Three Research Clusters ...
Management Capability and Innovation
Stephen P. Ferris, Kose John, Anil K. Makhija (eds): Empirical Research in Banking and Corporate Finance. Advances in Financial Economics 21, Emerald,
This chapter investigates whether core competence of managers and their expansive (vs. specialized) managerial style affects firms' innovative ability, capacity, and efficiency. Using exogenous CEO departures as a natural experiment, it establishes a causal link between managerial capability and innovation. Importantly, it reveals that firms with talented managers receive significantly more nonself citations; make significantly lower self-citations and lesser citations to the others, indicating novel and explorative innovation achievements. Also, managers with higher general (specialized) ability are cited more (less) by patents from a wider range of fields. Lastly, career concern is identified as a mechanism linking higher ability and innovation.
Managerial Ability and Value Relevance of Earnings
China Accounting and Finance Review,
We examine how management ability affects the extent to which capital markets rely on earnings to value equity. Using a measure of ability that captures a management team’s capacity for generating revenues with a given level of resources compared to other industry peers, we find a strong positive association between managerial ability and the value relevance of earnings. Additional tests show that our results are robust to controlling for earnings attributes and investment efficiency. We use propensity score matching and the 2SLS instrumental variable approach to deal with the issue of endogeneity. For further identification, we examine CEO turnover and find that newly hired CEOs with better managerial abilities than the replaced CEOs increase the value relevance of earnings. We identify weak corporate governance and product market power as the two important channels through which superior management practices play an important role in the corporate decision-making process that positively influence the value relevance of earnings. Overall, our findings suggest that better managers make accounting information significantly more relevant in the market valuation of equity.
Can Lenders Discern Managerial Ability from Luck? Evidence from Bank Loan Contracts
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We investigate the effect of managerial ability versus luck on bank loan contracting. Borrowers showing a persistently superior managerial ability over previous years (more likely due to ability) enjoy a lower loan spread, while borrowers showing a temporary superior managerial ability (more likely due to luck) do not enjoy any spread reduction. This finding suggests that banks can discern ability from luck when pricing a loan. Firms with high-ability managers are more likely to continue their prior lower loan spread. The spread-reduction effect of managerial ability is stronger for firms with weak governance structures or poor stakeholder relationships, corroborating the notion that better managerial ability alleviates borrowers’ agency and information risks. We also find that well governed banks are better able to price governance into their borrowers’ loans, which helps explain why good governance enhances bank value.
Relative Peer Quality and Firm Performance
Journal of Financial Economics,
We examine the performance impact of the relative quality of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)’s compensation peers (peers to determine a CEO's overall compensation) and bonus peers (peers to determine a CEO's relative-performance-based bonus). We use the fraction of peers with greater managerial ability scores (Demerjian, Lev, and McVay, 2012) than the reporting firm to measure this CEO's relative peer quality (RPQ). We find that firms with higher RPQ earn higher stock returns and experience higher profitability growth than firms with lower RPQ. Learning among peers and the increased incentive to work harder induced by the peer-based tournament contribute to RPQ's performance effect.
Effects of Heterogeneity on Bank Efficiency Scores
European Journal of Operational Research,
Bank efficiency estimates often serve as a proxy of managerial skill since they quantify sub-optimal production choices. But such deviations can also be due to omitted systematic differences among banks. In this study, we examine the effects of heterogeneity on bank efficiency scores. We compare different specifications of a stochastic cost and alternative profit frontier model with a baseline specification. After conducting a specification test, we discuss heterogeneity effects on efficiency levels, ranks and the tails of the efficiency distribution. We find that heterogeneity controls influence both banks’ optimal costs and profits and their ability to be efficient. Differences in efficiency scores are important for more than only methodological reasons. First, different ways of accounting for heterogeneity result in estimates of foregone profits and additional costs that are significantly different from what we infer from our general specification. Second, banks are significantly re-ranked when their efficiency is estimated with a specification other than the preferred, general specification. Third, the general specification gives the most reliable estimates of the probability of distress, although differences to the other specifications are low.