nep-fmk New Economics Papers
on Financial Markets
Issue of 2008‒07‒14
nine papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. Subprime facts: what (we think) we know about the subprime crisis and what we don’t By Christopher L. Foote; Kristopher Gerardi; Lorenz Goette; Paul S. Willen
  2. Subprime mortgages: what, where, and to whom? By Chris Mayer; Karen Pence
  3. The Cost of Equity in Canada: An International Comparison By Jonathan Witmer
  4. Zero bound, option-implied PDFs, and term structure models By Don H. Kim
  5. Jackknifing stock return predictions By Benjamin Chiquoine; Erik Hjalmarsson
  6. Market conditions and hedge fund survival By Mark Carlson; Jason Steinman
  7. Why do U.S. cross-listings matter? By John Ammer; Sara B. Holland; David C. Smith; Francis E. Warnock
  8. Housing, home production, and the equity and value premium puzzles By Morris A. Davis; Robert F. Martin
  9. Random Walk or A Run: Market Microstructure Analysis of the Foreign Exchange Rate Movements based on Conditional Probability By Yuko Hashimoto; Takatoshi Ito; Takaaki Ohnishi; Misako Takayasu; Hideki Takayasu; Tsutomu Watanabe

  1. By: Christopher L. Foote; Kristopher Gerardi; Lorenz Goette; Paul S. Willen
    Abstract: Using a variety of datasets, we document some basic facts about the current subprime crisis. Many of these facts are applicable to the crisis at a national level, while some illustrate problems relevant only to Massachusetts and New England. We conclude by discussing some outstanding questions about which the data, we believe, are not yet conclusive.
    Keywords: Subprime mortgage
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Chris Mayer; Karen Pence
    Abstract: We explore the types of data used to characterize risky subprime lending and consider the geographic dispersion of subprime lending. First, we describe the strengths and weaknesses of three different datasets on subprime mortgages using information from LoanPerformance, HUD, and HMDA. These datasets embody different definitions of subprime mortgages. We show that estimates of the number of subprime originations are somewhat sensitive to which types of mortgages are categorized as subprime. Second, we describe what parts of the country and what sorts of neighborhoods had more subprime originations in 2005, and how these patterns differed for purchase and refinance mortgages. Subprime originations appear to be heavily concentrated in fast-growing parts of the country with considerable new construction, such as Florida, California, Nevada, and the Washington DC area. These locations saw house prices rise at faster-than-average rates relative to their own history and relative to the rest of the country. However, this link between construction, house prices, and subprime lending is not universal, as other markets with high house price growth such as the Northeast did not see especially high rates of subprime usage. Subprime loans were also heavily concentrated in Zip codes with more residents in the moderate credit score category and more black and Hispanic residents. Areas with lower income and higher unemployment had more subprime lending, but these associations are smaller in magnitude.
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Jonathan Witmer
    Abstract: This paper calculates an implied cost of equity for 19 developed countries from 1991 to 2006. During this period, there has been a decline in the cost of equity of about 10-15 bps per year, which can be partially attributed to declining government yields and declining inflation. Analyst forecast inaccuracy, a proxy for firm-level earnings opacity, is positively related to the cost of equity. If this variable captures differences in disclosure across firms, then improvements in disclosure regulation may benefit firms by lowering their cost of equity. I also include countrylevel variables that measure disclosure requirements, director liability, and the ability for shareholders to sue directors. Higher levels of these measures are associated with a lower cost of equity. Previous studies [e.g., Hail and Leuz (2006a)] have found a similar relation, but my study is unique in that it uses a different measure of investor protection, which may better reflect regulatory differences across countries, and it shows this relation holds for developed countries. After controlling for the characteristics of firms that analysts choose to cover in each country, differences in the properties of analyst forecasts across countries, and differences in accounting standards across countries, Canada’s cost of equity is statistically different from a handful of countries and is about 20 to 40 bps higher than that of the United States. Lowering Canadian firms' cost of equity by this amount would have large economic benefits given the size of Canada's capital markets.
    Keywords: Financial markets; International topics
    JEL: G30 G38
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Don H. Kim
    Abstract: This paper points out that several known ways of modeling non-negative nominal interest rates lead to different implications for the risk-neutral distribution of the short rate that can be checked with options data. In particular, Black's boundary models ("interest rates as options") imply a probability density function (pdf) that contains a Dirac delta function and a cumulative distribution function (cdf) that is nonzero at the zero boundary, while models like the CIR and positive-definite quadratic-Gaussian (QG) models have a zero cdf at the boundary. Eurodollar futures options data are found to favor Black's boundary models: the CIR/QG models, even multifactor versions, have difficulty capturing option prices accurately not only in low interest rate environments but also in higher interest rate environments, and data in early 2008 provide an almost tangible signature of the Dirac delta function in Black's boundary pdf models. Options data also contradict the prediction of well-known models whose cdf is zero at the zero boundary, namely that the risk-neutral pdf is always positively skewed.
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Benjamin Chiquoine; Erik Hjalmarsson
    Abstract: We show that the general bias reducing technique of jackknifing can be successfully applied to stock return predictability regressions. Compared to standard OLS estimation, the jackknifing procedure delivers virtually unbiased estimates with mean squared errors that generally dominate those of the OLS estimates. The jackknifing method is very general, as well as simple to implement, and can be applied to models with multiple predictors and overlapping observations. Unlike most previous work on inference in predictive regressions, no specific assumptions regarding the data generating process for the predictors are required. A set of Monte Carlo experiments show that the method works well in finite samples and the empirical section finds that out-of-sample forecasts based on the jackknifed estimates tend to outperform those based on the plain OLS estimates. The improved forecast ability also translates into economically relevant welfare gains for an investor who uses the predictive regression, with jackknifed estimates, to time the market.
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Mark Carlson; Jason Steinman
    Abstract: As the hedge fund industry has grown, there has been increased concern that, during sharp market moves, hedge fund failures could exacerbate the deterioration in financial conditions and deepen a crisis. However, there has not been much formal analysis regarding the impact of financial market conditions on hedge fund survival. To help fill this gap, this paper examines the relationship between financial market conditions and the likelihood of hedge fund failure after controlling for performance and other characteristics. The analysis is conducted using data on individual funds and industry aggregates. We find that market returns and volatility influence fund failures, although the impact depends on the funds' investment strategies. The results of the analysis are then used to predict hedge fund failures based on actual market returns and on stress scenarios. We find that the hedge fund industry is generally robust to different shocks.
    Date: 2008
  7. By: John Ammer; Sara B. Holland; David C. Smith; Francis E. Warnock
    Abstract: This paper investigates the underlying determinants of home bias using a comprehensive sample of U.S. investor holdings of foreign stocks. We document that U.S. cross-listings are economically important, as U.S. ownership in a foreign firm roughly doubles upon cross-listing in the United States. We explore the cross-sectional variation in this "cross-listing effect" and show that increases in U.S. investment are largest in firms from weak accounting backgrounds and in firms that are otherwise informationally opaque, indicating that U.S. investors value the improvements in disclosure associated with cross-listing. We confirm that relative equity valuations rise for cross-listed stocks, and provide evidence suggesting that valuation increases are due in part to increases in U.S. shareholder demand and in part to the fact that the equities become more attractive to non-U.S. shareholders.
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Morris A. Davis; Robert F. Martin
    Abstract: We test if a standard representative agent model with a home-production sector can resolve the equity premium or value premium puzzles. In this model, agents value market consumption and a home consumption good that is produced as an aggregate of the stock of housing, home labor, and a labor-augmenting technology shock. We construct the unobserved quantity of the home consumption good by combining observed data with restrictions of the model. We test the first-order conditions of the model using GMM. The model is rejected by the data; it cannot explain either the historical equity premium or the value premium.
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Yuko Hashimoto; Takatoshi Ito; Takaaki Ohnishi; Misako Takayasu; Hideki Takayasu; Tsutomu Watanabe
    Abstract: Using tick-by-tick data of the dollar-yen and euro-dollar exchange rates recorded in the actual transaction platform, a "run" -- continuous increases or decreases in deal prices for the past several ticks -- does have some predictable information on the direction of the next price movement. Deal price movements, that are consistent with order flows, tend to continue a run once it started i.e., conditional probability of deal prices tend to move in the same direction as the last several times in a row is higher than 0.5. However, quote prices do not show such tendency of a run. Hence, a random walk hypothesis is refuted in a simple test of a run using the tick by tick data. In addition, a longer continuous increase of the price tends to be followed by larger reversal. The findings suggest that those market participants who have access to real-time, tick-by-tick transaction data may have an advantage in predicting the exchange rate movement. Findings here also lend support to the momentum trading strategy.
    JEL: F31 F33 G15
    Date: 2008–07

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