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Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS), Finance

Equity crowdfunding has recently become available and is quickly expanding. Concerns have been raised that investors ('backers') may be following the crowd 'too much' and making investments ('pledges') based on past investments rather than private information. We construct a model of equilibrium rational herding where uninformed investors follow signals generated by in formed investors with private information and a public belief generated by all past pledges. We show that large investments provide positive public information about the project's quality, whereas periods of absence of investment provide negative information. An information cascade is shown to occur only if not enough positive signals are generated. We then empirically analyse a large number of pledges from a leading European equity crowdfunding platform. We show that a pledge is strongly affected by both the size of the most recent pledge, and the time elapsed since the most recent pledge. For pledges that are not adjacent in the order of arrivals, the correlation between their sizes is still positive, but after being separated by two or more intervening pledges the correlation is no longer statistically significant. The effects are strongest for less-informed investors, and in some specifications the effects are strongest at the early stage of a campaign. We find similar results in IV analysis. Results are consistent with our model and inconsistent with some alternative models

Mots clés : Equity Crowdfunding, Herding

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We study the effect of demographics on innovation, arguing that a younger labor force produces more innovation. Using the native born labor force projected based on local historical births, we find that a younger age structure causes a significant increase in innovation. We confirm our finding at three levels of analysis – commuting zones, firms, and inventors – in demanding specifications that account for firm and inventor life cycles and location choices. Innovation activities reflect the innovative characteristics of younger labor forces. Our results indicate that demographics increase innovation through the labor supply channel rather than through a financing supply or consumer demand channel.

Mots clés : Innovation; Demographics; Age structure; Labor markets; Firms; Inventors; Patents

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We study intergenerational risk sharing in Euro-denominated life insurance contracts. These savings products represent 80% of the life insurance market in Europe. Using regulatory and survey data for the French market, which is €1.3 trillion large, we analyze the patterns of intergenerational redistribution implemented by these products. We show that contract returns are an order of magnitude less volatile than the return of assets underlying these contracts. Contract return smoothing is achieved using reserves that absorb fluctuations in asset returns and that generate intertemporal transfers across generations of investors. We estimate the average annual amount of intergenerational transfer at 1.4% of contract value, i.e., €17 billion or 0.8% of GDP. Finally, we provide evidence that smoothing makes contract returns predictable, but inflows react only weakly to these predictable returns.

Mots clés : Life insurance, intergenerational risk-sharing

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Incentive problems make assets imperfectly pledgeable. Introducing these problems in an otherwise canonical general equilibrium model yields a rich set of implications. Asset markets are endogenously segmented. There is a basis going always in the same direction, as the price of any risky asset is lower than that of the replicating portfolio of Arrow securities. Equilibrium expected returns are concave in consumption betas, in line with empirical findings. As the dispersion of consumption betas of the risky assets increases, incentive constraints are relaxed and the basis reduced. When hit by adverse shocks, relatively risk tolerant agents sell the safest assets they hold.

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

There is a discrepancy between CAPM-implied and realized returns. As a result, using the CAPM in capital budgeting decisions -- as is recommended in finance textbooks -- should have valuation effects. For instance, low beta projects are expected to be valued more by CAPM-using managers than by the market. This paper empirically tests this hypothesis using publicly announced M&A decisions. We show that takeovers of lower beta targets are accompanied by lower CARs for the bidder. Consistent with our hypothesis, the effect is more pronounced for larger acquisitions, higher growth targets, and private targets. Furthermore, low beta bidders are more likely to use their own stock to finance the deal. More generally, low beta firms are less likely to issue equity, and more likely to repurchase shares. These effects are not reversed in the long-run, suggesting that CAPM-using managers may be irrational, though this last test lacks power.

Mots clés : Capital Budgeting, Valuation, Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Asset Pricing Model

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We study the quoting activity of market makers in relation with trading, liquidity, and expected returns. Empirically, we find larger quote-to-trade (QT) ratios in small, illiquid or neglected firms, yet large QT ratios are associated with low expected returns. The last result is driven by quotes, not by trades. We propose a model of quoting activity consistent with these facts. In equilibrium, market makers monitor the market faster (and thus increase the QT ratio) in neglected, difficult-to-understand stocks. They also monitor faster when their clients are less risk averse, which reduces mispricing and lowers expected returns.

Mots clés : Liquidity, price discovery, volatility, trading volume, monitoring, neglected stocks, risk aversion, inventory, high frequency trading

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Both in the United States and in the Euro Area, bank supervision is the joint responsibility of local and central supervisors. I study a model in which local supervisors do not internalize as many externalities as a central supervisor. Local supervisors are more lenient, but banks also have weaker incentives to hide information from them. These two forces can make a joint supervisory architecture optimal, with more weight put on centralized supervision when cross-border externalities are larger. Conversely, more centralized supervision endogenously encourages banks to integrate more cross-border. Due to this complementarity, the economy can be trapped in an equilibrium with both too little central supervision and too little financial integration, when a superior equilibrium would be achievable.

Mots clés : banking union, bank supervision, financial integration

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The regulatory use of banks' internal models makes capital requirements more risk-sensitive but invites regulatory arbitrage. I develop a framework to study bank regulation with strategic selection of risk models. A bank supervisor can discourage arbitrage by auditing risk models, and implements capital ratios less risk-sensitive than in the first-best to reduce auditing costs. The optimal capital ratios of a national supervisor can be different from those set by supranational authorities, in which case the supervisor optimally tolerates biased models. I discuss the empirical implications of this "hidden model" problem, and policy answers such as leverage ratios and more reliance on backtesting mechanisms.

Mots clés : basel risk-weights, internal risk models, leverage ratio, supervisory audits

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Firm political contributions are associated with lower credit default swap spreads for contributing firms. To address endogeneity, we employ novel instruments and use a set of exogenous events on campaign contribution restrictions: (a) the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) that banned soft money contributions, (b) the Federal Election Commission decision to interpret the BCRA less strictly, (c) the partial reversal of the BCRA and, (d) the McConnell v. FEC Supreme Court decision, which upheld the BCRA. Overall, the evidence suggests that political contributions are valued by credit market participants.

Mots clés : Political Contributions, Credit Risk, CDS, Moral Hazard, Financial Crisis

Départements : Finance, Marketing

Online crowdfunding is a popular new tool for raising capital to commercialize product innovation. Product innovation must be both novel and useful (1-4). Therefore, we study the role of novelty and usefulness claims on Kickstarter. Startlingly, we find that a single claim of novelty increases project funding by about 200%, a single claim of usefulness increases project funding by about 1200%, and the co-occurrence of novelty and usefulness claims lowers funding by about 26%. Our findings are encouraging because they suggest the crowd strongly supports novelty and usefulness. However, our findings are disappointing because the premise of crowdfunding is to support projects that are innovative, i.e. that are both novel and useful, rather than projects that are only novel or only useful.

Mots clés : Crowdfunding, Entrepreneurship, Innovation