Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Financial Economics


Economics and Finance

Major Professor

Tarun K. Mukherjee

Second Advisor

M. Kabir Hassan


This dissertation consists of two empirical essays. The first chapter titled: “Hedge Fund Activism and Dual Ownership of U.S. Multinationals”. Harford, Wang & Zhang (2017) conclude that holding high cash balances abroad to avoid US taxes causes internal capital markets and investments distortions. We posit that hedge funds target MNCs with more severe internal capital and agency problems. We demonstrate that upon acquiring dual ownership in these firms, hedge funds reduce internal capital problems and improve investment, especially innovation, efficiencies. To further reduce agency costs of foreign cash holdings, hedge funds engage dual firms in focused acquisitions. These improvements are reflected in superior performances of dual firms relative to non-dual firms. Chapter 2 titled as “Innovation Strategies & IPO Underpricing”. In this chapter, we investigate how a firms’ choice of pre-IPO innovation strategies affect IPO pricing. We differentiate the orientation of the issuing firm’s innovation portfolio in terms of exploitative orientation versus explorative orientation based on citations of patents across technology classes. We introduce a measure of innovation power to generate breakthrough innovations. We show that the issuing firms with greater innovation power, especially firms with exploratory orientation of a patent, significantly decrease underpricing and have the power to bargain a higher offer price. Our results suggest that a higher exploration strategy requires more time to negotiate a higher offer price while more valuable innovation requires less time to bargain at the higher offer price.


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