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National Culture and Housing Credit
Chrysovalantis Gaganis, Iftekhar Hasan, Fotios Pasiouras
Journal of Empirical Finance,
Using a sample of around 30 countries over the period 2001–2015, this study provides evidence that deeply rooted cultural differences are significantly associated with the use of mortgage debt. More detailed, we find that power distance and uncertainty avoidance have a negative impact on the value of the total outstanding residential loans to GDP. This finding is robust across various specifications and the use of alternative measures of mortgage debt. In contrast, trust has a positive and robust impact on all the measures of mortgage debt. Other dimensions of national culture like long-term orientation, individualism, and indulgence, also appear to matter; however, their impact depends on the control variables and the employed measure of mortgage debt.
National Culture and Risk-taking: Evidence from the Insurance Industry
Chrysovalantis Gaganis, Iftekhar Hasan, Panagiota Papadimitri, Menelaos Tasiou
Journal of Business Research,
The gravity of insurance within the financial sector is constantly increasing. Reasonably, after the events of the recent financial turmoil, the domain of research that examines the factors driving the risk-taking of this industry has been signified. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the interplay between national culture and risk of insurance firms. We quantify the cultural overtones, measuring national culture considering the dimensions outlined by the Hofstede model and risk-taking using the ‘Z-score’. In a sample consisting of 801 life and non-life insurance firms operating across 42 countries over the period 2007–2016, we find a strong and significant relationship among insurance firms' risk-taking and cultural characteristics, such as individualism, uncertainty avoidance and power distance. Results remain robust to a variety of firm and country-specific controls, alternative measures of risk, sample specifications and tests designed to alleviate endogeneity.
Secrecy, Information Shocks, and Corporate Investment: Evidence from European Union Countries
Mohamad Mazboudi, Iftekhar Hasan
Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money,
This study examines how national culture affects corporate investment. We argue that national culture affects corporate investment efficiency through the level of secrecy that national culture exhibits. Using a sample of firms from eight culturally-diverse European Union countries, we find that the level of secrecy that national culture exhibits is negatively related to corporate investment efficiency after controlling for a number of firm- and country-level factors. We also find that the negative relation between national culture and corporate investment efficiency is mitigated by an exogenous shock to the information asymmetry problem between managers and investors. Our study highlights the importance of the cultural value of secrecy/transparency as a determinant of investment efficiency at the firm-level.
The Effect of Board Directors from Countries with Different Genetic Diversity Levels on Corporate Performance
Manthos D. Delis, Chrysovalantis Gaganis, Iftekhar Hasan, Fotios Pasiouras
We link genetic diversity in the country of origin of the firms’ board members with corporate performance via board members’ nationality. We hypothesize that our approach captures deep-rooted differences in cultural, institutional, social, psychological, physiological, and other traits that cannot be captured by other recently measured indices of diversity. Using a panel of firms listed in the North American and UK stock markets, we find that adding board directors from countries with different levels of genetic diversity (either higher or lower) increases firm performance. This effect prevails when we control for a number of cultural, institutional, firm-level, and board member characteristics, as well as for the nationality of the board of directors. To identify the relationship, we use—as instrumental variables for our diversity indices—the migratory distance from East Africa and the level of ultraviolet exposure in the directors’ country of nationality.
Urban Development by Protecting Historic Buildings? An Analysis of Incentives and Regulations in Heritage Conservation
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Regulations in heritage conservation play an important role in the redevelopment processes of East German cities. Numerous cities dispose of built cultural heritage still lending the cityscapes its character. As a reaction to the neglect of this cultural heritage during the GDR regime the East German Länder have enacted relatively restrictive heritage conservation laws. In addition to this the federal program “Städtebaulicher Denkmalschutz” was started in 1991 especially for the East German cities. In many cities activities for and investment in historic buildings have led to attractive urban centers. On the other side indicators become visible that an exaggerated heritage protection policy can turn out to be an obstacle for urban development. This paper takes an economic perspective on the topic of built heritage protection. In addition to this it contains a systematic overview over the policy arena, involving national and sub-national levels, actors and regulations. The financing of built heritage protection and recognizable intended and not intended effects of its measures are further topics of the paper. The results show that in East Germany a higher proportion of buildings is listed as in West Germany. The same is true when the public expenditures per head for heritage protection are compared. The analysis suffers from difficulties in assessing an optimal state of built heritage protection; a fact that signals further need in specific research.