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The Influence of Bondholder Concentration and Temporal Orientation on Investments in R&D
Journal of Management,
Although innovation can be a critical source of competitive advantage, research has found that debt can erode management’s willingness to invest in R&D. In this article, we employ a stakeholder bargaining power perspective to argue that this effect is most pronounced when the firm’s bonds are concentrated in the hands of bond blockholders. Furthermore, we contend that the temporal orientation of bondholders influences this relationship. Specifically, while it is commonly assumed that bondholders have a limited temporal orientation that induces them to focus on short-term value appropriation, we argue that some bond blockholders adopt a long-term temporal orientation. This orientation, in turn, makes them more inclined to support long-term value creation for the firm in the form of enhanced investments in R&D. Moreover, while agency theory suggests that there is an inherent conflict of interest between shareholders and bondholders, our results suggest that the temporal orientation of investors (i.e., both shareholders and bondholders) matters much more than whether they invested in the firm’s equity or its debt.
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Lack of Selection and Limits to Delegation: Firm Dynamics in Developing Countries
American Economic Review,
Delegating managerial tasks is essential for firm growth. Most firms in developing countries, however, do not hire outside managers but instead rely on family members. In this paper, we ask if this lack of managerial delegation can explain why firms in poor countries are small and whether it has important aggregate consequences. We construct a model of firm growth where entrepreneurs have a fixed time endowment to run their daily operations. As firms grow large, the need to hire outside managers increases. Firms’ willingness to expand therefore depends on the ease with which delegation can take place. We calibrate the model to plant-level data from the U.S. and India. We identify the key parameters of our theory by targeting the experimental evidence on the effect of managerial practices on firm performance from Bloom et al. (2013). We find that inefficiencies in the delegation environment account for 11% of the income per capita difference between the U.S. and India. They also contribute to the small size of Indian producers, but would cause substantially more harm for U.S. firms. The reason is that U.S. firms are larger on average and managerial delegation is especially valuable for large firms, thus making delegation efficiency and other factors affecting firm growth complements.
Evolvement of China-related Topics in Academic Accounting Research: Machine Learning Evidence
China Accounting and Finance Review,
This study employs an unsupervised machine learning approach to explore the evolution of accounting research. We are particularly interested in exploring why international researchers and audiences are interested in China-related issues; what kinds of research topics related to China are mainly investigated in globally recognised journals; and what patterns and emerging topics can be explored by comprehensively analysing a big sample. Using a training sample of 23,220 articles from 46 accounting journals over the period 1980 to 2018, we first identify the optimal number of accounting research topics; the dynamic patterns of these accounting research topics are explored on the basis of 46 accounting journals to show changes in the focus of accounting research. Further, we collect articles related to Chinese accounting research from 18 accounting journals, eight finance journals, and eight management journals over the period 1980 to 2018. We objectively identify China-related accounting research topics and map them to the stages of China’s economic development. We attempt to identify the China-related issues global researchers are interested in and whether accounting research reflects the economic context. We use HistCite TM to generate a citation map along a timeline to illustrate the connections between topics. The citation clusters demonstrate “tribalism” phenomena in accounting research. The topics related to Chinese accounting research conducted by international accounting researchers reveal that accounting changes mirror economic reforms. Our findings indicate that accounting research is embedded in the economic context.
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Measuring the Indirect Effects of Adverse Employer Behaviour on Worker Productivity – A Field Experiment
We conduct a field experiment to study how worker productivity is affected if employers act adversely towards their co-workers. Our employees work for two shifts in a call centre. In our main treatment, we lay off some workers before the second shift. Compared to two control treatments, we find that the lay-off reduces the productivity of unaffected workers by 12%. We find suggestive evidence that this result is not driven by altered beliefs about the job or the management’s competence, but caused by the workers’ perception of unfair employer behaviour. The latter interpretation is confirmed in a prediction experiment with professional HR managers. Our results suggest that the price for adverse employer behaviour goes well beyond the potential tit for tat of directly affected workers.
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Marginal Returns to Talent for Material Risk Takers in Banking
IWH Discussion Papers,
Economies of scale can explain compensation differentials over time, across firms of different size, different hierarchy-levels, and different industries. Consequently, the most talented individuals tend to match with the largest firms in industries where marginal returns to their talent are greatest. We explore a new dimension of this size-pay nexus by showing that marginal returns also differ across activities within firms and industries. Using hand-collected data on managers in European banks well below the level of executive directors, we find that the size-pay nexus is strongest for investment banking business units and for banks with a market-based business model. Thus, managerial compensation is most sensitive to size increases for activities that can easily be scaled up.