One of the reasons empirical scholarship often bugs me is that the answers you get are so dependent on how you set up the problem and crunch the numbers. One is frequently reminded of Harry S Truman's plea for a one handed economist.
Case in point:
In October 22nd 2014, ISS published a note on the financial consequences for shareholders to vote “NO” to a proposed takeover (available in an article by Steven Davidoff Solomon,“The Consequences of Saying No to a Hostile Takeover Bid”, published on October 28th, 2014, in the New York Times DealBook). ISS claims to have demonstrated that those shareholders who voted “No” to a proposed takeover of their company would have been better off financially, had they agreed to the takeover.
Unfortunately, the ISS note does not support such a blanket statement. Our take on the ISS paper highlights many debatable aspects of their analysis. We show that the paper produced by ISS to support the position of hostile bidders falls flat. It is marred by dubious analytical choices, questionable metrics and the remarkable absence of a key investment parameter, the risk/return relationship.
Allaire, Yvan and Dauphin, Francois, The Value of 'Just Say No': A Response to ISS (November 6, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2531132.
My normative priors tempt me to embrace this finding, of course.