Year of publication
- Do markets love misery? : Stock prices and corporate philanthropic disaster response (2008)
- While companies have emerged as very proactive donors in the wake of recent major disasters like Hurricane Katrina, it remains unclear whether that corporate generosity generates benefits to firms themselves. The literature on strategic philanthropy suggests that such philanthropic behavior may be valuable because it can generate direct and indirect benefits to the firm, yet it is not known whether investors interpret donations in this way. We develop hypotheses linking the strategic character of donations to positive abnormal returns. Using event study methodology, we investigate stock market reactions to corporate donation announcements by 108 US firms made in response to Hurricane Katrina. We then use regression analysis to examine if our hypothesized predictors are associated with positive abnormal returns. Our results show that overall, corporate donations were linked to neither positive nor negative abnormal returns. We do, however, see that a number of factors moderate the relationship between donation announcements and abnormal stock returns. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
- Constructing the true art market index : a novel 2-step hedonic approach and its application to the german art market (2008)
- This study develops a novel 2-step hedonic approach, which is used to construct a price index for German paintings. This approach enables the researcher to use every single auction record, instead of only those auction records that belong to a sub-sample of selected artists. This results in a substantially larger sample available for research and it lowers the selection bias that is inherent in the traditional hedonic and repeat sales methodologies. Using a unique sample of 61,135 auction records for German artworks created by 5,115 different artists over the period 1985 to 2007, we find that the geometric annual return on German art is just 3.8 percent, with a standard deviation of 17.87 percent. Although our results indicate that art underperforms the market portfolio and is not proportionally rewarded for downside risk, under some circumstances art should be included in an optimal portfolio for diversification purposes.
- Revisiting the home bias puzzle : downside equity risk (2006)
- Deviations from normality in financial return series have led to the development of alternative portfolio selection models. One such model is the downside risk model, whereby the investor maximizes his return given a downside risk constraint. In this paper we empirically observe the international equity allocation for the downside risk investor using 9 international markets’ returns over the last 34 years. The results are stable for various robustness checks. Investors may think globally, but instead act locally, due to greater downside risk. The results provide an alternative view of the home bias phenomenon, documented in international financial markets. JEL Classification: G11, G12, G15
- Does patience pay? : empirical testing of the option to delay accepting a tender offer in the U.S. banking sector (2006)
- We examine the empirical predictions of a real option-pricing model using a large sample of data on mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. banking sector. We provide estimates for the option value that the target bank has in waiting for a higher bid instead of accepting an initial tender offer. We find empirical support for a model that estimates the value of an option to wait in accepting an initial tender offer. Market prices reflect a premium for the option to wait to accept an offer that has a mean value of almost 12.5% for a sample of 424 mergers and acquisitions between 1997 and 2005 in the U.S. banking industry. Regression analysis reveals that the option price is related to both the price to book market and the free cash flow of target banks. We conclude that it is certainly in the shareholders best interest if subsequent offers are awaited. JEL Classification: G34, C10
- Credit cycles and macro fundamentals (2006)
- We study the relation between the credit cycle and macro economic fundamentals in an intensity based framework. Using rating transition and default data of U.S. corporates from Standard and Poor’s over the period 1980–2005 we directly estimate the credit cycle from the micro rating data. We relate this cycle to the business cycle, bank lending conditions, and financial market variables. In line with earlier studies, these variables appear to explain part of the credit cycle. As our main contribution, we test for the correct dynamic specification of these models. In all cases, the hypothesis of correct dynamic specification is strongly rejected. Moreover, accounting for dynamic mis-specification, many of the variables thought to explain the credit cycle, turn out to be insignificant. The main exceptions are GDP growth, and to some extent stock returns and stock return volatilities. Their economic significance appears low, however. This raises the puzzle of what macro-economic fundamentals explain default and rating dynamics. JEL Classification: G11, G21
- Stock market interactions and the impact of macroeconomic news – evidence from high frequency data of European futures markets (2006)
- This study analyzes the short-term dynamic spillovers between the futures returns on the DAX, the DJ Eurostoxx 50 and the FTSE 100. It also examines whether economic news is one source of international stock return co-movements. In particular, we test whether stock market interdependencies are attributable to reactions of foreign traders to public economic information. Moreover, we analyze whether cross-market linkages remain the same or whether they do increase during periods in which economic news is released in one of the countries. Our main results can be summarized as follows: (i) there are clear short term international dynamic interactions among the European stock futures markets; (ii) foreign economic news affects domestic returns; (iii) futures returns adjust to news immediately; (iv) announcement timing of macroeconomic news matters; (v) stock market dynamic interactions do not increase at the time of the release of economic news; (vi) foreign investors react to the content of the news itself more than to the response of the domestic market to the national news; and (vii) contemporaneous correlation between futures returns changes at the time of macroeconomic releases. JEL Classification: G14, G15
- Do changes in sovereign credit ratings contribute to financial contagion in emerging market crises? (2003)
- Credit rating changes for long-term foreign currency debt may act as a wake-up call with upgrades and downgrades in one country affecting other financial markets within and across national borders. Such a potential (contagious) rating effect is likely to be stronger in emerging market economies, where institutional investors' problems of asymmetric information are more present. This empirical study complements earlier research by explicitly examining cross-security and cross-country contagious rating effects of credit rating agencies' sovereign risk assessments. In particular, the specific impact of sovereign rating changes during the financial turmoil in emerging markets in the latter half of the 1990s has been examined. The results indicate that sovereign rating changes in a ground-zero country have a (statistically) significant impact on the financial markets of other emerging market economies although the spillover effects tend to be regional. This version August 2003.
- A critique on the proposed use of external sovereign credit ratings in Basel II (2003)
- This paper deals with the proposed use of sovereign credit ratings in the "Basel Accord on Capital Adequacy" (Basel II) and considers its potential effect on emerging markets financing. It investigates in a first attempt the consequences of the planned revisions on the two central aspects of international bank credit flows: the impact on capital costs and the volatility of credit supply across the risk spectrum of borrowers. The empirical findings cast doubt on the usefulness of credit ratings in determining commercial banks' capital adequacy ratios since the standardized approach to credit risk would lead to more divergence rather than convergence between investment-grade and speculative-grade borrowers. This conclusion is based on the lateness and cyclical determination of credit rating agencies' sovereign risk assessments and the continuing incentives for short-term rather than long-term interbank lending ingrained in the proposed Basel II framework.
- "Do credit rating agencies add to the dynamics of emerging market crises?" (2003)
- The experience in the period during and after the Asian crisis of 1997-98 has provoked an extensive debate about the credit rating agencies' evaluation of sovereign risk in emerging markets lending. This study analyzes the role of credit rating agencies in international finan-cial markets, particularly whether sovereign credit ratings have an impact on the financial stability in emerging market economies. The event study and panel regression results indicate that credit rating agencies have substantial influence on the size and volatility of emerging markets lending. The empirical results are significantly stronger in the case of government's downgrades and negative imminent sovereign credit rating actions such as credit watches and rating outlooks than positive adjustments by the credit rating agencies while by the market participants' anticipated sovereign credit rating changes have a smaller impact on financial markets in emerging economies. This version August 2003.
- Sovereign credit ratings and their impact on recent financial crises (2000)
- This paper discusses the role of the credit rating agencies during the recent financial crises. In particular, it examines whether the agencies can add to the dynamics of emerging market crises. Academics and investors often argue that sovereign credit ratings are responsible for pronounced boom-bust cycles in emerging-markets lending. Using a vector autoregressive system this paper examines how US dollar bond yield spreads and the short-term international liquidity position react to an unexpected sovereign credit rating change. Contrary to common belief and previous studies, the empirical results suggest that an abrupt downgrade does not necessarily intensify a financial crisis.