The Journal of Finance

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Latest documents

  • Institutional and Legal Context in Natural Experiments: The Case of State Antitakeover Laws

    We argue and demonstrate empirically that a firm's institutional and legal context has first‐order effects in tests that use state antitakeover laws for identification. A priori, the size and direction of a law's effect on a firm's takeover protection depends on (i) other state antitakeover laws, (ii) preexisting firm‐level takeover defenses, and (iii) the legal regime as reflected by important court decisions. In addition, (iv) state antitakeover laws are not exogenous for many easily identifiable firms. We show that the inferences from nine prior studies related to nine different outcome variables change substantially when we include controls for these considerations.

  • Liquidity as Social Expertise

    This paper proposes a theory of liquidity dynamics. Illiquidity results from asymmetric information. Observing the historical track record teaches agents how to interpret public information and helps overcome information asymmetry. However, an illiquidity trap can arise: too much asymmetric information leads to the breakdown of trade, which interrupts learning and perpetuates illiquidity. Liquidity falls in response to unexpected events that lead agents to question their valuation models (especially in newer markets) may be slow to recover after a crisis, and is higher in periods of stability.

  • Short‐Selling Risk

    Short sellers face unique risks, such as the risk that stock loans become expensive and the risk that stock loans are recalled. We show that short‐selling risk affects prices among the cross‐section of stocks. Stocks with more short‐selling risk have lower returns, less price efficiency, and less short selling.

  • Financial Literacy and Portfolio Dynamics

    We match administrative panel data on portfolio choices with survey measures of financial literacy. When we control for portfolio risk, the most literate households experience 0.4% higher annual returns than the least literate households. Distinct portfolio dynamics are the key determinant of this difference. More literate households hold riskier positions when expected returns are higher, they more actively rebalance their portfolios and do so in a way that holds their risk exposure relatively constant over time, and they are more likely to buy assets that provide higher returns than the assets that they sell.

  • Homeowner Borrowing and Housing Collateral: New Evidence from Expiring Price Controls

    I empirically analyze how changes in access to housing collateral affect homeowner borrowing behavior. To isolate the role of collateral constraints from that of wealth effects, I exploit the fully anticipated expiration of resale price controls on owner‐occupied housing in Montgomery County, Maryland. I estimate a marginal propensity to borrow out of housing collateral that ranges between $0.04 and $0.13 and is correlated with homeowners' initial leverage. Additional analysis of residential investment and ex‐post loan performance indicates that some of the extracted funds generated new expenditures. These results suggest a potentially important role for collateral constraints in driving household expenditures.

  • Unshrouding: Evidence from Bank Overdrafts in Turkey

    Lower prices produce higher demand… or do they? A bank's direct marketing to holders of “free” checking accounts shows that a large discount on 60% APR overdrafts reduces overdraft usage, especially when bundled with a discount on debit card or autodebit transactions. In contrast, messages mentioning overdraft availability without mentioning price increase usage. Neither change persists long after the messages stop. These results do not square easily with classical models of consumer choice and firm competition. Instead, they support behavioral models where consumers underestimate and are inattentive to overdraft costs, and firms respond by shrouding overdraft prices in equilibrium.

Featured documents

  • CEO Preferences and Acquisitions

    This paper explores the impact of target CEOs’ retirement preferences on takeovers. Using retirement age as a proxy for CEOs’ private merger costs, we find strong evidence that target CEOs’ preferences affect merger activity. The likelihood of receiving a successful takeover bid is sharply higher...

  • Does the Scope of the Sell‐Side Analyst Industry Matter? An Examination of Bias, Accuracy, and Information Content of Analyst Reports

    We examine changes in the scope of the sell‐side analyst industry and whether these changes impact information dissemination and the quality of analysts’ reports. Our findings suggest that changes in the number of analysts covering an industry impact analyst competition and have significant...

  • Taxes and Corporate Policies: Evidence from a Quasi Natural Experiment

    We document important interactions between tax incentives and corporate policies using a “quasi natural experiment” provided by a surprise announcement that imposed corporate taxes on a group of Canadian publicly traded firms. The announcement caused a dramatic decrease in value. Prospective tax...

  • Dividend Dynamics and the Term Structure of Dividend Strips

    Many leading asset pricing models are specified so that the term structure of dividend volatility is either flat or upward sloping. These models predict that the term structures of expected returns and volatilities on dividend strips (i.e., claims to dividends paid over a prespecified interval) are ...

  • The Effect of Succession Taxes on Family Firm Investment: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

    This paper provides causal evidence on the impact of succession taxes on firm investment decisions and transfer of control. Using a 2002 policy change in Greece that substantially reduced the tax on intrafamily transfers of businesses, I show that succession taxes lead to a more than 40% decline in ...

  • Short‐Term Market Risks Implied by Weekly Options

    We study short‐maturity (“weekly”) S&P 500 index options, which provide a direct way to analyze volatility and jump risks. Unlike longer‐dated options, they are largely insensitive to the risk of intertemporal shifts in the economic environment. Adopting a novel seminonparametric approach, we...

  • The Leverage Ratchet Effect

    Firms’ inability to commit to future funding choices has profound consequences for capital structure dynamics. With debt in place, shareholders pervasively resist leverage reductions no matter how much such reductions may enhance firm value. Shareholders would instead choose to increase leverage...

  • Borrow Cheap, Buy High? The Determinants of Leverage and Pricing in Buyouts

    Private equity funds pay particular attention to capital structure when executing leveraged buyouts, creating an interesting setting for examining capital structure theories. Using a large, international sample of buyouts from 1980 to 2008, we find that buyout leverage is unrelated to the cross‐sect...

  • Information Flows in Foreign Exchange Markets: Dissecting Customer Currency Trades

    We study the information in order flows in the world's largest over‐the‐counter market, the foreign exchange (FX) market. The analysis draws on a data set covering a broad cross‐section of currencies and different customer segments of FX end‐users. The results suggest that order flows are highly...

  • Wholesale Funding Dry‐Ups

    We empirically explore the fragility of wholesale funding of banks, using transaction‐level data on short‐term, unsecured certificates of deposit in the European market. We do not observe a market‐wide freeze during the 2008 to 2014 period. Yet, many banks suddenly experience funding dry‐ups. Dry‐up...

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