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Author:Harrison, Paul 

Working Paper
The timing of debt issuance and rating migration: theory and evidence
This paper develops and tests a recursive model of debt issuance and rating migration. We examine a signaling game with firms who have private information about their probability distribution of future rating migration. A key assumption of the model is that rating agencies reveal information over time, creating a recursive information problem, which in turn generates an adverse selection problem in debt issuance similar to that for equity issuance in Myers and Majluf (1984). This adverse selection model predicts that debt issuance provides a negative signal of rating migration, and that the signal strengthens with economic downturns. Another prediction regarding the maturity of debt issuance is that long maturity debt sends a negative signal relative to short maturity debt (Flannery 1986). Using data from 1980 to 1998 on straight bond issuance and Moody's ratings, and controlling for firm and issue-specific factors, we find that debt issuance sends a negative signal of a firm's default probability, and that this signal intensifies with a decline in economic activity and with an increase in debt maturity.
AUTHORS: Harrison, Paul; Covitz, Daniel M.
DATE: 2000

Working Paper
Does multinationality matter? Evidence of value destruction in U.S. multinational corporations
We document that capital markets penalize corporate multinationality by putting a lower value on the equity of multinational corporations than on otherwise similar domestic corporations. Using Tobin's q, the multinational discount is estimated to be in the range of 8.6% to 17.1%. The most important mechanism of value destruction is an asset channel in which multinationals have disproportionately high levels of assets in relation to the earnings they generate. Foreign assets are particularly associated with value destruction. In contrast, exporting from U.S. operations is associated with an export premium -- of approximately 3.9% -- resulting from both a higher market value and a lower asset size. Given these findings, we ask why firms become multinationals. Evidence reveals that the portion of a firm owned by management is inversely related to the likelihood that the firm is a multinational, so we conclude that managers who do not own much of the firm may be building multinational empires for private gains at the expense of the shareholders.
AUTHORS: Harrison, Paul; Click, Reid W.
DATE: 2000

Working Paper
How did the 2003 dividend tax cut affect stock prices?
We test the hypothesis that the 2003 dividend tax cut boosted U.S. stock prices and thus lowered the cost of equity. Using an event-study methodology, we attempt to identify an aggregate stock market effect by comparing the behavior of U.S. common stock prices to that of European stocks and real estate investment trusts. We also examine the relative cross-sectional response of stock prices for high-dividend and low-dividend stocks. We find that U.S. large-cap and small-cap indexes do not outperform their European counterparts, nor REIT stocks, over the event windows, suggesting the absence of a notable aggregate stock market effect. Second, high-dividend-yield stocks outperformed low-dividend-yield stocks by a few percentage points over the event windows, consistent with the hypothesis that investors heavily discounted future dividends, though this outperformance appears to dissipate in subsequent weeks. Finally, non-dividend paying stocks are found to have outperformed the overall market by a small margin, but this result does not appear to be tied to tax-cut news, suggesting that non-tax factors were at play.
AUTHORS: Amromin, Eugene; Harrison, Paul; Sharpe, Steven A.
DATE: 2005

Working Paper
Testing conflicts of interest at bond rating agencies with market anticipation: evidence that reputation incentives dominate
This paper presents the first comprehensive test of whether well-known conflicts of interest at bond rating agencies importantly influence their actions. This hypothesis is tested against the alternative that rating agency actions are primarily influenced by a countervailing incentive to protect their reputations as delegated monitors. These two hypotheses generate a number of testable predictions regarding the anticipation of credit-rating downgrades by the bond market, which we investigate using a new data set of about 2,000 credit rating migrations from Moody's and Standard & Poor's, and matching issuer-level bond prices. The findings strongly indicate that rating changes do not appear to be importantly influenced by rating agency conflicts of interest but, rather, suggest that rating agencies are motivated primarily by reputation-related incentives.
AUTHORS: Harrison, Paul; Covitz, Daniel M.
DATE: 2003

Working Paper
How did the 2003 dividend tax cut affect stock prices and corporate payout policy?
We examine the effects of the 2003 dividend tax cut on U.S. stock prices and corporate payout policies. First, using an event-study methodology, we compare the performance of U.S. stocks to that of other securities that should not have benefited from the tax change. We find that U.S. large-cap and small-cap indexes do not outperform their European counterparts, nor REIT stocks, over the event windows, suggesting little if any aggregate stock market effect from the tax change. In cross-sectional analysis, high-dividend stocks outperformed low-dividend stocks by a few percentage points over the event windows. On the other hand, non-dividend paying stocks are found to have outperformed the overall market by a small margin, but this result does not appear specific to the event windows, suggesting that non-tax factors were at play. Second, the tax change did appear to induce an increase in dividends, especially at firms where executive compensation was weighted more heavily toward stock than options. However, the effect on total payouts was more muted, as many firms scaled back share repurchases.
AUTHORS: Amromin, Eugene; Harrison, Paul; Liang, J. Nellie; Sharpe, Steven A.
DATE: 2005

Working Paper
Do banks strategically time public bond issuance because of the accompanying disclosure, due diligence, and investor scrutiny?
This paper tests a new hypothesis that bank managers issue bonds, at least in part, to convey positive, private information and refrain from issuance to hide negative, private information. We find evidence for this hypothesis, using rating migrations, equity returns, bond issuance, and balance sheet data for US bank holding companies. The results add to our understanding of the role of "market discipline" in monitoring bank holding companies and also inform upon how proposed regulatory requirements that banking organizations frequently issue public bonds might augment "market discipline."
AUTHORS: Covitz, Daniel M.; Harrison, Paul
DATE: 2003

Working Paper
Finance and growth: theory and new evidence
This paper describes a feedback effect between real and financial development. The paper presents a new variable, which we call the cost of financial intermediation, through which the feedback between finance and growth operates. The theoretical part of the paper describes how specialization of financial intermediaries leads to such a feedback effect. The main result of this feedback is that differences in productivity across countries are amplified by financial intermediation. The empirical part of the paper uses U.S. cross-state data from banks' income statements to measure the cost of financial intermediation and to provide evidence for the feedback effect between finance and growth.
AUTHORS: Harrison, Paul; Sussman, Oren; Zeira, Joseph
DATE: 1999

Working Paper
How did the 2003 dividend tax cut affect stock prices?
We test the hypothesis that the 2003 dividend tax cut boosted U.S. stock prices and thus lowered the cost of equity. Using an event- study methodology, we attempt to identify an aggregate stock market effect by comparing the behavior of U.S. common stock prices to that of European stocks and real estate investment trusts. We also examine the relative cross-sectional response of prices on high-dividend versus low-dividend paying stocks. We do not find any imprint of the dividend tax cut news on the value of the aggregate U.S. stock market. On the other hand, high-dividend stocks outperformed low-dividend stocks by a few percentage points over the event windows, suggesting that the tax cut did induce asset reallocation within equity portfolios. Finally, the positive abnormal returns on non-dividend paying U.S. stocks in 2003 do not appear to be tied to tax-cut news.
AUTHORS: Sharpe, Steven A.; Harrison, Paul; Amromin, Eugene
DATE: 2006

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Amromin, Eugene 3 items

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Liang, J. Nellie 1 items

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