Green Investing, Information Asymmetry, and Capital Structure
IWH Discussion Papers,
We investigate how optimal attention allocation of green-motivated investors changes information asymmetry in financial markets and thus affects firms‘ financing costs. To guide our empirical analysis, we propose a model where investors with heterogeneous green preferences endogenously allocate limited attention to learn market-level or firm-specific fundamental shocks. We find that a higher fraction of green investors in the market leads to higher aggregate attention to green firms. This reduces the information asymmetry of green firms, leading to higher price informativeness and lower leverage. Moreover, the information asymmetry of brown firms and the market increases with the share of green investors. Therefore, greater green attention is associated with less market efficiency. We provide empirical evidence to support our model predictions using U.S. data. Our paper shows how the growing demand for sustainable investing shifts investors‘ attention and benefits eco-friendly firms.
The Geography of Information: Evidence from the Public Debt Market
Journal of Economic Geography,
nWe investigate the link between the spatial concentration of firms in large, central metropolitans (i.e. urban agglomeration) and the cost of public corporate debt. Looking at bond issues over the period 1985–2014, we find that bonds issued by companies headquartered in urban agglomerates have lower at-issue yield spreads than bonds issued by firms based in remote, sparsely populated areas. Measures of the count of institutional bondholders in a firm’s vicinity confirm that the spatial cross-sectional variation in bond spreads is driven by the proximity of metropolitan firms to large concentrations of institutional investors. Our results are robust to controls for firm productivity and governance, analyst following, and exogenous shocks to institutional investor attention. The effect of headquarters location on bond spreads is especially pronounced for more difficult to value, speculative-grade bonds, bonds issued by smaller, less visible firms and bonds issued without protective covenants. Overall, we provide evidence that the geographical distribution of firms and investors generates a corresponding distribution of value-relevant, firm-level information that affects its cost of capital.
IWH FDI Micro Database
IWH FDI Micro Database The IWH FDI Micro Database (FDI = Foreign Direct...
The Effect of Language on Investing: Evidence from Searches in Chinese Versus English
Pacific-Basin Finance Journal,
This study examines the language effect on investing behavior in local stock markets for local- and foreign-language investors using Google search records. First, we find that attention to a local language stimulates attention to a foreign language, increases abnormal news coverage, and has better predictability on stock returns. Second, investors who do Google searches in the local language react faster to a news event's shock than those who search in the foreign language. Third, only attention to the local language can reduce the price drift of an earnings surprise. Last, firm-level information asymmetry is a channel for local advantage. Therefore, we suggest that investors who use a stock market's local language have a local advantage when seeking more profitable investment opportunities in that stock market.
04.01.2017 • 2/2017
Worse ratings by U.S. rating agencies for European sovereigns no argument for European rating agency
A new study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows that the major U.S. rating agencies rated European sovereigns significantly worse than Fitch, which is more “Europe oriented”. Although the findings in part support the claim of some European politicians during the recent debt crisis that there was an “anti-Europe” bias of the U.S. agencies, the study shows that a new European agency would not address this problem. The reason: Market participants would not listen to the new agency.
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In Search of Concepts: The Effects of Speculative Demand on Stock Returns
European Financial Management,
Using a novel proxy of investors' speculative demand constructed from online search interest in investment concepts, we examine how speculative demand affects the returns of Chinese stocks. We find that speculative demand increases following high market returns and predicts subsequent return reversals. Moreover, the speculative demand explains more variation in subsequent returns of A shares (more populated by retail investors) than B shares (less populated by retail investors). Our findings support the recently developed attention theory.
Limited Investor Attention and the Mispricing of American Depositary Receipts
I test whether more investor attention leads to a better exploitation of arbitrage opportunities and, in turn, to less mispricing of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Using data on 536 stocks I find that more investor attention significantly reduces ADR mispricing.
The Attractiveness of East Germany as Investment Location for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs)
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The article analyses the general motives of MNEs for investment in East Germany as well as the quality of selected locational factors in East Germany from multinational affiliates’ point of view. In contrast to existing studies for East Germany the article dedicates particular attention to the role of MNEs’ heterogeneity. The research draws from the third survey of the IWH FDI-Micro database in 2009, which offers a representative sample of multinational affiliates of the East German economy. The results show a fundamental shift in the relative importance of investment motives during the transition process of East Germany. Since the mid 1990s East Germany attracts increasingly investors that target economies of scope of local technological advantage rather than low-cost advantages of local production factors as the case in the early transition period. It can be demonstrated that the investment motives depends on the country of origin, the type and timing of market entry as well as the sector of the multinational affiliate. Amongst the given locational factors affiliates value the quality of the socio-cultural context highest. This group of soft factors is followed by locational aspects related the potential for technological cooperation, the availability of labour, and finally the extent of fiscal and financial incentives. There exist significant differences in the judgment about quality of different locational aspects depending on the country of origin and the underlying investment motive. Finally the article identifies possible policy measures in the area of skilled labour, technology and investment policy in order to sustain the attractiveness of East Germany as investment location in the future.
Eastern Germany in the process of catching-up: the role of foreign and Western German investors in technological renewal
Eastern European Economics,
Foreign direct investment as a means to support system transformation and the ongoing process of catching-up development has caught researcher’s attention for a number of Central and Eastern European countries. Not much research, however, has been carried out for East Germany in this respect although FDI plays an important role in East Germany too. Descriptive analysis by the use of unique survey data shows that foreign and West German affiliates perform much better with respect to technological capability and labor productivity than domestic companies in East Germany. The results of the regression analysis, however, show that it is not the status of ownership as such that forms a significant determinant of innovativeness in East Germany but rather general firms specific characteristics attached to it such as firm size, export-intensity, technical state of the equipment, and R&D activities. Due to the fact that foreign and West German affiliates perform better with respect to exactly all of these characteristics, they can be considered as a means to support the process of technological renewal and economic development.