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Article

A simple consumption-based two-period model is used to study the (theoretical) effects of disagreement on asset prices. Analytical and numerical results show that individual uncertainty has a much larger effect on risk premia than disagreement if (i) the risk aversion is reasonably high and (ii) individual uncertainty is not much smaller than disagreement. Evidence from survey data on beliefs about output growth suggests that the latter is more than satisfied.

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Article

We consider the robustness of the least-squares inference of linear asset pricing models. We evaluate the asymptotic covariance matrices of the least-squares estimator of alphas and betas when the joint distribution of factors and error terms is independently and identically distributed without making any specific distributional assumptions. When the standard assumption of conditional homoskedasticity for the conditional covariance matrix of error terms given factors does not hold, we show the asymptotic covariance matrix for betas depends only on cokurtosis of factors and error terms while the asymptotic covariance matrix for alphas depends on cokurtosis as well as coskewness of factors and error terms. This implies the inference of betas is not affected by skewness of the underlying joint distribution. Numerical examples are provided using Fama and French's benchmark portfolio returns and factors.

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Article

This paper studies the asset pricing and portfolio choice implications of keeping up with the Joneses preferences. In terms of portfolio choice, we provide sufficient conditions on the utility function under which no portfolio bias can arise across agents in equilibrium. Regarding asset prices, we find that under Joneses behavior asset prices are a function of the economy's aggregate consumption, the agents preference parameters, the wealth endowment distribution and the weighting across agents in the Joneses definition. We present necessary and sufficient conditions such that equilibrium prices are only a function of aggregate wealth. Non-financial, non-diversifiable income is introduced in the model. In the presence of Joneses behavior, an under-diversified equilibrium emerges where investors will bias their portfolios towards the financial assets that better hedge their exposure to the non-financial income risk.

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Article

We study the mean-variance optimization problem when investment opportunities are changing. We add a new risky asset to a set of n risky assets. An analytical relation between the original and the new minimum-variance frontiers is established. The two frontiers have a tangency point. We derive a new mutual fund theorem. All portfolios in the new minimum-variance set are portfolio combinations of three mutual funds: The two funds located on the original frontier and the third fund containing all assets. Analytical framework developed in the paper has implications for studies of testability of the mean-variance efficiency of a market portfolio (Roll critique). Implications for models of financial innovation are discussed.

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Article

This paper introduces state dependent utility into the standard Mehra and Prescott [J. Monet. Econ. 15 (1985) 145] economy by allowing the representative agent's coefficient of relative risk aversion to vary with the underlying economy's growth rate. Existence of equilibrium is proved and its asymptotic properties analyzed. This generalization leads to level dependent marginal rates of substitution, a property that sharply distinguishes this model from the standard construct. For very low coefficients of relative risk aversion, the equilibrium risk free and risky security returns are demonstrated to have volatilities and an associated equity premium that substantially exceed what is found in the data. This provides a contrasting perspective on the classic “equity premium puzzle.”

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Article

This paper shows that investigations on the spanning power of options in spaces of integrable and continuously distributed payoffs can be conducted in the space of Lebesgue integrable claims on [0,1]. It is proved that there are infinite many underlying assets for which options span spaces of integrable claims. It is also shown that options on a single underlyer fail to complete the spaces of continuous contingent claims that are defined over a noncompact state-space.

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Article

The purpose of this note is to point out an error in an important paper by Sharpe [Journal of Finance 45 (1990)] on long-term bank–firm relationships and to provide a correct analysis of the problem. The model studies repeated lending under asymmetric information which leads to winner's-curse type distortions of competition. Contrary to the claims of Sharpe in [Journal of Finance 45 (1990)], this game only has an equilibrium in mixed strategies, which features a partial informational lock-in by firms and random termination of lending relationships.

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Article

In this paper we extend the ADC model of Kroner and Ng [1998. Review of Financial Studies 11, 817–844] such that it allows for cross-asymmetries in conditional volatility. That is, the model allows for asymmetries in covariances after shocks of opposite signs. We find evidence for significant cross-asymmetries in the conditional volatility in stock and bond markets.

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Article

We present closed-form results for the out-of-sample forecasts under the joint presence of asymmetric loss and non-normality, extending the results of Granger [1969. Operations Research Quarterly 20, 199–207; 1999. Spanish Economic Review 1, 161–173] and Christoffersen and Diebold [1997. Econometric Theory 13, 808–817]. We consider the LinEx and Double LinEx loss functions and non-normal distributions in the form of the Gram–Charlier class. We show how the preference asymmetries interact with the distribution asymmetries to determine optimal forecasts which contain the optimal predictors under symmetry and normality as special cases. We also examine the implications of our results for the development of forecast rationality tests, extending the work of Batchelor and Peel [1998. Economics Letters 61, 49–54]. Our results are relevant for the design of efficient investment and risk management policies.

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Article

Using the standard principal-agent framework, we show that the existence of executives with different levels of productivity introduces a so-far-unexplored channel through which managerial effort incentives are sustained in a setting in which executives are allowed to trade away their stock-based compensation. Due to the presence of asymmetric information, high-productivity executives end up diversifying away a smaller fraction of their performance-based compensation than they would under perfect information or if they were the only type of executive in the market. As a result, they exert a higher effort level in equilibrium and thereby increase the value of the firm relative to the uniform productivity case, thus bringing the results closer to the outcome observed in a model with no hedging.

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Article

I examine the causes of asymmetric wealth gains (instances where one partner gains and the other partner loses) and the extent of these gains in joint ventures. I argue that asymmetric gains arise as the common benefits created by the venture are offset by the negative wealth effects of resource appropriation for one parent. Using a sample of 412 joint ventures I find that in 42% of the ventures one parent gained and the other lost. In addition, I find that when the abnormal returns of parents within a venture were compared, firms that gained more from forming the venture experienced [−1,0] returns of +3.22% and firms that gained less experienced [−1,0] returns of −1.37%. Additional analyses showed that asymmetric wealth gains tended to occur in ventures where one parent had relatively high valued resources and the other parent had relatively lower valued resources thus suggesting that resource appropriation may be an important cause of this pattern of gains.

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Article

We present a simple model where a firm will commit to a strictly positive hurdle rate on investment proposals by managers even though the two parties are symmetrically informed about the investments' profitability. Facing a positive hurdle rate, a manager who derives partial benefits from the investment profits will have more incentive to collect information about the projects. The optimal hurdle rate trades off the benefit of more information with the cost of foregoing ex post positive Net Present Value (NPV) projects.

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Article

This note modifies the popular market microstructure model of Easley and O'Hara (1992) by including random overlapping information asymmetries in continuous time. This modification allows expected adverse selection costs to vary according to the random arrival and assimilation of information flow.

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Article

This paper examines how borrower firm characteristics affect syndicate size structure in the Japanese loan market for the 1999–2003 period when the banking system is undergoing a major consolidation. We find that syndicates are smaller when borrowers have higher credit risk and when borrowers present larger information asymmetries to the lending group. Interestingly, however, these results are primarily driven by keiretsu (business group) firms. This suggests that the benefits of enhanced monitoring and superior renegotiation prospects are especially useful for banks participating in syndicated loans to Keiretsu firms in Japan rather than informationally opaque, independent firms.

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Article

I show that when shareholders can change not only the variance of the future firm value, but also its asymmetry, they can shift costly risk to bondholders while lowering the firm risk, and more importantly, the equity risk and the probability of bankruptcy. The implication of this result is that risk-shifting behavior can be more beneficial to shareholders than currently perceived in the literature.

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Article

This paper considers the effect on zero-coupon bond price valuation when short rate model has non-Gaussian dependent innovations. Higher order asymptotic theory enables us to obtain the approximate bond price formula. Some numerical examples are presented, where the process of innovations follows particular model. These examples indicate non-Gaussianity and dependency of innovations have a great influence on zero-coupon bond price.

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