## G12 Asset Pricing; Trading volume; Bond Interest Rates

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#### Keywords

- Analyst Behaviour (2)
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- Social Interaction (2)
- Word-of-Mouth (2)
- incomplete markets (2)
- law and finance (2)
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- Asset Pricing (1)

- Analyst behaviour: the geography of social interaction (2013)
- An analyst who works in Germany is more likely to publish a high (low) price target regarding a DAX30 stock if other Germany based analysts are also optimistic (pessimistic) about the same stock. This finding is not biased by the fact that DAX30 companies are headquartered in Germany. In times of bull markets, price targets of analysts who regularly exchange their opinion are higher correlated compared to other analysts. This effect vanishes in a bearish market environment. This suggests that communication among analysts indeed plays an important role. However, analysts’ incentives induce them not to deviate too much from the overall average during an economic downturn.

- Cash flow and discount rate risk in up and down markets: what is actually priced? (2010)
- We test whether asymmetric preferences for losses versus gains as in Ang, Chen, and Xing (2006) also affect the pricing of cash flow versus discount rate news as in Campbell and Vuolteenaho (2004). We construct a new four-fold beta decomposition, distinguishing cash flow and discount rate betas in up and down markets. Using CRSP data over 1963–2008, we find that the downside cash flow beta and downside discount rate beta carry the largest premia. We subject our result to an extensive number of robustness checks. Overall, downside cash flow risk is priced most consistently across different samples, periods, and return decomposition methods, and is the only component of beta that has significant out-of-sample predictive ability. The downside cash flow risk premium is mainly attributable to small stocks. The risk premium for large stocks appears much more driven by a compensation for symmetric, cash flow related risk. Finally, we multiply our premia estimates by average betas to compute the contribution of the different risk components to realized average returns. We find that up and down discount rate components dominate the contribution to average returns of downside cash flow risk. Keywords: Asset Pricing, Beta, Downside Risk, Upside Risk, Cash Flow Risk, Discount Rate Risk JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14

- Does mood affect trading behavior? (2012)
- We test whether investor mood affects trading with data on all stock market transactions in Finland, utilizing variation in daylight and local weather. We find some evidence that environmental mood variables (local weather, length of day, daylight saving and lunar phase) affect investors’ direction of trade and volume. The effect magnitudes are roughly comparable to those of classical seasonals, such as the Monday effect. The statistical significance of the mood variables is weak in many cases, however. Only very little of the day-to-day variation in trading is collectively explained by all mood variables and calendar effects, but lower frequency variation seems connected to holiday seasons.

- Option-implied information and predictability of extreme returns (2013)
- We study whether prices of traded options contain information about future extreme market events. Our option-implied conditional expectation of market loss due to tail events, or tail loss measure, predicts future market returns, magnitude, and probability of the market crashes, beyond and above other option-implied variables. Stock-specific tail loss measure predicts individual expected returns and magnitude of realized stock-specific crashes in the cross-section of stocks. An investor that cares about the left tail of her wealth distribution benefits from using the tail loss measure as an information variable to construct managed portfolios of a risk-free asset and market index.

- Growth options and firm valuation (2013)
- This paper studies the relation between firm value and a firm's growth options. We find strong empirical evidence that (average) Tobin's Q increases with firm-level volatility. However, the significance mainly comes from R&D firms, which have more growth options than non-R&D firms. By decomposing firm-level volatility into its systematic and unsystematic part, we also document that only idiosyncratic volatility (ivol) has a significant effect on valuation. Second, we analyze the relation of stock returns to realized contemporaneous idiosyncratic volatility and R&D expenses. Single sorting according to the size of idiosyncratic volatility, we only find a significant ivol anomaly for non-R&D portfolios, whereas in a four-factor model the portfolio alphas of R&D portfolios are all positive. Double sorting on idiosyncratic volatility and R&D expenses also reveals these differences between R&D and non-R&D firms. To simultaneously control for several explanatory variables, we also run panel regressions of portfolio alphas which confirm the relative importance of idiosyncratic volatility that is amplified by R&D expenses.

- Asset prices in general equilibrium with recursive utility and illiquidity induced by transactions costs (2014)
- In this paper, we study the effect of proportional transaction costs on consumption-portfolio decisions and asset prices in a dynamic general equilibrium economy with a financial market that has a single-period bond and two risky stocks, one of which incurs the transaction cost. Our model has multiple investors with stochastic labor income, heterogeneous beliefs, and heterogeneous Epstein-Zin-Weil utility functions. The transaction cost gives rise to endogenous variations in liquidity. We show how equilibrium in this incomplete-markets economy can be characterized and solved for in a recursive fashion. We have three main findings. One, costs for trading a stock lead to a substantial reduction in the trading volume of that stock, but have only a small effect on the trading volume of the other stock and the bond. Two, even in the presence of stochastic labor income and heterogeneous beliefs, transaction costs have only a small effect on the consumption decisions of investors, and hence, on equity risk premia and the liquidity premium. Three, the effects of transaction costs on quantities such as the liquidity premium are overestimated in partial equilibrium relative to general equilibrium.

- High frequency trading and end-of-day price dislocation (2013)
- We show that the presence of high frequency trading (HFT) has significantly mitigated the frequency and severity of end-of-day price dislocation, counter to recent concerns expressed in the media. The effect of HFT is more pronounced on days when end of day price dislocation is more likely to be the result of market manipulation on days of option expiry dates and end of month. Moreover, the effect of HFT is more pronounced than the role of trading rules, surveillance, enforcement and legal conditions in curtailing the frequency and severity of end-of-day price dislocation. We show our findings are robust to different proxies of the start of HFT by trade size, cancellation of orders, and co-location.

- Exchange trading rules, surveillance and insider trading (2013)
- We examine the impact of stock exchange trading rules and surveillance on the frequency and severity of suspected insider trading cases in 22 stock exchanges around the world over the period January 2003 through June 2011. Using new indices for market manipulation, insider trading, and broker-agency conflict based on the specific provisions of the trading rules of each stock exchange, along with surveillance to detect non-compliance with such rules, we show that more detailed exchange trading rules and surveillance over time and across markets significantly reduce the number of cases, but increase the profits per case.

- How does contagion affect general equilibrium asset prices? (2013)
- This paper analyzes the equilibrium pricing implications of contagion risk in a Lucas-tree economy with recursive preferences and jumps. We introduce a new economic channel allowing for the possibility that endowment shocks simultaneously trigger a regime shift to a bad economic state. We document that these contagious jumps have far-reaching asset pricing implications. The risk premium for such shocks is superadditive, i.e. it is 2.5\% larger than the sum of the risk premia for pure endowment shocks and regime switches. Moreover, contagion risk reduces the risk-free rate by around 0.5\%. We also derive semiclosed-form solutions for the wealth-consumption ratio and the price-dividend ratios in an economy with two Lucas trees and analyze cross-sectional effects of contagion risk qualitatively. We find that heterogeneity among the assets with respect to contagion risk can increase risk premia disproportionately. In particular, big assets with a large exposure to contagious shocks carry significantly higher risk premia.

- Improving market-based forecasts of short-term interest rates : time-varying stationarity and the predictive content of switching regime-expectations (1999)
- Modeling short-term interest rates as following regime-switching processes has become increasingly popular. Theoretically, regime-switching models are able to capture rational expectations of infrequently occurring discrete events. Technically, they allow for potential time-varying stationarity. After discussing both aspects with reference to the recent literature, this paper provides estimations of various univariate regime-switching specifications for the German three-month money market rate and bivariate specifications additionally including the term spread. However, the main contribution is a multi-step out-of-sample forecasting competition. It turns out that forecasts are improved substantially when allowing for state-dependence. Particularly, the informational content of the term spread for future short rate changes can be exploited optimally within a multivariate regime-switching framework.