Tyson D. Van Alfen

Real estate shocks and financial advisor misconduct

with Stephen G. Dimmock and William C. Gerken

Revise and resubmit to Journal of Finance

We test whether personal real estate shocks affect professional misconduct by financial advisors. We use a panel of advisors' home addresses and examine within-advisor variation relative to other advisors who work at the same firm and live in the same ZIP code. We find a negative relation between housing returns and misconduct. We show that advisors' housing returns explain misconduct against out-of-state customers, breaking the link between customer and advisor housing shocks. Further, the results are stronger for advisors with lower career risk from committing misconduct, and for advisors with greater borrowing constraints.

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Managerial myopia and product market reputation:
Evidence from Amazon.com reviews

Using a novel dataset of customer reviews from Amazon.com, I study the impact of managerial myopia on product market reputation. Using exogenous variation due to the timing of CEO equity vesting events, I show that short-term incentive shocks predict declines in reputation. A changing product market lineup and a deterioration of existing products are two mechanisms through which reputation is affected. The effect is larger when the CEO has other short-term concerns and when the firm has a low reputation in the product market. However, higher advertising expenses mitigate the negative reputational effect among consumers. Using an alternative empirical methodology, I find that higher short-term ownership in the firm is also associated with declining product market reputation, while higher long-term ownership is associated with increasing reputation.

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