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Catering through Nominal Share Prices

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  • MALCOLM BAKER
  • ROBIN GREENWOOD
  • JEFFREY WURGLER

Abstract

We propose and test a catering theory of nominal stock prices. The theory predicts that when investors place higher valuations on low-price firms, managers respond by supplying shares at lower price levels, and vice versa. We confirm these predictions in time-series and firm-level data using several measures of time-varying catering incentives. More generally, the results provide unusually clean evidence that catering influences corporate decisions, because the process of targeting nominal share prices is not well explained by alternative theories. Copyright (c) 2009 the American Finance Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 64 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 2559-2590

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:64:y:2009:i:6:p:2559-2590

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References

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  1. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2003. "A Catering Theory of Dividends," NBER Working Papers 9542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Merton, Robert C., 1987. "A simple model of capital market equilibrium with incomplete information," Working papers 1869-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  3. Paul A. Gompers & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "Institutional Investors And Equity Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 229-259, February.
  4. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, . "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics or Lower Propensity to Pay?."," CRSP working papers 509, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  5. Malkiel, Burton & Campbell, John & Lettau, Martin & Xu, Yexiao, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Scholarly Articles 3128707, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Michael J. Cooper, 2001. "A Rose.com by Any Other Name," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2371-2388, December.
  7. Malcolm Baker & Richard S. Ruback & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "Behavioral Corporate Finance: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lakonishok, Josef & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "The impact of institutional trading on stock prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 23-43, August.
  9. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2003. "Appearing and Disappearing Dividends: The Link to Catering Incentives," NBER Working Papers 9995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  11. Li, Wei & Lie, Erik, 2006. "Dividend changes and catering incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 293-308, May.
  12. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
  13. Tim Loughran & Jay R. Ritter, 2002. "Why Don't Issuers Get Upset About Leaving Money on the Table in IPOs?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 413-444, March.
  14. Amihud, Yakov & Hurvich, Clifford M., 2004. "Predictive Regressions: A Reduced-Bias Estimation Method," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(04), pages 813-841, December.
  15. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2003. "Limited attention, information disclosure, and financial reporting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-3), pages 337-386, December.
  16. Cooper, Michael J. & Khorana, Ajay & Osobov, Igor & Patel, Ajay & Rau, P. Raghavendra, 2005. "Managerial actions in response to a market downturn: valuation effects of name changes in the dot.com decline," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 319-335, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jiang, Zhan & Kim, Kenneth A. & Lie, Erik & Yang, Sean, 2013. "Share repurchases, catering, and dividend substitution," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 36-50.
  2. William C. Weld & Roni Michaely & Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2009. "The Nominal Share Price Puzzle," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 121-42, Spring.
  3. Waxin, Timothée, 2011. "Do Firms Manage Nominal Stock Prices for their Employees?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6270, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Green, T. Clifton & Hwang, Byoung-Hyoun, 2009. "Price-based return comovement," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 37-50, July.
  5. Dong Lou, 2009. "Attracting investor attention through advertising," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29311, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Kulchania, Manoj, 2013. "Catering driven substitution in corporate payouts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 180-195.
  7. Dong Lou, 2013. "Attracting investor attention through advertising," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54382, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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