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Suhas A. Sridharan - Emory University, Goizueta Business School. Atlanta, GA, US

Suhas A. Sridharan

Associate Professor of Accounting | Emory University, Goizueta Business School


Sridharan studies investors' use of information to assess risk and resolve uncertainty, particularly around issues of political economy







Your Political Strategy (or Lack Thereof) Could Make or Break Your Business



Suhas A. Sridharan joined the Goizueta Business School faculty in 2015. She earned a PhD in business administration from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses on the role of information in the price discovery process in capital markets. Professor Sridharan's work has appeared in academic journals such as The Accounting Review, Management Science, and Review of Accounting Studies, and media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Bloomberg News. Prior to joining Goizueta, Sridharan was a member of the faculty at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Education (2)

Stanford University Graduate School of Business: PhD, Business Administration 2013

Emory University: BA, Economics, Mathematics, and Computer Science 2008

Areas of Expertise (5)



Political Economy

Financial Statement Analysis

Information and Price Discovery in Financial Markets

Publications (7)

Volatility forecasting using financial statement information

The Accounting Review

2015 This paper examines whether financial statement information can predict future realized volatility incremental to the volatility implied by option market prices. Prior research establishes that option-implied volatility is a biased estimator of future realized volatility. I use an analytical framework to identify accounting-based drivers of equity returns volatility. My main hypothesis is accounting-based drivers can be used to forecast future volatility incremental to either past volatility or the market’s expectation of future volatility quantified as option-implied volatility. I confirm this empirically and show that my findings are robust to the measurement of option-implied volatility using either a model-free approach or the Black-Scholes model. I also document abnormal returns to a option-based trading strategy that takes a long (short) position in firms with financial statement information indicative of high (low) future volatility. Additionally, I provide evidence that contradicts a risk-based explanation for the incremental predictive ability of accounting-based variables. Taken together, my results indicate that the market’s failure to fully process accounting-based fundamental information explains some of the previously documented bias in implied volatility.

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Is There a Dark Side to Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)? An Information Perspective

Review of Accounting Studies

2017 We examine whether an increase in ETF ownership is accompanied by a decline in pricing efficiency for the underlying component securities. Our tests show an increase in ETF ownership is associated with: (1) higher trading costs (bid-ask spreads and market liquidity); (2) an increase in “stock return synchronicity”; (3) a decline in “future earnings response coefficients”; and (4) a decline in the number of analysts covering the firm. Collectively, our findings support the view that increased ETF ownership can lead to higher trading costs and lower benefits from information acquisition. This combination results in less informative security prices for the underlying firms.

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The real side of the high-volume return premium

Management Science


We investigate whether shocks to trading volume of a stock contain information about future corporate investment activity; an unexplored prediction of the link between the high-volume return premium and the Merton (1987) investor recognition hypothesis. Using a q-theory model of corporate investment as a framework, we document a positive relation between abnormal trading volume around earnings announcements and future investment expenditures. The relation persists across quarterly and annual horizons and, consistent with theory, is concentrated among firms with high financing constraints. We also find that shocks to trading volume serve as an important channel for facilitating the previously documented contemporaneous relation between investor recognition and corporate investments. Taken together, consistent with the idea that extreme trading activity of a stock is associated with an increase in firm visibility, our study suggests that shocks to trading volume play an important role in enhancing corporate investment activity.

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Unexpected Distractions and Investor Attention to Corporate Announcements

Review of Accounting Studies


We investigate whether and to what extent distractions affect investors' reactions to firm announcements. We use a daily news pressure index as a proxy for the presence of potential investor distraction. Since breaking news captured by this index is largely unpredictable and unrelated to investors' valuation decisions, our research design offers a unique opportunity to examine investor attention in the absence of strategic timing of announcements by managers. We examine a broad set of corporate announcements to further explore how investor attention varies with announcement type. Using overall trading and Google search volume as measures of investor attention, we find that investors are susceptible to distraction in their reactions to corporate announcements. Our findings also reveal that investor attention varies with announcement type and that retail investors are particularly susceptible to distractions.

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Hedging on the Hill: Does political hedging reduce firm risk?

Management Science


We examine whether firms' political hedging activities are effective at mitigating political risk. Focusing on the risk induced by partisan politics, we measure political hedging as the degree to which firms' political connections are balanced across Republican and Democratic candidates. We find that greater political hedging is associated with reduced stock return volatility, particularly during periods of higher policy uncertainty. Similarly, greater political hedging is associated with reduced crash risk, investment volatility, and earnings volatility. Moreover, the reduction in earnings volatility appears to relate to both a firm's taxes and its operating activities, as we find that greater political hedging is associated with reduced cash effective tax rate volatility and pretax income volatility. We further find investors are better able to anticipate future earnings for firms that engage in political hedging, suggesting that political hedging helps improve firms' information environments. Lastly, we perform an event study using President Obama's Clean Power Plan. We find that on the days this policy proposal was debated in Congress, energy and utility firms experience heightened intra-day return volatility (relative to other firms and non-event days). However, this heightened volatility is mitigated for energy and utility firms that are more politically hedged. Overall, we conclude that political hedging is an effective risk management tool that helps mitigate firm risk.

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Partisanship, Political Institutions, and Debt Issues

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization


We investigate the effect of gubernatorial partisanship on municipal bond issues in the United States using a regression discontinuity design. Our unique dataset of individual bond issues allows us to precisely measure the issuing behavior of different entity types – states, state authorities, and localities – and examine how the response of debt issues to gubernatorial partisanship varies across jurisdictions.

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Disclosure and lawsuits ahead of IPOs

The Accounting Review


We examine whether IPO registration disclosures expose firms to greater nonshareholder litigation risk. Using hand-collected data on lawsuits initiated at federal and state courts against IPO firms, we show that firms that submit their IPO registration statement with the SEC publicly experience a 16% increase in litigation risk between the registration filing and issuance date. Consistent with the public filing of the registration driving this heightened litigation risk, firms that file their registration confidentially under the JOBS Act do not experience such an increase in litigation risk. The effects of confidential filing are concentrated among business-initiated lawsuits, intellectual property/ contract lawsuits, and potentially meritless lawsuits. We find no disproportionate increase in post-IPO lawsuits for confidential filers, suggesting that withholding information during the IPO registration period mitigates litigation risk.

Research Spotlight

In the News (3)

Passive’s aggressive march poses thorny questions

Financial Times  online


While the performance of fund managers has improved this year, the torrential inflows into cheap exchange traded funds has continued unabated.

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ETFs Create Stock Markets That Are Both Mindless and Too Expensive, Study Says

Bloomberg Markets  online


Higher ownership of individual stocks by ETFs widens the bid-ask spreads in those shares, making them more expensive to trade and therefore less attractive.

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The Downside of ETFs

The Wall Street Journal  online


There is a lot for investors to like about exchange-traded funds, but there is also a downside for the stock market, a new study says. Many investors like ETFs because the funds are an easy way to build a diverse portfolio with fees that generally are lower than those of mutual funds.

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