IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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.

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Cheung, Adrian (Wai Kong) & Hasan, Mostafa Monzur & Khoo, Joye, 2021. "Distracted institutional shareholders and corporate cash holdings," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 453-466.
    2. 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.
    3. Wen, Fenghua & Xu, Longhao & Ouyang, Guangda & Kou, Gang, 2019. "Retail investor attention and stock price crash risk: Evidence from China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    4. Kang, Jun-Koo & Luo, Juan & Na, Hyun Seung, 2018. "Are institutional investors with multiple blockholdings effective monitors?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(3), pages 576-602.
    5. Chen, Tao & Dong, Hui & Lin, Chen, 2020. "Institutional shareholders and corporate social responsibility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(2), pages 483-504.
    6. Ni, Xiaoran & Peng, Qiyuan & Yin, Sirui & Zhang, Ting, 2020. "Attention! Distracted institutional investors and stock price crash," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    7. Xiang, Cheng & Chen, Fengwen & Wang, Qian, 2020. "Institutional investor inattention and stock price crash risk," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 33(C).
    8. Abramova, Inna & Core, John & Sutherland, Andrew, 2019. "Institutional Investor Attention and Firm Disclosure," MPRA Paper 93665, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. 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.
    10. Renneboog, Luc & Vansteenkiste, Cara, 2019. "Failure and success in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 650-699.
    11. Li, Yueting & Wang, Jianling & Wu, Xuan, 2019. "Distracted institutional shareholders and managerial myopia: Evidence from R&D expenses," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 30-40.
    12. Blankespoor, Elizabeth & deHaan, Ed & Marinovic, Iván, 2020. "Disclosure processing costs, investors’ information choice, and equity market outcomes: A review," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2).
    13. Nguyen, Giang & Vu, Le, 2018. "Asset sales and subsequent acquisitions," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 87-97.
    14. 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).
    15. Gilje, Erik P. & Gormley, Todd A. & Levit, Doron, 2020. "Who's paying attention? Measuring common ownership and its impact on managerial incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 152-178.
    16. Edmans, Alex & Holderness, Clifford, 2016. "Blockholders: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11442, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Rex Wang Renjie & Patrick Verwijmeren, 2020. "Director attention and firm value," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 361-387, June.
    18. Xue, Xiaolin & Zhang, Junrui & Yu, Yangxin, 2020. "Distracted passive institutional shareholders and firm transparency," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 347-359.
    19. 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


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:30:y:2017:i:5:p:1660-1695.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Oxford University Press to update the entry or send us the correct email address or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.