
Firm efficiency, foreign ownership and CEO gender in corrupt environments
Hanousek, Jan ; Shamshur, Anastasiya ; Trešl, Jiří
We study the effects of corruption on firm efficiency using a unique dataset of private firms from 14 Central and Eastern European countries from 2000 to 2013. We find that an environment characterized by a high level of corruption has an adverse effect on firm efficiency. This effect is stronger for firms with a lower propensity to behave corruptly, such as foreigncontrolled firms and firms managed by female CEOs, while local firms and firms with male CEOs are not disadvantaged. We also find that an environment characterized by considerable heterogeneity in the perception of corruption is associated with an increase in firm efficiency. This effect is particularly strong for foreigncontrolled firms from low corruption countries, while no effect is observed for firms managed by a female CEO.


Asymmetries in the firm’s use of debt to changing market values
Ferris, S. P. ; Hanousek, Jan ; Shamshur, Anastasiya ; Trešl, Jiří
Using a large sample of U.S. firms over the period, 1984 to 2013, this study examines the relation between market and book leverage ratios. Unlike Welch (2004) who contends that changes in market leverage do not induce adjustments in book leverage, we find an asymmetric effect. That is, firms adjust their book leverage relative to market leverage only when the changes in market leverage are due to increases in the value of the firm’s equity. No adjustment is observed when firm equity values decrease. We observe a number of interesting differences between those firms that make large and small capital structure adjustments in response to changing equity prices. Our results are consistent with Barclay, Morellec and Smith (2006) who argue that the optimal level of debt decreases in the presence of corporate growth options.


To bribe or not to bribe? Corruption uncertainty and corporate practices
Hanousek, Jan ; Shamshur, Anastasiya ; Trešl, Jiří
Using a large sample of private firms over the period from 2001 to 2013, we study the effect of corruption uncertainty on corporate investments and cash holdings. We find that a higher uncertainty about the level of corruption is associated with lower corporate investments and lower cash holdings. These results are sensitive to the ownership structure of a firm. Firms with no foreign majority ownership appear to be more sensitive to corruptioninduced uncertainty than majoritycontrolled foreign firms. They significantly decrease their investments and cash holdings. We hypothesize that they move their cash offbalancesheet to create cash reserves as the uncertainty of when, whom, and how much to bribe increases.

 
 
 
 
 

Information Extraction of Probability and Risk of Returns using Options Prices
Cícha, Martin ; Trešl, Jiří (advisor) ; Cipra, Tomáš (referee) ; Málek, Jiří (referee)
The issue of forecasting the future price of risky financial assets has attracted academia and business practice since the inception of the stock exchange. Also due to the just finished financial crisis, which was the worst crisis since the Great Depression, it is clear that research in this area has not been finished yet. On the contrary, new challenges have been raised. The main goal of the thesis is the demonstration of the significant information potential which is hidden in option market prices. These prices contain informations on probability distribution of the underlying asset returns and the risk connected with these returns. Other objectives of the thesis are the forecast of the underlying asset price distribution using parametric and nonparametric estimates, the improvement of this forecast using the utility function of the representative investor, the description of the current market sentiment and the determination of the risk premium, especially the risk premium on Czech market. The thesis deals with the forecast of the underlying asset price probability distribution implied by the current option market prices using parametric and nonparametric estimates. The resulting distribution is described by the moment characteristics which represent a valuable tool for analyzing the current market sentiment. According to the theory, the probability distribution of the underlying asset price implied by option prices is risk neutral, i.e. it applies only to risk neutral investors. The theory further implies that the distribution of real world can be derived from the risk neutral distribution using utility function of the representative investor. The inclusion of a utility function of representative investor improves the forecast of the underlying asset price distribution. Three different utility functions of traditional risk theory are used in the thesis. These functions range from the simple power function to the general function of hyperbolic absolute risk aversion (HARA). Further, FriedmanSavage utility function is used. This function allows both a risk averse investor and a risk loving investor. The thesis also answers the question: Are the current asset prices at so high level that the purchase of the asset means a gamble? The risk premium associated with investing in the risky asset is derived in the thesis. The risk premium can be understood as the premium demanded by investors for investment in a risky asset against the investment in a riskless asset. All the theoretical methods introduced in the thesis are demonstrated on real data coming from two different markets. Developing market is represented by shares of CEZ and developed market is represented by S&P 500 futures. The thesis deals with demonstrations in single point in time as well as in available history of the data. The forecasts of the underlying asset price distribution and the relating risk premium are constructed in the available data history. The goals and the objectives of the thesis have been achieved. The contribution of the thesis is the development of parametric and nonparametric methodology for estimating the underlying asset price probability distribution implied by the option market prices so that the nature of the particular market and instrument is captured. The further contribution of the thesis is the construction of the forecasts of the underlying asset price distribution and the construction of the market sentiment in the available history of data. The contribution of the thesis is also the construction of the market risk premium in the available history and the establishment of the hypothesis that the markets gamble before the crisis.


Approaches to Functional Data Clustering
Pešout, Pavel ; Marek, Luboš (advisor) ; Trešl, Jiří (referee) ; Palát, Milan (referee)
Classification is a very common task in information processing and important problem in many sectors of science and industry. In the case of data measured as a function of a dependent variable such as time, the most used algorithms may not pattern each of the individual shapes properly, because they are interested only in the choiced measurements. For the reason, the presented paper focuses on the specific techniques that directly address the curve clustering problem and classifying new individuals. The main goal of this work is to develop alternative methodologies through the extension to various statistical approaches, consolidate already established algorithms, expose their modified forms fitted to demands of clustering issue and compare some efficient curve clustering methods thanks to reported extensive simulated data experiments. Last but not least is made, for the sake of executed experiments, comprehensive confrontation of effectual utility. Proposed clustering algorithms are based on two principles. Firstly, it is presumed that the set of trajectories may be probabilistic modelled as sequences of points generated from a finite mixture model consisting of regression components and hence the densitybased clustering methods using the Maximum Likehood Estimation are investigated to recognize the most homogenous partitioning. Attention is paid to both the Maximum Likehood Approach, which assumes the cluster memberships to be some of the model parameters, and the probabilistic model with the iterative ExpectationMaximization algorithm, that assumes them to be random variables. To deal with the hidden data problem both Gaussian and less conventional gamma mixtures are comprehended with arranging for use in two dimensions. To cope with data with high variability within each subpopulation it is introduced twolevel random effects regression mixture with the ability to let an individual vary from the template for its group. Secondly, it is taken advantage of well known KMeans algorithm applied to the estimated regression coefficients, though. The task of the optimal data fitting is devoted, because KMeans is not invariant to linear transformations. In order to overcome this problem it is suggested integrating clustering issue with the Markov Chain Monte Carlo approaches. What is more, this paper is concerned in functional discriminant analysis including linear and quadratic scores and their modified probabilistic forms by using random mixtures. Alike in KMeans it is shown how to apply Fisher's method of canonical scores to the regression coefficients. Experiments of simulated datasets are made that demonstrate the performance of all mentioned methods and enable to choose those with the most result and time efficiency. Considerable boon is the facture of new advisable application advances. Implementation is processed in Mathematica 4.0. Finally, the possibilities offered by the development of curve clustering algorithms in vast research areas of modern science are examined, like neurology, genome studies, speech and image recognition systems, and future investigation with incorporation with ubiquitous computing is not forbidden. Utility in economy is illustrated with executed application in claims analysis of some life insurance products. The goals of the thesis have been achieved.
