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Investment, idiosyncratic risk, and ownership

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  • Vasia Panousi
  • Dimitris Papanikolaou

Abstract

High-powered incentives may induce higher managerial effort, but they also expose managers to idiosyncratic risk. If managers are risk averse, they might underinvest when firm-specific uncertainty increases, leading to suboptimal investment decisions from the perspective of well-diversified shareholders. We empirically document that when idiosyncratic risk rises, firm investment falls, and more so when managers own a larger fraction of the firm. This negative effect of managerial risk aversion on investment is mitigated if executives are compensated with options rather than with shares or if institutional investors form a large part of the shareholder base.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2011-54.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2011-54

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Keywords: Investments ; Risk ; Uncertainty ; Institutional investors ; Stockholders;

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Cited by:
  1. Jason DeBacker & Bradley Heim & Vasia Panousi & Shanthi Ramnath & Ivan Vidangos, 2012. "The properties of income risk in privately held businesses," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-69, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Brent Glover & Oliver Levine, . "Idiosyncratic Risk and the Manager," GSIA Working Papers 2013-E25, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  3. Ruediger Bachmann & Benjamin Born & Steffen Elstner & Christian Grimme, 2013. "Time-Varying Business Volatility, Price Setting, and the Real Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 19180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kang, Wensheng & Lee, Kiseok & Ratti, Ronald A., 2013. "Economic Policy Uncertainty and Firm-Level Investment," MPRA Paper 51277, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. George-Marios Angeletos & Vasia Panousi, 2011. "Financial Integration, Entrepreneurial Risk and Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 16761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Wang, Chong & Wang, Neng & Yang, Jinqiang, 2012. "A unified model of entrepreneurship dynamics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 1-23.
  7. Klodiana Istrefi & Anamaria Piloiu, 2013. "Economic Policy Uncertainty, Trust and Inflation Expectations," CESifo Working Paper Series 4294, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen Terry, 2013. "Really uncertain business cycles," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51526, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2012. "Has Economic Policy Uncertainty Hampered the Recovery?," Book Chapters, in: Lee E. Ohanian & John B. Taylor & Ian J. Wright (ed.), Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, chapter 3 Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
  10. Vasia Panousi & Catarina Reis, 2012. "Optimal capital taxation with idiosyncratic investment risk," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-70, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Nikolai Roussanov & Pavel G. Savor, 2012. "Status, Marriage, and Managers' Attitudes To Risk," NBER Working Papers 17904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Angeletos, George-Marios & Panousi, Vasia, 2009. "Revisiting the supply side effects of government spending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 137-153, March.
  13. Timothy Erickson & Toni M. Whited, 2012. "Treating Measurement Error in Tobin's q," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(4), pages 1286-1329.
  14. Panousi, Vasia, 2009. "Capital Taxation with Entrepreneurial Risk," MPRA Paper 24237, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Furfine, Craig H. & Rosen, Richard J., 2011. "Mergers increase default risk," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 832-849, September.

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