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R-Squared Around the World: New Theory and New Tests

Author

Listed:
  • Li Jin
  • Stewart C. Myers

Abstract

Morck, Yeung and Yu (MYY, 2000) show that R2 and other measures of stock market synchronicity are higher in countries with less developed financial systems and poorer corporate governance. MYY and Campbell, Lettau, Malkiel and Xu (2001) also find a secular decline in R2 in the United States over the last century. We develop a model that explains these results and generates additional testable hypotheses. The model shows how control rights and information affect the division of risk-bearing between inside managers and outside investors. Insiders capture part of the firm's operating cash flows. The limits to capture are based on outside investors' perception of the value of the firm. The firm is not completely transparent, however. Lack of transparency shifts firm-specific risk to insiders and reduces the amount of firm-specific risk absorbed by outside investors. Our model also predicts that opaque' stocks are more likely to crash, that is, to deliver large negative returns. Crashes occur when insiders have to absorb too much firm-specific bad news and decide to give up.' We test these predictions using stock returns from all major stock markets from 1990 to 2001. We find strong positive relationships between R2 and several measures of opaqueness. These measures also explain the frequency of large negative returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Li Jin & Stewart C. Myers, 2004. "R-Squared Around the World: New Theory and New Tests," NBER Working Papers 10453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10453
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Y. Campbell, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 1-43, February.
    2. Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2000. "Financial markets and the allocation of capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 187-214.
    3. Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung & Wayne Yu, 1999. "The Information Content of Stock Markets: Why Do Emerging Markets Have Synchronous Stock Price Movements?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1879, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Shang-Jin Wei & R. G Gelos, 2002. "Transparency and International Investor Behavior," IMF Working Papers 02/174, International Monetary Fund.
    5. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
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    7. repec:rus:hseeco:52003 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    9. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, February.
    10. Chen, Joseph & Hong, Harrison & Stein, Jeremy C., 2001. "Forecasting crashes: trading volume, past returns, and conditional skewness in stock prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 345-381, September.
    11. Barry, Christopher B. & Jennings, Robert H., 1992. "Information and Diversity of Analyst Opinion," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(02), pages 169-183, June.
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    13. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
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    20. Stewart C. Myers, 2000. "Outside Equity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1005-1037, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Parigi, Bruno M. & Pelizzon, Loriana, 2008. "Diversification and ownership concentration," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1743-1753, September.
    2. Colm Kearney & Valerio Potì, 2008. "Have European Stocks become More Volatile? An Empirical Investigation of Idiosyncratic and Market Risk in the Euro Area," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 14(3), pages 419-444.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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