Stock Liquidity and the Under-investment Problem: A Quasi-natural Experiment in China
Western Economic Association International (WEAI), 2019; Asian Meeting of Econometric Society (AMES), 2019; PKU–NUS Annual Conference, 2019; SFM 2018; AFBC 2018; CAFM 2018
59 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2019 Last revised: 27 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 25, 2020
Using the split-share structure reform in China as a quasi-natural experiment, we examine the effect of stock liquidity on investment efficiency. Consistent with feedback and incentive theories, investment efficiency increases after the reform but only for under-investing firms. Higher stock liquidity increases institutional ownership, board independence, and price efficiency, especially for under-investing firms; thus, allowing managers to invest more optimally. Our analysis is robust to a battery of considerations, including multiple specifications and several natural experiments. Our findings highlight externalities linked to the Chinese reform and further substantiate the real effects of financial markets.
Keywords: Stock liquidity, Investment efficiency, Underinvestment, Institutional ownership, Information efficiency, Corporate governance
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G15, G31, D83, G34
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