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Three Essays on Network Peer Effects on Firms and Financial Markets

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Three Essays on Network Peer Effects on Firms and Financial Markets

Fathi Ajirloo, Bahman (2021) Three Essays on Network Peer Effects on Firms and Financial Markets. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This dissertation consists of three essays that address recent topics in corporate finance that concern for scholars, policymakers, and investors. Main body of this dissertation has been developed based on the “nexus of contracts” theory of the firm which in recent years has sparked renewed debates on the motivation underlying firm size and boundary. The first essay explores a network of interconnected firms and examines the impact of the firm’s relationships with peers, rivals, and customers on its capital structure, and how the firm’s revealed peers influence its financing decisions. We demonstrate that industry classification approach is fraught with measurement error, and instead implement an alternative peer identification scheme that designates peer groups as those explicitly disclosed by managers to shareholders. The results contrast with previous studies that find only weak evidence for peer effects on capital structure. We find that peer effects are particularly strong when focal firms have persistent rivals, in the sense of supplying common customers for at least two consecutive years. While constructing the firm’s actual network poses a challenge, the new approach can lead to more real-world insights about firm behavior. In the second essay, I approach to a challenging version of peer effects model with firm’s and peer’s multinomial decision outcome as endogenous and financial fundamentals as exogenous explanatory variables. I show that managers do not set dividend policy independently and they are significantly under the influence of few self-disclosed diverse competitors rather than industry peers. The test results show that firm’s dividend change actions are significantly correlated with past dividend actions of its peers and it is highly predictable for the next period. I also investigate and report marginal effects of firm’s and peers’ different endogenous and exogenous determinants on the outcome decision variable for example a peer group with an overall dividend increase action in the past 180 days, increases the chance of the dividend increase in the focal firm. Considering the market capitalization of dividend paying firms, the identified marginal effects and prediction of the cash distribution are economically meaningful and important. In the third essay, I propose a new approach to model and measure intangible value of the firm as the joint of network feature and book value of the firm. Despite the growing importance, the empirical asset pricing research has struggled to evaluate the effects of intangible assets on firms’ market value. Utilizing characteristics of the firm network, I propose a network-centric value factor to replace the under-performing traditional value factor (HML) in a series of asset pricing factor model. I show that the new value factor portfolio provides stronger performance in all periods of the sample. I also explore short and long strategies to better understand effects of the networks on value of the firms. Initial findings emphasize that asset pricing studies should adjust the factor models by including intangible network value of the firm.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Finance
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Fathi Ajirloo, Bahman
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Business Administration (Finance specialization)
Date:30 July 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Switzer, Lorne N.
ID Code:989066
Deposited By: BAHMAN FATHI AJIRLOO
Deposited On:29 Nov 2021 16:44
Last Modified:29 Nov 2021 16:44
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