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.
09.06.2016 • 22/2016
The German Economy Benefits from Strong Domestic Demand
In 2016, the moderate upswing of the German economy continues. Incomes grow due to the steady expansion in employment, and the fall in energy prices has propped up the purchasing power of private households. As a consequence, private consumption expands healthily; investment in housing is additionally stimulated by very low interest rates. Exports, however, expand only moderately, as the world economy is rather weak. All in all, the IWH forecasts the German GDP to expand by 1.8% in this year and by 1.6% in 2017.
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16.03.2016 • 10/2016
German Economy Stays Stable Despite Shaky Environment
The German economy had a good start into the year 2016, in spite of heightened risks for the world economy and political turmoil in Europe. Employment and incomes are expanding, as is internal de-mand, additionally supported by government spending related to the high number of newly arrived refugees. However, sliding sentiment indicates a temporary slow down of the economy during this spring. We assume that the present political tensions inside the European Union can be mitigated in the coming months and that confidence will rise again. All in all, gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to rise by 1.5% in 2016.
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Legal Insider Trading and Stock Market Liquidity
This paper assesses the impact of legal trades by corporate insiders on the liquidity of the firm’s stock. For this purpose, we analyze two liquidity measures and one information asymmetry measure. The analysis allows us to study as well the effect of a change in insider trading regulation, namely the implementation of the Market Abuse Directive (European Union Directive 2003/6/EC) on the Dutch stock market. The first set of results shows that, in accordance with theories of asymmetric information, the intensity of legal insider trading in a given company is positively related to the bid-ask spread and to the information asymmetry measure. We also find that the Market Abuse Directive did not reduce significantly this effect. Secondly, analyzing liquidity and information asymmetry around the days of legal insider trading, we find that small and large capitalization stocks see their bid-ask spread and the permanent price impact increase when insiders trade. For mid-cap stocks, only the permanent price impact increases. Finally, we could not detect a significant improvement of these results following the change in regulation.
Abnormal Real Operations, Real Earnings Management, and Subsequent Crashes in Stock Prices
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting,
We study the impact of firms’ abnormal business operations on their future crash risk in stock prices. Computed based on real earnings management (REM) models, firms’ deviation in real operations (DROs) from industry norms is shown to be positively associated with their future crash risk. This association is incremental to that between discretionary accruals (DAs) and crash risk found by prior studies. Moreover, after Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002, DRO’s predictive power for crash risk strengthens substantially, while DA’s predictive power essentially dissipates. These results are consistent with the prior finding that managers shift from accrual earnings management to REM after SOX. We further develop a suspect-firm approach to capture firms’ use of DRO for REM purposes. This analysis shows that REM-firms experience a significant increase in crash risk in the following year. These findings suggest that the impact of DRO on crash risk is at least partially through REM.
Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Institutional and Cultural Determinants
Using panel data for 29 source and 65 host countries in the period 1995–2009, we examine the determinants of bilateral FDI stocks, focusing on institutional and cultural factors. The results reveal that institutional and cultural distance is important and that FDI has a predominantly regional aspect. FDI to developing countries is positively affected by better institutions in the host country, while foreign investors prefer to invest in developed countries that are more corrupt and politically unstable compared to home. The results indicate that foreign investors prefer to invest in countries with less diverse societies than their own.
Robuste Binnenkonjunktur kompensiert schwächere Exportdynamik
Trotz beträchtlicher Schwankungen auf den Währungs-, Kapital- und Rohstoffmärkten expandiert die Weltproduktion moderat und ohne große Schwankungen. Die USA und Großbritannien sind im Aufschwung, und der Euroraum erholt sich zögerlich. In China hat sich die Konjunktur nach einer ausgeprägten Schwächephase zu Beginn des Jahres 2015 wieder stabilisiert, während die Rezessionen in Russland und Brasilien anhalten. Beide großen Schwellenländer leiden an den starken Rückgängen der Preise für ihre Rohstoffexporte. Weltweit robust ist dagegen die Konjunktur in den Dienstleistungsbereichen.
24.09.2015 • 38/2015
German Households Benefit from Low Interest Environment
Calculations of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association show that the average household in Germany has benefited from the low policy rate environment. The average return on their portfolio was higher than in the pre-crisis period while at the same time, they benefited from lower interest on new loans. Households in Germany had a total Euro benefit of more than 364 billion Euro over a five-year period relative to 2003 to 2007. Increases in stock prices and real estate prices over-compensate lower interest rates on savings accounts, despite their relatively low share in households’ portfolios. There are benefits across the income distribution. Households that do not own real estate lost though, but their losses are very small at on average about 100 Euro per year.
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25 Jahre nach dem Mauerfall: Weiterhin strukturelle Unterschiede auf dem Arbeitsmarkt zwischen Ost und West
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Aus Anlass des Jahrestages hat das Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH) die Broschüre „25 Jahre nach dem Mauerfall: Wirtschaftliche Integration Ostdeutschlands im Spiegel der Forschung am IWH“ herausgegeben. Ein Überblickstext und 25 Abbildungen zeichnen wichtige ökonomische Entwicklungen seit der deutschen Vereinigung bis heute nach. Der folgende Beitrag gibt Auszüge aus der Broschüre wieder. Im Mittelpunkt stehen die Themen Migration, Demographie und Arbeitsmarkt.