When rain matters! Investments and value relevance

Rao, Sandeep and Koirala, Santosh and Thapa, Chandra and Neupane, Suman (2021) When rain matters! Investments and value relevance. Journal of Corporate Finance. 101827. ISSN 0929-1199 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2020.101827)

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We study whether firms, whose operational performance is highly sensitive to rainfall conditions (rain-sensitive firms), follow differential investment strategies to generate value in response to diverse extreme rainfall conditions. Using Indian monsoon data, we find that rain-sensitive firms suffer a significant decline in their market value in the immediate aftermath of excess and deficit rainfall conditions. Results show that the investment response by rain-sensitive firms depends on the saliency of extreme rainfall conditions. While excess rain-sensitive firms boost their investments following excess rainfall, deficit rain-sensitive firms shrink investments following deficit rainfall. However, these alternative investment strategies appear to be effective as both groups of affected firms experience positive growth in their market values following the differential investment strategies. Our results indicate that saliency theory can bridge the theoretical tensions between the real-options and risk-shifting theories resulting in differential corporate investment behavior in the face of two extreme rainfall conditions.