We examine the link between endowment investment performance and the expertise of university board members. Harnessing detailed information on 11,019 members for 579 universities, we find that expertise in alternatives and larger professional networks are associated with higher allocations to alternatives and better investment results.
Financial intermediaries often provide guarantees that resemble out-of-the-money put options, exposing them to tail risk. We present a model in the context of the U.S. life insurance industry in which variable annuity (VA) guarantees and associated hedging operate within the regulatory capital framework to create incentives for insurers to overweight high-risk and illiquid bonds (“reach-for-yield”).
There has been renewed advocacy for restrictions on international financial flows in the wake of the recent financial crisis. Motivated by this trend, we explore the extent to which cross-border flows affect real economic activity. Unlike previous research efforts that focus on aggregated capital flows, we exploit novel data on forced trading by global mutual funds as a plausible source of exogenous flow shocks. Such forced trading is known to generate large liquidity and price effects, but its real impacts have not been studied extensively. We find that both country- and firm-level investment growth rates are significantly affected by these exogenous capital shocks, and that their effect is more pronounced for firms whose marginal investment decisions are more equity-reliant.
We identify a new channel for the transmission of shocks across international markets. Investor flows to funds domiciled in developed markets force significant changes in these funds' emerging market portfolio allocations. These forced trades or “fire sales” affect emerging market equity prices, correlations, and betas, and are related to but distinct from effects arising purely from fund holdings or from overlapping ownership of emerging markets in fund portfolios. A simple model and calibration exercise highlight the importance to these findings of “push” effects from funds' domicile countries and “co-ownership spillover” between markets with overlapping fund ownership.
Accounting rules, through their interactions with capital regulations, affect financial institutions’ trading behavior. The insurance industry provides a laboratory to explore these interactions: life insurers have greater flexibility than property and casualty insurers to hold speculative-grade assets at historical cost, and the degree to which life insurers recognize market values differs across U.S. states. During the financial crisis, insurers facing a lesser degree of market value recognition are less likely to sell downgraded asset-backed securities. To improve their capital positions, these insurers disproportionately resort to gains trading, selectively selling otherwise unrelated bonds with high unrealized gains, transmitting shocks across markets.
We examine the trading behavior of particularly intensive traders, those who contribute the most to daily trading volume, and provide new evidence that is consistent with the presence of informational advantages. Using a unique Chinese data set of the most active daily market participants for each stock, we demonstrate that intensive traders’ buying (selling) predicts large positive (negative) abnormal returns, both unconditionally and, in particular, around key, value-relevant announcements.
Financial openness is often associated with higher rates of economic growth. We show that the impact of openness on factor productivity growth is more important than the effect on capital growth. This explains why the growth effects of liberalization appear to be largely permanent, not temporary. We attribute these permanent liberalization effects to the role financial openness plays in stock market and banking sector development, and to changes in the quality of institutions.
We use industry valuation differentials across European countries to study the impact of membership in the European Union as well as the Eurozone on economic and financial integration. In integrated markets, discount rates and expected growth opportunities should be similar within one industry, irrespective of the country, implying narrowing valuation differentials as countries become more integrated. Our analysis of the 1990 to 2007 period shows that membership in the EU significantly lowers discount rate and expected earnings growth differentials across countries. In contrast, the adoption of the Euro is not associated with increased integration.
This paper characterizes the implications of risk-on/risk-off shocks for emerging market capital flows and returns. We document that these shocks have important implications not only for the median of emerging markets flows and returns but also for the left tail.