Research articles for the 2019-05-09

A Dynamic Bayesian Model for Interpretable Decompositions of Market Behaviour
Théophile Griveau-Billion,Ben Calderhead

We propose a heterogeneous simultaneous graphical dynamic linear model (H-SGDLM), which extends the standard SGDLM framework to incorporate a heterogeneous autoregressive realised volatility (HAR-RV) model. This novel approach creates a GPU-scalable multivariate volatility estimator, which decomposes multiple time series into economically-meaningful variables to explain the endogenous and exogenous factors driving the underlying variability. This unique decomposition goes beyond the classic one step ahead prediction; indeed, we investigate inferences up to one month into the future using stocks, FX futures and ETF futures, demonstrating its superior performance according to accuracy of large moves, longer-term prediction and consistency over time.

A Gamma Ornstein-Uhlenbeck Model Driven by a Hawkes Process
Bernis, Guillaume,Scotti, Simone,Sgarra, Carlo
We propose an extension of the Gamma-OU Barndorff-Nielsen and Shephard model taking into account jumps clustering phenomena. We assume that the intensity process of the Hawkes driver coincides, up to a constant, with the variance process. By applying the theory of continuous-state branching processes with immigration, we prove existence and uniqueness of strong solutions of the SDE governing the asset price dynamics. We introduce a measure change of Esscher type in order to describe the relation between the risk-neutral and the historical dynamics. By exploiting the affine features of the model we provide an explicit form for the Laplace transform of the asset log-return, for its quadratic variation and for the ergodic distribution of the variance process. We show that the model proposed exhibits a larger flexibility in comparison with the Gamma-OU model, in spite of the same number of parameters required. In particular, we illustrate numerically that the left wing implied volatility could be first fit by using the original Gamma-OU model and then the right wing can be arranged by a trigger of the intensity and variance processes. Moreover, implied volatility of variance swap options is upward-sloped due to the self-exciting property of Hawkes processes.

A Policy Compass for Ecological Economics
Michèle Friend

A policy compass indicates the direction in which an institution is going in terms of three general qualities. The three qualities are: suppression, harmony and passion. Any formal institution can develop a policy compass to examine the discrepancy between what the institution would like to do (suggested in its mandate) and the actual performance and situation it finds itself in. The latter is determined through an aggregation of statistical data and facts. These are made robust and stable using meta-requirements of convergence. Here, I present a version of the compass adapted to embed the central ideas of ecological economics: that society is dependent on the environment, and that economic activity is dependent on society; that we live in a world subject to at least the first two laws of thermodynamics; that the planet we live on is limited in space and resources; that some of our practices have harmful and irreversible consequences on the natural environment; that there are values other than value in exchange, such as intrinsic value and use value. In this paper, I explain how to construct a policy compass in general. This is followed by the adaptation for ecological economics. The policy compass is original, and so is the adaptation. The compass is inspired by the work of Anthony Friend, Rob Hoffman, Satish Kumar, Georgescu-Roegen, Stanislav Schmelev, Peter S\"oderbaum and Arild Vatn. In the conclusion, I discuss the accompanying conception of sustainability.

Are Industries Becoming More Concentrated? The Canadian Perspective
Bawania, Ray,Larkin, Yelena
Since the late 1990s, U.S. industries have experienced an increase in concentration levels. In this paper, we try to understand the drivers of this trend by asking whether this phenomenon has been echoed in Canada â€" a large and developed economy with geographic proximity and economic ties to the U.S. We find that Canadian firms have also exhibited signs of consolidation. First, large firms have become more dominant, and the number of TSX publicly traded firms has dropped. Second, firms in industries with the largest increases in product market concentration started to generate higher profit margins. Third, the volume of M&A deals, and horizontal deals in particular, has increased. We argue that the recent changes in concentration can be attributed to an increase in market power, and cannot be fully explained by changes in financial market regulations. We posit that both the U.S. and Canadian economies were affected by two crucial factors that have led to product market consolidation: one, weak antitrust legislation and practices; and two, increasing barriers to entry.

Are Macroeconomic Factors Adequate Proxies for Systematic Influences in Stock Returns?
Szczygielski, Jan,Brummer, Leon,Wolmarans, Hendrik
This paper investigates whether pre-specified macroeconomic factors can adequately proxy for the pervasive influences in stock returns, within the context of macroeconomic linear factor models motivated by the multifactor Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). Variation in stock returns can be attributed to systematic and idiosyncratic sources of variation. As idiosyncratic factors can be diversified away, systematic variation will remain and the only factors that will be relevant will be those representative of systematic influences. In this study, systematic influences are quantified by statistically derived factor scores which are then related to a set of carefully selected macroeconomic factors. The identification of macroeconomic factors that proxy for systematic influences in returns is a challenge in itself. Once identified, macroeconomic factors are found to be poor and unstable proxies for systematic influences. The use of a residual market factor, an often-applied solution the factor omission problem in linear factor models motivated by the APT, does not significantly improve the approximation of factor scores. Macroeconomic factors are unlikely to provide a complete representation of the return generating process. Researchers should recognize that macroeconomic linear factor models are likely to be underspecified, even if a residual market factor is included.

Connecting Sharpe ratio and Student t-statistic, and beyond
Eric Benhamou

Sharpe ratio is widely used in asset management to compare and benchmark funds and asset managers. It computes the ratio of the excess return over the strategy standard deviation. However, the elements to compute the Sharpe ratio, namely, the expected returns and the volatilities are unknown numbers and need to be estimated statistically. This means that the Sharpe ratio used by funds is subject to be error prone because of statistical estimation error. Lo (2002), Mertens (2002) derive explicit expressions for the statistical distribution of the Sharpe ratio using standard asymptotic theory under several sets of assumptions (independent normally distributed - and identically distributed returns). In this paper, we provide the exact distribution of the Sharpe ratio for independent normally distributed return. In this case, the Sharpe ratio statistic is up to a rescaling factor a non centered Student distribution whose characteristics have been widely studied by statisticians. The asymptotic behavior of our distribution provide the result of Lo (2002). We also illustrate the fact that the empirical Sharpe ratio is asymptotically optimal in the sense that it achieves the Cramer Rao bound. We then study the empirical SR under AR(1) assumptions and investigate the effect of compounding period on the Sharpe (computing the annual Sharpe with monthly data for instance). We finally provide general formula in this case of heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation.

Convergence (or Divergence) in Private Law: Review Essay on Private Law in China and Taiwan: Legal and Economic Analyses
Tsai, Chang-hsien
Edited by Yun-chien Chang, Wei Shen and Wen-yeu Wang, the book Private Law in China and Taiwan: Legal and Economic Analyses is set to be a leading comprehensive and authoritative law book that provides an economic and comparative framework for analysing private law in China and Taiwan. This book is divided into two parts (“Foundation” and “Application”) and, in addition to the synthesis and implications provided in the Introduction and Conclusion, contains 10 chapters that comprehensively cover the field, from theory to practice, from contract law to tort law to property law to corporate law and from China to Taiwan. In addition to an overview of each chapter, I will highlight the convergence (or divergence) debate in private law which this book illuminates; meanwhile, I will also expand the economic and comparative framework of legal transplantation this book establishes from its focus on “public” transplants to the new trend of “private” transplantation.

Dependencies and systemic risk in the European insurance sector: Some new evidence based on copula-DCC-GARCH model and selected clustering methods
Anna Denkowska,Stanisław Wanat

The subject of the present article is the study of correlations between large insurance companies and their contribution to systemic risk in the insurance sector. Our main goal is to analyze the conditional structure of the correlation on the European insurance market and to compare systemic risk in different regimes of this market. These regimes are identified by monitoring the weekly rates of returns of eight of the largest insurers (five from Europe and the biggest insurers from the USA, Canada and China) during the period January 2005 to December 2018. To this aim we use statistical clustering methods for time units (weeks) to which we assigned the conditional variances obtained from the estimated copula-DCC-GARCH model. The advantage of such an approach is that there is no need to assume a priori a number of market regimes, since this number has been identified by means of clustering quality validation. In each of the identified market regimes we determined the commonly now used CoVaR systemic risk measure. From the performed analysis we conclude that all the considered insurance companies are positively correlated and this correlation is stronger in times of turbulences on global markets which shows an increased exposure of the European insurance sector to systemic risk during crisis. Moreover, in times of turbulences on global markets the value level of the CoVaR systemic risk index is much higher than in "normal conditions".

Firm Size, Political Connections, and the Value Relevance of Environmental Enforcement in China
Sam, Abdoul G.,Zhang, Xiaodong
Curbing environmental pollution is a key priority in China as reflected in the adoption of policies such as “New Normal” and the takeover of environmental enforcement by the top leadership of the central government in 2015. In this paper, we use a dataset of publicly-traded firms in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges and the event study methodology to gauge the reaction of the investor class to the new environmental enforcement regime. Our results indicate that, together, the announcement and implementation of the new enforcement regime spurred a significant decline of over $29 billion in shareholder value of polluting companies, suggesting that capital market participants expect increased regulatory costs for targeted companies. We also find that neither political connections nor firm size mitigated the severity of the market losses. Instead, larger firms and state-owned enterprises with excess capacity experienced bigger declines in market value.

Foreign Investors and Domestic Company Growth: Evidence from US Venture Capital Investments in Sweden
Hellmann, Thomas F.,Montag, Alexander,TÃ¥g, Joacim
Do foreign venture capitalists help the domestic economy, or hamper it by slowing down growth, potentially moving economic activity away? This paper addresses this long-standing policy question by examining the differential effects of US venture capital investments on the growth of Swedish start-up companies. It finds that US venture capital results in more employment, not less. These findings continue to hold after controlling for endogenous selection effects. US investments are also accompanied by increases in local employment and start-up rates. The paper also examines effect on wages, sales, earnings, foreign subsidiaries, subsequent funding rounds, and exits. Overall there is no evidence that US venture capital investments hamper the domestic growth of Swedish companies.

Housing Cycle and Exchange Rates
Ma, Sai,Zhang, Shaojun
This paper documents that U.S. housing capital investment is a strong negative predictor of U.S. dollar changes and excess returns over the next six months to five years. Other advanced economies exhibit similar patterns. Moreover, positive housing supply shocks predict lower prices of housing services and nontradables relative to that of tradables, as well as higher output growth and macroeconomic volatility. An analytical model shows that these channels generate the exchange rate predictability under incomplete and complete markets, respectively. Cross-sectionally, currencies with higher loadings on the U.S. housing cycle carry higher average currency premia, compensating the U.S. investor for bearing the U.S. long-run consumption risk.

Initial Crypto-asset Offerings (ICOs), tokenization and corporate governance
Stéphane Blémus,Dominique Guegan

This paper discusses the potential impacts of the so-called `initial coin offerings', and of several developments based on distributed ledger technology (`DLT'), on corporate governance. While many academic papers focus mainly on the legal qualification of DLT and crypto-assets, and most notably in relation to the potential definition of the latter as securities/financial instruments, the authors analyze some of the use cases based on DLT technology and their potential for significant changes of the corporate governance analyses. This article studies the consequences due to the emergence of new kinds of firm stakeholders, i.e. the crypto-assets holders, on the governance of small and medium-sized enterprises (`SMEs') as well as of publicly traded companies. Since early 2016, a new way of raising funds has rapidly emerged as a major issue for FinTech founders and financial regulators. Frequently referred to as initial coin offerings, Initial Token Offerings (`ITO'), Token Generation Events (`TGE') or simply `token sales', we use in our paper the terminology Initial Crypto-asset Offerings (`ICO'), as it describes more effectively than `initial coin offerings' the vast diversity of assets that could be created and which goes far beyond the payment instrument issue.

Measuring Credit-To-GDP Gaps. The Hodrick-Prescott Filter Revisited
Galán, Jorge
The credit-to-GDP gap computed under the methodology recommended by Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) suffers of important limitations mainly regarding the great inertia of the estimated long-run trend, which does not allow capturing properly structural changes or sudden changes in the trend. As a result, the estimated gap currently yields large negative values which do not reflect properly the position in the financial cycle and the cyclical risk environment in many countries. Certainly, most countries that have activated the Countercyclical Capital Buffer (CCyB) in recent years appear not to be following the signals provided by this indicator. The main underlying reason for this might not be only related to the properties of statistical filtering methods, but to the particular adaptation made by the BCBS for the computation of the gap. In particular, the proposed one-sided Hodrick-Prescott filter (HP) only accounts for past observations and the value of the smoothing parameter assumes a much longer length of the credit cycle that those empirically evidenced in most countries, leading the trend to have very long memory. This study assesses whether relaxing this assumption improves the performance of the filter and would still allow this statistical method to be useful in providing accurate signals of cyclical systemic risk and thereby inform macroprudential policy decisions. Findings suggest that adaptations of the filter that assume a lower length of the credit cycle, more consistent with empirical evidence, help improve the early warning performance and correct the downward bias compared to the original gap proposed by the BCBS. This is not only evidenced in the case of Spain but also in several other EU countries. Finally, the results of the proposed adaptations of the HP filter are also found to perform fairly well when compared to other statistical filters and model-based indicators.

Privatizaciones, fusiones y adquisiciones: las grandes empresas en M\'exico
Rigoberto Pérez Ramírez

The present work has as principal objective analyze the evolution of the process of privatization, mergers and acquisitions of the big companies in the country in the last decades, to understand the conductive threads that formed the structural changes of the economy, in order world oligop\'olicas to insert it to the global market characterized by formations of strategic alliances, across the mergers and acquisitions that they favour to the transnational companies.

Repo convexity
Paul McCloud

There is an observed basis between repo discounting, implied from market repo rates, and bond discounting, stripped from the market prices of the underlying bonds. Here, this basis is explained as a convexity effect arising from the decorrelation between the discount rates for derivatives and bonds.

Using a Hull-White model for the discount basis, expressions are derived that can be used to interpolate the repo rates of bonds with different maturities and to extrapolate the repo curve for discounting bond-collateralised derivatives.

Studying the Effect of Corporation’s Disclosure Quality Rank on Income-Smoothing and Informativeness of Tehran Stock Exchange’s Listed Companies
Foroughnejad, Heidar,Ahmadi, Shahin,Sadat, Amin
The study is to review the disclosure quality rank on income-smoothing and informativeness by means of four hypotheses. The timescale is between 2010 and 2016, and 149 TSE’s listed companies are studied. The first hypothesis examines the effect of higher disclosure quality rank on income informativeness. The result confirms that higher rank of disclosure quality improves income informativeness. The second hypothesis reviews the relationship between disclosure quality rank and income smoothing. The findings of this hypothesis indicate lower disclosure quality will increase income smoothing behavior. In the third hypothesis, the effect of income smoothing on informativeness is examined, which results in a statistical view that income smoothing has a sensible positive effect on informativeness. Finally, the effect of higher rank of disclosure quality on the informativeness of the smoothing listed companies in the fourth hypothesis. The findings indicate that income smoothing has a meaningful effect in strong disclosure quality companies.

Sustainable Profitability of Ethical and Conventional Banking
Costa-Climent, Ricardo,Martínez-Climent, Carla
In recent years, social movements have echoed calls for greater social and environmental responsibility. Although financial institutions promote development, consumers have lost confidence in banks. As we enter the Fintech era, banks have the opportunity to use new tools that enable greater transparency for customers. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays a key role in increasing social awareness of regulators, society, shareholders, and employees â€" in short, stakeholders. This study therefore focuses on banks that have designed their activities and investments to contribute to sustainability. The principal contribution of this paper is to show the existence of a range of business models that arise following different responses by different types of banks. These different responses occur because the primary objective of sustainable banks is to meet the needs of stakeholders and contribute to sustainable development, whereas conventional banks simply apply and execute CSR policies. It is possible to differentiate between ethical banks and commercial banks. To ensure economic progress and achieve sustainability, it is fundamental to balance economic profitability with people’s social and environmental aspirations.

Testing for Private Information Using Trade Duration Models with Unobserved Market Heterogeneity: The Case of Banco Popular
Pérez Rodríguez, Jorge,Gómez-Déniz, Emilio,Sosvilla-Rivero, Simon
In this paper, we attempt to assess the potential importance of different types of traders (i.e., those with public and private information) in financial markets using a specification of the standardized duration. This approach allows us to test unobserved heterogeneity in a nonlinear version based on a self-exciting threshold autoregressive conditional duration model. We illustrate the relevance of this procedure for identifying the presence of private information in the final days of trading of Banco Popular, the first bank rescued by the European Single Resolution Board.

The (In)Visibility of Political Connections
Hope, Ole-Kristian,Li, Yi,Liu, Qiliang,Wu, Han
We study the extent to which market participants are informed about firms’ political connections when the connections are not publicly disclosed. Using Chinese corruption investigations that lead to loss of connections, we find that the important political connections we examine are on average invisible to the market â€" no evidence suggests that the market reacts to an event that indicates loss of the connections’ value. In contrast, the connections are visible to at least some institutional investors as they react significantly to the event. However, the group of informed investors seems to be limited and their sales are insufficient to affect the stock prices. The lack of visibility leads to a median delay of 93 days in the incorporation of the loss of connections into the stock prices, and suggests that the pricing of non-disclosed connections may be less accurate and complete than previously thought.

The Formation of Hidden Negative Capital in Banking: A Product Mismatch Hypothesis
Kostrov, Alexander,Mamonov, Mikhail
This paper investigates the phenomenon of hidden negative capital (HNC) associated with bank failures and introduces a product mismatch hypothesis to explain the formation of HNC. Given that troubled banks tend to hide negative capital in financial statements from regulators to keep their licenses, we attempt to capture this gambling behavior by evaluating product mismatches reflecting disproportions between the allocation of bank assets and the sources of funding. We manually collect unique data on HNC and test our hypothesis using U.S. and Russian banking statistics for the 2004â€"2017 period (external validity argument). To manage the sample selection concerns, we apply the Heckman selection approach. Our results clearly indicate that product mismatch matters and works similarly in both U.S. and Russian banking systems. Specifically, an increase in mismatch has two effects: it leads to a higher probability that a bank’s capital is negative and raises the conditional size of the bank’s HNC. Further, we demonstrate that the mismatch effect is heterogeneous with respect to bank size being at least partially consistent with the informational asymmetry view. Our results may facilitate improvements in the prudential regulation of banking activities in other countries that share similar features with either the U.S. or Russian banking systems.

The Hull-White Model under Knightian Uncertainty about the Volatility
Julian Hölzermann

We construct an arbitrage-free short rate model under Knightian uncertainty about the volatility. The uncertainty is represented by a set of priors, which naturally leads to a G-Brownian motion. Within this framework, it is shown how to characterize the whole term structure without admitting arbitrage. The pricing of zero-coupon bonds in such a setting differs substantially from traditional models, since the prices need to be chosen in a different way in order to exclude arbitrage.

The Implementation of the Cross-Border Mergers Directive in Italy: An Overview with a Critical Assessment of Dissenting Shareholders’ Appraisal
Gilotta, Sergio
This is a draft chapter for a forthcoming volume, “Cross Border Mergers Directive: EU Perspectives and National Perspectives”, edited by Thomas Papadopoulos (Springer). The chapter first describes how cross-border mergers are regulated in Italy, detailing the national rules implementing the 2005 Cross-Border Mergers Directive and highlighting the main legal issues they raise. It then turns to the analysis of the special appraisal right granted to company members who did not vote in favor of the merger. The chapter provides a critical assessment of this remedy, discussing how cross-border mergers may harm minority shareholders and whether the special protections established by Italian law are justified.

The Likelihood of Mixed Hitting Times
Jaap H. Abbring,Tim Salimans

We present a method for computing the likelihood of a mixed hitting-time model that specifies durations as the first time a latent L\'evy process crosses a heterogeneous threshold. This likelihood is not generally known in closed form, but its Laplace transform is. Our approach to its computation relies on numerical methods for inverting Laplace transforms that exploit special properties of the first passage times of L\'evy processes. We use our method to implement a maximum likelihood estimator of the mixed hitting-time model in MATLAB. We illustrate the application of this estimator with an analysis of Kennan's (1985) strike data.

Understanding Bank and Nonbank Credit Cycles: A Structural Exploration
Durdu, Ceyhun Bora,Zhong, Molin
We explore the structural drivers of bank and nonbank credit cycles using an estimated medium-scale macro model that allows for bank and nonbank financial intermediation. We posit economy-wide aggregate and sectoral disturbances to potentially drive bank and nonbank credit growth. We find that sectoral shocks affecting the balance sheets of entrepreneurs who borrow from the financial sector are important for the business cycle frequency fluctuations in bank and nonbank credit growth. Economy-wide entrepreneurial risk shocks gain predominance for explaining the longer-horizon comovement between the two series.