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Distracted Shareholders and Corporate Actions


  • Elisabeth Kempf
  • Alberto Manconi
  • Oliver Spalt


Investor attention matters for corporate actions. Our new identification approach constructs firm-level shareholder “distraction” measures, by exploiting exogenous shocks to unrelated parts of institutional shareholders’ portfolios. Firms with “distracted” shareholders are more likely to announce diversifying, value-destroying, acquisitions. They are also more likely to grant opportunistically timed CEO stock options, more likely to cut dividends, and less likely to fire their CEO for bad performance. Firms with distracted shareholders have abnormally low stock returns. Combined, these patterns are consistent with a model in which the unrelated shock shifts investor attention, leading to a temporary loosening of monitoring constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisabeth Kempf & Alberto Manconi & Oliver Spalt, 2017. "Distracted Shareholders and Corporate Actions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(5), pages 1660-1695.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:30:y:2017:i:5:p:1660-1695.

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    Cited by:

    1. Cristián Pinto, 2015. "The Effect of Investor Attention on the Pricing of Seasoned Equity Offerings," Serie Working Papers 20, Universidad del Desarrollo, School of Business and Economics.
    2. Ward, Charles & Yin, Chao & Zeng, Yeqin, 2018. "Institutional investor monitoring motivation and the marginal value of cash," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 49-75.
    3. Renneboog, Luc & Vansteenkiste, Cara, 2019. "Failure and success in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 650-699.
    4. Abramova, Inna & Core, John & Sutherland, Andrew, 2019. "Institutional Investor Attention and Firm Disclosure," MPRA Paper 93665, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Francesco Saverio Stentella Lopes & Franco Fiordelisi & Ornella Ricci, 2019. "Corporate Culture and Merger Success," Working Papers 19013, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    6. Edmans, Alex & Holderness, Clifford, 2016. "Blockholders: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11442, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Stein, Luke C.D. & Zhao, Hong, 2019. "Independent executive directors: How distraction affects their advisory and monitoring roles," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 199-223.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance


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