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Author:Sun, Bo 

Working Paper
Incentive Contracting Under Ambiguity Aversion

This paper studies a principal-agent model in which the information on future firm performance is ambiguous and the agent is averse to ambiguity. We show that if firm risk is ambiguous, while stocks always induce the agent to perceive a high risk, options can induce him to perceive a low risk. As a result, options can be less costly in incentivizing the agent than stocks in the presence of ambiguity. In addition, we show that providing the agent with more incentives would induce the agent to perceive a higher risk, and there is a discontinuous jump in the compensation cost as incentives ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1195

Working Paper
Contracting with Feedback

We study the effect of financial market conditions on managerial compensation structure. First, we analyze the optimal pay-for-performance in a model in which corporate decisions and firm value are both endogenous to trading due to feedback from information contained in stock prices. In a less frictional financial market, the improved information content of stock prices helps guide managerial decisions, and this information substitutes out part of the direct incentive provision from compensation contracts. Thus, the optimal pay-for-performance is lowered in response to reductions in market ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1143

Working Paper
Limited market participation and asset prices in the presence of earnings management

We examine the role of earnings management in explaining the properties of asset prices and stock market participation. We demonstrate that investors' uncertainty about the extent of manipulation can cause excess movements in stock price relative to fluctuations in output. When faced with information asymmetry about fundamentals in the presence of earnings management, investors demand a higher equity premium for bearing the additional risk associated with their payoffs. In addition, when investors have heterogeneous beliefs about managerial manipulation, the dispersion in belief endogenously ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1019

Working Paper
Taxonomy of Global Risk, Uncertainty, and Volatility Measures

A large number of measures for monitoring risk and uncertainty surrounding macroeconomic and financial outcomes have been proposed in the literature, and these measures are frequently used by market participants, policy makers, and researchers in their analyses. However, risk and uncertainty measures differ across multiple dimensions, including the method of calculation, the underlying outcome (that is, the asset price or macroeconomic variable), and the horizon at which they are calculated. Therefore, in this paper, we review the literature on global risk, uncertainty, and volatility ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1216

Working Paper
Managerial Compensation under Privately-Observed Hedging

This paper studies how private information in hedging outcomes affects the design of managerial compensation when hedging instruments serve as a double-edged sword in that they may be used for both corporate hedging and earnings management. On the one hand, financial vehicles can offer customized contracts that are closely tailored to manage specific risk and improve hedging efficiency. On the other hand, involvement in hedging may give rise to manipulation through misstatement of the value estimates. We show that the use of privately-observed hedging may actually require greater ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1160

Working Paper
Monetary Policy Uncertainty

We construct new measures of uncertainty about Federal Reserve policy actions and their consequences - monetary policy uncertainty (MPU) indexes. We show that, under a variety of VAR identification schemes, positive shocks to uncertainty about monetary policy robustly raise credit spreads and reduce output. The effects are of comparable magnitude to those of conventional monetary policy shocks. We evaluate the usefulness of our MPU indexes, and examine the influence of Fed communication. Our analysis suggests that policy rate normalization that is accompanied by reduced uncertainty can help ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1215

Working Paper
Relative Wealth Concerns, Executive Compensation, and Systemic Risk-Taking

Given the recent empirical evidence on peer effects in CEO compensation, this paper theoretically examines how relative wealth concerns, in which a manager?s satisfaction with his own compensation depends on the compensation of other managers, affect the equilibrium contracting strategy and managerial risk-taking. We find that such externalities can generate pay-for-luck as an efficient compensation vehicle in equilibrium. In expectation of pay-for-luck in other firms, tying managerial pay to luck provides insurance to managers against a compensation shortfall relative to executive peers ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1164

Working Paper
A Model of Anomaly Discovery

We analyze a model of anomaly discovery. Consistent with existing evidence, we show that the discovery of an anomaly reduces its magnitude and increases its correlation with existing anomalies. One new prediction is that the discovery of an anomaly reduces the correlation between deciles 1 and 10 for that anomaly. Using data for 12 well-known anomalies, we find strong evidence consistent with this prediction. Moreover, the correlation between deciles 1 and 10 of an anomaly becomes correlated with the aggregate hedge-fund wealth volatility after the anomaly is discovered. Our model also sheds ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1128

Working Paper
Executive compensation and earnings management under moral hazard

This paper analyzes executive compensation in a setting where managers may take a costly action to manipulate corporate performance, and whether managers do so is stochastic. We examine how the opportunity to manipulate affects the optimal pay contract, and establish necessary and sufficient conditions under which earnings management occurs. Our model provides a set of implications on the role earnings management plays in driving the time-series and cross-sectional variation of executive compensation. In addition, the model's predictions regarding the changes of earnings management and ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 985

Working Paper
Government Connections and Financial Constraints: Evidence from a Large Representative Sample of Chinese Firms

We examine the role of firms' government connections, defined by government intervention in CEO appointment and the status of state ownership, in determining the severity of financial constraints faced by Chinese firms. We demonstrate that government connections are associated with substantially less severe financial constraints (i.e., less reliance on internal cash flows to fund investment), and that the sensitivity of investment to internal cash flows is higher for firms that report greater obstacles to obtaining external funds. We also find that those large non-state firms with weak ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1129

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