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The Real Effects of Hedge Fund Activism: Productivity, Risk, and Product Market Competition

Author

Listed:
  • Alon Brav
  • Wei Jiang
  • Hyunseob Kim

Abstract

This paper studies the long-term effect of hedge fund activism on the productivity of target firms using plant-level information from the U.S. Census Bureau. A typical target firm improves its production efficiency within two years after activism, and this improvement is concentrated in industries with a high degree of product market competition. By following plants that were sold post-intervention, we also find that efficient capital redeployment is an important channel via which activists create value. Furthermore, our analyses demonstrate that measuring performance using the Compustat data is likely to lead to a downward bias because target firms experiencing greater improvement post-intervention are also more likely to disappear from the Compustat database. Finally, consistent with recent work in asset-pricing linking firm investment decisions and expected returns, we show how changes to target firms’ productivity are associated with a decline in systemic risk, particularly in competitive industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Alon Brav & Wei Jiang & Hyunseob Kim, 2012. "The Real Effects of Hedge Fund Activism: Productivity, Risk, and Product Market Competition," Working Papers 12-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:12-14
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2012/CES-WP-12-14.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hedge funds; Governance; Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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