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Empirical studies

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University of Michigan Law School

Securities Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Federal Forum Provisions And The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, Ofer Eldar Aug 2020

Federal Forum Provisions And The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, Ofer Eldar

Articles

A key question at the intersection of state and federal law is whether corpo- rations can use their charters or bylaws to restrict securities litigation to federal court. In December 2018, the Delaware Chancery Court answered this question in the negative in the landmark decision Sciabacucchi v. Salzberg. The court invalidated “federal forum provisions” (“FFPs”) that allow companies to select federal district courts as the exclusive venue for claims brought under the Secur- ities Act of 1933 (“1933 Act”). The decision held that the internal affairs doc- trine, which is the bedrock of U.S. corporate law, does not permit charter …


Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard Nov 2017

Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using a sample of all companies named as defendants in securities class actions between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, we study parallel suits relying on state corporate law arising out of the same allegations as the securities class actions. We test several ways that parallel suits may add value to a securities class action. Most parallel suits target cases involving obvious indicia of wrongdoing. Moreover, we find that although a modest percentage of parallel suits are filed first, over 80 percent are filed after a securities class action (termed “follow-on” parallel suits). We find that parallel suits and, …


The Sec's Shift To Administrative Proceedings: An Empirical Assessment, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Prichard Jan 2017

The Sec's Shift To Administrative Proceedings: An Empirical Assessment, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Prichard

Articles

Congress has repeatedly expanded the authority of the SEC to pursue violations of securities laws in proceedings adjudicated by the SEC's own administrative law judges, most recently through the Dodd-Frank Act. We report the results from an empirical study of SEC enforcement actions against non-financial public companies to assess the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on the balance between civil court and administrative enforcement actions. We show a general decline in the number of court actions and an increase in the number of administrative proceedings post-Dodd-Frank. At the same time, we show an increase in average civil penalties post-Dodd-Frank for …


Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard Jun 2016

Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

This study investigates risk factor disclosures, examining both the voluntary, incentive-based disclosure regime provided by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act as well as the SEC's subsequent mandate of these disclosures. Firms subject to greater litigation risk disclose more risk factors, update the language more from year to year, and use more readable language than firms with lower litigation risk. These differences in the quality of disclosure are pronounced in the voluntary disclosure regime, but converge following the SEC mandate as low-risk firms improved the quality of their risk factor disclosures. Consistent with these findings, …


Sec Investigations And Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Comparison, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard Mar 2016

Sec Investigations And Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Comparison, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using actions with both an SEC investigation and a class action as our baseline, we compare the targeting of SEC-only investigations with class-action-only lawsuits. Looking at measures of information asymmetry, we find that investors in the market perceive greater information asymmetry following the public announcement of the underlying violation for class-action-only lawsuits compared with SEC-only investigations. Turning to sanctions, we find that the incidence of top officer resignation is greater for class-action-only lawsuits relative to SEC-only investigations. Our findings are consistent with the private enforcement targeting disclosure violations at least as precisely as (if not more so than) SEC enforcement.


Economic Crisis And The Integration Of Law And Finance: The Impact Of Volatility Spikes, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson Mar 2016

Economic Crisis And The Integration Of Law And Finance: The Impact Of Volatility Spikes, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson

Articles

The 2008 financial crisis raised puzzles important for understanding how the capital market prices common stocks and in turn, for the intersection between law and finance. During the crisis, there was a dramatic five-fold spike, across all industries, in “idiosyncratic risk”—the volatility of individual-firm share prices after adjustment for movements in the market as a whole.

This phenomenon is not limited to the most recent financial crisis. This Article uses an empirical review to show that a dramatic spike in idiosyncratic risk has occurred with every major downturn from the 1920s through the recent financial crisis. It canvasses three possible …


Market Efficiency And The Problem Of Retail Flight, Alicia J. Davis Nov 2014

Market Efficiency And The Problem Of Retail Flight, Alicia J. Davis

Articles

In 1950, 91 % of common stock in the U.S. was owned directly by individual inves­ tors. Today, that percentage stands at only 23%. The mass exodus of retail investors and their investment dollars has negative implications not only for capital formation and investor protection, but also for market efficiency. Individual investors are often assumed to be noise traders who distort stock prices and harm market functioning. Therefore, some argue that their withdrawal from the market should be of little concern; indeed, it should be celebrated. Recent empirical evidence calls this assertion of retail noise trading into doubt, and this …


The Influence Of Arbitrator Background And Representation On Arbitration Outcomes, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Jill E. Fisch Oct 2014

The Influence Of Arbitrator Background And Representation On Arbitration Outcomes, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Jill E. Fisch

Articles

We study the role of arbitrator background in securities arbitration. We find that several aspects of arbitrator background are correlated with arbitration outcomes. Specifically, industry experience, prior experience as a regulator, and status as a professional or retired arbitrator are correlated with statistically significant differences in arbitration awards. The impact of these characteristics is affected by whether the arbitrator in question serves as the panel chair and by whether the parties to the arbitration are represented by counsel. Our findings offer some preliminary insights into the debate over possible arbitrator bias. On the one hand, they suggest that the party …


Private Regulation Of Insider Trading In The Shadow Of Lax Public Enforcement: Evidence From Canadian Firms, Laura Nyantung Beny, Anita Anand Jan 2013

Private Regulation Of Insider Trading In The Shadow Of Lax Public Enforcement: Evidence From Canadian Firms, Laura Nyantung Beny, Anita Anand

Articles

Like firms in the United States, many Canadian firms voluntarily restrict trading by corporate insiders beyond the requirements of insider trading laws (i.e., super-compliance). Thus, we aim to understand the determinants of firms’ private insider trading policies (ITPs), which are quasi-contractual devices. Based on the assumption that firms that face greater costs from insider trading (or greater benefits from restricting insider trading) ought to be more inclined than other firms to adopt more stringent ITPs, we develop several testable hypotheses. We test our hypotheses using data from a sample of firms included in the Toronto Stock Exchange/Standard and Poor’s (TSX/S&P) …


The Price Of Pay To Play In Securities Class Actions, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Drew T. Johnson-Skinner Jan 2011

The Price Of Pay To Play In Securities Class Actions, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Drew T. Johnson-Skinner

Articles

We study the effect of campaign contributions to lead plaintiffs—“pay to play”—on the level of attorney fees in securities class actions. We find that state pension funds generally pay lower attorney fees when they serve as lead plaintiffs in securities class actions than do individual investors serving in that capacity, and larger funds negotiate for lower fees. This differential disappears, however, when we control for campaign contributions made to offcials with infuence over state pension funds. This effect is most pronounced when we focus on state pension funds that receive the largest campaign contributions and that associate repeatedly as lead …


Securities Class Actions Move North: A Doctrinal And Empirical Analysis Of Securities Class Actions In Canada, Adam C. Pritchard, Janis P. Sarra Jan 2010

Securities Class Actions Move North: A Doctrinal And Empirical Analysis Of Securities Class Actions In Canada, Adam C. Pritchard, Janis P. Sarra

Articles

The article explores securities class actions involving Canadian issuers since the provinces added secondary market class action provisions to their securities legislation. It examines the development of civil liability provisions, and class proceedings legislation and their effect on one another. Through analyses of the substance and framework of the statutory provisions, the article presents an empirical and comparative examination of cases involving Canadian issuers in both Canada and the United States. In addition, it explores how both the availability and pricing of director and officer insurance have been affected by the potential for secondary market class action liability. The article …


The Screening Effect Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Karen K. Nelson Jan 2009

The Screening Effect Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Karen K. Nelson

Articles

Prior research shows that the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) increased the significance of merit-related factors in determining the incidence and outcomes of securities fraud class actions (Johnson et al. 2007). We examine two possible explanations for this finding: the PSLRA may have reduced the incidence of nonmeritorious litigation, or it may have changed the definition of merit, effectively precluding claims that would have survived and produced a settlement pre-PSLRA. We find no evidence that pre-PSLRA claims that settled for nuisance value would be less likely to be filed under the PSLRA regime. There is evidence, however, that pre-PSLRA …


Insider Trading Rules Can Affect Attractiveness Of Country's Stock Markets, Laura Nyantung Beny Jan 2007

Insider Trading Rules Can Affect Attractiveness Of Country's Stock Markets, Laura Nyantung Beny

Articles

The academic debate about the desirability of prohibiting insider trading is longstanding and as yet unresolved. Until Henry Manne’s 1966 book, Insider Trading and the Stock Market, the debate centered on whether insider trading is unfair to public investors who are not privy to private corporate information. However, the fairness approach is malleable and indeterminate and thus does not lend itself to clear-cut policy prescriptions. Since Manne’s book, the focus of the debate has been on the effect of insider trading on economic efficiency. Manne argued that, contrary to the prevailing legal and moral opinion of the time, insider trading …


Do Institutions Matter? The Impact Of The Lead Plaintiff Provision Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2005

Do Institutions Matter? The Impact Of The Lead Plaintiff Provision Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Jill E. Fisch

Articles

When Congress enacted the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act in 1995 ("PSLRA"), the Act's "lead plaintiff' provision was the centerpiece of its efforts to increase investor control over securities fraud class actions. The lead plaintiff provision alters the balance of power between investors and class counsel by creating a presumption that the investor with the largest financial stake in the case will serve as lead plaintiff. The lead plaintiff then chooses class counsel and, at least in theory, negotiates the terms of counsel's compensation. Congress's stated purpose in enacting the lead plaintiff provision was to encourage institutional investors-pension funds, mutual …


What Counts As Fraud? An Empirical Study Of Motions To Dismiss Under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Hillary A. Sale Jan 2005

What Counts As Fraud? An Empirical Study Of Motions To Dismiss Under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Hillary A. Sale

Articles

This article presents the findings of a study of the resolution of motions to dismiss securities fraud lawsuits since the passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) in 1995. Our sample consists of decisions on motions to dismiss in securities class actions by district and appellate courts in the Second and Ninth Circuits for cases filed after the passage of the Reform Act to the end of 2002. These circuits are the leading circuits for the filing of securities class actions and are generally recognized as representing two ends of the securities class action spectrum. Post-PSLRA, the Second …


Should Issuers Be On The Hook For Laddering? An Empirical Analysis Of The Ipo Market Manipulation Litigation, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi Jan 2004

Should Issuers Be On The Hook For Laddering? An Empirical Analysis Of The Ipo Market Manipulation Litigation, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi

Articles

On December 6, 2000, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story exposing abuses in the market for initial public offerings (IPOs). The story revealed "tie-in" agreements between investment banks and initial investors seeking to participate in "hot" offerings. Under those agreements, initial investors would commit to buy additional shares of the offering company's stock in secondary market trading in return for allocations of shares in the IPO. As the Wall Street Journal related, those "[c]ommitments to buy in the after-market lock in demand for additional stock at levels above the IPO price. As such, they provide the rocket fuel …


Too Busy To Mind The Business? Monitoring By Directors With Multiple Board Appointments, Stephen P. Ferris, Murali Jagannathan, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2003

Too Busy To Mind The Business? Monitoring By Directors With Multiple Board Appointments, Stephen P. Ferris, Murali Jagannathan, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

We examine the number of external appointments held by corporate directors. Directors who serve larger firms and sit on larger boards are more likely to attract directorships. Consistent with Fama and Jensen (1983), we find that firm performance has a positive effect on the number of appointments held by a director. We find no evidence that multiple directors shirk their responsibilities to serve on board committees. We do not find that multiple directors are associated with a greater likelihood of securities fraud litigation. We conclude that the evidence does not support calls for limits on directorships held by an individual.


Statutes With Multiple Personality Disorders: The Value Of Ambiguity In Statutory Design And Interpretation, Joseph A. Grundfest, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2002

Statutes With Multiple Personality Disorders: The Value Of Ambiguity In Statutory Design And Interpretation, Joseph A. Grundfest, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Ambiguity serves a legislative purpose. When legislators perceive a need to compromise they can, among other strategies, "obscur[e] the particular meaning of a statute, allowing different legislators to read the obscured provisions the way they wish." Legislative ambiguity reaches its peak when a statute is so elegantly crafted that it credibly supports multiple inconsistent interpretations by legislators and judges. Legislators with opposing views can then claim that they have prevailed in the legislative arena, and, as long as courts continue to issue conflicting interpretations, these competing claims of legislative victory remain credible. Formal legal doctrine, in contrast, frames legislative ambiguity …


In Re Silicon Graphics Inc.: Shareholder Wealth Effects Resulting From The Interpretation Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act's Pleading Standard, Marilyn F. Johnson, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2000

In Re Silicon Graphics Inc.: Shareholder Wealth Effects Resulting From The Interpretation Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act's Pleading Standard, Marilyn F. Johnson, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

This Article presents an empirical study of changes in shareholder wealth resulting from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in In re Silicon Graphics Inc. Securities Litigation, which interpreted the pleading provision established in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Reform Act"). Congress passed the Reform Act as part of an ongoing effort to protect corporations from abusive suits alleging "fraud by hindsight." In such suits, plaintiffs claimed that a sudden drop in a company's stock price was evidence that the issuer and its management covered up the bad news that led to the price drop. …