Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets
The idea in forming the new department “Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets” is the observation that the regulation of financial and labour markets are traditionally analysed separately. The new department aims to overcome this divide from the perspective of real sector development. It will achieve this objective by conducting joint research into aspects of the framework conditions for financial and labour markets that are relevant to growth and structure. The unique attribute of the new department is the analysis of interdependency between national and supranational regulation within the field of financial and labour markets on the one hand, and real sector development on the other.
Paying Outsourced Labor: Direct Evidence from Linked Temp Agency-Worker-Client Data
in: Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming
We estimate how much firms differentiate pay premia between regular and outsourced workers in temp agency work arrangements. We leverage unique Argentinian administrative data that feature links between user firms (the workplaces where temp workers perform their labor) and temp agencies (their formal employers). We estimate that a high-wage user firm that pays a regular worker a 10% premium pays a temp worker on average only a 4.9% premium, compared to what these workers would earn in a low-wage user firm in their respective work arrangements—the midpoint between the benchmarks for insiders (one) and the competitive spot-labor market (zero).
Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: A Test of the Efficiency of Separations
in: Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming
We present a test of Coasean theories of efficient separations. We study a cohort of jobs from the introduction through the repeal of a large age- and region-specific unemployment benefit extension in Austria. In the treatment group, 18.5% fewer jobs survive the program period. According to the Coasean view, the destroyed marginal jobs had low joint surplus. Hence, after the repeal, the treatment survivors should be more resilient than the ineligible control group survivors. Strikingly, the two groups instead exhibit identical post-repeal separation behavior. We provide, and find suggestive evidence consistent with, an alternative model in which wage rigidity drives the inefficient separation dynamics.
What Does Codetermination Do?
in: ILR Review, No. 4, 2022
The authors provide a comprehensive overview of codetermination, that is, worker representation in firms’ governance and management. The available micro evidence points to zero or small positive effects of codetermination on worker and firm outcomes and leaves room for moderate positive effects on productivity, wages, and job stability. The authors also present new country-level, general-equilibrium event studies of codetermination reforms between the 1960s and 2010s, finding no effects on aggregate economic outcomes or the quality of industrial relations. They offer three explanations for the institution’s limited impact. First, existing codetermination laws convey little authority to workers. Second, countries with codetermination laws have high baseline levels of informal worker voice. Third, codetermination laws may interact with other labor market institutions, such as union representation and collective bargaining. The article closes with a discussion of the implications for recent codetermination proposals in the United States.
The Cleansing Effect of Banking Crises
in: Economic Inquiry, No. 3, 2022
We assess the cleansing effects of the 2008–2009 financial crisis. U.S. regions with higher levels of supervisory forbearance on distressed banks see less restructuring in the real sector: fewer establishments, firms, and jobs are lost when more distressed banks remain in business. In these regions, the banking sector has been less healthy for several years after the crisis. Regions with less forbearance experience higher productivity growth after the crisis with more firm entries, job creation, and employment, wages, patents, and output growth. Forbearance is greater for state-chartered banks and in regions with weaker banking competition and more independent banks.
Spillover Effects in Empirical Corporate Finance
in: Journal of Financial Economics, No. 3, 2021
Despite their importance, the discussion of spillover effects in empirical research often misses the rigor dedicated to endogeneity concerns. We analyze a broad set of workhorse models of firm interactions and show that spillovers naturally arise in many corporate finance settings. This has important implications for the estimation of treatment effects: i) even with random treatment, spillovers lead to a complicated bias, ii) fixed effects can exacerbate the spillover-induced bias. We propose simple diagnostic tools for empirical researchers and illustrate our guidance in an application.
Banking Deregulation and Consumption of Home Durables
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2022
We exploit the spatial and temporal variation of the staggered introduction of interstate banking deregulation across the U.S. to study the relationship between credit constraints and consumption of durables. Using the American Housing Survey from 1981 to 1989, we link the timing of these reforms with evidence of a credit expansion and household responses on many margins. We find evidence that low-income households are more likely to purchase new appliances after the deregulation. These durable goods allowed households to consume less natural gas and spend less time in domestic activities after the reforms.
The Adverse Effect of Contingent Convertible Bonds on Bank Stability
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 1, 2022
This paper examines the impact of issuing contingent convertible (CoCo) bonds on bank risk. I apply a matching-based difference-in-differences approach to banklevel data for 246 publicly traded European banks and 61 CoCo issues from 2008−2018. My estimation results reveal that issuing CoCo bonds that meet the criteria for additional tier 1 (AT1) capital results in significantly higher z-scores one to three years after the issuance. Rather than having a net negative impact, issuing CoCos seems to impede a positive time trend towards greater bank stability. This study adds to the empirical literature on the risk-effect of contingent convertibles by identifying the causal effect of AT1 CoCo bonds on reported risk changes over a three-year post-treatment horizon based on a comprehensive sample of European banks. The results confirm theoretical predictions that currently outstanding CoCo bonds create incentives for excessive risk-taking.
Corporate Loan Spreads and Economic Activity
in: SSRN Working Paper, 2021
We use secondary corporate loan-market prices to construct a novel loan-market-based credit spread. This measure has considerable predictive power for economic activity across macroeconomic outcomes in both the U.S. and Europe and captures unique information not contained in public market credit spreads. Loan-market borrowers are compositionally different and particularly sensitive to supply-side frictions as well as financial frictions that emanate from their own balance sheets. This evidence highlights the joint role of financial intermediary and borrower balance-sheet frictions in understanding macroeconomic developments and enriches our understanding of which type of financial frictions matter for the economy.
Supranational Rules, National Discretion: Increasing versus Inflating Regulatory Bank Capital?
in: Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Papers, No. 15764, 2021
We study how higher capital requirements introduced at the supranational and implemented at the national level affect the regulatory capital of banks across countries. Using the 2011 EBA capital exercise as a quasi-natural experiment, we find that affected banks inflate their levels of regulatory capital without a commensurate increase in their book equity and without a reduction in bank risk. This observed regulatory capital inflation is more pronounced in countries where credit supply is expected to tighten. Our results suggest that national authorities forbear their domestic banks to meet supranational requirements, with a focus on short-term economic considerations.
Capital Misallocation and Innovation
in: SSRN Solutions Research Paper Series, 2020
This paper documents that "zombie" lending by undercapitalized banks distorts competition and impedes corporate innovation. This misallocation of capital prevents both the exit of zombie and entry of healthy firms in affected industries adversely impacting output and competition. Worse, capital misallocation depresses patent applications, particularly in high technology- and R&D-intensive sectors, and industries with neck- and-neck competition. We strengthen our results using an IV approach to address reverse causality and innovation survey data from the European Commission. Overall, our results are consistent with externalities imposed on healthy firms through the misallocation of capital.