Productivity, Managers’ Social Connections and the Financial Crisis
Journal of Banking and Finance,
This paper investigates whether managers’ personal connections help corporate productivity to recover after a negative economic shock. Leveraging the heterogeneity in the severity of the financial crisis across different sectors, the paper reports that (i) the financial crisis had a negative effect on within-firm productivity, (ii) the effect was long-lasting and persistent, supporting a productivity-hysteresis hypothesis, and (iii) managers’ personal connections allowed corporations to recover from this productivity slowdown. Among the possible mechanisms, we show that connected managers operating in affected sectors foster productivity recovery through higher input cost efficiency and better access to the credit market, as well as more efficient use of labour and capital.
Gift-Exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization,
Refugee integration requires broad support from the host society, but only a minority is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behavior, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters will increase as a reciprocal response to refugees’ contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that citizens’ intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when they learn about refugees’ pro-social activities. However, we find a substantial heterogeneity in the observed treatment effects. Individuals with a high reciprocal inclination show higher willingness to contribute time, while individuals with a lower reciprocal inclination are ready to contribute money after learning about the refugees' good deeds. Information regarding the possibility to establish a mutual support relationship with the refugees does not generally increase the willingness to contribute time or money beyond the information on refugees’ general contributions to the society. We complement this investigation with experiments in the lab and the field that confirm our findings for actual behavior.
Do Banks Value Borrowers' Environmental Record? Evidence from Financial Contracts
Journal of Business Ethics,
Banks play a unique role in society. They not only maximize profits but also consider the interests of stakeholders. We investigate whether banks consider firms’ pollution records in their lending decisions. The evidence shows that banks offer significantly higher loan spreads, higher total borrowing costs, shorter loan maturities, and greater collateral to firms with higher levels of chemical pollution. The costly effects are stronger for borrowers with greater risk and weaker corporate governance. Further, the results show that banks with higher social responsibility account for their borrowers’ environmental performance and charge higher loan spreads to those with poor performance. These results support the idea that banks with higher social responsibility can promote the practice of business ethics in firms.
07.09.2021 • 22/2021
IWH Bankruptcy Update: Ongoing Decline in Bankruptcy Statistics
After hitting an all-time low in July, the number of firms declaring bankruptcy in Germany fell yet again in August. A new low was also registered in the number of impacted jobs. These are the headline findings of the IWH Bankruptcy Report, published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), which provides a monthly update on German bankruptcy statistics.
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08.04.2021 • 10/2021
IWH Bankruptcy Update: Bankruptcy Statistics Rise Again in March
The number of firms declaring bankruptcy in Germany increased once again in March. However, the number of jobs impacted by the bankruptcy of large firms remained constant. The IWH Bankruptcy Report, published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), provides a monthly update on German bankruptcy statistics.
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Do Affiliated Bankers on Board Enhance Corporate Social Responsibility? US Evidence
In this study, we examine whether and to what extent affiliated bankers on board may affect firms’ corporate social performance. Using a propensity score-matched sample from 2002 to 2016, we find that board directors from affiliated banks exert significantly positive influence on firms’ corporate social performance. Furthermore, board of directors from affiliated banks are negatively associated with firm investments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities when firms experience financial distress. Finally, we find that the effect of affiliated bankers on board on firms’ CSR performance depends on the affiliated banks’ CSR orientation, as affiliated banker directors from banks with higher CSR orientation have a stronger influence on firms’ investments in CSR activities. The results suggest that improving firm’s CSR performance is consistent with the affiliated banks’ interests.
Who Benefits from Mandatory CSR? Evidence from the Indian Companies Act 2013
Emerging Markets Review,
We examine the value impact of mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) spending required by the Indian Companies Act of 2013 for large and profitable Indian firms. We find that the external mandate is value decreasing, even after controlling for prior voluntary CSR activity by firms affected by the mandate. We also find that there is systematic crosssectional variation across firms. Firms that are profitable and firms in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector that voluntarily engaged in CSR, benefit from CSR. Industrial firms and firms with high capital expenditures are negatively impacted by the mandate. We conclude that a one-size-fits-all approach to CSR is sub-optimal and value decreasing.
14.10.2020 • 21/2020
Recovery Loses Momentum ‒ Economy and Politics Still Shaped by the Pandemic
The corona pandemic leaves substantial marks in the German economy and its impact is more persistent than assumed in spring. In their autumn report, the leading German economic research institutes have revised their economic outlook downwards by roughly one percentage point for both this and next year. They now expect gross domestic product to fall by 5.4% in 2020 (previously -4.2%) and to grow by 4.7% (5.8%) in 2021 and 2.7% in 2022.
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