We analyze the empirical power and specification of test statistics in event studies designed to detect long-run (one- to five-year) abnormal stock returns. We document that test statistics based on abnormal returns calculated using a reference portfolio, such as a market index, are misspecified (empirical rejection rates exceed theoretical rejection rates) and identify three reasons for this misspecification. We correct for the three identified sources of misspecification by matching sample firms to control firms of similar sizes and book-to-market ratios. This control firm approach yields well-specified test statistics in virtually all sampling situations considered.
Journal of Financial Economics – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 1997
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