We re-examine the puzzling pattern of lead-lag returns among economically-linked firms. Our results show that investors consistently underreact to information from lead firms that arrives continuously, while information with the same cumulative returns arriving in discrete amounts is quickly absorbed into price. This finding holds across many different types of economic linkages, including shared-analyst-coverage. We conclude that the ǣfrog in the panǥ (FIP) momentum effect is pervasive in co-momentum settings, suggesting that information discreteness (ID) serves as a cognitive trigger that reduces investor inattention and improves inter-firm news transmission.
Journal of Financial Economics
A large literature in neuroscience and social psychology shows that humans are wired to be meticulous about how they are perceived by others. In this paper, we propose that impression management considerations can also end up guiding the content that investors transmit via word of mouth and inadvertently lead to the propagation of noise. We analyze server log data from one of the largest investment-related websites in the United States. Consistent with our proposition, we find that investors more frequently share articles that are more suitable for impression management despite such articles less accurately predicting returns. Additional analyses suggest that high levels of sharing can lead to overpricing.
Journal of Financial Economics
We examine how investor demand for leverage shapes asset management fees. We show that in the sample of U.S. equity mutual funds: (1) fees increase in fund market beta precisely for beta larger than one; (2) this relation becomes stronger and high-beta funds experience larger inflows when leverage constraints tighten; and (3) low net alphas are especially common among high-beta funds. These results are consistent with a model in which asset managers compete for leverage-constrained investors with heterogeneous risk aversion. The asymmetric relation between betas and fees also extends to the HML and SMB factors.
Journal of Financial Economics
We investigate the real effects of foreign exchange (FX) volatility on technological innovation. Using a 32-market, three-decade sample, we show that heightened FX volatility associates with significantly lower firm-level R&D expenditures, patents granted, and forward citations. The negative FX volatility-innovation relation can be attributed to precautionary savings needs and trade slowdown. The relationship is stronger for firms with financial constraints, with the use of foreign debt, and in more open economies; it is weaker for firms with derivatives hedging, with higher sales, and in countries with better financial development.
Journal of International Economics
We investigate whether short interest affects supply chain partners' investments. This investigation is important for understanding the real effect of short sellers in facilitating stakeholders' investment decisions. Prior research suggests that short interest conveys negative news in a timely manner, which predicts future deterioration in firm fundamentals. We predict and find that a supplier's future investments decrease with its major customers' short interest. Consistent with predictions, this result is more pronounced when customers' short interest is more informative about their future performance, when customers have a more opaque information environment, and when suppliers incur lower customer switching costs. The results are robust when we use various approaches to address endogeneity concerns and establish causality. Our findings suggest that short sellers provide valuable information to supply chain partners when making investment decisions.
Contemporary Accounting Research
Interorganizational projects often suffer disruptions that require participating organizations to adapt in order to restore project operations. We study the role of communication style in facilitating adaptation to such disruptions. Whereas the literature on interorganizational communication has emphasized communication mode and frequency, we study the content and features of written communication in seven U.K. construction projects. Communication style mattered for adaptation quality in these projects, and we found that several properties of communication style were particularly important for adaptation: cost and information orientation, as well as informality, precision and authenticity. Moreover, managerial slack and organizational reputation were important precursors of communication style. These results provide novel insights into the role of communication style in adaptation to interorganizational project disruptions. We discuss the implications of these insights for research on interorganizational projects in operations and supply chain management.
Journal of Operations Management
This paper shows that debt undermines relational incentives and harms worker morale. We build a dynamic model of a manager who uses limited financial resources to simultaneously repay a creditor and motivate a worker. If the manager can divert or misuse revenue, then debt makes the manager less willing to follow through on promised rewards, leading to low worker effort. In profit-maximizing equilibria, the firm prioritizes repaying its debts, leading to gradual increases in effort and wages. These dynamics can persist even after debts have been fully repaid. Consistent with this analysis, we document that a firm’s financial leverage is negatively related to measures of employee morale, wages, and productivity.
Performance Feedback and Export Intensity of Chinese Private Firms: Moderating Roles of Institution-related Factors
Building on the behavioral theory of the firm and institutional view, we examine how performance feedback (i.e., a focal firm’s performance relative to its industry peers) affects export intensity and how institution-related factors moderate this relationship. Using a sample of Chinese private manufacturing firms, we find that positive performance feedback lowers export intensity while the relationship between negative performance feedback and export intensity is insignificant. Moreover, outperforming firms are likely to decrease their export intensity even more when they are located in regions of better institutional development or have political connections. Underperforming firms with political connections tend to increase their export intensity. These findings enrich our understanding of the export behavior of emerging market firms.
International Business Review
To stay competitive, high-technology manufacturers not only frequently source new technologies from their suppliers, but also financially support the development of these new technologies into component products or production tools. We consider a manufacturer that can either source a new but immature technology from a financially constrained supplier, or source a mature technology from an existing supplier if and only if the development of the new technology fails. To support the new technology, the manufacturer can choose to inject capital in the form of an equity or loan. The investment strategy not only affects the new supplier’s development effort and the probability of technical success (PTS), but also affects the existing supplier’s effort to improve the mature technology, which presents the manufacturer with a trade-off. Following the debt financing literature, we find that a loan contract is associated with a cost-shifting effect and often leads to a higher PTS. However, because the manufacturer not only maintains an investment but also a procurement relationship with the new supplier, we find a profit-sharing effect associated with an equity investment, which does not exist in the traditional equity issuance literature. In particular, we show that the profit-sharing effect can dominate the cost-shifting effect and lead to a higher PTS when the new supplier’s technological capability is sufficiently high. Nonetheless, we also show that the strategy that derives a higher PTS does not necessarily generate a higher payoff for the manufacturer. On the one hand, a loan can be preferred even when it leads to a lower PTS because the cost-shifting effect allows the manufacturer to offer a sufficiently low procurement payment while maintaining a sufficiently high PTS. On the other hand, when the existing supplier is very capable of reducing its costs, a loan can over-incentivize the new supplier to exert excessive effort and backfire.