Forthcoming Articles

Do Investors Value Sustainability? A Natural Experiment Examining Ranking and Fund Flows

Published: 08/09/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12841


Examining a shock to the salience of the sustainability of the U.S. mutual fund market, we present causal evidence that investors marketwide value sustainability: being categorized as low sustainability resulted in net outflows of more than $12 billion while being categorized as high sustainability led to net inflows of more than $24 billion. Experimental evidence suggests that sustainability is viewed as positively predicting future performance, but we do not find evidence that high‐sustainability funds outperform low‐sustainability funds. The evidence is consistent with positive affect influencing expectations of sustainable fund performance and nonpecuniary motives influencing investment decisions.

Information Revelation in Decentralized Markets

Published: 08/09/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12838


How does information get revealed in decentralized markets? We test several hypotheses inspired by recent dealer‐network theory. To do so we construct an empirical map of information revelation where two dealers are connected based on the synchronicity of their quote changes. The tests, based on EUR/CHF quote data including the 2015 crash, largely support theory: strongly connected (i.e., central) dealers are more informed. Connections are weaker when there is less to be learned. The crash serves to identify how a network forms when dealers are transitioned from no‐learning to learning, that is, from a fixed to a floating rate.

Nonfinancial Firms as Cross‐Market Arbitrageurs

Published: 08/09/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12837


I demonstrate that nonfinancial corporations act as cross‐market arbitrageurs in their own securities. Firms use one type of security to replace another in response to shifts in relative valuations, inducing negatively correlated financing flows in different markets. Net equity repurchases and net debt issuance both increase when expected excess returns on debt are particularly low, or when expected excess returns on equity are relatively high. Credit valuations affect equity financing as much as equity valuations do, and vice versa. Cross‐market corporate arbitrage is most prevalent among large, unconstrained firms, and helps account for aggregate financing patterns.

Where is the Risk in Value? Evidence from a Market‐to‐Book Decomposition

Published: 08/09/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12836


We study the value premium using the multiples‐based market‐to‐book decomposition of Rhodes‐Kropf, Robinson, and Viswanathan (2005). The market‐to‐value component drives all of the value strategy return, while the value‐to‐book component exhibits no return predictability in either portfolio sorts or firm‐level regressions. Existing results linking market‐to‐book to operating leverage, duration, exposure to investment‐specific technology shocks, and analysts’ risk ratings derive from the unpriced value‐to‐book component. In contrast, results on expectation errors, limits to arbitrage, and certain types of cash flow risk and consumption risk exposure are due to the market‐to‐value component. Overall, our evidence casts doubt on several value premium theories.

Brokers and Order Flow Leakage: Evidence from Fire sales

Published: 08/09/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12840


Using trade‐level data, we study whether brokers play a role in spreading order flow information in the stock market. We focus on large portfolio liquidations which result in temporary price drops, and identify the brokers that intermediate these trades. These brokers’ clients are more likely to predate on the liquidating funds than to provide liquidity. Predation leads to profits of about 25 basis points over 10 days and increases the liquidation costs of the distressed fund by 40%. This evidence suggests a role of information leakage in exacerbating fire sales.

A Dynamic Model of Characteristic‐Based Return Predictability

Published: 08/08/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12839


We present a dynamic model that links characteristic‐based return predictability to systematic factors that determine the evolution of firm fundamentals. In the model, an economy‐wide disruption process reallocates profits from existing businesses to new projects and thus generates a source of systematic risk for portfolios of firms sorted on value, profitability, and asset growth. If investors are overconfident about their ability to evaluate the disruption climate, these characteristic‐sorted portfolios exhibit persistent mispricing. The model generates predictions about the conditional predictability of characteristic‐sorted portfolio returns and illustrates how return persistence increases the likelihood of observing characteristic‐based anomalies.

Thinking about Prices versus Thinking about Returns in Financial Markets

Published: 08/08/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12835


Prices and returns are alternative ways to present information and to elicit expectations in financial markets. But do investors think of prices and returns in the same way? We present three studies in which subjects differ in the level of expertise, amount of information, and type of incentive scheme. The results are consistent across all studies: asking subjects to forecast returns as opposed to prices results in higher expectations, whereas showing them return charts rather than price charts results in lower expectations. Experience is not a useful remedy but cognitive reflection mitigates the impact of format changes.