“Corporate Strategy, Conformism, and the Stock Market” by Thierry Foucault
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 | 2:30pm - 4:00pm
University of Maryland
We show that managers can raise firm value by imitating other public firms' strategies because imitation enhances their ability to obtain information from their own stock price or their peers' stock prices, which improves the efficiency of their investment decisions. This conformity effect is stronger for private .firms' managers because they can learn information from stock prices only if they imitate public firms' strategies. In line with this prediction, we observe empirically that firms differentiate more after going public and that this pattern is stronger for firms with better informed managers or whose peers have less informative stock prices.