Meaningless Work Threatens Job Performance
LSE Business Review,
Open, transparent communication across the organisation is generally associated with improved employee motivation and organisational outcomes. For supervisors, the question arises how to deal with rather inconvenient information, such as in the case of a project failure. Informing employees after significant investments of time and effort might lead to negative effects on subsequent work motivation, one could argue. To identify a causal relationship between the meaning of previously completed work and workers’ subsequent work performance, we exploited a natural working environment in which the loss of the job’s meaning occurred as a matter of fact. At the same time, it was possible to credibly guide only part of the workforce to believe in the sudden loss of meaning by conducting a controlled experiment.
15.06.2017 • 26/2017
Ailing banks increase leverage of ailing firms
Euro area countries such as Greece and Spain continue to struggle not only with their banks, but also with highly indebted domestic firms. Michael Koetter from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) and co-authors show the failure to resolve banks’ financial difficulties also prevents debt reduction of over-leveraged firms – and sometimes even contributes to increasing leverage of the weakest firms.
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22.09.2016 • 39/2016
Strong Financial Literacy could Lead to More Self-employment
The probability that a person is self-employed also depends on how much financial literacy they have. A new study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association recently confirmed this correlation.
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Types of Cooperation Partners as Determinants of Innovation Failures
Technology Analysis and Strategic Management,
In this paper we analyse if specific R&D cooperation partners are related to an increase in the probability of innovation failures in terms discontinuing innovation projects. We distinguish between seven different R&D cooperation partner types, and we discriminate between product innovation failures and process innovation failures. Using German Community Innovation Survey data we find that, firstly, each type of R&D cooperation partner has a different effect on innovation failures. Secondly, we show that product innovation failures and process innovation failures are not affected in equal measure by the same type of R&D cooperation partner. Our results suggest that while R&D cooperation with public research institutes is significantly and negatively related to the probability to cancel a process innovation project, the coefficient is positive but insignificant for product innovation failures. Firms conducting partnerships with suppliers, however, run the risk of both product and process innovation failures. In turn, cooperation with competitors is positively correlated only to process innovation failures.
Financial Constraints on Growth: Comparing the Balkans to Other Transition Economies
Eastern European Economics,
This article applies an adjusted growth diagnostic approach to identify the currently most binding constraint on financing growth in the West Balkan countries. Since this group of economies faces both structural and systemic transformation problems, the original supply-side approach might not be sufficient to detect the most binding constraint. The results of the analysis indicate that the binding constraint on credit and investment growth in the region is the high and increasing share of nonperforming loans, primarily in the household sector, due to policy failures. This article compares the Balkan countries to a group of advanced transition economies. Single-country and panel regressions indicate that demand-side factors do not play a constraining role on growth in the West Balkan countries, but they do in the advanced transition economies.
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.
Corporate Venture Capital, Value Creation, and Innovation
Review of Financial Studies,
We analyze how corporate venture capital (CVC) differs from independent venture capital (IVC) in nurturing innovation in entrepreneurial firms. We find that CVC-backed firms are more innovative, as measured by their patenting outcome, although they are younger, riskier, and less profitable than IVC-backed firms. Our baseline results continue to hold in a propensity score matching analysis of IPO firms and a difference-in-differences analysis of the universe of VC-backed entrepreneurial firms. We present evidence consistent with two possible underlying mechanisms: CVC's greater industry knowledge due to the technological fit between their parent firms and entrepreneurial firms and CVC's greater tolerance for failure.
Is Subsidizing Companies in Difficulties an Optimal Policy? An Empirical Study on the Effectiveness of State Aid in the European Union
IWH Discussion Papers,
Even though state aid in order to rescue or restructure ailing companies is regularly granted by European governments, it is often controversially discussed. The aims for rescuing companies are manifold and vary from social, industrial and even political considerations. Well-known examples are Austrian Airlines (Austria) or MG Rover (Great Britain). Yet, this study aims to answer the question whether state aid is used effectively and whether the initial aim why aid has been paid has been reached, i.e. the survival of the company. By using data on rescued companies in the EU and applying a survival analysis, this paper investigates the survival rates of these companies up to 15 years after the aid has been paid. In addition, the results are compared to the survival rates of non-rescued companies which have also been in difficulties. The results suggest that despite the financial support, business failure is often only post-poned; best survival rates have firms with long-term restructuring, enterprises in Eastern Europe, smaller firms and mature companies. However, non-funded companies have an even higher ratio to go bankrupt.
Sovereign Credit Risk, Banks' Government Support, and Bank Stock Returns around the World: Discussion of Correa, Lee, Sapriza, and Suarez
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Vol. 46 (s1),
In the years leading up to the 2008–09 financial crisis, many banks around the world greatly expanded their balance sheets to take advantage of cheap and abundantly available funding. Access to international funding markets, in particular, made it possible for banks to reach a size that in some cases was a large multiple of their home countries’ gross domestic product (GDP). In Iceland, for example, assets of the banking system reached up to 900% of GDP in 2007. Similarly, by the end of 2008, assets in UK and Swiss banks exceeded 500% of their countries’ GDPs, respectively. Banks may also have grown rapidly because they may have wanted to reach too-big-to-fail status in their country, implying even lower funding cost (Penas and Unal 2004).
The depth and severity of the 2008–09 financial crisis and the subsequent debt crisis in Europe, however, have cast doubts on the ability of governments to bail out banks when they experience severe difficulties, in particular, in financially fragile environments and faced with large budget imbalances. This has resulted in as what some observers have dubbed a “doom loop”: the combination of weak public finances and weak banks results in a vicious cycle, in which the funding cost of banks increases, as the ability of governments to bail out banks is called into question, in turn increasing the funding cost of these banks and making the likelihood that the government will actually have to step in even higher, which in turn increases funding cost to the government and so forth.
Against this background, the paper by Correa et al. (2014) explores the link between sovereign rating changes and bank stock returns. They show large negative reactions of stock returns in response to sovereign ratings downgrades for banks that are expected to receive government support in case of failure. They find the strongest effects in developed economies, where the credibility of government bail outs is higher ex ante, while the effects are smaller in developing and emerging economies. In my view, the paper makes a number of important contributions to the extant literature.