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Activism, Strategic Trading, and Liquidity

Listed author(s):
  • Back, Kerry E.
  • Collin-Dufresne, Pierre
  • Fos, Vyacheslav
  • Li, Tao
  • Ljungqvist, Alexander P.
Registered author(s):

We analyze dynamic trading in an anonymous market by an activist investor who can expend costly effort to affect firm value. We obtain the equilibrium in closed form for a general activism technology, including both binary and continuous outcomes. The optimal continuous trading strategy is independent of the activism technology. Activism, prices, and liquidity are jointly determined in equilibrium. Variation in noise trading volatility can produce either positive or negative effects on both efficiency and liquidity, depending on the activism technology and model parameters, because future effort depends on the realized amount of noise trading. The `lock in' effect emphasized in previous literature (e.g., Coffee (1991), Bhide (1993) and Maug (1998)) holds only for special forms of the activism technology. Reducing the uncertainty about the activist's position improves market liquidity, but the effect on efficiency depends on the specification of the effort cost function. Variation in the activist's productivity produces a negative cross-sectional relation between efficiency and liquidity as the possibility of more activism exacerbates the risk of adverse selection.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 11843.

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Date of creation: Feb 2017
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11843
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  1. Alex Edmans, 2009. "Blockholder Trading, Market Efficiency, and Managerial Myopia," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(6), pages 2481-2513, December.
  2. Robert C. Merton, 2005. "Theory of rational option pricing," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 8, pages 229-288 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  3. Thomas H. Noe, 2002. "Investor Activism and Financial Market Structure," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 289-318, March.
  4. Anat R. Admati & Paul Pfleiderer, 2009. "The "Wall Street Walk" and Shareholder Activism: Exit as a Form of Voice," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(7), pages 2445-2485, July.
  5. Ravid, S. Abraham & Spiegel, Matthew, 1999. "Toehold strategies, takeover laws and rival bidders," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(8), pages 1219-1242, August.
  6. Bris, Arturo, 2002. "Toeholds, takeover premium, and the probability of being acquired," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 227-253, July.
  7. Charles Kahn & Andrew Winton, 1998. "Ownership Structure, Speculation, and Shareholder Intervention," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 99-129, 02.
  8. Bhide, Amar, 1993. "The hidden costs of stock market liquidity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 31-51, August.
  9. Peter M. DeMarzo & Branko Uro, 2006. "Ownership Dynamics and Asset Pricing with a Large Shareholder," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 774-815, August.
  10. Alex Edmans & Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Governance Through Trading and Intervention: A Theory of Multiple Blockholders," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(7), pages 2395-2428.
  11. Albert S. Kyle & Jean-Luc Vila, 1991. "Noise Trading and Takeovers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 54-71, Spring.
  12. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
  13. Ernst Maug, 1998. "Large Shareholders as Monitors: Is There a Trade-Off between Liquidity and Control?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 65-98, 02.
  14. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
  15. Michael J. Fishman & Kathleen M. Hagerty, 1992. "Insider Trading and the Efficiency of Stock Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 106-122, Spring.
  16. Back, Kerry, 1992. "Insider Trading in Continuous Time," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 387-409.
  17. Fishman, Michael J & Hagerty, Kathleen M, 1995. "The Mandatory Disclosure of Trades and Market Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 637-676.
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