Democracy and Credit
Journal of Financial Economics,
Does democratization reduce the cost of credit? Using global syndicated loan data from 1984 to 2014, we find that democratization has a sizable negative effect on loan spreads: a 1-point increase in the zero-to-ten Polity IV index of democracy shaves at least 19 basis points off spreads, but likely more. Reversals to autocracy hike spreads more strongly. Our findings are robust to the comprehensive inclusion of relevant controls, to the instrumentation with regional waves of democratization, and to a battery of other sensitivity tests. We thus highlight the lower cost of loans as one relevant mechanism through which democratization can affect economic development.
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TV and Entrepreneurship
IWH Discussion Papers,
We empirically analyse whether television (TV) can influence entrepreneurial identity and incidence. To identify causal effects, we utilise a quasi-natural experiment setting. During the division of Germany after WWII into West Germany with a free-market economy and the socialistic East Germany with centrally-planned economy, some East German regions had access to West German public TV that – differently from the East German TV – transmitted images, values, attitudes and view of life compatible with the free-market economy principles and supportive of entrepreneurship. We show that during the 40 years of socialistic regime in East Germany entrepreneurship was highly regulated and virtually impossible and that the prevalent formal and informal institutions broke the traditional ties linking entrepreneurship to the characteristics of individuals so that there were hardly any differences in the levels and development of entrepreneurship between East German regions with and without West German TV signal. Using both, regional and individual level data, we show then that, for the period after the Unification in 1990 which made starting an own business in East Germany, possible again, entrepreneurship incidence is higher among the residents of East German regions that had access to West German public TV, indicating that TV can, while transmitting specific images, values, attitudes and view of life, directly impact on the entrepreneurial mindset of individuals. Moreover, we find that young individuals born after 1980 in East German households that had access to West German TV are also more entrepreneurial. These findings point to second-order effects due to inter-personal and inter-generational transmission, a mechanism that can cause persistent differences in the entrepreneurship incidence across (geographically defined) population groups.
06.07.2017 • 28/2017
Politicians share responsibility for the risk of their state defaulting
Investors assume higher risks of default when a country is politically unstable or governed by a party at the left or right end of the political spectrum. However, according to findings obtained by Stefan Eichler from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the more democratic the country is and the more it is integrated into the global economy, the lower is the impact that such political factors have.
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CEO Political Preference and Corporate Tax Sheltering
Journal of Corporate Finance,
We show that firms led by politically partisan CEOs are associated with a higher level of corporate tax sheltering than firms led by nonpartisan CEOs. Specifically, Republican CEOs are associated with more corporate tax sheltering even when their wealth is not tied with that of shareholders and when corporate governance is weak, suggesting that their tax sheltering decisions could be driven by idiosyncratic factors such as their political ideology. We also show that Democratic CEOs are associated with more corporate tax sheltering only when their stock-based incentives are high, suggesting that their tax sheltering decisions are more likely to be driven by economic incentives. In sum, our results support the political connection hypothesis in general but highlight that the specific factors driving partisan CEOs' tax sheltering behaviors differ. Our results imply that it may cost firms more to motivate Democratic CEOs to engage in more tax sheltering activities because such decisions go against their political beliefs regarding tax policies.
Im Fokus: Technologie- und Gründerzentren in Mittel- und Osteuropa
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Inspiriert durch die Beispiele westlicher Staaten sind Technologie-, Gründer- und Innovationszentren (TGZ) auch in mittel- und osteuropäischen (MOE-)Ländern aus dem Spektrum wirtschaftspolitischer Maßnahmen nicht mehr wegzudenken. Die Errichtung von TGZ in MOE-Ländern folgt der generellen Annahme, dass diese als
zentrale Katalysatoren hin zu einer mittelstands- und existenzgründungsbasierten Restrukturierung ökonomischer Systeme fungieren können. Neben der Unterstützung von Unternehmensgründungen und kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen wird von TGZ außerdem beispielsweise erwartet, dass sie den regionalen Wissens- und Technologietransfer beschleunigen. Gegenwärtig ist nicht bekannt, inwiefern TGZ in MOE-Ländern den verschiedenen Facetten ihres Auftrags gerecht werden. Um diesbezüglichen Untersuchungen eine Datengrundlage bereitzustellen, hat das IWH im Rahmen der Aktualisierung der IWH-TGZ-Datenbank eine Erweiterung auf ausgewählte MOELänder vorgenommen: Polen, die Tschechische Republik, die Slowakei sowie Lettland, Estland und Litauen. Der Beitrag stellt erste Ergebnisse dieser Erhebungswelle vor.
Incubator Organizations as Entrepreneurship and SME Policy Instrument in Transition Economies: A Survey among six Countries
Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship,
Within incubator-incubation research, there is a predominant focus on incubator organizations located in industrialized or developed economies. Knowledge regarding the evolution of incubators located in transition economies is almost non-existent. However, meanwhile a significant number of incubators have been established since the fall of the iron curtain in many Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries as well. Here, the present paper sets in through providing evidence on the development, distribution and structural characteristics of incubators in six selected CEE countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). We show that incubator organizations have become a central element of support infrastructure for SME and entrepreneurship in CEE countries during the past 20 years. We further argue that by drawing upon the accumulated experience with incubators in developed Western (European) economies, there are important lessons to be learned for incubator stakeholders in transition economies. We, therefore, outline particular suggestions considered to be vital for long-term successful incubation processes in transition economies.