Why Is there Resistance to Works Councils In Germany? An Economic Perspective
Economic and Industrial Democracy,
Recent empirical research generally finds evidence of positive economic effects for works councils, for example with regard to productivity and – with some limitations – to profits. This makes it necessary to explain why employers’ associations have reservations about works councils. On the basis of an in-depth literature analysis, this article shows that beyond the generally positive findings, there are important heterogeneities in the impact of works councils. The authors argue that those groups of employers that tend to benefit little from employee participation in terms of productivity and profits may well be important enough to shape the agenda of their employers’ organization and have even gained in importance within their organizations in recent years. The authors also discuss the role of deviations from profit-maximizing behavior like risk aversion, short-term profit-maximization and other non-pecuniary motives, as possible reasons for employer resistance.
Pricing Sin Stocks: Ethical Preference vs. Risk Aversion
European Economic Review,
We develop an ethical preference-based model that reproduces the average return and volatility spread between sin and non-sin stocks. Our investors do not necessarily boycott sin companies. Rather, they are open to invest in any company while trading off dividends against ethicalness. When dividends and ethicalness are complementary goods and investors are sufficiently risk averse, the model predicts that the dividend share of sin companies exhibits a positive relation with the future return and volatility spreads. An empirical analysis supports the model’s predictions. Taken together, our results point to the importance of ethical preferences for investors’ portfolio choices and asset prices.
Direct and Indirect Risk-taking Incentives of Inside Debt
Journal of Corporate Finance,
We develop a model of compensation structure and asset risk choice, where a risk-averse manager is compensated with salary, equity and inside debt. We seek to understand the joint implications of this compensation package for managerial risk-taking incentives and credit spreads. We show that the size and seniority of inside debt not only are crucial for the relation between inside debt and credit spreads but also play an important role in shaping the relation between equity compensation and credit spreads. Using a sample of U.S. public firms with traded credit default swap contracts, we provide evidence supportive of the model's predictions.
Censored Fractional Response Model: Estimating Heterogeneous Relative Risk Aversion of European Households
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper estimates relative risk aversion using the observed shares of risky assets and characteristics of households from the Household Finance and Consumption Survey of the European Central Bank. Given that the risky share is a fractional response variable belonging to [0, 1], this paper proposes a censored fractional response estimation method using extremal quantiles to approximate the censoring thresholds. Considering that participation in risky asset markets is costly, I estimate both the heterogeneous relative risk aversion and participation cost using a working sample that includes both risky asset holders and non-risky asset holders by treating the zero risky share as the result of heterogeneous self-censoring. Estimation results show lower participation costs and higher relative risk aversion than what was previously estimated. The estimated median relative risk aversions of eight European countries range from 4.6 to 13.6. However, the results are sensitive to households’ perception of the risky asset market return and volatility.
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Bank Productivity and Internationalization Decisions
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Differences in firm-level productivity explain international activities of non-financial firms quite well. We test whether differences in bank productivity determine international activities of banks. Based on a dataset that allows tracking banks across countries and across different modes of foreign entry, we model the ordered probability of maintaining a commercial presence abroad and the volume of banks’ international assets empirically. Our research has three main findings. First, more productive banks are more likely to enter foreign markets in increasingly complex modes. Second, more productive banks also hold larger volumes of foreign assets. Third, higher risk aversion renders entry less likely, but it increases the volume of foreign activities conditional upon entry.
Impact of Personal Economic Environment and Personality Factors on Individual Financial Decision Making
Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience,
This study on healthy young male students aimed to enlighten the associations between an individual’s financial decision making and surrogate makers for environmental factors covering long-term financial socialization, the current financial security/responsibility, and the personal affinity to financial affairs as represented by parental income, funding situation, and field of study. A group of 150 male young healthy students underwent two versions of the Holt and Laury (2002) lottery paradigm (matrix and random sequential version). Their financial decision was mainly driven by the factor “source of funding”: students with strict performance control (grants, scholarships) had much higher rates of relative risk aversion (RRA) than subjects with support from family (ΔRRA = 0.22; p = 0.018). Personality scores only modestly affected the outcome. In an ANOVA, however, also the intelligence quotient significantly and relevantly contributed to the explanation of variance; the effects of parental income and the personality factors “agreeableness” and “openness” showed moderate to modest – but significant – effects. These findings suggest that environmental factors more than personality factors affect risk aversion.