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HFRC Working Paper Series

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Alle Working Papers

Publikationen von Henning Schröder

Foreign bias in institutional portfolio allocation: The role of social trust

Wolfgang Drobetz, Marwin Mönkemeyer, Ignacio Requejo, Henning Schröder
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization | 10/2023
We study the role of social trust in the equity allocation decisions of global investors using a large sample of institutionally managed portfolios of 8,088 investors from 33 countries over the 2000 through 2017 period. The negative relationship between social trust and foreign bias suggests that institutional investors from high-social trust countries are less prone to underinvesting in foreign equity. Our results provide credence to an information-based explanation, indicating that social trust reduces foreign bias by compensating for the lack of information about foreign stock markets. Moreover, the effect of social trust on foreign bias is stronger if host-country institutions are weak, while it vanishes when the host country is characterized by strong institutions. The informal institution of social trust compensates for the lack of well-functioning formal country-level institutions in international portfolio decisions. Finally, the allocation effect resulting from social trust is different from “blind” trust. The portfolios of high-trust investors exhibit higher cross-country diversification and an enhanced portfolio risk-return trade-off.

Board ancestral diversity and voluntary greenhouse gas emission disclosure

Johannes Barg, Wolfgang Drobetz, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami, Henning Schröder
British Journal of Management | 08/2023 | Forthcoming
This paper examines the relationship between board diversity and firms’ decisions to voluntarily disclose information about their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We focus on board ancestral diversity as a relatively new dimension of (deep-level) board structure and document that it has a positive and statistically significant effect on a firm’s scope and quality of voluntary GHG emission disclosure. The effect goes beyond the impact of more common (surface-level) dimensions of board diversity and remains robust after addressing endogeneity concerns. In line with the theoretical conjecture that diversity enhances a board’s advising and monitoring capacity, we find that the impact of diverse boards is stronger in more complex firms and in firms with low levels of institutional ownership. Overall, our findings provide evidence for board diversity being a relevant governance factor in corporate environmental decision making.

Institutional blockholder networks and corporate acquisition performance

Gishan Dissanaike, Wolfgang Drobetz, Marwin Mönkemeyer, Henning Schröder
Academy of Management Proceedings | 07/2023
We examine 17,207 U.S. mergers and acquisitions by public firms over the 1980–2019 period and find that the acquirer abnormal announcement returns are higher for firms held by more central investors in the network of active institutional blockholdings. This finding is robust to firm and deal characteristics, and it also extends to alternative network and return measures. To provide evidence on causality, we exploit extreme industry returns that lead to plausibly exogenous variation in investors’ monitoring ability. The positive effect of blockholder centrality on acquirer abnormal announcement returns only exists in information-sensitive (i.e., private) deals and only among institutions that have a comparative advantage in exploiting monitoring information. Our findings suggests that institutional investors obtain an information advantage through the network, which increases their monitoring ability.

Team networks and venture success: Evidence from token-financed startups

Wolfgang Drobetz, Kathrin Rennertseder, Henning Schröder
HFRC Working Paper Series | Version 05/2023
Evidence shows that social network structures drive important economic outcomes. Building on social network theory, this study is the first to analyse the impact of team networks on venture success. Using information about team affiliations for a sample of token-financed startups, we model networks based on team interlocks across firms. Ventures with well-connected teams exhibit higher market valuations and higher token market liquidity. These effects seem to be driven by network-induced information and communication advantages. Specifically, we show that networks matter most when publicly available information is limited. The findings remain robust after controlling for non-team networks and endogeneity.

Foreign institutional investors, legal origin, and corporate greenhouse gas emissions disclosure

Wolfgang Drobetz, Simon Döring, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami, Henning Schröder
Journal of Business Ethics | 01/2023
The disclosure of corporate environmental performance is an increasingly important element of a firm’s ethical behavior. We analyze how the legal origin of foreign institutional investors affects a firm’s voluntary greenhouse gas emissions disclosure. Using a large sample of firms from 36 countries, we show that foreign institutional ownership from civil law countries improves the scope and quality of a firm’s greenhouse gas emissions reporting. This relation is robust to addressing endogeneity and selection biases. The effect is more pronounced in firms from non-climate-sensitized countries, for which the gap between firms’ environmental standards and investors’ environmental targets is potentially larger, and in less international firms. Firms with a higher level of voluntary greenhouse gas emissions disclosure also exhibit higher valuations.

Institutional ownership and firm performance in the global shipping industry

Wolfgang Drobetz, Sebastian Ehlert, Henning Schröder
Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review | 01/2021 | Forthcoming
We examine the effect of institutional investors on the valuation of listed shipping firms. Institutional investors have a positive influence on the market value of shipping firms, confirming that institutional ownership is a “universal” corporate governance mechanism. This valuation effect is more pronounced in firms dominated by institutional investors with a short-term investment horizon. It is also stronger in firms with high stock liquidity, suggesting that short-term investors, through the threat of exit, are able to mitigate agency conflicts and improve corporate governance. Investment regressions indicate that shipping firms with a larger fraction of short-term investors are better able to exploit growth opportunities.

Institutional investment horizons and firm valuation around the world

Wolfgang Drobetz, Simon Döring, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami, Henning Schröder
Journal of International Business Studies | 09/2020 | Forthcoming
Using a comprehensive dataset of firms from 34 countries, we study the effect of institutional investors’ investment horizons on firm valuation around the world. We find a positive relation between institutional ownership and firm value that is driven by short-horizon institutional investors. Accounting for the interaction between investors’ investment horizon and nationality, we show that foreign short-horizon institutions, which are more likely to discipline managers through the threat of exit rather than engaging in monitoring made costly by the liability of foreignness, are the investor group with the strongest effect on firm value. Reinforcing the threat of exit channel, we find that the value-enhancing effect of short-horizon investors is stronger in the presence of multiple short-horizon investors, who are more likely to engage in competitive trading. The positive valuation effect of short-horizon investors is stronger when stock liquidity is high, which makes the exit threat more credible, and in firms prone to free cash flow agency problems. Overall, our results are consistent with short-horizon institutional investors, especially foreign institutional owners, affecting firm value by disciplining managers through a credible threat of exit.

Cross-country determinants of institutional investors’ investment horizons

Wolfgang Drobetz, Simon Döring, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami, Henning Schröder
Finance Research Letters | 06/2020 | Forthcoming
Using a large dataset of firms from 35 countries, we study the country-level determinants of institutional investors’ investment horizons. We show that an equity investor-friendly institutional environment is more important for long-term investors, while short-term investors seem to be less concerned about the quality of the financial and legal environment. Beyond the financial and legal structure, the cultural environment and economic policy uncertainty in a country are other important determinants of investor horizons. These findings improve our understanding of cross-country differences in the corporate governance role, i.e., engagement vs. exit, of institutional investors.

The role of catastrophe bonds in an international multi-asset portfolio: Diversifier, hedge, or safe haven?

Wolfgang Drobetz, Henning Schröder, Lars Tegtmeier
Finance Research Letters | 03/2020
We examine whether catastrophe bonds can serve as a hedge or a safe haven for global stock, bond, real estate, commodity, private equity, and infrastructure markets. Our findings indicate that catastrophe bonds are a poor hedge, but they act as an effective diversifier against other asset classes. Furthermore, catastrophe bonds serve as a strong safe haven against extreme price drops of the stock market only during the post-crisis period.

Investor sentiment and initial coin offerings

Wolfgang Drobetz, Paul P. Momtaz, Henning Schröder
Journal of Alternative Investments | 04/2019
The authors examine to what extent the market for initial coin offerings (ICOs) is driven by investor sentiment. Their results, based on a comprehensive set of sentiment and coin price data, suggest that the ICO market is driven by crypto-related sentiment, but is almost unrelated to general capital market sentiment. Among the crypto-related sentiment, social media channels, rather than traditional news channels, are the main source of investor sentiment. The authors find that ICO firms exploit “windows of opportunity” and avoid periods of negative sentiment. Coins listed during periods with negative investor sentiment generate negative returns in the short run. Moreover, returns to investors on the first day of trading predict long-run returns up to six months.

Token offerings: A revolution in corporate finance?

Paul P. Momtaz, Kathrin Rennertseder, Henning Schröder
HFRC Working Paper Series | Version 03/2019
Token offerings or initial coin offerings (ICOs) are smart contracts based on blockchain technology designed to raise external finance without an intermediary. The new technology might herald a revolution in entrepreneurial and corporate finance, with soaring market growth rates over the last two years. This paper surveys the market evolution, offering mechanisms, and token types. Stylized facts on the pricing and long-term performance of ICOs are presented, and practical implications for this young market to thrive are discussed.

Systematic risk behavior in cyclical industries: The case of shipping

Wolfgang Drobetz, Christina Menzel, Henning Schröder
Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review | 04/2016
This study explores macroeconomic and industry-level effects on corporate systematic risk (or beta) for the international shipping industry. We document the extent to which stock market betas fluctuate over time in this asset-intensive and cyclical industry. Moreover, we analyze the fundamental determinants of systematic risk. We find evidence for high levels of systematic risk in shipping stocks, which match the fundamental risk characteristics of the industry (such as high financial and operating leverage). Shipping firms exhibit distinct industry-specific beta dynamics compared to firms from benchmark sectors or the average firm in the S&P 500 index. Changes in both economic conditions and industry-specific risk factors explain large proportions of beta variation in the cross-section of firms and over time.

Heterogeneity in the speed of capital structure adjustment across countries and over the business cycle

Wolfgang Drobetz, Dirk C. Schilling, Henning Schröder
European Financial Management | 11/2015
This study analyses the heterogeneity in the speed of capital structure adjustment. Using a doubly‐censored Tobit estimator that accounts for mechanical mean reversion in leverage ratios, the speed of adjustment is 25% per year in a large international sample, supporting the economic relevance of the trade‐off theory. Differences in the adjustment speed across financial systems are attributable to differences in the costs of adjustment. Macroeconomic and micro‐level supply‐side constraints also affect the dynamics of leverage. Firms adjust more slowly during recessions, and the business cycle effect on adjustment speed is most pronounced for financially constrained firms in market‐based countries.

Capital structure decisions of globally-listed shipping companies

Wolfgang Drobetz, Dimitrios Gounopoulos, Andreas Merikas, Henning Schröder
Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review | 06/2013
Debt capital has traditionally been the most important source of external finance in the shipping industry. The access that shipping companies nowadays have to the capital markets provides them with a broader range of financing instruments. As such, this study investigates the determinants of capital structure decisions using a sample of 115 exchange-listed shipping companies. We test whether listed shipping companies follow a target capital structure, and we analyze their adjustment dynamics after deviations from this target leverage ratio. When compared with industrial firms from the G7 countries, shipping companies exhibit higher leverage ratios and higher financial risk. Standard capital structure variables exert a significant impact on the cross-sectional variation of leverage ratios in the shipping industry. Asset tangibility is positively related to corporate leverage, and its economic impact is more pronounced than in other industries. Profitability, asset risk, and operating leverage are all inversely related to leverage. There is only weak evidence for market-timing behavior of shipping companies. Because demand and supply in the maritime industry are closely related to the macroeconomic environment, leverage behaves counter-cyclically. Using different dynamic panel estimators, we further document that the speed of adjustment after deviations from the target leverage ratio is lower during economic recessions. On average, however, the capital structure adjustment speed in the maritime industry is higher compared with the G7 benchmark sample. These findings indicate that there are substantial costs of deviation from the target leverage ratio due to high expected costs of financial distress. Our results have implications for shipping companies’ risk management activities.