Trading away Incentives
IWH Discussion Papers,
Equity pay has been the primary component of managerial compensation packages at US public firms since the early 1990s. Using a comprehensive sample of top executives from 1992-2020, we estimate to what extent they trade firm equity held in their portfolios to neutralize increments in ownership due to annual equity pay. Executives accommodate ownership increases linked to options awards. Conversely, increases in stock holdings linked to option exercises and restricted stock grants are largely neutralized through comparable sales of unrestricted shares. Variation in stock trading responses across executives hardly appears to respond to diversification motives. From a theoretical standpoint, these results challenge (i) the common, generally implicit assumption that managers cannot undo their incentive packages, (ii) the standard modeling practice of treating different equity pay items homogeneously, and (iii) the often taken for granted crucial role of diversification motives in managers’ portfolio choices.
The Impact of Financial Transaction Taxes on Stock Markets: Short-Run Effects, Long-Run Effects, and Reallocation of Trading Activity
National Tax Journal,
We investigate the French 2012 financial transaction tax (FTT) and find robust evidence for anticipation effects before the implementation date. Controlling for short-run effects, we only find weak evidence for a long-run reduction in trading activity. Thus, the main impact of the French FTT on trading activity is short-run. In line with liquidity clientele effects, we find a more potent effect for low-liquidity stocks and a reallocation of trading to high-liquidity stocks from the Supplemental Liquidity Provider (SLP) program. Finally, we find weak evidence for a persistent volatility reduction but no indication of a significant FTT impact on price efficiency.
Military Directors, Governance and Firm Behavior
Advances in Accounting,
We build a large dataset of board of directors with military experience and document a substantial and persistent presence of independent military directors serving on corporate boards. We find that firms with independent military directors are associated with better monitoring outcomes, including less excessive CEO compensation, greater forced CEO turnover–performance sensitivity, and less earnings management.
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Physical Climate Change Risks and the Sovereign Creditworthiness of Emerging Economies
IWH Discussion Papers,
I show that rising temperatures can detrimentally affect the sovereign creditworthiness of emerging economies. To this end, I collect long-term monthly temperature data of 54 emerging countries. I calculate a country’s temperature deviation from its historical average, which approximates present day climate change trends. Running regressions from 1994m1-2018m12, I find that higher temperature anomalies lower sovereign bond performances (i.e. increase sovereign risk) significantly for countries that are warmer on average and have lower seasonality. The estimated magnitudes suggest that affected countries likely face significant increases in their sovereign borrowing costs if temperatures continue to rise due to climate change. However, results indicate that stronger institutions can make a country more resilient towards temperature shocks, which holds independent of a country’s climate.