Activism, Strategic Trading, and Liquidity

56 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2016 Last revised: 24 May 2018

Kerry Back

Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business

Pierre Collin-Dufresne

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Swiss Finance Institute; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Vyacheslav Fos

Boston College - Department of Finance

Tao Li

City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) - Department of Economics & Finance

Alexander Ljungqvist

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

We analyze dynamic trading by an activist investor who can expend costly effort to affect firm value. We obtain the equilibrium in closed form for a general activism technology, including both binary and continuous outcomes. Variation in parameters can produce either positive or negative relations between market liquidity and economic efficiency, depending on the activism technology and model parameters. Two results that contrast with the previous literature are that (a) the relation between market liquidity and economic efficiency is independent of the activist's initial stake for a broad set of activism technologies and (b) an increase in noise trading can reduce market liquidity, because it increases uncertainty about the activist's trades (the activist trades in the opposite direction of noise traders) and thereby increases information asymmetry about the activist's intentions.

Keywords: Kyle model, insider trading, strategic trading, asymmetric information, liquidity, price impact, market depth, activism, unobservable effort, economic efficiency, continuous time

JEL Classification: G34, G14

Suggested Citation

Back, Kerry and Collin-Dufresne, Pierre and Fos, Vyacheslav and Li, Tao and Ljungqvist, Alexander, Activism, Strategic Trading, and Liquidity (October 2017). European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 497/2017; Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper No. 18-42. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2873840 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2873840

Kerry Back

Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business ( email )

6100 South Main Street
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

Pierre Collin-Dufresne

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Quartier UNIL-Dorigny, Bâtiment Extranef, # 211
40, Bd du Pont-d'Arve
CH-1015 Lausanne, CH-6900
Switzerland

Swiss Finance Institute

c/o University of Geneva
40, Bd du Pont-d'Arve
CH-1211 Geneva 4
Switzerland

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Vyacheslav Fos (Contact Author)

Boston College - Department of Finance ( email )

Carroll School of Management
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3808
United States

Tao Li

City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) - Department of Economics & Finance ( email )

83 Tat Chee Avenue
Kowloon
Hong Kong

Alexander Ljungqvist

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street, Suite 9-160
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0304 (Phone)
212-995-4220 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~aljungqv

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

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