Equity research analysts tend to cover firms about which they have favorable views. We exploit this tendency to infer analysts' preferences for corporate policies from their coverage decisions. We then use exogenous analyst disappearances to examine the effect of these preferences on corporate policies.
After an analyst disappears, firms change their policies in the direction opposite to the analyst's preferences. The influence of analyst preferences on policies is stronger for firms for which analyst coverage is likely to matter more: young firms, and firms with higher market valuations. Our results suggest that firms choose their corporate policies, in part, to be consistent with the preferences of their analysts.
Are firms’ financial disclosure decisions affected by executive compensation at other firms? We find that a CEO’s pay gap relative to the highest CEO pay among industry peers, defined as industry tournament incentives, can lead to distortions in...Read more
A 1970 New York Times essay on corporate social responsibility by Milton Friedman is often said to have launched a shareholder-focused reorientation of managerial priorities in America’s public companies. The essay correspondingly is a primary...Read more
This paper critiques an assessment by Bebchuk and Tallarita (BT) of the relative merits of shareholder and stakeholder governance. BT’s paper argues that stakeholder governance is either nothing more than enlightened shareholder value, or it...Read more
This paper explores the role of investor stewardship against a background of broader efforts to improve the sustainability of financial markets. Stewardship codes, encouraging institutional investors to act as long-term, responsible shareholders...Read more