NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Ping He

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Working Papers

March 2006Asset Prices When Agents are Marked-to-Market
with Gary Gorton, Lixin Huang: w12075
"Risk management" in securities markets refers to the oversight of portfolio managers and professional traders when they trade on behalf of investors in security markets. Monitoring of their trading performance, profit and loss, and risk-taking behavior, is measured by principals using security market prices. We study the optimality of the practice of marking-to-market and provide conditions under which investing principals should optimally monitor their agent traders using market prices to measure traders' performance. Asset prices, however, can be affected by mark-to-market contracts. We show that such contracts introduce an externality when there are many traders. Traders may rationally herd, trading on irrelevant information. Ironically, this causes asset prices to be less informative ...
Agency-Based Asset Pricing
with Gary Gorton: w12084
We analyze the interaction between managerial decisions and firm value/asset prices by embedding the standard agency model of the firm into an otherwise standard asset pricing model. When the manager-agent's compensation depends on the firm's stock price performance, stock prices are set to induce the creation of future cash flows, instead of representing the discounted value of exogenous cash flows, as in the standard model. In our case, stock prices are formed via trading in the market to induce the managers to hold the number of shares consistent with the optimal effort level desired by the outside investors. We compare two price formation mechanisms, corresponding to two firm ownership structures. In the first, stock prices are formed competitively among a continuum of dispersed invest...
May 2005Bank Credit Cycles
with Gary Gorton: w11363
Private information about prospective borrowers produced by a bank can affect rival lenders due to a "winner%u2019s curse" effect. Strategic interaction between banks with respect to the intensity of costly information production results in endogenous credit cycles, periodic "credit crunches." Empirical tests are constructed based on parameterizing public information about relative bank performance that is at the root of banks%u2019 beliefs about rival banks%u2019 behavior. Consistent with the theory, we find that the relative performance of rival banks has predictive power for subsequent lending in the credit card market, where we can identify the main competitors. At the macroeconomic level, we show that the relative bank performance of commercial and industrial loans is an autonomous s...

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