Investment Decisions, Liquidity, and Institutional Activism: An International Study

Journal of Business Ethics 87 (S1):25-40 (2009)

Abstract

The activism of institutional investors tends more and more toward the supervision and control of the behavior of the managers of big companies. In this article, we present a model based on the creation of an activism index that lets us evaluate such activism's effect on the sensitivity of the investment policies of a company in the face of financial variables and market variables. To test our assertions, we analyze firm-level data for United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, and Spain during the period 1995-2004. Our results point to a significant reduction in the sensitivity of company investment decisions in the face of these variables, especially relative to intangible capital, as a result of the neutralizing effect of activism on the high agency costs of free cash flow and on the information asymmetries of the market.

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