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Volume 75: Issue 1 (February 2020)


ISSUE INFORMATION FM

Pages: 1-3  |  Published: 1/2020  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12654  |  Cited by: 0


Trading Against the Random Expiration of Private Information: A Natural Experiment

Pages: 5-44  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12844  |  Cited by: 2

MOHAMMADREZA BOLANDNAZAR, ROBERT J. JACKSON, WEI JIANG, JOSHUA MITTS

For years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accidentally distributed securities disclosures to some investors before the public. We exploit this setting, which is unique because the delay until public disclosure was exogenous and the private information window was well defined, to study informed trading with a random stopping time. Trading intensity and the pace at which prices incorporate information decrease with the expected delay until public release, but the relation between trading intensity and time elapsed varies with traders' learning process. Noise trading and relative information advantage play similar roles as in standard microstructure theories assuming a fixed time window.


Access to Collateral and the Democratization of Credit: France's Reform of the Napoleonic Security Code

Pages: 45-90  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12846  |  Cited by: 0

KEVIN ARETZ, MURILLO CAMPELLO, MARIA‐TERESA MARCHICA

France's Ordonnance 2006‐346 repudiated the notion of possessory ownership in the Napoleonic Code, easing the pledge of physical assets in a country where credit was highly concentrated. A differences‐test strategy shows that firms operating newly pledgeable assets significantly increased their borrowing following the reform. Small, young, and financially constrained businesses benefitted the most, observing improved credit access and real‐side outcomes. Start‐ups emerged with higher “at‐inception” leverage, located farther from large cities, with more assets‐in‐place than before. Their exit and bankruptcy rates declined. Spatial analyses show that the reform reached firms in rural areas, reducing credit access inequality across France's countryside.


Words Speak Louder without Actions

Pages: 91-131  |  Published: 8/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12834  |  Cited by: 1

DORON LEVIT

Information and control rights are central aspects of leadership, management, and corporate governance. This paper studies a principal‐agent model that features both communication and intervention as alternative means to exert influence. The main result shows that a principal's power to intervene in an agent's decision limits the ability of the principal to effectively communicate her private information. The perverse effect of intervention on communication can harm the principal, especially when the cost of intervention is low or the underlying agency problem is severe. These novel results are applied to managerial leadership, corporate boards, private equity, and shareholder activism.


Learning from Coworkers: Peer Effects on Individual Investment Decisions

Pages: 133-172  |  Published: 7/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12830  |  Cited by: 1

PAIGE OUIMET, GEOFFREY TATE

Using unique data on employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs), we examine the influence of networks on investment decisions. Comparing employees within a firm during the same election window with metro area fixed effects, we find that the choices of coworkers in the firm's ESPP exert a significant influence on employees’ own decisions to participate and trade. Moreover, we find that the presence of high‐information employees magnifies the effects of peer networks. Given participation in an ESPP is value‐maximizing, our analysis suggests the potential of networks and targeted investor education to improve financial decision‐making.


Why Don't We Agree? Evidence from a Social Network of Investors

Pages: 173-228  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12852  |  Cited by: 3

J. ANTHONY COOKSON, MARINA NIESSNER

We study sources of investor disagreement using sentiment of investors from a social media investing platform, combined with information on the users' investment approaches (e.g., technical, fundamental). We examine how much of overall disagreement is driven by different information sets versus differential interpretation of information by studying disagreement within and across investment approaches. Overall disagreement is evenly split between both sources of disagreement, but within‐group disagreement is more tightly related to trading volume than cross‐group disagreement. Although both sources of disagreement are important, our findings suggest that information differences are more important for trading than differences across market approaches.


The Impact of Salience on Investor Behavior: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Pages: 229-276  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12851  |  Cited by: 2

CARY FRYDMAN, BAOLIAN WANG

We test whether the display of information causally affects investor behavior in a high‐stakes trading environment. Using investor‐level brokerage data from China and a natural experiment, we estimate the impact of a shock that increased the salience of a stock's purchase price but did not change the investor's information set. We employ a difference‐in‐differences approach and find that the salience shock causally increased the disposition effect by 17%. We use microdata to document substantial heterogeneity across investors in the treatment effect. A previously documented trading pattern, the “rank effect,” explains heterogeneity in the change in the disposition effect.


Stimulating Housing Markets

Pages: 277-321  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12847  |  Cited by: 0

DAVID BERGER, NICHOLAS TURNER, ERIC ZWICK

We study temporary fiscal stimulus designed to support distressed housing markets by inducing demand from buyers in the private market. Using difference‐in‐differences and regression kink research designs, we find that the First‐Time Homebuyer Credit increased home sales by 490,000 (9.8%), median home prices by $2,400 (1.1%) per standard deviation increase in program exposure, and the transition rate into homeownership by 53%. The policy response did not reverse immediately. Instead, demand comes from several years in the future: induced buyers were three years younger in 2009 than typical first‐time buyers. The program's market‐stabilizing benefits likely exceeded its direct stimulus effects.


Houses as ATMs: Mortgage Refinancing and Macroeconomic Uncertainty

Pages: 323-375  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12842  |  Cited by: 1

HUI CHEN, MICHAEL MICHAUX, NIKOLAI ROUSSANOV

Mortgage refinancing activity associated with extraction of home equity contains a strongly countercyclical component consistent with household demand for liquidity. We estimate a structural model of liquidity management featuring countercyclical idiosyncratic labor income uncertainty, long‐ and short‐term mortgages, and realistic borrowing constraints. We empirically evaluate its predictions for households' choices of leverage, liquid assets, and mortgage refinancing using microlevel data. Taking the observed historical paths of house prices, aggregate income, and interest rates as given, the model accounts for many salient features in the evolution of balance sheets and consumption in the cross‐section of households over 2001 to 2012.


A Tale of Two Premiums: The Role of Hedgers and Speculators in Commodity Futures Markets

Pages: 377-417  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12845  |  Cited by: 4

WENJIN KANG, K. GEERT ROUWENHORST, KE TANG

This paper studies the dynamic interaction between the net positions of traders and risk premiums in commodity futures markets. Short‐term position changes are driven mainly by the liquidity demands of noncommercial traders, while long‐term variation is driven primarily by the hedging demands of commercial traders. These two components influence expected futures returns with opposite signs. The gains from providing liquidity by commercials largely offset the premium they pay for obtaining price insurance.


Pledgeability, Industry Liquidity, and Financing Cycles

Pages: 419-461  |  Published: 7/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12831  |  Cited by: 0

DOUGLAS W. DIAMOND, YUNZHI HU, RAGHURAM G. RAJAN

Why do firms choose high debt when they anticipate high valuations, and underperform subsequently? We propose a theory of financing cycles where the importance of creditors’ control rights over cash flows (“pledgeability”) varies with industry liquidity. The market allows firms take on more debt when they anticipate higher future liquidity. However, both high anticipated liquidity and the resulting high debt limit their incentives to enhance pledgeability. This has prolonged adverse effects in a downturn. Because these effects are hard to contract upon, higher anticipated liquidity can also reduce a firm's current access to finance.


The Insurance Is the Lemon: Failing to Index Contracts

Pages: 463-506  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12856  |  Cited by: 0

BARNEY HARTMAN‐GLASER, BENJAMIN HÉBERT

We model the widespread failure of contracts to share risk using available indices. A borrower and lender can share risk by conditioning repayments on an index. The lender has private information about the ability of this index to measure the true state that the borrower would like to hedge. The lender is risk‐averse and thus requires a premium to insure the borrower. The borrower, however, might be paying something for nothing if the index is a poor measure of the true state. We provide sufficient conditions for this effect to cause the borrower to choose a nonindexed contract instead.


Robust Inference for Consumption‐Based Asset Pricing

Pages: 507-550  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12855  |  Cited by: 1

FRANK KLEIBERGEN, ZHAOGUO ZHAN

The reliability of traditional asset pricing tests depends on: (i) the correlations between asset returns and factors; (ii) the time series sample size T compared to the number of assets N. For macro‐risk factors, like consumption growth, (i) and (ii) are often such that traditional tests cannot be trusted. We extend the Gibbons‐Ross‐Shanken statistic to test identification of risk premia and construct their 95% confidence sets. These sets are wide or unbounded when T and N are close, but show that average returns are not fully spanned by betas when T exceeds N considerably. Our findings indicate when meaningful empirical inference is feasible.


On Comparing Asset Pricing Models

Pages: 551-577  |  Published: 11/2019  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12854  |  Cited by: 3

SIDDHARTHA CHIB, XIAMING ZENG, LINGXIAO ZHAO

Revisiting the framework of (Barillas, Francisco, and Jay Shanken, 2018, Comparing asset pricing models, The Journal of Finance 73, 715–754). BS henceforth, we show that the Bayesian marginal likelihood‐based model comparison method in that paper is unsound : the priors on the nuisance parameters across models must satisfy a change of variable property for densities that is violated by the Jeffreys priors used in the BS method. Extensive simulation exercises confirm that the BS method performs unsatisfactorily. We derive a new class of improper priors on the nuisance parameters, starting from a single improper prior, which leads to valid marginal likelihoods and model comparisons. The performance of our marginal likelihoods is significantly better, allowing for reliable Bayesian work on which factors are risk factors in asset pricing models.


MISCELLANEA

Pages: 579-580  |  Published: 1/2020  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12873  |  Cited by: 0


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pages: 581-581  |  Published: 1/2020  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12875  |  Cited by: 0


AMERICAN FINANCE ASSOCIATION

Pages: 582-582  |  Published: 1/2020  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12874  |  Cited by: 0

John Graham


ISSUE INFORMATION BM

Pages: 583-584  |  Published: 1/2020  |  DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12655  |  Cited by: 0