Taken by Storm: Business Financing and Survival in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Journal of Economic Geography,
We use Hurricane Katrina’s damage to the Mississippi coast in 2005 as a natural experiment to study business survival in the aftermath of a capital-destruction shock. We find very low survival rates for businesses that incurred physical damage, particularly for small firms and less-productive establishments. Conditional on survival, larger and more-productive businesses that rebuilt their operations hired more workers than their smaller and less-productive counterparts. Auxiliary evidence from the Survey of Business Owners suggests that the differential size effect is tied to the presence of financial constraints, pointing to a socially inefficient level of exits and to distortions of allocative efficiency in response to this negative shock. Over time, the size advantage disappeared and market mechanisms seem to prevail.
Living with Lower Productivity Growth: Impact on Exports
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This paper investigates the impact of sustained lower productivity growth on exports, by looking at the role of the productivity distribution and allocative efficiency as drivers of export performance. It follows and goes beyond the work of Barba Navaretti et al. (2017), analysing the effects of productivity on exports depending on the dynamics of allocative efficiency. Low productivity growth is a well-documented stylised fact in Western countries – and possibly a reality likely to persist for some time. What could be the impact of persistent sluggish growth of productivity on exports? To shed light on this question, this paper examines the relationship between the productivity distribution of firms and sectoral export performance. The structure of firms within countries or even sectors matters tremendously for the nexus between productivity and exports at the macroeconomic level, as the theoretical and empirical literature documents. For instance, whether too few firms at the top (lack of innovation) or too many firms at the bottom (weak market selection) drives slow average productivity at the macro level has very different implications and therefore demands different policy responses.
Declining Dynamism, Allocative Efficiency, and the Productivity Slowdown
American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings,
A large literature documents declining measures of business dynamism including high-growth young firm activity and job reallocation. A distinct literature describes a slowdown in the pace of aggregate labor productivity growth. We relate these patterns by studying changes in productivity growth from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s using firm-level data. We find that diminished allocative efficiency gains can account for the productivity slowdown in a manner that interacts with the within-firm productivity growth distribution. The evidence suggests that the decline in dynamism is reason for concern and sheds light on debates about the causes of slowing productivity growth.
16.12.2015 • 45/2015
German Economy: Strong domestic demand compensates for weak exports
The upturn of the German economy is expected to gain further momentum as a consequence of strong domestic demand. Real gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.6% in 2016. Consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.9%. Unemployment is expected to rise slightly because it will take time to integrate refugees into the labour market.
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Bank Market Power, Factor Reallocation, and Aggregate Growth
Journal of Financial Stability,
Using a unique firm-level sample of approximately 700,000 firm-year observations of German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this study seeks to identify the effect of bank market power on aggregate growth components. We test for a pre-crisis sample whether bank market power spurs or hinders the reallocation of resources across informationally opaque firms. Identification relies on the dependence on external finance in each industry and the regional demarcation of regional banking markets in Germany. The results show that bank markups spur aggregate SME growth, primarily through technical change and the reallocation of resources. Banks seem to need sufficient markups to generate the necessary private information to allocate financial funds efficiently.
Stress Testing and Bank Efficiency: Evidence from Europe
International Journal of Corporate Finance and Accounting,
This study examines whether and how the stress testing of European banks in 2010, 2011, and 2014 is related to their technical, allocative, and cost efficiency. Using a sample of large commercial banks operating in 20 European countries, and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), the authors perform comparisons between banks that were included in one of the three European stress tests and untested banks operating in the same countries. They estimate various specifications as for the inputs and outputs, cross-section and pooled estimations, and they also examine alternative samples as for the ownership of banks. In general, the authors conclude that banks included in the stress-test exercises are more efficient that their counterparties. The differences tend to be statistically significant in the case of allocative efficiency and cost efficiency, but not in the case of technical efficiency. With regards to the latter form of efficiency, the results depend upon the specification and the stress test in question.