Journal of Financial Economics

Published by Elsevier BV

Print ISSN: 0304-405X


Redistribution by Insurance Market Regulation: Analyzing a Ban on Gender-Based Retirement Annuities
  • Article

January 2009


112 Reads

Amy Finkelstein



Casey Rothschild
We illustrate how equilibrium screening models can be used to evaluate the economic consequences of insurance market regulation. We calibrate and solve a model of the United Kingdom's compulsory annuity market and examine the impact of gender-based pricing restrictions. We find that the endogenous adjustment of annuity contract menus in response to such restrictions can undo up to half of the redistribution from men to women that would occur with exogenous Social Security-like annuity contracts. Our findings indicate the importance of endogenous contract responses and illustrate the feasibility of employing theoretical insurance market equilibrium models for quantitative policy analysis.

The Information in the Term Structure

December 1984


262 Reads

This paper presents a regression approach to measuring the information in forward interest rates about time varying premiums and future spot interest rates. Like earlier work, the regressions identify variation in the expected premiums on longer-maturity Treasury bills. The more novel evidence concerns the forecasts of future spot rates in forward rates. The regressions provide evidence that the one-month forward rate has power to predict the spot rate one month ahead. During periods preceding 1974, forward rates have reliable forecast power for one-month spot rates up to five months in the future.

Wealth effects of regulatory reform *1: The reaction to California's proposition 103

February 1990


42 Reads

This paper investigates the effect of California's Proposition 103 on the market value of publicly traded property- and liability-insurance companies. The passage of this referendum on November 8, 1988 moved California from a market-oriented to a heavily regulated insurance-pricing system. During the period surrounding the election, the average stock price of insurance companies doing business in California declined by 6.91%. The decline is positively related to the proportion of a firm's premiums affected by the referendum and the proportion generated in other states where insurance regulation is likely to change, and negatively related to the firm's profitability.

Information Problems, Conflicts of Interest and Asset Stripping: Chapter 11's Failure in the Case of Eastern Airlines

February 1998


460 Reads

Eastern Airlines' bankruptcy illustrates the devastating effect of court-sponsored asset stripping-using creditors' collateral to invest in negative net present value "lottery ticket" investments-on firm value. During bankruptcy, Eastern's value dropped over 50%. We show that a substantial portion of this value decline occurred because an over- protective court insulated Eastern from market forces and allowed value-destroying operations to continue long after it was clear Eastern should be shut down. The failure of Eastern's bankruptcy demonstrates the importance of the court's role in protecting a distressed firm's assets, not only from a run by creditors, but also from overly optimistic managers.

Is Chapter 11 costly?

June 2007


312 Reads

We examine a sample of 459 firms filing for Chapter 11 during the period 1991-1998 and find that our sample firms experience significant improvements in their operating performance during Chapter 11. Our evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that Chapter 11, if anything, provides net benefits to bankrupt firms. In the cross section, firms with higher debt ratios experience greater improvements in operating performance, and the complexity of the renegotiation process negatively affects the improvement. We find no relationship between Chapter 11 outcome and changes in risk-adjusted firm value in Chapter 11.

Tick size, NYSE rule 118, and ex-dividend day stock price behavior

June 2004


243 Reads

Bali and Hite (1998) and Dubofsky (1992) propose models in which market microstructure effects play a role in the ex-dividend day price drop anomaly. Bali and Hite suggest that the anomaly is caused solely by price discreteness, while Dubofsky suggests that NYSE Rule 118 is also involved. We test these models by examining cum- to ex-day price drops during the one-eighth, one-sixteenth, and decimal tick size regimes. While the evidence is qualitatively consistent with Dubofsky's predictions, neither model is satisfactory in a quantitative sense. One of our main empirical findings is that no significant decline was evident in the magnitude of the ex-day anomaly after the tick size reduction.

Private Credit in 129 Countries

February 2007


550 Reads

We investigate cross-country determinants of private credit, using new data on legal creditor rights and private and public credit registries in 129 countries. We find that both creditor protection through the legal system and information sharing institutions are associated with higher ratios of private credit to GDP, but that the former is relatively more important in the richer countries. An analysis of legal reforms also shows that improvements in creditor rights and in information sharing precede faster credit growth. We also find that creditor rights are extremely stable over time, contrary to the convergence hypothesis. Finally, we find that legal origins are an important determinant of both creditor rights and information sharing institutions.

Descriptive statistics for sample of 56 Pennsylvania firms and a control sample of 56 non-Penn- sylvania firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange or the American Stock Exchange."
State Intervention in the Market for Corporate Control: The Case of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1310
  • Article
  • Full-text available

February 1992


165 Reads

This study investigates the impact of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1310 on the share prices of Pennsylvania corporations. Considered the most severe of the second-generation antitakeover laws, the statute limits the ability of shareholders to challenge management through the proxy process and eliminates the traditional fiduciary obligation of directors to promote shareholders' interests. We find that PA SB1310 significantly decreased share values, and estimate the loss to shareholders of Pennsylvania firms at $4 billion. However, firms with antitakeover charter amendments already in place were less affected, and firms that exempted themselves from PA SB1310 recovered a portion of shareholders' wealth.

The effect of external finance on the equilibrium allocation of capital. Journal of Financial Economics, 75(1), 133-164

January 2005


129 Reads

We develop an equilibrium model to understand how the efficiency of capital allocation depends on outside investor protection and the external financing needs of firms. We show that when capital allocation is constrained by poor investor protection, an increase in firms' external financing needs may improve allocative efficiency by fostering the reallocation of capital from low to high productivity projects. We also find novel empirical support for this prediction.

Speed of Issuance and the Adequacy of Disclosure in the 144A High-Yield Debt Market

June 2000


90 Reads

I document the shift of high-yield issuance from the public to the Rule 144A private placement market and exploit data on credit spreads to investigate whether investors regard disclosure in the two markets as comparable. The key implications of the inadequate-disclosure hypothesis are that investors require premiums on 144A securities and that such premiums are largest for first-time bond issuers and privately owned firms about whom less information is publicly available. I find that 144A premiums, though positive initially, have vanished over time, and I find no evidence of larger 144A premiums for first-time issuers or private firms. Investors do, however, require premiums of first-time issuers, and to a lesser extent of privately owned firms, regardless of whether securities are issued in the 144A or public market. These findings imply that sophisticated investors do not value the incremental information provided by securities registration, but do value ongoing disclosure.

Corporate Bond Default Risk: A 150-Year Perspective

March 2010


1,081 Reads

We study corporate bond default rates using an extensive new data set spanning the 1866–2008 period. We find that the corporate bond market has repeatedly suffered clustered default events much worse than those experienced during the Great Depression. For example, during the railroad crisis of 1873–1875, total defaults amounted to 36 percent of the par value of the entire corporate bond market. We examine whether corporate default rates are best forecast by structural, reduced-form, or macroeconomic credit models and find that variables suggested by structural models outperform the others. Default events are only weakly correlated with business downturns. We find that over the long term, credit spreads are roughly twice as large as default losses, resulting in an average credit risk premium of about 80 basis points. We also find that credit spreads do not adjust in response to realized default rates.

Does Section 16b deter insider trading by target managers?

October 1995


93 Reads

This paper examines empirically whether the short-swing rule (Section 16b of the Securities Exchange Act) deters managers from trading before mergers. Since a merger forces the sale of the target's outstanding equity, insider purchases within six months before the merger cannot escape this rule. We examine the 1941–1961 period when no other insider trading laws were enforced. Consistent with 16b's deterrent effect, managers' purchases drop significantly before the announcement. Before completion, the decrease occurs only in the 1941–1955 period. Surprisingly, pre-announcement sales do not decline, even though 16b cannot punish deferral of planned sales.

Shareholder wealth effects of corporate takeovers:: The UK experience 1955-1985

August 1989


228 Reads

This paper examines the effects of over 1,800 U.K. takeovers on shareholder wealth in the period 1955–1985. It shows that around the merger announcement date targets gain 25 to 30 percent and bidders earn zero or modest gains. The U.K. data allow independent tests of many issues addressed in studies of U.S. takeovers. Target gains are higher in the U.K. after 1968, suggesting that increases in U.S. target gains at the same time may not be attributable to the Williams Act. Postmerger share-price performance suggests that acquisitions follow favorable developments in bidder's equity prices.

The value line enigma (1965-1978). A case study of performance evaluation issues

February 1982


94 Reads

The performance of Value Line Investment Survey recommendations made between 1965 and 1978 is evaluated by applying a future benchmark technique. The future benchmark technique avoids selection bias problems associated with using historic benchmarks as well as known difficulties of using Capital Asset Pricing Model benchmarks. Potential problems (implicit in the technique) are discussed and resolved within the conduct of the experiment. Results indicate statistically significant abnormal performance when future benchmarks are computed using a market model.

The journal of financial economics: A retrospective evaluation (1974–1991)

June 1993


33 Reads

Data for the 516 papers published in volumes 1–30 of the Journal of Financial Economics in the period 1974–91 are analyzed. 477 authors from 136 institutions contributed papers, and these papers received 16,231 citations according to the Social Science Citation Index. Lists of authors and institutions who have contributed the most papers to the JFE and a list of the mostly highly-cited JFE papers show why the Journal has been successful in influencing the finance and economics literature during its first 18 years.

The Effect of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 on Small Business Loan Pricing

February 1986


47 Reads

The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 contains several provisions that can affect the cost of producing loans for financial intermediaries. In a competitive lending market the additional monitoring and expected foreclosure costs imposed by the change in the bankruptcy law should be passed on to the borrower. Using survey data from a sample of small business loans from commercial banks, evidence is presented that the enactment of the new law resulted in higher contract rates of interest.

A reply to Mayers and Rice (1979)

December 1979


30 Reads

Mayers and Rice do not resolve the basic problem in portfolio performance evaluation with the securities market line, the ambiguity introduced by being obliged to choose a market index. Other performance evaluation techniques exist and possess some superior qualities. The Mayers-Rice discussion of my critique of the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) fails to recognize the CAPM's unusual testing implications and ignores the existence of alternative asset pricing theories. Residual analysis should give approximately correct estimates of the abnormal returns caused by specific events if it is conducted with the market model.

Union negotiations and corporate policy: A study of labor concessions in the domestic steel industry during the 1980s

November 1991


73 Reads

This paper studies managerial compensation, financial reporting, and dividend policies of the seven major domestic steel producers during requests for union concessions. Substantial layoffs, reported losses, and sacrifices by nonunion stakeholders buttressed managers' case for union concessions. From 1980 to 1988, sample firms reduced their work force by about 300,000 (almost two-thirds) and annual wage payments from $16.1 to $8.6 billion. Reported income is lower during union negotiations, controlling for cash flows, as is managerial pay, with average CEO salary plus bonus declining 18%. Dividend reductions and white-collar pay cuts are substantial, pervasive, and clustered during union negotiations.

Triggering the 1987 stock market crash: Antitakeover provisions in the proposed house ways and means tax bill?

September 1989


56 Reads

We present evidence that a tax bill containing antitakeover provisions proposed by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on October 13, 1987 and approved by the Committee on October 15 was the fundamental economic event causing the greater than 10% decline in the stock market on October 14–16, which arguably triggered the October 19 crash. The bill, which eventually passed without most of the antitakeover provisions, would have limited the deductibility of interest on debt incurred to finance corporate takeovers, leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations, and imposed other restrictions on hostile takeovers.

Explaining Asset Pricing Puzzles Associated With the 1987 Market Crash

June 2010


47 Reads

The 1987 market crash was associated with a dramatic and permanent steepening of the implied volatility curve for equity index options, despite minimal changes in aggregate consumption. We explain these events within a general equilibrium framework in which expected endowment growth and economic uncertainty are subject to rare jumps. The arrival of a jump triggers the updating of agents' beliefs about the likelihood of future jumps, which produces a market crash and a permanent shift in option prices. Consumption and dividends remain smooth, and the model is consistent with salient features of individual stock options, equity returns, and interest rates.

Corporate governance through the proxy process: Evidence from the 1989 Honeywell proxy solicitation

August 1993


65 Reads

This paper analyzes a proxy solicitation and subsequent restructuring at Honeywell Inc. in 1989. The solicitation was financed and led by noninstitutional investors and co-sponsored by two public pension funds. The solicitation and restructuring both appear to increase firm value, though the effects of the restructuring are much larger. The voting records of Honeywell's 72 largest institutional shareholders reveal that banks and insurance companies are significantly more supportive of two management-sponsored antitakeover proposals than public pension funds add independent investment managers. Existing business ties between Honeywell and its institutional investors, however, do not appear to explain these voting differences.

Was there a Nasdaq bubble in the late 1990s?

July 2006


99 Reads

Not necessarily: a firm's fundamental value increases with uncertainty about average future profitability, and this uncertainty was unusually high in the late 1990s. After calibrating a stock valuation model that takes this uncertainty into account, we compute the level of uncertainty that is needed to match the observed Nasdaq valuations at their peak. The uncertainty we obtain seems plausible because it matches not only the high level but also the high volatility of Nasdaq stock prices. In general, we argue that the level and volatility of stock prices are positively linked through firm-specific uncertainty about average future profitability.

The importance of firm quotes and rapid executions: Evidence from the January 1994 SOES rules change

February 1997


22 Reads

Nasdaq's Small Order Execution System (SOES) allows orders to be submitted by computer, thereby assuring rapid execution at quoted prices. We examine trading in the 20 largest Nasdaq stocks around the time of a rule change that reduced the largest SOES trades from 1000 to 500 shares. We show that SOES trades contain information about short-term price movements and that SOES trading declined dramatically with the rule change. However, quoted and effective spreads were unaffected by the rule change.

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