Stock Splits as a Corporate Governance Device
35 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2009
Date Written: March 18, 2009
This paper models a stock split as a mechanism for inducing uninformed investors to pay brokers' analysts (through trading commissions) and informed investors (through trading losses) to monitor managers and make stock price more informative, which in turn creates a better investment environment with lower information risk for themselves. The increased price informativeness enhances the efficiency of equity-based managerial compensation, which motivates managers to put more efforts and consume less perks, but causing them to face higher stock price volatility. To overcome the adverse effect of price volatility on their expected utility, managers would do a stock split only when the firm has been doing well and the persistent component of earnings is sufficiently large. Thus, our model suggests that stock splits have economic benefits because they serve as a corporate governance device that invites market monitoring and keeps managers better motivated.
Keywords: stock split, signal, corporate governance, liquidity, managerial incentive, moral hazard
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