Learning and the Disappearing Association Between Governance and Returns

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Learning and the Disappearing Association Between Governance and Returns

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Title: Learning and the Disappearing Association Between Governance and Returns
Author: Bebchuk, Lucian Arye; Cohen, Alma; Wang, Charles Chang-Yi

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Lucian A. Bebchuk, Alma Cohen & Charles C. Y. Wang, Learning and the Disappearing Association Between Governance and Returns, 108 J. Fin. Econ. 323 (2013).
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Abstract: During the period 1991-1999, stock returns were correlated with the G-Index based on twenty-four governance provisions (Gompers, Ishii, and Metrick (2003)) and the E-Index based on the six provisions that matter most (Bebchuk, Cohen, and Ferrell (2009)). This correlation, however, did not persist during the subsequent period 2000-2008. We provide evidence that both the identified correlation and its subsequent disappearance were due to market participants’ gradually learning to appreciate the difference between firms scoring well and poorly on the governance indices. Consistent with the learning hypothesis, we find that:

(i) The disappearance of the governance-return correlation was associated with an increase in the attention to governance by a wide range of market participants;
(ii) Until the beginning of the 2000s, but not subsequently, stock market reactions to earning announcements reflected the market’s being more positively surprised by the earning announcements of good-governance firms than by those of poor-governance firms;
(iii) Stock analysts were also more positively surprised by the earning announcements of good-governance firms than by those of poor-governance firms until the beginning of the 2000s but not afterwards;
(iv) While the G-Index and E-Index could no longer generate abnormal returns in the 2000s, their negative association with Tobin’s Q and operating performance persisted; and
(v) The existence and subsequent disappearance of the governance-return correlation cannot be fully explained by additional common risk factors suggested in the literature for augmenting the Fame-French-Carhart four-factor model.
Published Version: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0304405X12002164/1-s2.0-S0304405X12002164-main.pdf?_tid=b2bc73a6-0f28-11e3-a657-00000aab0f01&acdnat=1377615502_0ad30c20c6f4994fb5d4b7dc7485aec9
Other Sources: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15912.pdf?new_window=1
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1589731
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12019062
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