24.06.2016 • 26/2016
UK’s “No” to EU will be costly for both sides
On Thursday 23rd, the British people have decided to leave the European Union (EU) Their vote not to remain in the European community was surprisingly clear. UK’s exit will have both political and economic consequences which are far-reaching for the country itself as well as the rest of Europe. “The reactions of the remaining member states are the crucial key now, especially France’s and Germany’s” says Reint E. Gropp, President of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association.
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09.06.2016 • 22/2016
The German Economy Benefits from Strong Domestic Demand
In 2016, the moderate upswing of the German economy continues. Incomes grow due to the steady expansion in employment, and the fall in energy prices has propped up the purchasing power of private households. As a consequence, private consumption expands healthily; investment in housing is additionally stimulated by very low interest rates. Exports, however, expand only moderately, as the world economy is rather weak. All in all, the IWH forecasts the German GDP to expand by 1.8% in this year and by 1.6% in 2017.
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03.05.2016 • 20/2016
Are Lacking Structural Reforms in the Financial Sector the Underlying Reason for the German Criticism of the ECB?
The major reason for the intense criticism of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) low-interest-rate policy may be the lack of structural reforms in the German banking system. The resulting persistent fragmentation increases the banking sector’s vulnerability to the low-interest-rate environment. Hence, parts of the banking sector, due to their strong ties to politicians, appear to have successfully influenced public opinion against the ECB.
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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.
Do Courts Matter for Firm Value? Evidence from the U.S. Court System
IWH Discussion Papers,
We estimate the link between the court system and firm value by exploiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling which changed firms‘ exposure to different courts. We find that exposure to courts which are highly ranked by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce increases firm value. The effect is driven by courts‘ attitude towards businesses more than by their efficiency and is more pronounced for firms in industries with high litigation risk. We also test whether firms benefit from the ability to steer lawsuits into friendly courts, so-called forum shopping. We provide evidence that a reduction in firms‘ ability to forum shop decreases firm value, whereas a reduction in plaintiffs‘ ability to forum shop increases firm value.
Entry into Entrepreneurship, Endogenous Adaption of Risk Attitudes and Entrepreneurial Survival
Empirical studies use the assumption of stability in individual risk attitudes when searching for a relationship between attitude to risk and the decision to become and survive as an entrepreneur. We show that risk attitudes do not remain stable but face endogenous adaption when starting a new business. This adaption is associated with entrepreneurial survival. The results show that entrepreneurs with low risk tolerance before entering self-employment and increased risk tolerance when self-employed have a higher probability of survival than similar entrepreneurs experiencing a decrease in the willingness to take risks. We find the opposite results for entrepreneurs who express a higher willingness to take risks before becoming self-employed: in this case, a decrease in tolerance of risk is correlated with an increasing survival probability.
Economic Failure and the Role of Plant Age and Size
Small Business Economics,
This paper introduces a large-scale administrative panel data set on corporate bankruptcy in Germany that allows for an econometric analysis of involuntary exits where previous studies mixed voluntary and involuntary exits. Approximately 83 % of all bankruptcies occur in plants with not more than 10 employees, and 61 % of all bankrupt plants are not older than 5 years. The descriptive statistics and regression analysis indicate substantial negative age dependence with respect to bankruptcy risk but confirm negative size dependence for mature plants only. Our results corroborate hypotheses stressing increasing capabilities and positional advantage, both predicting negative age dependence with respect to bankruptcy risk due to productivity improvements. The results are not consistent with the theories explaining age dependence via imprinting or structural inertia.