Modern financial markets offer the real world's best approximation to the idealized price auction market envisioned in economic theory. Nevertheless, as the increasingly exquisite and detailed financial data demonstrate, financial markets often fail to behave as they should if trading were truly dominated by the fully rational investors that populate financial theories. These markets anomalies have spawned a new approach to finance, one which as editor Richard Thaler puts it, "entertains the possibility that some agents in the economy behave less than fully rationally some of the time." Advances in Behavioral Finance collects together twenty-one recent articles that illustrate the power of this approach. These papers demonstrate how specific departures from fully rational decision making by individual market agents can provide explanations of otherwise puzzling market phenomena. To take several examples, Werner De Bondt and Thaler find an explanation for superior price performance of firms with poor recent earnings histories in the tendencies of investors to overreact to recent information. Richard Roll traces the negative effects of corporate takeovers on the stock prices of the acquiring firms to the overconfidence of managers, who fail to recognize the contributions of chance to their past successes. Andrei Shleifer and Robert Vishny show how the difficulty of establishing a reliable reputation for correctly assessing the value of long term capital projects can lead investment analysis, and hence corporate managers, to focus myopically on short term returns. As a testing ground for assessing the empirical accuracy of behavioral theories, the successful studies in this landmark collection reach beyond the world of finance to suggest, very powerfully, the importance of pursuing behavioral approaches to other areas of economic life. Advances in Behavioral Finance is a solid beachhead for behavioral work in the financial arena and a clear promise of wider application for behavioral economics in the future.
In this volume, specialists from traditionally separate areas in economics and finance investigate issues at the conjunction of their fields. They argue that financial decisions of the firm can affect real economic activity—and this is true for enough firms and consumers to have significant aggregate economic effects. They demonstrate that important differences—asymmetries—in access to information between "borrowers" and "lenders" ("insiders" and "outsiders") in financial transactions affect investment decisions of firms and the organization of financial markets. The original research emphasizes the role of information problems in explaining empirically important links between internal finance and investment, as well as their role in accounting for observed variations in mechanisms for corporate control.
When we look at all the challenges facing the world, including inequality, population migration, and climate change, we can see a role for development banking in nearly all of them. But will that role be played for good or ill? This book brings together two people who collectively draw on their forty-five years of experience in that world to argue that development banking can-and must-play a constructive role. We only need to read the news to find public outrage at tales of short-sighted greed in the financial world. But what happens when banks invest in long-term sustainability? Readers will find a fascinating example in the journey of the Dutch development bank FMO. At times global in perspective, at other moments intimately personal, Banking for a Better World interweaves candid anecdotes with development history, as well as banking lessons with client interviews, to deliver a powerful argument for a business model that generates profit through impact, and impact through profit. This is an important and accessible must-read for anyone involved in banking, business, policy making, and civil society as a whole. Banking for a Better World challenges us to start finding overlaps between our own lives and global issues and to bridge the distance between our personal needs and those of our planet.
Capital and Interest
F. A. Hayek University of Chicago Press, 2015 Library of Congress HB171.H4266 2015 | Dewey Decimal 332.041
Produced throughout the first fifteen years of Hayek’s career, the writings collected in Capital and Interest see Hayek elaborate upon and extend his landmark lectures that were published as Prices and Production and work toward the technically sophisticated line of thought seen in his later Pure Theory of Capital. Illuminating the development of Hayek’s detailed contributions to capital and interest theory, the collection also sheds light on how Hayek’s work related to other influential economists of the time. Highlights include the 1936 article “The Mythology of Capital”—presented here alongside Frank Knight’s criticisms of the Austrian theory of capital that prompted it—and “The Maintenance of Capital,” with subsequent comments by the English economist A. C. Pigou. These and other familiar works are accompanied by lesser-known articles and lectures, including a lecture on technological progress and excess capacity. An introduction by the book’s editor, leading Hayek scholar Lawrence H. White, places Hayek’s contributions in careful historical context, with ample footnotes and citations for further reading, making this a touchstone addition to the University of Chicago Press’s Collected Works of F. A. Hayek series.
Social security is the largest and perhaps the most popular program run by the federal government. Given the projected increase in both individual life expectancy and sheer number of retirees, however, the current system faces an eventual overload. Alternative proposals have emerged, ranging from reductions in future benefits to a rise in taxrevenue to various forms of investment-based personal retirement accounts.
As this volume suggests, the distributional consequences of these proposals are substantially different and may disproportionately affect those groups who depend on social security to avoid poverty in old age. Together, these studies persuasively show that appropriately designed investment-based social security reforms can effectively reduce the long-term burden of an aging society on future taxpayers, increase the expected future income of retirees, and mitigate poverty rates among the elderly.
The contributors discuss alternative methods of financing state and local economic development, including the role of venture capital in urban development, the role of banking institutions in encouraging the growth of small business, and the place of pension funds in economic growth.
As China continues to be heralded as a rising economic power, the need for an understanding of its institutional effects--such as investment-related policies, regulations, and laws--on foreign direct investment increases as well. Institutions and Investments employs interdisciplinary perspectives from economics, business, law, and political science to shed light on the interaction between institutional changes and investment patterns and to form a clear picture of investment behavior as China's legal and regulatory infrastructure has developed over the reform years.
Organized into three main parts, the book first discusses the evolution and nature of China's FDI regulatory framework. Part 2 examines the various modes and variant patterns of FDI in China in the reform years. Part 3's central task is to demonstrate a systematic link between institutional changes in China's FDI regulatory framework and the changing patterns of FDI. In conclusion, Jun Fu finds that China has made substantial progress from a command economy to a market system, but that it still has a long way to go before it truly attains a transparent and rule-based system.
This book adds new dimensions to the scholarship on China as a growing economic power and will be of particular interest to international economists, political scientists, and business scholars studying China.
Jun Fu is Associate Professor in the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University.
Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston's evolution as a center of American money management from early settlement to the twenty-first century. Within a few decades after the Revolution, Bostonians built up an impressive mercantile and industrial economy, and used wealth accrued from the China trade, New England mills, and other ventures to establish the most important stock exchange in America. They also created the "Boston trustee," a unique professional who managed private fortunes over generations. During the late nineteenth century, Boston financial institutions were renowned as bastions of stability and conservatism in an era of recurrent economic panics and frequent failures.
It was not until the twentieth century that Boston became better known for its role in investment management. In 1924, local financiers created the first mutual fund, an innovation almost a century in the making. After World War II, Boston originated venture capital with the founding of American Research & Development. This was soon followed by the development of private equity, the growth of the mutual fund industry, the pension "revolution" that changed and strengthened money management, the evolution in management of institutional endowments, and the rise of new family offices and hedge funds. The contributions of fiduciaries and investment managers have played an important part in the rise of the "New Boston" and made the city one of the most vibrant financial capitals in the world.
Investment Management in Boston is published in association with Massachusetts Historical Society.
We often think of finance as a glamorous world, a place where investment bankers amass huge profits in gleaming downtown skyscrapers. There’s another side to finance, though—the millions of amateurs who log on to their computers every day to make their own trades. The shocking truth, however, is that less than 2% of these amateur traders make a consistent profit. Why, then, do they do it?
In Noise, Alex Preda explores the world of the people who trade even when by all measures they would be better off not trading. Based on firsthand observations, interviews with traders and brokers, and on international direct trading experience, Preda’s fascinating ethnography investigates how ordinary people take up financial trading, how they form communities of their own behind their computer screens, and how electronic finance encourages them to trade more and more frequently. Along the way, Preda finds the answer to the paradox of amateur trading—the traders aren’t so much seeking monetary rewards in the financial markets, rather the trading itself helps them to fulfill their own personal goals and aspirations.
The Pure Theory of Capital
F. A. Hayek University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress HB501.H392 2007 | Dewey Decimal 332.041
The Pure Theory of Capital, F. A. Hayek’s long-overlooked, little-understood volume, was his most detailed work in economic theory. Originally published in 1941 when fashionable economic thought had shifted to John Maynard Keynes, Hayek’s manifesto of capital theory is now available again for today’s students and economists to discover.
With a new introduction by Hayek expert Lawrence H. White, who firmly situates the book not only in historical and theoretical context but within Hayek’s own life and his struggle to complete the manuscript, this edition commemorates the celebrated scholar’s last major work in economics. Offering a detailed account of the equilibrium relationships between inputs and outputs in an economy, Hayek’s stated objective was to make capital theory—which had previously been devoted almost entirely to the explanation of interest rates—“useful for the analysis of the monetary phenomena of the real world.” His ambitious goal was nothing less than to develop a capital theory that could be fully integrated into the business cycle theory.
When Steven Burd, CEO of the supermarket chain Safeway, cut wages and benefits, starting a five-month strike by 59,000 unionized workers, he was confident he would win. But where traditional labor action failed, a novel approach was more successful. With the aid of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a $300 billion pension fund, workers led a shareholder revolt that unseated three of Burd’s boardroom allies.
In The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor's Last Best Weapon, David Webber uses cases such as Safeway’s to shine a light on labor’s most potent remaining weapon: its multitrillion-dollar pension funds. Outmaneuvered at the bargaining table and under constant assault in Washington, state houses, and the courts, worker organizations are beginning to exercise muscle through markets. Shareholder activism has been used to divest from anti-labor companies, gun makers, and tobacco; diversify corporate boards; support Occupy Wall Street; force global warming onto the corporate agenda; create jobs; and challenge outlandish CEO pay. Webber argues that workers have found in labor’s capital a potent strategy against their exploiters. He explains the tactic’s surmountable difficulties even as he cautions that corporate interests are already working to deny labor’s access to this powerful and underused tool.
The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder is a rare good-news story for American workers, an opportunity hiding in plain sight. Combining legal rigor with inspiring narratives of labor victory, Webber shows how workers can wield their own capital to reclaim their strength.
Social Security in the United States and in Europe is at a critical juncture. Through the essays assembled in Social Security Pension Reform in Europe, Martin Feldstein and Horst Siebert, along with a number of distinguished contributors, discuss the challenges facing Social Security reform in the aging societies of Europe. A remarkable range of European nations—Germany, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Hungary—have implemented or are about to implement mixed Social Security systems that combine a traditional defined benefit of the pay-as-you-go system with an individual retirement account defined contribution of a capital-funded system.
The essays here highlight the problems that the European pension reform process faces and how it differs from that of the United States. This timely volume will significantly enrich the debate on pension reform worldwide.
Drawn from an extensive two-decade longitudinal survey of American families, Succeeding Generations traces a representative group of America's children from their early years through young adulthood. It evaluates the many background factors that are most influential in determining how much education children will obtain, whether or not they will become teen parents, and how economically active they will be when they reach their twenties. Succeeding Generations demonstrates how our children's future has been placed at risk by social and economic conditions such as fractured families, a troubled economy, rising poverty rates, and neighborhood erosion. The authors also pinpoint some significant causes of children's later success, emphasizing the importance of parents' education and, despite the apparent loss of time spent with children, the generally positive influence of maternal employment. Haveman and Wolfe supplement their research with a comprehensive review of the many debates among economists, sociologists, developmental psychologists, and other experts on how best to improve the lot of America's children. "A state-of-the-art investigation of the determinants of children's success in the United States....Clearly written, highly readable, and compelling."—Contemporary Sociology "Haveman and Wolfe are professors of economics who bring sophisticated statistical and econometric techniques to the analysis of the economic and educational success of children as they progress into young adulthood."—Choice "This study is one of the most comprehensive of its kind, in part because the researchers collected detailed information about a wide range of children each year for more than two decades." —Wisconsin State Journal "The research at the core of this book addresses critically important questions in social science...an important contribution to the literature." —Robert Plotnick, University of Washington
The Templeton Touch
William Proctor Templeton Press, 2012 Library of Congress HG172.T45P76 2012 | Dewey Decimal 332.6092
Although John Templeton (1912–2008) simply considered himself a bargain hunter, those in the know on Wall Street considered him one of the greatest stock pickers of the twentieth century. Anyone prudent enough to have invested $10,000 in his Templeton Growth Fund when it was first established in 1954 would today have over $7 million to their name if they left those funds alone. Few mutual funds can match that kind of spectacular and consistent performance.
How did he do it? What kind of principles guided his decisions through bull and bear markets? What was the secret to his success? Fortunately, generosity was one of Templeton’s defining characteristics, and he freely shared his investing wisdom with the world in The Templeton Touch. This edition, which has been greatly expanded and revised from the original 1983 publication, gives the reader an inside look at the mindset that made Templeton a Wall Street legend. His global focus, his relentless curiosity, his future-mindedness, his personal touch with clients, his willingness to take reasonable risks, his reliance on deep research and fundamental analysis— everything that set him apart from the crowd is covered here in great detail by authorized biographer William Proctor. This updated edition also contains a new section comprised of twenty-two interviews with those who knew and worked with Templeton, conducted by Scott Phillips. Among those interviewed are business luminaries like Jim Rogers, Julian Robertson, Steve Forbes, Prem Watsa, Mason Hawkins, and Michael Price.
The Templeton Touch should be required reading for any investor, from the absolute novice to the most experienced. Not only could Templeton’s practical advice help guide investors through tricky market conditions, but the many insights into his character and his philosophies could help anyone live a more successful life.