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Do Activist Hedge Funds Target Female CEOs? The Role of CEO Gender in Hedge Fund Activism
Journal of Financial Economics,
Using a comprehensive US hedge fund activism dataset from 2003 to 2018, we find that activist hedge funds are about 52% more likely to target firms with female CEOs compared to firms with male CEOs. We find that firm fundamentals, the existence of a “glass cliff,” gender discrimination bias, and hedge fund activists’ inherent characteristics do not explain the observed gender effect. We also find that the transformational leadership style of female CEOs is a plausible explanation for this gender effect: instead of being self-defensive, female CEOs are more likely to communicate and cooperate with hedge fund activists to achieve intervention goals. Finally, we find that female-led targets experience greater increases in market and operational performance subsequent to hedge fund targeting.
National Culture and Risk-taking: Evidence from the Insurance Industry
Journal of Business Research,
The gravity of insurance within the financial sector is constantly increasing. Reasonably, after the events of the recent financial turmoil, the domain of research that examines the factors driving the risk-taking of this industry has been signified. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the interplay between national culture and risk of insurance firms. We quantify the cultural overtones, measuring national culture considering the dimensions outlined by the Hofstede model and risk-taking using the ‘Z-score’. In a sample consisting of 801 life and non-life insurance firms operating across 42 countries over the period 2007–2016, we find a strong and significant relationship among insurance firms' risk-taking and cultural characteristics, such as individualism, uncertainty avoidance and power distance. Results remain robust to a variety of firm and country-specific controls, alternative measures of risk, sample specifications and tests designed to alleviate endogeneity.
Regulations, institutions and income smoothing by managing technical reserves: international evidence from the insurance industry
Omega, The International Journal of Management Science,
This paper investigates the role of technical reserves in the income smoothing behavior of insurance companies. This is one of the first attempts in the literature to trace such relationship in the insurance industry, especially at a multi-country setting. The experience of 770 insurance firms operating in 87 countries over the period 2000–2009 reveals that there is a significant evidence of income smoothing. The paper also finds that institutional characteristics, e.g., the rule of law, common law legal origin, economic freedom, and regulations relating to technical provisions and supervisory power constrain income smoothing but other factors such as capital requirements, tax deductibility of provisions, auditing, and corporate governance do not have a significant effect.
Spinoffs in Germany: Characteristics, Survival, and the Role of their Parents
Small Business Economics,
Using a 50 % sample of all private sector establishments in Germany, we report that spinoffs are larger, initially employ more skilled and more experienced workers, and pay higher wages than other startups. We investigate whether spinoffs are more likely to survive than other startups, and whether spinoff survival depends on the quality and size of their parent companies, as suggested in some of the theoretical and empirical literature. Our estimated survival models confirm that spinoffs are generally less likely to exit than other startups. We also distinguish between pulled spinoffs, where the parent company continues after they are founded, and pushed spinoffs, where the parent company stops operations. Our results indicate that in western and eastern Germany and in all sectors investigated, pulled spinoffs have a higher probability of survival than pushed spinoffs. Concerning the parent connection, we find that intra-industry spinoffs and spinoffs emerging from better-performing or smaller parent companies are generally less likely to exit.
A Review of Empirical Research on the Design and Impact of Regulation in the Banking Sector
Annual Review of Financial Economics,
We review existing empirical research on the design and impact of regulation in the banking sector. The impact of each individual piece of regulation may inexorably depend on the set of regulations already in place, the characteristics of the banks involved (from their size or ownership structure to operational idiosyncrasies in terms of capitalization levels or risk-taking behavior), and the institutional development of the country where the regulation is introduced. This complexity is challenging for the econometrician, who relies either on single-country data to identify challenges for regulation or on cross-country data to assess the overall effects of regulation. It is also troubling for the policy maker, who has to optimally design regulation to avoid any unintended consequences, especially those that vary over the credit cycle such as the currently developing macroprudential frameworks.
Start-up Competitions as an Instrument of Entrepreneurship Policy: The German Experience
European Planning Studies,
The number of aspiring entrepreneurs in high-tech industries who successfully complete the transition from a nascent start-up project towards an operational new venture is comparatively low in Germany. Since the mid-1990s, policy-makers have initiated numerous start-up competitions (SUCs or business plan competitions) to facilitate this important step in the venture creation process. SUCs have two key objectives. They are aimed at increasing start-up activity by motivating potential entrepreneurs, while they should also help to increase the likelihood of subsequent entrepreneurial success through providing necessary entrepreneurial skills to prospective entrepreneurs. With our explorative study, we provide the first comprehensive empirical evidence from a cross-sectional survey of existing SUCs in Germany. Overall, 71 SUCs are identified which are analysed regarding their development, regional distribution, and main structural characteristics. Finally, we outline an agenda of future research questions concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of SUCs as an instrument of entrepreneurship policy.
Foreign Investors and Domestic Suppliers: What Feeds Positive External Effects?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The empirical study analyses the potential for positive external effects from foreign investors in favor of domestic firms using the IWH-FDI micro database and taking into account firm-specific characteristics of foreign investors in selected Central and East European countries as well as in Eastern Germany. The analysis shows that only half of the foreign investors believe that they are important for technological activities in domestic supplier firms. Thereby, the potential for external positive effects is higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Eastern Germany. A reason for this might be that supplier firms in Eastern Germany already operate on a clearly higher technological level than their counterparts in Central and Eastern Europe. Taking into account the share of domestic supplies of foreign investors, it shows that the potential for positive external effects increases only to a certain point from which on the spillover potential stagnates or even declines. Furthermore, there is clear evidence for the following characteristics of foreign investors to increase the potential for positive external effects: innovativeness of the foreign investor, internal and external technological cooperation of foreign investors, independence from the headquarters in research and development issues and market entry through acquisition (instead of greenfield investment). The share of foreign participation as well as the duration of presence in the host economy does not show any statistically significant effect on the potential for external effects. Policy makers should therefore not only aim at the settlement of employment intensive foreign investors, but also and particularly support investors that are characterized by technological activity and regional integration.