NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Frederico Belo

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Working Papers

August 2015Labor-Force Heterogeneity and Asset Prices: the Importance of Skilled Labor
with Xiaoji Lin, Jun Li, Xiaofei Zhao: w21487
We introduce labor-force heterogeneity in a neoclassical investment model. In the baseline model, we highlight the fact that labor adjustment costs are higher for high skilled workers than for low skilled workers. The model predicts that the negative hiring-expected return relation should be steeper in industries that rely more on high skilled workers because firm's hiring responds less elastically to changes in the discount rate when labor adjustment costs are higher. In an extended version of the model we show that the previous prediction also holds in the presence of additional sources of labor-force heterogeneity such as higher wage rigidity of high skilled workers. Empirically, we document that the negative hiring-expected return relation is between 1.7 and 3.2 times larger in indust...
June 2014External Equity Financing Shocks, Financial Flows, and Asset Prices
with Xiaoji Lin, Fan Yang: w20210
The ability of corporations to raise external equity finance varies with macroeconomic conditions, suggesting that the cost of equity issuance is time-varying. Using cross sectional data on U.S. publicly traded firms, we construct an empirical proxy of an aggregate shock to the cost of equity issuance, which we interpret as a financial shock. We show that this shock captures systematic risk, and that exposure to this shock helps price the cross section of stock returns including book-to-market, investment, and size portfolios. We propose a dynamic investment-based model with stochastic equity issuance costs and a collateral constraint to interpret the empirical findings. Our central finding is that time variation in external equity financing costs is important for the model to quantitative...
October 2012Endogenous Dividend Dynamics and the Term Structure of Dividend Strips
with Pierre Collin-Dufresne, Robert S. Goldstein: w18450
Many leading asset pricing models predict that the term structures of expected returns and volatilities on dividend strips are strongly upward sloping. Yet the empirical evidence suggests otherwise. This discrepancy can be reconciled if these models replace their exogenously specified dividend dynamics with processes that are derived endogenously from capital structure policies that generate stationary leverage ratios. Under this policy, shareholders are being forced to divest (invest) when leverage is low (high), which shifts risk from long-horizon to short-horizon dividend strips. This framework also generates stock volatility that is higher than long-horizon dividend volatility, even with constant market prices of risk.

Published: Dividend Dynamics and the Term Structure of Dividend Strips FREDERICO BELO, PIERRE COLLIN-DUFRESNE andROBERT S. GOLDSTEIN† Article first published online: 11 MAY 2015 DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12242 The Journal of Finance Volume 70, Issue 3, pages 1115–1160, June 2015

September 2010Cross-sectional Tobin's Q
with Chen Xue, Lu Zhang: w16336
The neoclassical investment model matches cross-sectional asset prices both in first differences and in levels. With ten book-to-market deciles as the testing portfolios, the investment model largely matches the Tobin's Q spread and the average return spread across the extreme deciles. The parameter estimates imply low adjustment costs around 1.7% of sales. The model's fit results from three aspects of our econometric strategy: (i) We test the model at the portfolio level to alleviate the impact of measurement errors; (ii) we match the first moment to mitigate the impact of temporal misalignment between asset prices and investment; and (iii) we allow for nonlinear marginal costs of investment. Our evidence suggests that any differences between the intrinsic value of equity and the market v...

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