Area of Expertise
- Derivative Securities
- Financial Engineering
- Financial Investments
- International Finance
- Risk Management
2020 AFAANZ Best Paper Award in Corporate Governance, "Labor Voice in Corporate Governance: Evidence from Opportunistic Insider Trading."
2020 AJFS Best Paper Award (Sponsored by Mirae Asset Global Investments), "Insider Trading, Informativeness, and Price Efficiency Around the World."
2019 Moskowitz Prize (Berkeley-Haas's Institute for Business and Social Impact), "Socially Responsible Corporate Customers."
2019 FMA Asia/Pacific Conference, Best Corporate Finance Paper Nominee, "Socially Responsible Corporate Customers."
2018 The 13th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Financial Markets' Outstanding Paper Award; and FMA's Best Corporate Finance Paper Nominee, "Socially Responsible Corporate Customers."
2018 Asian Finance & Accounting's Research Excellence Award (Sponsored by Elsevier and Pacific-Basin Finance Journal); and FMA-Asia Pacific's Best Investment Paper Nominee, "Emerging Markets are Catching Up: Economic or Financial Integration?"
Akbari, A., Ng, L. and Solnik, B. (2021), "Drivers of Global Market Integration: A Machine Learning Approach", 61, 82-102.
We propose a new approach to identifying drivers of economic and financial integration, separately, and across emerging and developed countries. Our advanced machine learning technique allows for nonlinear relationships, corrects for over-fitting, and is less prone to noise. It also can tackle a large number of highly correlated explanatory variables and controls for multicollinearity. Results suggest that general economic growth, increasing international trade, and contained population growth have helped emerging countries catch up to the level of the economic integration of developed countries. However, slow financial development and a high level of investment riskiness have hindered the speed of emerging countries’ financial integration. Furthermore, the results suggest that integration is a gradual process and is not driven by cyclical or transitory events.
Akbari, A., Ng, L. and Solnik, B. (2020), "International Market Integration: A Survey", Asia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies, 49, 161-195.
Market integration is a canonical topic in international finance. The question of whether and to what extent markets are integrated with the global economy has motivated one of the largest literature in this field. Given the vast literature, this survey focuses only on equity market integration and provides an overview of its theoretical and empirical research. It reviews the evolution of various approaches employed in studying market integration. This survey discusses the recent empirical findings on cross-sectional and time-series dynamics of integration across developed and emerging markets. It also describes the empirical estimation of three current measures of market integration and discusses their limitations. Finally, the survey provides a few future directions for this line of research.
Akbari, A., Ng, L. and Solnik, B. (2020), "Emerging Markets are Catching Up: Economic or Financial Integration?", Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 55(7), 2270-2303.
We propose a simple metric to measure two aspects of market integration, namely, economic integration (defined as a common cash-flow dynamic) and financial integration (defined as a common risk-pricing dynamic) and then examine their evolution through time while controlling for volatility. We find that developed (DEV) countries exhibit greater degrees of financial and economic integration than emerging (EMG) markets. Although the financial integration gap between these markets remains large throughout the sample period, the EMG economies are catching up with their DEV counterparts in recent years; their level of economic integration has reached that of DEV countries.
Dai, R., Liang, H. and Ng, L. (2019), "Socially Responsible Corporate Customers", Journal of Financial Economics.
Corporate customers are an important stakeholder in global supply chains. We employ several unique international databases to test whether socially responsible corporate customers can infuse similar socially responsible business behavior in suppliers. Our findings suggest a unilateral effect on corporate social responsibility (CSR) only from customers to suppliers, an evidence further supported by exogenous variation in customers’ close-call CSR proposals and by product scandals. Customers exert influence on suppliers’ CSR through positive assortative matching and their decision-making process. Enhanced collaborative CSR efforts help improve operational efficiency and firm valuation of both customers and suppliers but increase only the customers’ future sales growth.
Larkin, Y., Ng, L. and Zhu, J. (2018), "The Fading of Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivity and Global Development", Journal of Corporate Finance, 50 294-322.
This study examines investment-cash flow (ICF) sensitivity across international markets and shows that the sensitivity has been stable in poor countries, but has experienced a sharp decline over time in firms located in rich countries. Our results suggest that the growing wealth of economies worldwide and relaxation of financial constraints at the firm level have led to the disappearance of ICF sensitivity in rich, highly developed countries but not in poor developing ones. We show that access to external finance, especially equity finance, is a key channel through which country-level development affects the sensitivity of investment to internal cash flow. Our evidence suggests that the amount of available economic resources and allocation efficiency are two necessary conditions that ensure the viability of the equity channel.
He, W., Ng, L., Zaiats, N. and Zhang, B. (2017), "Dividend Policy and Earnings Management across Countries", Journal of Corporate Finance, 42, 267-286.
This paper examines whether dividend policy is associated with earnings management and whether the relationship varies across countries with wide-ranging degrees of institutional strength and transparency. Based on a sample of 23,429 corporations from 29 countries, we show that dividend payers manage earnings less than dividend non-payers, and that this evidence is stronger in countries with weak investor protection and high opacity. Further, we find that dividend payers manage earnings less when they issue equity following dividend payments, and that this result is more pronounced in countries with weak institutions and low transparency. Overall, our evidence suggests that firms may employ dividend policies associated with less earnings manipulation to mitigate agency concerns and to establish credible reputation, thereby facilitating access to external funds.
Ng, L., Wu, F., Yu, J. and Zhang, B. (2016), "Foreign Investor Heterogeneity and Stock Liquidity around the World", Review of Finance, 20(5), 1867-1910.
This article examines whether foreign investor heterogeneity plays a role in stock liquidity in a sample of 27,828 firms from thirty-nine countries worldwide. Foreign direct ownership is negatively associated with stock liquidity, while foreign portfolio ownership is positively associated with stock liquidity. Consistent with theoretical predictions, foreign ownership explains stock liquidity through both trading activity and information channels. The value-enhancing benefits of foreign direct investors’ monitoring efforts outweigh their liquidity costs and high adverse selection premium. However, the positive impact of foreign portfolio ownership on firm performance becomes negative and is not robustly significant after controlling for liquidity.
Cho, C., Halford, J., Hsu, S. and Ng, L. (2016), "Do Managers Matter for Corporate Innovation?", Journal of Corporate Finance, 36, 206-229.
This paper examines the ability of latent firm and manager characteristics to explain variation in innovation productivity. Evidence suggests that latent, but not observable, firm and manager characteristics explain a large portion of the variation in a firm’s innovation productivity. Our tests mostly show that latent firm characteristics explain slightly more of the variation relative to latent manager characteristics. For robustness, our analysis shows no significant difference in the average change in innovation productivity and in abnormal returns following two different samples of manager-firm separations: one where managers’ expected innovation abilities are high and the other a random sample. Overall, the results suggest that compared to firm characteristics, managers matter moderately less for corporate innovation.
Lai, S., Ng, L. and Zhang, B. (2014), "Does PIN Affect Asset Prices Around the World?", Journal of Financial Economics, 114(1), 178-195.
This study examines the empirical controversy over the pricing effect of the Easley, Hvidkjaer, and O׳Hara (2002) probability of information-based trading, PIN, on a sample of 30,095 firms from 47 countries worldwide. Contrary to the empirical evidence of Easley, Hvidkjaer, and O׳Hara, but consistent with that of Duarte and Young (2009), we do not find that PIN exhibits a positive effect on a cross section of expected stock returns in international markets. Alternative information-based trading measures also display no effect on expected stock returns, corroborating our finding that information risk proxied by PIN, in general, has no pricing effect in world markets.
Lau, S., Ng, L. and Zhang, B. (2012), "Information Environment and Equity Risk Premium Volatility Around the World", Management Science, 58, 1322-1340.
This paper examines whether and how differences in investors’ information environments (measured by a country’s information disclosure, accounting standards, and financial transparency) are related to cross-country differences in the market risk premium volatility. We use the vector-autoregressive and implied cost of capital methods to extract time variation in risk premiums for 41 developed and emerging markets worldwide. Consistent with theoretical predictions, countries with better information environments tend to experience a lower risk premium volatility, even after controlling for various country variables that are potentially associated with variation in risk premiums. Our analysis of two exogenous events, specifically the 1997 Asian financial crisis and 2008 global financial crisis, further corroborates our key finding that information environments play an important role in explaining market risk premium variability.
Project Title Role Award Amount Year Awarded Granting Agency Project TitleHow Firms Combat Climate Change: International Evidence RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$91,520.00 Year Awarded2021-2025 Granting AgencySSHRC Insight Research Grant Project TitleNational Pensions, Investment Policies, and Financial Markets: Evidence from Canada and Around the World RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$67,120.00 Year Awarded2017-2021 Granting AgencySSHRC Insight Research Grant