[This article discusses domestic violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you are not to blame, what is happening is not your fault. There are numerous resources and refuges available to you. They are listed at the end of this article.]
Stock returns during the week are negatively associated with the reported incidence of domestic violence during the weekend. This relationship is primarily driven by negative returns. The incidence of domestic violence increases with the magnitude of losses, and the effect increases with local stock market participation. Our findings suggest that negative wealth shocks caused by stock market crashes can affect stress levels within intimate relationships, escalate arguments, and trigger domestic violence. Stock market losses may reduce household utility beyond the shock to financial wealth, supporting gain-loss models where disutility from losses outweighs the utility from gains of a similar magnitude.
We provide a psychological explanation for the delayed price response to news about economically linked firms. We show that the return predictability of economically linked firms depends on the nearness to the 52-week high stock price. The interaction between news about economically linked firms and the nearness to the 52-week high can partially explain the underreaction to news about customers, geographic neighbors, industry peers, or foreign industries. We also find that analysts react to news about economically linked firms but the 52-week high effect reduces such reactions, providing direct evidence that the 52-week high affects the belief-updating process.
We identify an important channel, acquisitions of public targets, via which the governance through trading (GTT) improves firm values. The disciplinary effect of GTT is more pronounced for firms with higher managerial wealth-performance sensitivity and moderate institutional ownership concentration. Firms with higher GTT also have higher subsequent ROA, ROE, Tobin's Q, analysts forecasted EPS growth rate, and lower expected default risk. The effect is stronger after Decimalization and robust to using two instrumental variables. We conduct several exercises to rule out alternative explanations, such as institutional superior information, investor activism, and momentum. Additional tests show that the disciplinary effect of GTT only exists for less financially-constrained firms and non-all-cash M&As where the agency problem is more likely to be prevalent.
We explore the governance effect of short-selling threat on mergers and acquisitions (M&A). We use equity lending supply (LS) to proxy for the threat, as short sellers incentives to scrutinize a firm depend on the availability of borrowing shares. Our results show that acquirers with higher LS have higher announcement returns. The effect is stronger when acquirers are more likely to be targets of subsequent hostile takeovers and when their managers wealth is more linked to stock prices. We conduct four sets of tests to mitigate endogeneity concerns. Finally, the governance effect exists only for deals prone to agency problems.
We study the effect of financial market frictions on managerial compensation. We embed a market microstructure model into an otherwise standard contracting framework, and analyze optimal pay-for-performance when managers use information they learn from the market in their investment decisions. In a less frictional market, the improved information content of stock prices helps guide managerial decisions and thereby necessitates lower-powered compensation. Exploiting a randomized experiment, we document evidence that pay-for-performance is lowered in response to reduced market frictions. Firm investment also becomes more sensitive to stock prices during the experiment, consistent with increased managerial learning from the market.
We hypothesize that when investors pay less attention to financial markets, they rationally allocate relatively more attention to market-level information than to firm-specific information, leading to increases in stock return co-movements. Using large jackpot lotteries as exogenous shocks that attract investors’ attention away from the stock market, we find supportive evidence that stock returns co-move more with the market on large jackpot days. This effect is stronger for stocks preferred by retail investors and is not driven by gambling sentiment. We also find that stock returns are less sensitive to earnings surprises and co-move more with industries on large jackpot days.