Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
Vol. 39, No. 4, December 2004


Contents

Market Response to European Regulation of Business Combinations
Nihat Aktas, Eric de Bodt, and Richard Roll

Predictive Regressions: A Reduced-Bias Estimation Method
Yakov Amihud and Clifford M. Hurvich

Bullish/Bearish Strategies of Trading: A Nonlinear Equilibrium
Ramdan Dridi and Laurent Germain

Risk Premia and Preemption in R&D Ventures
Lorenzo Garlappi

Managerial Entrenchment and Payout Policy
Aidong Hu and Praveen Kumar

Executive Loans
Kathleen M. Kahle and Kuldeep Shastri

The Allocation and Monitoring Role of Capital Markets: Theory and International Evidence
Solomon Tadesse

Capital Investments and Stock Returns
Sheridan Titman, K. C. John Wei, and Feixue Xie

Abnormal Returns from the Common Stock Investments of the U.S. Senate
Alan J. Ziobrowski, Ping Cheng, James W. Boyd, and Brigitte J. Ziobrowski

Abstracts

Market Response to European Regulation of Business Combinations
Nihat Aktas, Eric de Bodt, and Richard Roll
Acquisitions, mergers, and other business agreements face increasing regulatory scrutiny, even when they involve firms domiciled outside the territory of regulatory authorities. Recent examples include mergers between American firms that were approved by American regulators but blocked by European regulators. Regulatory reciprocity seems a likely future trend. There are obvious consequences for the successful completion of future business combinations. This paper explains the regulatory procedures of the European Commission with respect to business combinations, documents the price reactions of subject firms on dates from the initial announcement to the final regulatory decision, and studies whether European regulators tend to shield European firms from foreign competition. Our main results are: i) the market clearly reacts to European regulatory intervention even when the subject firms are non-European, ii) the probability of intervention is not related to the nationality of the bidder, however, iii) when intervention does occur, the market anticipates it will be more costly when the bidder is non-European, so protectionism cannot be rejected outright, and iv) regulatory interventions are anticipated by investors, so they affect the initial announcement returns.


Predictive Regressions: A Reduced-Bias Estimation Method
Yakov Amihud and Clifford M. Hurvich
Standard predictive regressions produce biased coefficient estimates in small samples when the regressors are Gaussian first-order autoregressive with errors that are correlated with the error series of the dependent variable. See Stambaugh (1999) for the single regressor model. This paper proposes a direct and convenient method to obtain reduced-bias estimators for single and multiple regressor models by employing an augmented regression, adding a proxy for the errors in the autoregressive model. We derive bias expressions for both the ordinary least-squares and our reduced-bias estimated coefficients. For the standard errors of the estimated predictive coefficients, we develop a heuristic estimator that performs well in simulations, for both the single predictor model and an important specification of the multiple predictor model. The effectiveness of our method is demonstrated by simulations and empirical estimates of common predictive models in finance. Our empirical results show that some of the predictive variables that were significant under ordinary least squares become insignificant under our estimation procedure.


Bullish/Bearish Strategies of Trading: A Nonlinear Equilibrium
Ramdan Dridi and Laurent Germain
We study a financial market where risk-neutral traders are endowed with a signal that perfectly reveals the direction (but not the exact amount) of the liquidation value of a normally distributed risky asset. The impact of order flow on prices is nonlinear with a bullish/bearish information structure, which is broadly consistent with empirical evidence. Also, private information is revealed quicker than in a strategic oligopoly.


Risk Premia and Preemption in R&D Ventures
Lorenzo Garlappi
I analyze the impact of competition on the risk premia of R&D ventures engaged in a multiple-stage patent race with technical and market uncertainty. After solving in closed form for the case of a two-stage race in continuous time, I show that a firm's risk premium decreases as a consequence of technical progress and increases when a rival pulls ahead. Compared to the case where firms collude, R&D competition erodes the option value to mothball a project, reduces the completion time and the failure rate of R&D, and causes higher and more volatile risk premia. Numerical simulations reveal that competition can generate risk premia up to 500 annual basis points higher and up to three times more volatility than in a collusive industry.


Managerial Entrenchment and Payout Policy
Aidong Hu and Praveen Kumar
Building on the managerial entrenchment literature, we develop and test a novel perspective on payout policy that integrates the influence of internal governance mechanisms, investment opportunities, management compensation, and monitoring by large shareholders. Our study incorporates both dividend payments and share repurchases, and examines the determinants of the likelihood and the level of payouts. Our model performs well in both in-sample and out-of-sample predictions on a sample of 2,081 firms during 1992-2000. We find that both the likelihood and the level of payouts are significantly and positively (negatively) related to factors that increase (decrease) executive entrenchment levels, even when controlling for size, leverage, and the proportion of tangible to total assets. We identify factors that significantly affect the likelihood but not the level of payouts (or vice versa), and show that entrenchment has an asymmetric influence on dividend vs. shares repurchase policy.


Executive Loans
Kathleen M. Kahle and Kuldeep Shastri
This paper analyzes the characteristics and impact of loans made to executives for stock purchase, option exercise, and relocation. We find that loans made to assist executives in purchasing stock or exercising options are larger and have higher interest rates than relocation loans. All types of loans, however, are issued at below-market interest rates, on average. We also find that while stock purchase loans are given to managers with low existing ownership, option exercise loans are given to managers with high existing ownership and high cash compensation. Finally, our results indicate that executive stock ownership increases following stock purchase and option exercise loans. For managers as a whole, a loan that enables a manager to buy 100 shares of stock results in only an eight-share increase in ownership. However, the relation between ownership changes and stock purchase loans is much stronger for low ownership managers.


The Allocation and Monitoring Role of Capital Markets: Theory and International Evidence
Solomon Tadesse
Capital markets perform two distinct functions: provision of capital and facilitation of good governance through information production and monitoring. I argue that the governance function has more impact on the efficiency with which resources are utilized within the firm. Based on industry-level data across 38 countries, I present evidence suggesting a positive relation between market-based governance and improvements in industry efficiency. The measures of governance are also positively correlated with productivity improvements and growth in real output. Furthermore, while governance affects efficiency, the capital provision services induce technological change. The evidence underscores the role of capital markets as a conduit of socially valuable governance services as distinct from capital provision.


Capital Investments and Stock Returns
Sheridan Titman, K. C. John Wei, and Feixue Xie
Firms that substantially increase capital investments subsequently achieve negative benchmark-adjusted returns. The negative abnormal capital investment/return relation is shown to be stronger for firms that have greater investment discretion, i.e., firms with higher cash flows and lower debt ratios, and is shown to be significant only in time periods when hostile takeovers were less prevalent. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that investors tend to underreact to the empire building implications of increased investment expenditures. Although firms that increase capital investments tend to have high past returns and often issue equity, the negative abnormal capital investment/return relation is independent of the previously documented long-term return reversal and secondary equity issue anomalies.


Abnormal Returns from the Common Stock Investments of the U.S. Senate
Alan J. Ziobrowski, Ping Cheng, James W. Boyd, and Brigitte J. Ziobrowski
The actions of the federal government can have a profound impact on financial markets. As prominent participants in the government decision making process, U.S. Senators are likely to have knowledge of forthcoming government actions before the information becomes public. This could provide them with an informational advantage over other investors. We test for abnormal returns from the common stock investments of members of the U.S. Senate during the period 1993--1998. We document that a portfolio that mimics the purchases of U.S. Senators beats the market by 85 basis points per month, while a portfolio that mimics the sales of Senators lags the market by 12 basis points per month. The large difference in the returns of stocks bought and sold (nearly one percentage point per month) is economically large and reliably positive.