Recent theory posits a new governance channel available to blockholders: threat of exit. Threat of exit, as opposed to actual exit, is difficult to measure directly. However, a crucial property is that it is weaker when stock liquidity is lower and vice versa. We use natural experiments of financial crises and decimalization as exogenous shocks to stock liquidity. Firms with larger blockholdings experience greater declines (increases) in firm value during the crises (decimalization), particularly if the manager's wealth is sensitive to the stock price and thus to exit threats. Additional tests suggest exit threats are distinct from blockholder intervention.
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