07.09.2023 • 23/2023
The German economy continues its downturn
High inflation, increased interest rates, weak foreign demand and uncertainty among private households and firms are currently weighing on the German economy. In its autumn forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 0.5% in 2023 and to increase by 0.9% in 2024.
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SSRN Discussion Paper,
This paper documents the rise of "poison bonds", which are corporate bonds that allow bondholders to demand immediate repayment in a change-of-control event. The share of poison bonds among new issues has grown substantially in recent years, from below 20% in the 90s to over 60% after 2005. This increase is predominantly driven by investment-grade issues. We provide causal evidence that the pressure to eliminate poison pills has led firms to issue poison bonds as an alternative. Further analyses suggest that this practice entrenches incumbent managers, coincidentally benefits bondholders, but destroys shareholder value. Holding a portfolio of firms that remove poison pills but promptly issue poison bonds results in negative abnormal returns of -7.3% per year. Our findings have important implications for understanding the agency benefits and costs of debt: (1) more debt does not necessarily discipline the management; and (2) even without financial distress, managerial entrenchment can lead to conflicts between shareholders and creditors.
Institutions and Corporate Reputation: Evidence from Public Debt Markets
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.
The Geography of Information: Evidence from the Public Debt Market
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.
Corporate Culture and Firm Value: Evidence from Crisis
Journal of Banking and Finance,
Based on the Competing Values Framework (CVF), we score 10-K text to measure company culture in four types (collaborative, controlling, competitive, and creative) and examine its role in firm stability. We find that firms with higher controlling culture fared significantly better during the 2008–09 crisis. Firms with stronger controlling culture experienced fewer layoffs, less negative asset growth, greater debt issuance, and increased access to credit-line facilities during the crisis. The positive effect of the controlling culture is stronger among the financially-constrained firms. Overall, the controlling culture improves firm stability through greater support from capital providers.
Solidarity with Israel The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany stands in solidarity with Israel. ...
IWH Bankruptcy Research
IWH Bankruptcy Research The Bankruptcy Research Unit of the Halle Institute for...
Environmental Reputational Risk, Negative Media Attention and Financial Performance
Financial Markets, Institutions and Instruments,
Tracing negative media attention, this paper investigates the effect of reputational risk on firm value. Decomposing reputational damage into environmental, social and corporate-governance dimensions, it reports that environmental reputational risk has the most significant negative effect on price earnings, i.e., firms exposed to environmental risk are likely to be priced at a discount or charged a higher risk premium when discounting future earnings.
Research Profiles of the IWH Departments All doctoral students are allocated to one...