## Working paper series / Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften : Finance & Accounting

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- 205
- Financial constraints and the decision to lease : evidence from German SME (2009)
- The objective of this paper is to test the hypothesis that in particular financially constrained firms lease a higher share of their assets to mitigate problems of asymmetric information. The assumptions are tested under a GMM framework which simultaneously controls for endogeneity problems and firms’ fixed effects. We find that the share of total annual lease expenses attributable to either finance or operating leases is considerably higher for financially strained as well as for small and fast-growing firms – those likely to face higher agency-cost premiums on marginal financing. Furthermore, our results confirm the substitution of leasing and debt financing for lessee firms. However, we find no evidence that firms use leasing as an instrument to reduce their tax burdens. Keywords: Leasing; financial constraints; capital structure; asymmetric information.

- 204
- Does IT standardization help to boost cost and profit efficiency? Empirical evidence from German savings banks (2009)
- This paper investigates the impact of IT standardization on bank performance based on a panel of 457 German savings banks over the period from 1996 to 2006. We measure IT standardization as the fraction of IT expenses for centralized services over banks' total IT expenses. Bank efficiency, in turn, is measured by traditional accounting performance indicators as well as by cost and profit efficiencies that are estimated by a stochastic frontier approach. Our results suggest that IT standardization is conducive to cost efficiency. The relation is positive and robust for small and medium-sized banks but vanishes for very large banks. Furthermore, our study confirms the often cited computer paradox by showing that total IT expenditures negatively impact cost efficiency and have no influence on bank profits. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is first to empirically explore whether IT standardization enhances efficiency by employing genuine data of banks' IT expenditures. JEL Classification: C23, G21 Keywords: IT standardization, cost and profit efficiency, savings banks

- 203
- CDOs and systematic risk : why bond ratings are inadequate (2009)
- This paper analyzes the risk properties of typical asset-backed securities (ABS), like CDOs or MBS, relying on a model with both macroeconomic and idiosyncratic components. The examined properties include expected loss, loss given default, and macro factor dependencies. Using a two-dimensional loss decomposition as a new metric, the risk properties of individual ABS tranches can directly be compared to those of corporate bonds, within and across rating classes. By applying Monte Carlo Simulation, we find that the risk properties of ABS differ significantly and systematically from those of straight bonds with the same rating. In particular, loss given default, the sensitivities to macroeconomic risk, and model risk differ greatly between instruments. Our findings have implications for understanding the credit crisis and for policy making. On an economic level, our analysis suggests a new explanation for the observed rating inflation in structured finance markets during the pre-crisis period 2004-2007. On a policy level, our findings call for a termination of the 'one-size-fits-all' approach to the rating methodology for fixed income instruments, requiring an own rating methodology for structured finance instruments. JEL Classification: G21, G28 Keywords: credit risk, risk transfer, systematic risk

- 202
- Investment, income, incompleteness (2009)
- The utility-maximizing consumption and investment strategy of an individual investor receiving an unspanned labor income stream seems impossible to find in closed form and very dificult to find using numerical solution techniques. We suggest an easy procedure for finding a specific, simple, and admissible consumption and investment strategy, which is near-optimal in the sense that the wealthequivalent loss compared to the unknown optimal strategy is very small. We first explain and implement the strategy in a simple setting with constant interest rates, a single risky asset, and an exogenously given income stream, but we also show that the success of the strategy is robust to changes in parameter values, to the introduction of stochastic interest rates, and to endogenous labor supply decisions.

- 201
- Does size matter? : Economies of scale in the German mutual fund industry (2009)
- In this paper, we analyze economies of scale for German mutual fund complexes. Using 2002-2005 data of 41 investment management companies, we specify a hedonic translog cost function. Applying a fixed effects regression on a one-way error component model there is clear evidence of significant overall economies of scale. On the level of individual mutual fund complexes we find significant economies of scale for all of the companies in our sample. With regard to cost efficiency, we find that the average mutual fund complexes in all size quartiles deviate considerably from the best practice cost frontier. JEL Classification: G2, L25 Keywords: mutual fund complex, investment management company, cost efficiency, economies of scale, hedonic translog cost function, fixed effects regression, one-way error component model

- 200
- Manipulation des Börsenkurses durch gezielte Informationspolitik im Rahmen von Squeeze-Outs? : Eine empirische Untersuchung am deutschen Kapitalmarkt (2009)
- Der vorliegende Beitrag untersucht, ob der Mehrheitsaktionär einer Gesellschaft im Vorfeld eines Zwangsausschlusses von Minderheitsaktionären (sog. Squeeze-Out) versucht, die Kapitalmarkterwartungen negativ zu beeinflussen. Ein solches "manipulatives" Verhalten wird häufig in der juristischen wie betriebswirtschaftlichen Literatur unterstellt, da der Aktienkurs fü die Abfindungshöhe die Wertuntergrenze bildet. Unsere empirische Untersuchung der Bilanz- und Pressemitteilungspolitik von Squeeze-Out-Unternehmen im Vorfeld der Ankündigung einer solchen Maßnahme am deutschen Kapitalmarkt zeigt, dass in diesem Zeitraum tatsächlich ein signifikanter Anstieg (Rückgang) der im Ton pessimistischen (optimistischen) Pressemitteilungen feststellbar ist. Allerdings zeigt sich weiter, dass die Aktien der Squeeze-Out-Kandidaten bereits im Vorfeld und am Tag der Ankündigung so hohe positive Überrenditen erzielen, dass der von uns quantifizierte kumulierte Effekt der Informationspolitik auf die Börsenbewertung einen insgesamt nur sehr geringen Einfluss ausübt und von anderen Faktoren (z.B. Abfindungsspekulationen) dominiert wird. JEL: M41, M40, G14, K22

- 199
- Gauging risk with higher moments : handrails in measuring and optimising conditional value at risk (2009)
- The aim of the paper is to study empirically the influence of higher moments of the return distribution on conditional value at risk (CVaR). To be more exact, we attempt to reveal the extent to which the risk given by CVaR can be estimated when relying on the mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis. Furthermore, it is intended to study how this relationship can be utilised in portfolio optimisation. First, based on a database of 600 individual equity returns from 22 emerging world markets, factor models incorporating the first four moments of the return distribution have been constructed at different confidence levels for CVaR, and the contribution of the identified factors in explaining CVaR was determined. Following this the influence of higher moments was examined in portfolio context, i.e. asset allocation decisions were simulated by creating emerging market portfolios from the viewpoint of US investors. This can be regarded as a normal decisionmaking process of a hedge fund focusing on investments into emerging markets. In our analysis we compared and contrasted two approaches with which one can overcome the shortcomings of the variance as a risk measure. First of all, we solved in the presence of conflicting higher moment preferences a multi-objective portfolio optimisation problem for different sets of preferences. In addition, portfolio optimisation was performed in the mean-CVaR framework characterised by using CVaR as a measure of risk. As a part of the analysis, the pair-wise comparison of the different higher moment metrics of the meanvariance and the mean-CVaR efficient portfolios were also made. Throughout the work special attention was given to implied preferences to the different higher moments in optimising CVaR. We also examined the extent to which model risk, namely the risk of wrongly assuming normally-distributed returns can deteriorate our optimal portfolio choice. JEL Classification: G11, G15, C61

- 198
- What is the impact of stock market contagion on an investor's portfolio choice? (2009)
- Stocks are exposed to the risk of sudden downward jumps. Additionally, a crash in one stock (or index) can increase the risk of crashes in other stocks (or indices). Our paper explicitly takes this contagion risk into account and studies its impact on the portfolio decision of a CRRA investor both in complete and in incomplete market settings. We find that the investor significantly adjusts his portfolio when contagion is more likely to occur. Capturing the time dimension of contagion, i.e. the time span between jumps in two stocks or stock indices, is thus of first-order importance when analyzing portfolio decisions. Investors ignoring contagion completely or accounting for contagion while ignoring its time dimension suffer large and economically significant utility losses. These losses are larger in complete than in incomplete markets, and the investor might be better off if he does not trade derivatives. Furthermore, we emphasize that the risk of contagion has a crucial impact on investors' security demands, since it reduces their ability to diversify their portfolios.

- 197
- Optimal housing, consumption, and investment decisions over the life-cycle (2009)
- We provide explicit solutions to life-cycle utility maximization problems simultaneously involving dynamic decisions on investments in stocks and bonds, consumption of perishable goods, and the rental and the ownership of residential real estate. House prices, stock prices, interest rates, and the labor income of the decision-maker follow correlated stochastic processes. The preferences of the individual are of the Epstein-Zin recursive structure and depend on consumption of both perishable goods and housing services. The explicit consumption and investment strategies are simple and intuitive and are thoroughly discussed and illustrated in the paper. For a calibrated version of the model we find, among other things, that the fairly high correlation between labor income and house prices imply much larger life-cycle variations in the desired exposure to house price risks than in the exposure to the stock and bond markets. We demonstrate that the derived closed-form strategies are still very useful if the housing positions are only reset infrequently and if the investor is restricted from borrowing against future income. Our results suggest that markets for REITs or other financial contracts facilitating the hedging of house price risks will lead to non-negligible but moderate improvements of welfare.

- 196
- Foundations of continuous-time recursive utility : differentiability and normalization of certainty equivalents (2009)
- This paper relates recursive utility in continuous time to its discrete-time origins and provides a rigorous and intuitive alternative to a heuristic approach presented in [Duffie, Epstein 1992], who formally define recursive utility in continuous time via backward stochastic differential equations (stochastic differential utility). Furthermore, we show that the notion of Gâteaux differentiability of certainty equivalents used in their paper has to be replaced by a different concept. Our approach allows us to address the important issue of normalization of aggregators in non-Brownian settings. We show that normalization is always feasible if the certainty equivalent of the aggregator is of expected utility type. Conversely, we prove that in general L´evy frameworks this is essentially also necessary, i.e. aggregators that are not of expected utility type cannot be normalized in general. Besides, for these settings we clarify the relationship of our approach to stochastic differential utility and, finally, establish dynamic programming results. JEL Classifications: D81, D91, C61