Price is expected cash flows discounted at the risk-free rate plus an additional discount for risk exposure. Price equivalency does not always imply welfare equivalency: shareholders are not necessarily indifferent between a price increase of $1 from higher cash flows and the same $1 increase from lower risk exposure. Even in complete markets, if managers enjoy private benefits of control, the social planner may prefer lower risk exposure to a price-equivalent increase in firm value from greater investor protection. This has implications for event studies, the trade-off between principal costs and agency costs, and the link between macroeconomic risk and corporate governance.
Law | Securities Law
What Can We Learn from Stock Prices? Cash Flow, Risk and Shareholder Welfare,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3215