Research Paper Series

  • Title
  • Author(s)

Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Banks heavily rely on wholesale funding – a source of funds characterized as unstable. We explore the actual fragility of wholesale funding using transaction-level data on short-term, unsecured certificates of deposits in the European market. We do not observe any freeze during a period that includes both the subprime crisis and the European sovereign crisis. Yet, many banks suddenly experience funding dry-ups. Banks with low future quality are more likely to face funding dry-ups, whereas banks with a high future quality tend to increase their reliance on wholesale funding in periods of stress. The reallocation of funds from low- to high-quality banks is inconsistent with theories based on adverse selection, and in line with theories of informed runs

Keywords: bank run, wholesale funding, market freeze, certificates of deposits

Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This research studies the possibility that managers attribute firm performance to price and quality decisions in a self-serving manner: they tend to credit success in the market to the product characteristic that matches the commercial orientation of the business, but blame failure on the other. The problem with this reasoning is that managers then carry out adjustments based on biased information, which is suboptimal. The paper first models the phenomenon to clarify the cost of self-serving attributions to a firm. It then reports experiments that provide empirical support for the theory

Keywords: Causal inference, self-serving bias, managerial decision-making

Departments: GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper analyzes the incentives that arise within an organization when communication is restricted to a particular network structure (e.g., a hierarchy). We show that restricting communication between the principal and agents may create incentives for the agents to misbehave when transmitting information and tasks throughout the organization. To remedy this issue, we provide necessary and sufficient conditions on the topology of the network of communication such that restricting communication to a particular network does not restrict the set of outcomes that the principal could otherwise achieve. We show that for any underlying incentives and any outcome available when communication is unrestricted, there exists a communication scheme restricted to a particular network that implements this outcome (i.e., does not induce agents to misbehave in the communication phase) if and only if that network satisfies our conditions.

Keywords: Communication, Incentives, Principal Agent, Information Transmission, Communication Networks, Organizational Behaviour, Correlated Equilibrium, Communication Equilibrium, Secure Communication

Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The observed smoothing of earnings (i.e. negative contemporaneous correlation between accruals and cash flows) is the joint product of the role of accruals in smoothing out transitory fluctuations in operating cash flows (noise reduction role) and the role of accruals in providing timely gain and loss recognition (contracting role). These two roles of accruals have opposite effects on earnings smoothing properties. We demonstrate that failing to control for changes in timely gain and loss recognition as firms shift to IFRS can lead to erroneous inferences regarding the effects of IFRS adoption on earnings smoothing, and consequently on researcher’ conclusions about how IFRS adoption has affected accounting quality. Our results are consistent with IFRS adoption resulting in a change in the contracting role rather than the noise reduction role of accruals. A decrease in timely loss recognition, an increase in timely gain recognition, and a net decrease in asymmetric timely loss recognition are what drives the change in observed smoothing of earnings.

Keywords: Earnings smoothing, IFRS, Timely gain and loss recognition

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

What role does distributive injustice play in joint venture (JV) termination? We define distributive injustice as a deviation from the contractual allocation of JV-related benefits caused by private benefits. Drawing on social exchange theory, we argue that perceptions of distributive injustice severely damage relationship quality and lead to eventual JV termination. We also suggest that, while both economic and justice considerations influence joint venture termination, they have different implications for JV termination mode. Based on a sample of 284 joint ventures formed between 1996 and 2010, we find evidence that distributive injustice increases the likelihood of JV termination in general, and the likelihood of acquisition of the JV by one of the partners, in particular.

Keywords: Joint ventures, joint venture termination, distributive justice, social exchange theory, private benefits

Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Beyond Networks critically dissects and systematizes an insightful, well-researched and elegantly written account of the democratic potential carried out by coalitions of civil society actors. Once established a case for studying coalitions of civil society organization through the lens of Global Administrative Law, the book eventually unveils its underlying research question. This volume specifically attempts to explain how civil society networks – which are studied within the broader notion of Global Civil Society (GSC) – drive the development of principles of democratic value at the supranational level. It does so within the broader debate about new modes of global governance and in particular that of experimentalist governance. It proceeds to theorize an autonomous organization network model within GSC: the so-called 'interlocutory coalitions'. Those coalitions are typically made of diverse category of entities whose major – sometimes solely – common feature is the cross-border pursuit of a common cause. In order to build an original and valuable taxonomy of civil society networks, interlocutory coalitions must be contrasted to other forms of networks, including social networks, trans-governmental committees, think tanks, Parallel Summits and QUANGOs. After reconstructing their respective composition, membership, rules of governance and legal status, the book delves into interlocutory coalitions' decision-making. How do coalitions presenting high degree of variation when it comes to their mission, governance, funding and membership coalesce around one common cause? How do they come to existence and get along? How can such coalitions speak with one voice when representing and advocating their common position in front of the relevant international organizations? What kind of techniques and deliberative mechanisms are used to attain a common position and then convey it to the outside world? This book provides a rigorous, constructive and promising stepping stone to embark on such a challenging journey. Yet the case for a global participatory democracy remains to be made.

Keywords: Open government, Transparency, Participation, Civic empowerment, Coalitions, Legitimacy, Accountability, Civil society, European Union, Good governance

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We debate the motivation for and effectiveness of public policies to encourage individuals to become entrepreneurs. Reviewing established evidence we find that most western world policies do not greatly reduce or solve any market failures but instead waste taxpayers’ money, encourage those already intent on becoming entrepreneurs, and mostly generate one-employee businesses with low growth intentions and a lack of interest in innovating. Most policy initiatives that would have the effect of promoting valuable entrepreneurship would not be recognizable as such, because they would primarily address other market failures: a central-payer healthcare would remove health-care related distortions affecting employment choices; greater STEM education would produce more engineers of which some start valuable new firms; and labor market reform to encourage hiring immigrants in jobs they have been educated for would reduce inefficient allocation of talent to entrepreneurship.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; public policy

Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We propose a simple model in which investors price a stock using a persistent signal and sticky belief dynamics à la Coibion and Gorodnichenko (2012). In this model, returns can be forecasted using (1) past profits, (2) past change in profits, and (3) past returns. The model thus provides a joint theory of two of the most economically significant anomalies, i.e. quality and momentum. According to the model, these anomalies should be correlated, and be stronger when signal persistence is higher, or when earnings expectations are stickier. Using I/B/E/S data, we measure expectation stickiness at the analyst level. We find that analysts are on average sticky and, consistent with a limited attention hypothesis, more so when they cover more industries. We then find strong support for the model's prediction in the data: both the momentum and the quality anomaly are stronger for stocks with more persistent profits, and for stocks which are followed by stickier analysts. Consistently with the model, both strategies also comove significantly.

Keywords: Stock market anomalies, Sticky expectations

  • MOSI-2016-1135
  • Could Deal Promotion Improve Merchants' Online Reputations? The Moderating Role of Prior Reviews
  • X. LI

Departments: Informations Systems and Operations Management, GREGHEC (CNRS)

It is by now almost accepted as a stylized fact that offering deal promotion (such as via Groupon or LivingSocial) deteriorates local merchants’ online reputations (e.g., the average of Yelp review ratings). However, in this paper we show that the stylized fact is not true in certain circumstances. We theorize that the valence and volume of prior reviews can play an important moderating role in the effect of deal promotion. Empirically, we show that restaurants with a relatively low prior average rating and a relatively small review volume have improved their online reputations by offering Groupon promotion. The proportion of such restaurants is substantial. The findings are robust to multiple identification strategies and econometric specifications. The results underscore the substantial heterogeneity in the effect of deal promotion on local merchants’ online reputations. Merchants need understand the moderating role of prior reviews (e.g., the valence and volume of prior reviews) and design appropriate strategies to maximize the returns from offering deal promotion.

Keywords: Online reviews, Deal promotion, Moderating role, Difference-in-differences, Propensity score matching

Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This note investigates the causes of the quality anomaly, which is one of the strongest and most scalable anomalies in equity markets. We explore two potential explanations. The "risk view", whereby investing in high quality firms is somehow riskier, so that the higher returns of a quality portfolio are a compensation for risk exposure. This view is consistent with the Efficient Market Hypothesis. The other view is the "behavioral view", which states that some investors persistently underestimate the true value of high quality firms. We find no evidence in favor of the "risk view": The returns from investing in quality firms are abnormally high on a risk-adjusted basis, and are not prone to crashes. We provide novel evidence in favor of the "behavioral view": In their forecasts of future prices, and while being overall overoptimistic, analysts systematically underestimate the future return of high quality firms, compared to low quality firms.

Keywords: Quality anomaly, financial analysts misplaced focus, behavioral biases