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The Real Effects of Hedge Fund Activism: Productivity, Asset Allocation, and Labor Outcomes

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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 in the three years after an activist intervention, and the improvements are most pronounced in those interventions specifically targeting the firm’s business strategy. We also find that plants sold post-intervention exhibit a significant improvement in productivity under new ownership, consistent with the view that efficient capital redeployment is an important channel via which activists create value. We further find that employees of target firms experience a reduction in work hours and stagnation in wages despite an increase in labor productivity. Additional tests refute alternative explanations that attribute the improvement to mean reversion, management’s voluntary reforms, industry consolidation shocks, or hedge funds’ stock picking abilities. The overall evidence is consistent with hedge fund intervention having a real and long-term effect on the fundamental values of target firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Alon Brav & Wei Jiang & Hyunseob Kim, 2011. "The Real Effects of Hedge Fund Activism: Productivity, Asset Allocation, and Labor Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 17517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17517
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:oup:rfinst:v:30:y:2017:i:9:p:2933-2971. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marco Becht & Julian Franks & Jeremy Grant & Hannes F. Wagner, 2017. "Returns to Hedge Fund Activism: An International Study," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(9), pages 2933-2971.
    3. Bernhardt, Annette & Batt, Rosemary & Houseman, Susan & Appelbaum, Eileen, 2016. "Domestic Outsourcing in the U.S.: A Research Agenda to Assess Trends and Effects on Job Quality," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt2fm4m444, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    4. Lucian A. Bebchuk & Alon Brav & Wei Jiang, 2015. "The Long-Term Effects of Hedge Fund Activism," NBER Working Papers 21227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Annette Bernhardt & Rosemary L. Batt & Susan Houseman & Eileen Appelbaum, 2016. "Domestic Outsourcing in the United States: A Research Agenda to Assess Trends and Effects on Job Quality," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 16-253, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    6. Karpouzis, Efstathios & Bouras, Chris & Kanas, Angelos, 2019. "Hedge fund activism, voice, and value creation," MPRA Paper 92576, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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