Department of Finance
1655 Campus Center Drive
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9303
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2016||How Management Risk Affects Corporate Debt|
with Tracy Yue Wang, Michael S. Weisbach: w22091
Management risk occurs when uncertainty about future managerial decisions increases a firm’s overall risk. This paper argues that management risk is an important yet unexplored determinant of a firm’s default risk and the pricing of its debt. CDS spreads, loan spreads and bond yield spreads all increase at the time of CEO turnover, when management risk is highest, and decline over the first three years of CEO tenure, regardless of the reason for the turnover. A similar pattern but of smaller magnitude occurs around CFO turnovers. The increase in the CDS spread at the time of the CEO departure announcement, the change in the spread when the incoming CEO takes office, as well as the sensitivity of the spread to the new CEO’s tenure, all depend on the amount of prior uncertainty about the new...
|November 2014||Does Uncertainty about Management Affect Firms’ Costs of Borrowing?|
with Tracy Yue Wang, 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 2013||CEO Investment Cycles|
with Tracy Yue Wang, 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 ...
Published: Yihui Pan & Tracy Yue Wang & Michael S. Weisbach, 2016. "CEO Investment Cycles," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(11), pages 2955-2999. citation courtesy of
|March 2013||Learning about CEO Ability and Stock Return Volatility|
with Tracy Yue Wang, 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