The Geography of Information: Evidence from the Public Debt Market
Bill Francis, Iftekhar Hasan, Maya Waisman
Journal of Economic Geography,
nWe investigate the link between the spatial concentration of firms in large, central metropolitans (i.e. urban agglomeration) and the cost of public corporate debt. Looking at bond issues over the period 1985–2014, we find that bonds issued by companies headquartered in urban agglomerates have lower at-issue yield spreads than bonds issued by firms based in remote, sparsely populated areas. Measures of the count of institutional bondholders in a firm’s vicinity confirm that the spatial cross-sectional variation in bond spreads is driven by the proximity of metropolitan firms to large concentrations of institutional investors. Our results are robust to controls for firm productivity and governance, analyst following, and exogenous shocks to institutional investor attention. The effect of headquarters location on bond spreads is especially pronounced for more difficult to value, speculative-grade bonds, bonds issued by smaller, less visible firms and bonds issued without protective covenants. Overall, we provide evidence that the geographical distribution of firms and investors generates a corresponding distribution of value-relevant, firm-level information that affects its cost of capital.
Institutions and Corporate Reputation: Evidence from Public Debt Markets
Xian Gu, Iftekhar Hasan, Haitian Lu
Journal of Business Ethics,
Using data from China’s public debt markets, we study the value of corporate reputation and how it interacts with legal and cultural forces to assure accountability. Exploring lawsuits that change corporate reputation, we find that firms involved in lawsuits experience a decrease in bond values and a tightening of borrowing terms. Using the heterogeneities in legal and social capital environments across Chinese provinces, we find the effects are more pronounced for private firms, firms headquartered in provinces with low legal protections, and firms headquartered in provinces with high social capital. The results show that lawsuits that allege misconduct are associated with reputational penalties and that such penalties serve as substitutes for legal protections and as complements to cultural forces to provide ex post accountability and motivate ex ante trust.
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Understanding Climate Activism: Who Participates in Climate Marches Such As “Fridays for Future” and What Can We Learn from It?
Felix Noth, Lena Tonzer
Energy Research and Social Science,
Young people are marching around the globe to ask for measures against climate change and to protect the environment. Using novel survey data, we ask who participates in such powerful movements and what can be learned from our findings. The survey was conducted in German and is based on answers from more than 600 participants. We find that survey respondents are less likely to participate in climate marches like “Fridays for Future” in case they trust more in (large) corporations suggesting a link between trust and climate activism. We also ask whether worries about climate change or attitudes towards more environmentally friendly behavior match their participation frequency in climate marches. Results reveal that respondents being more worried about climate change or the environment tend to participate more often in marches addressing these concerns. Similarly, participation in climate marches correlates positively with acting environmentally sustainable. Hence, our findings might be relevant for corporations in case they want to keep the support of young customers participating in climate marches.
Do Banks Value Borrowers' Environmental Record? Evidence from Financial Contracts
I-Ju Chen, Iftekhar Hasan, Chih-Yung Lin, Tra Ngoc Vy Nguyen
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.
11.08.2016 • 34/2016
2016 stress tests: Italian banks don’t look worse than German large commercial banks
The European Banking Authority today presented the results of the 2016 stress tests. They show that most European banks appear more or less stable. “What worries me is, however, that the Italian banks do not look worse than the large German commercial banks,” says Reint E. Gropp, president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). “It appears that both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank would benefit significantly from an increase in equity. The stress test was also missing two crucial points: One, the effect of a long lasting low interest rate environment on banks was not simulated. And second, the test did not take into consideration that many small institutions could fail at the same time. This is not an unlikely scenario, given how small banks in particular struggle with shrinking interest margins,“ says Gropp. Finally, the stress test should not distract from the urgency to solve the problems in the Italian banking system.
Reint E. Gropp
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Verordnet und gleich umgesetzt? Was die energetische Regulierung von Immobilien bisher tatsächlich gebracht hat - Ergebnisse auf Grundlage des ista-IWH-Energieeffizienzindex -
Claus Michelsen, Sebastian Rosenschon
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Der Beitrag untersucht den Effekt staatlich vorgegebener Obergrenzen des Energieverbrauches von Immobilien auf den tatsächlichen Energieverbrauch der Gebäude. Bauliche Richtlinien, so die These, wirken auf zweierlei Weise: Nach Inkrafttreten senken sie zunächst das Niveau des Energieverbrauches, dynamisch führen sie zu einem abnehmenden Energiebedarf, da sich unter dem Druck strengerer Energierichtlinien der technische Fortschritt im Bausektor beschleunigt. Für beide Aspekte finden sich empirische Belege. Basierend auf einem einzigartigen Datensatz deutscher Energiezertifikate befasst sich die vorliegende Untersuchung als erste empirisch mit den Wirkungen rechtlicher Regelungen zur Energieeffizienz und bezieht explizit verschiedene Regulierungsstufen ein. Im Ergebnis können beide Effekte nachgewiesen werden. Jüngere Gebäude weisen ausnahmslos geringere Energiekennwerte auf als ältere, was als fortlaufender technischer Fortschritt im Bausektor interpretiert wird. Der Niveaueffekt nach Einführung einer neuen Regulierung zeigt sich allerdings lediglich in einem Fall: der Fortschreibung der Wärmeschutzverordnung im Jahr 1995.