Matching and Incentives in Financial Markets

This research group studies matching mechanisms in financial markets. In financial markets, we observe choices by very different types of agents to establish relationships: mergers and acquisitions between firms, employment contracts between managers and firms, lending relationships between banks and firms, and so forth. This research group fosters our understanding of the incentives that determine why agents are matched with each other, how they are matched, and the consequences of the match is important.

Research Cluster
Institutions and Social Norms

Your contact

Professor Shuo Xia, PhD
Professor Shuo Xia, PhD
Mitglied - Department Financial Markets
Send Message +49 345 7753-875 Personal page

Refereed Publications

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The Influence of Bondholder Concentration and Temporal Orientation on Investments in R&D

Pengfei Ye Jonathan O’Brien Christina Matz Carnes Iftekhar Hasan

in: Journal of Management, No. 3, 2021

Abstract

Although innovation can be a critical source of competitive advantage, research has found that debt can erode management’s willingness to invest in R&D. In this article, we employ a stakeholder bargaining power perspective to argue that this effect is most pronounced when the firm’s bonds are concentrated in the hands of bond blockholders. Furthermore, we contend that the temporal orientation of bondholders influences this relationship. Specifically, while it is commonly assumed that bondholders have a limited temporal orientation that induces them to focus on short-term value appropriation, we argue that some bond blockholders adopt a long-term temporal orientation. This orientation, in turn, makes them more inclined to support long-term value creation for the firm in the form of enhanced investments in R&D. Moreover, while agency theory suggests that there is an inherent conflict of interest between shareholders and bondholders, our results suggest that the temporal orientation of investors (i.e., both shareholders and bondholders) matters much more than whether they invested in the firm’s equity or its debt.

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Evolvement of China-related Topics in Academic Accounting Research: Machine Learning Evidence

June Cao Zhanzhong Gu Iftekhar Hasan

in: China Accounting and Finance Review, No. 4, 2020

Abstract

This study employs an unsupervised machine learning approach to explore the evolution of accounting research. We are particularly interested in exploring why international researchers and audiences are interested in China-related issues; what kinds of research topics related to China are mainly investigated in globally recognised journals; and what patterns and emerging topics can be explored by comprehensively analysing a big sample. Using a training sample of 23,220 articles from 46 accounting journals over the period 1980 to 2018, we first identify the optimal number of accounting research topics; the dynamic patterns of these accounting research topics are explored on the basis of 46 accounting journals to show changes in the focus of accounting research. Further, we collect articles related to Chinese accounting research from 18 accounting journals, eight finance journals, and eight management journals over the period 1980 to 2018. We objectively identify China-related accounting research topics and map them to the stages of China’s economic development. We attempt to identify the China-related issues global researchers are interested in and whether accounting research reflects the economic context. We use HistCite TM to generate a citation map along a timeline to illustrate the connections between topics. The citation clusters demonstrate “tribalism” phenomena in accounting research. The topics related to Chinese accounting research conducted by international accounting researchers reveal that accounting changes mirror economic reforms. Our findings indicate that accounting research is embedded in the economic context.

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Tournament Incentives and Acquisition Performance

Iftekhar Hasan Marco Navone Thomas To Eliza Wu

in: Review of Corporate Finance Studies, No. 2, 2020

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of promotion-based tournament incentives on corporate acquisition performance. Measuring tournament incentives as the compensation ratio between the CEO and other senior executives, we show that acquirers with greater tournament incentives experience lower announcement returns. Further analysis shows that the negative effect is driven by the risk-seeking behavior of senior executives induced by tournament incentives. Our results are robust to alternative identification strategies. Our evidence highlights that senior executives, in addition to the CEO, play an influential role in acquisition decisions.

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Why are some Chinese Firms Failing in the US Capital Markets? A Machine Learning Approach

Gonul Colak Mengchuan Fu Iftekhar Hasan

in: Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, June 2020

Abstract

We study the market performance of Chinese companies listed in the U.S. stock exchanges using machine learning methods. Predicting the market performance of U.S. listed Chinese firms is a challenging task due to the scarcity of data and the large set of unknown predictors involved in the process. We examine the market performance from three different angles: the underpricing (or short-term market phenomena), the post-issuance stock underperformance (or long-term market phenomena), and the regulatory delistings (IPO failure risk). Using machine learning techniques that can better handle various data problems, we improve on the predictive power of traditional estimations, such as OLS and logit. Our predictive model highlights some novel findings: failed Chinese companies have chosen unreliable U.S. intermediaries when going public, and they tend to suffer from more severe owners-related agency problems.

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Tornado Activity, House Price and Stock Returns

Michael Donadelli Michael Ghisletti Marcus Jüppner Antonio Paradiso

in: North American Journal of Economics and Finance, April 2020

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the effects of tornado activity on house prices and stock returns in the US. First, using geo-referenced and metropolitan statistical area (MSA)-level data, we find tornado activity to be responsible for a significant drop in house prices. Spillover tornado effects between adjacent MSAs are also detected. Furthermore, our granular analysis provides evidence of tornadoes having a negative impact on stock returns. However, only two sectors seem to contribute to such a negative effect (i.e., consumer discretionary and telecommunications). In a macro-analysis, which relies on aggregate data for the South, West, Midwest and Northeast US regions, we then show that tornado activity generates a significant drop in house prices only in the South and Midwest. In these regions, tornadoes are also responsible for a drop in income. Tornado activity is finally found to positively (negatively) affect stock returns in the Midwest (South). If different sectors are examined, a more heterogeneous picture emerges.

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Working Papers

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Non-Standard Errors

Albert J. Menkveld Anna Dreber Felix Holzmeister Juergen Huber Magnus Johannesson Markus Kirchler Sebastian Neusüss Michael Razen Utz Weitzel et al.

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 11, 2021

Abstract

In statistics, samples are drawn from a population in a datagenerating process (DGP). Standard errors measure the uncertainty in sample estimates of population parameters. In science, evidence is generated to test hypotheses in an evidencegenerating process (EGP). We claim that EGP variation across researchers adds uncertainty: non-standard errors. To study them, we let 164 teams test six hypotheses on the same sample. We find that non-standard errors are sizeable, on par with standard errors. Their size (i) co-varies only weakly with team merits, reproducibility, or peer rating, (ii) declines significantly after peer-feedback, and (iii) is underestimated by participants.

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Lame-Duck CEOs

Marc Gabarro Sebastian Gryglewicz Shuo Xia

in: SSRN Working Papers, 2018

Abstract

We examine the relationship between protracted CEO successions and stock returns. In protracted successions, an incumbent CEO announces his or her resignation without a known successor, so the incumbent CEO becomes a “lame duck.” We find that 31% of CEO successions from 2005 to 2014 in the S&P 1500 are protracted, during which the incumbent CEO is a lame duck for an average period of about 6 months. During the reign of lame duck CEOs, firms generate an annual four-factor alpha of 11% and exhibit significant positive earnings surprises. Investors’ under-reaction to no news on new CEO information and underestimation of the positive effects of the tournament among the CEO candidates drive our results.

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Selection Versus Incentives in Incentive Pay: Evidence from a Matching Model

Shuo Xia

in: SSRN Working Papers, 2018

Abstract

Higher incentive pay is associated with better firm performance. I introduce a model of CEO-firm matching to disentangle the two confounding effects that drive this result. On one hand, higher incentive pay directly induces more effort; on the other hand, higher incentive pay indirectly attracts more talented CEOs. I find both effects are essential to explain the result, with the selection effect accounting for 12.7% of the total effect. The relative importance of the selection effect is the largest in industries with high talent mobility and in more recent years.

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The Liquidity Premium of Safe Assets: The Role of Government Debt Supply

Qizhou Xiong

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 11, 2017

Abstract

The persistent premium of government debt attributes to two main reasons: absolute nominal safety and liquidity. This paper employs two types of measures of government debt supply to disentangle the safety and liquidity part of the premium. The empirical evidence shows that, after controlling for the opportunity cost of money, the quantitative impact of total government debt-to-GDP ratio is still significant and negative, which is consistent with the theoretical predictions of the CAPM with utility surplus of holding convenience assets. The relative availability measure, the ratio of total government liability to all sector total liability, separates the liquidity premium from the safety premium and has a negative impact too. Both theoretical and empirical results suggest that the substitutability between government debt and private safe assets dictates the quantitative impact of the government debt supply.

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Censored Fractional Response Model: Estimating Heterogeneous Relative Risk Aversion of European Households

Qizhou Xiong

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 11, 2015

Abstract

This paper estimates relative risk aversion using the observed shares of risky assets and characteristics of households from the Household Finance and Consumption Survey of the European Central Bank. Given that the risky share is a fractional response variable belonging to [0, 1], this paper proposes a censored fractional response estimation method using extremal quantiles to approximate the censoring thresholds. Considering that participation in risky asset markets is costly, I estimate both the heterogeneous relative risk aversion and participation cost using a working sample that includes both risky asset holders and non-risky asset holders by treating the zero risky share as the result of heterogeneous self-censoring. Estimation results show lower participation costs and higher relative risk aversion than what was previously estimated. The estimated median relative risk aversions of eight European countries range from 4.6 to 13.6. However, the results are sensitive to households’ perception of the risky asset market return and volatility.

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