NBER Working Papers by Tracy Yue Wang

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Working Papers

November 2014Does Uncertainty about Management Affect Firms’ Costs of Borrowing?
with Yihui Pan, Michael S. Weisbach: w20674
Uncertainty about management appears to affect firms’ cost of borrowing and financial policies. In a sample of S&P 1500 firms between 1987 and 2010, CDS spreads, loan spreads and bond yield spreads all decline over the first three years of CEO tenure, holding other macroeconomic, firm, and security level factors constant. This decline occurs regardless of the reason for the prior CEO’s departure. Similar but smaller declines occur following turnovers of CFOs. The spreads are more sensitive to CEO tenure when the prior uncertainty about the CEO’s ability is likely to be higher: when he is not an heir apparent, is an outsider, is younger, and when he does not have a prior relationship with the lender. The spread- tenure sensitivity is also higher when the firm has a higher default risk and w...
August 2013CEO Investment Cycles
with Yihui Pan, Michael S. Weisbach: w19330
This paper documents the existence of a CEO Investment Cycle, in which firms disinvest early in a CEO's tenure and increase investment subsequently, leading to "cyclical" firm growth in assets as well as in employment over CEO tenure. The CEO investment cycle occurs for both firings and non-performance related CEO turnovers, and for CEOs with different relationships with the firm prior to becoming CEO. The magnitude of the CEO cycle is substantial: The estimated difference in investment rate between the first three years of a CEO's tenure and subsequent years is approximately 6 to 8 percentage points, which is of the same order of magnitude as the differences caused by other factors known to affect investment, such as business cycles or financial constraints. We present a variety of tests ...
March 2013Learning about CEO Ability and Stock Return Volatility
with Yihui Pan, Michael S. Weisbach: w18882
When there is uncertainty about a CEO's quality, news about the firm causes rational investors to update their expectation of the firm's profitability for two reasons: Updates occur because of the direct effect of the news, and also because the news can cause an updated assessment of the CEO's quality, affecting expectations of his ability to generate future cash flows. As a CEO's quality becomes known more precisely over time, the latter effect becomes smaller, lowering the stock price reaction to news, and hence lowering the stock return volatility. Thus, in addition to uncertainty about fundamentals, uncertainty about CEO quality is also a source of stock return volatility, which decreases over a CEO's tenure as the market learns the CEO's quality more accurately. We formally model thi...

Published: Yihui Pan & Tracy Yue Wang & Michael S. Weisbach, 2015. "Learning About CEO Ability and Stock Return Volatility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 28(6), pages 1623-1666. citation courtesy of

April 2010Investor Overconfidence and the Forward Premium Puzzle
with Craig Burnside, Bing Han, David Hirshleifer: w15866
We offer an explanation for the forward premium puzzle in foreign exchange markets based upon investor overconfidence. In the model, overconfident individuals overreact to their information about future inflation, which causes greater overshooting in the forward rate than in the spot rate. Thus, when agents observe a signal of higher future inflation, the consequent rise in the forward premium predicts a subsequent downward correction of the spot rate. The model can explain the magnitude of the forward premium bias and several other stylized facts related to the joint behavior of forward and spot exchange rates. Our approach is also consistent with the availability of profitable carry trade strategies.

Published: Craig Burnside & Bing Han & David Hirshleifer & Tracy Yue Wang, 2011. "Investor Overconfidence and the Forward Premium Puzzle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 523-558. citation courtesy of

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