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The Michelle Markup: The First Lady's impact on stock prices of fashion companies

Authors: Yermack, David
Issue Date: 28-Apr-2010
Series/Report no.: FIN-10-005
Abstract: I analyze changes in apparel company stock prices when Michelle Obama wears designer outfits at major events. The First Lady's selections can create value exceeding $100 million for companies that design and market her clothing. The effect is approximately $2.3 billion during a 2009 European trip that the media labeled a "fashion faceoff" with her French counterpart Carla Bruni. However, firms whose clothing she chooses not to wear see their stock prices drop, and her net impact upon the industry amounts to a redistribution of value among firms. The First Lady's influence on fashion firms represents a private benefit of public office, similar to private benefits of control obtained by corporate managers.
Appears in Collections:Finance Working Papers

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