What Type of Finance Matters for Growth? Bayesian Model Averaging Evidence
The World Bank Economic Review,
We examine the effect of finance on long-term economic growth using Bayesian model averaging to address model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions. The literature largely focuses on financial indicators that assess the financial depth of banks and stock markets. We examine these indicators jointly with newly developed indicators that assess the stability and efficiency of financial markets. Once we subject the finance-growth regressions to model uncertainty, our results suggest that commonly used indicators of financial development are not robustly related to long-term growth. However, the findings from our global sample indicate that one newly developed indicator—the efficiency of financial intermediaries—is robustly related to long-term growth.
Suppliers as Liquidity Insurers
IWH Discussion Papers,
We examine how financial constraints in portfolios of suppliers affect cash holdings at the level of the customer. Utilizing a data set of private and public French companies and their suppliers, we show that customers rely on their financially unconstrained suppliers to provide them with backup liquidity, and that they stockpile approximately 10% less cash than customers with constrained suppliers. This effect persisted during the global financial crisis, highlighting that suppliers may be viable insurers of liquidity even when financing from banks and other external channels is unavailable. We further show that customers with unconstrained suppliers also simultaneously receive more trade credit; that the reduction in cash holdings is greater for firms with stronger ties to their unconstrained suppliers; and that customers reduce their cash holdings following a significant relaxation in their suppliers’ financial constraints through an IPO. Taken together, the results provide important nuance regarding the implications of supplier portfolios and financial constraints on firm liquidity management.
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The Forward-looking Disclosures of Corporate Managers: Theory and Evidence
IWH Discussion Papers,
We consider an infinitely repeated game in which a privately informed, long-lived manager raises funds from short-lived investors in order to finance a project. The manager can signal project quality to investors by making a (possibly costly) forward-looking disclosure about her project’s potential for success. We find that if the manager’s disclosures are costly, she will never release forward-looking statements that do not convey information to external investors. Furthermore, managers of firms that are transparent and face significant disclosure-related costs will refrain from forward-looking disclosures. In contrast, managers of opaque and profitable firms will follow a policy of accurate disclosures. To test our findings empirically, we devise an index that captures the quantity of forward-looking disclosures in public firms’ 10-K reports, and relate it to multiple firm characteristics. For opaque firms, our index is positively correlated with a firm’s profitability and financing needs. For transparent firms, there is only a weak relation between our index and firm fundamentals. Furthermore, the overall level of forward-looking disclosures declined significantly between 2001 and 2009, possibly as a result of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Size of Training Firms and Cumulated Long-run Unemployment Exposure – The Role of Firms, Luck, and Ability in Young Workers’ Careers
This paper analyzes how life-cycle unemployment of former apprentices depends on the size of the training firm. We start from the hypotheses that the size of training firms reduces long-run cumulated unemployment exposure, e.g. via differences in training quality and in the availability of internal labor markets, and that the access to large training firms depends positively on young workers’ ability and their luck to live in a region with many large and medium-sized training firms. We test these hypotheses empirically by using a large administrative data set for Germany and find corroborative evidence.
Abnormal Real Operations, Real Earnings Management, and Subsequent Crashes in Stock Prices
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting,
We study the impact of firms’ abnormal business operations on their future crash risk in stock prices. Computed based on real earnings management (REM) models, firms’ deviation in real operations (DROs) from industry norms is shown to be positively associated with their future crash risk. This association is incremental to that between discretionary accruals (DAs) and crash risk found by prior studies. Moreover, after Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002, DRO’s predictive power for crash risk strengthens substantially, while DA’s predictive power essentially dissipates. These results are consistent with the prior finding that managers shift from accrual earnings management to REM after SOX. We further develop a suspect-firm approach to capture firms’ use of DRO for REM purposes. This analysis shows that REM-firms experience a significant increase in crash risk in the following year. These findings suggest that the impact of DRO on crash risk is at least partially through REM.
The Impact of Dark Trading and Visible Fragmentation on Market Quality
Review of Finance,
Two important characteristics of current equity markets are the large number of competing trading venues with publicly displayed order books and the substantial fraction of dark trading, which takes place outside such visible order books. This article evaluates the impact on liquidity of dark trading and fragmentation in visible order books. Dark trading has a detrimental effect on liquidity. Visible fragmentation improves liquidity aggregated over all visible trading venues but lowers liquidity at the traditional market, meaning that the benefits of fragmentation are not enjoyed by investors who choose to send orders only to the traditional market.