The Impact of Delay: Evidence from Formal Out-of-Court Restructuring
IWH Discussion Papers,
Bankruptcy restructuring procedures are used in most legal systems to decide the fate of businesses facing financial hardship. We study how bargaining failures in such procedures impact the economic performance of participating firms in the context of Croatia, which introduced a „pre-bankruptcy settlement“ (PBS) process in the wake of the Great Recession of 2007 - 2009. Local institutions left over from the communist era provide annual financial statements for both sides of more than 180,000 debtor-creditor pairs, enabling us to address selection into failed negotiations by matching a rich set of creditor and debtor characteristics. Failures to settle at the PBS stage due to idiosyncratic bargaining problems, which effectively delays entry into the standard bankruptcy procedure, leads to a lower rate of survival among debtors as well as reduced employment, revenue, and profits. We also track how bargaining failures diffuse through the network of creditors, finding a significant negative effect on small creditors, but not others. Our results highlight the impact of delay and the importance of structuring bankruptcy procedures to rapidly resolve uncertainty about firms‘ future prospects.
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The Role of Auditors in Merger and Acquisition Completion Time
International Journal of Auditing,
Using a sample of 664 merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions and office‐level audit data, this study investigates the role of auditors in M&A completion time. We find that having a common auditor for both acquirer and target firms in M&A transactions increases the completion time of such transactions because the exposure to higher litigation and reputational costs outweighs the information‐access advantage of common auditors. However, auditors' past experience in M&A transactions helps reduce completion time and costs. These results are robust to having Big N auditors at both ends as well as to various acquirer, target, and deal characteristics.
Does it Payoff to Research Economics? A Tale of Citation, Knowledge and Economic Growth in Transition Countries
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications,
There are many economic theories that promote human capital as a key driver of a country’s economic growth, but it is challenging to test this theory empirically on a country level and causally interpret the coefficients due to several identification problems. We tried to answer this particular question by using a quasi-natural experiment that happened quarter century ago – the fall of communist block in Eastern Europe. We use a shock to a particular scientific field – economics, to test whether the future investment into that particular field resulted in increased welfare and economic growth. The economics paradigm that was governing all of the communist block ceased to exist. Human capital depreciated over night and all communist countries had to transit from planned economy to a market economy. In the following years countries had to adapt to market economy through additional investment in human capital and research. We find that countries which lack both of the two fourth mentioned components had 25 years later a relatively lower economic growth and wealth. Unlike economics, other fields such as physics and medicine did not go through the same process so we use them as a placebo effect for our study. We find that the relative ratio of citations between economics and physics in post-communist countries is increasing only 15 years after the “paradigm” shock which gives a suggestive evidence that timing of investment into particular scientific field matters the most.
Immigration and the Rise of American Ingenuity
American Economic Review,
We build on the analysis in Akcigit, Grigsby, and Nicholas (2017) by using US patent and census data to examine the relationship between immigration and innovation. We construct a measure of foreign born expertise and show that technology areas where immigrant inventors were prevalent between 1880 and 1940 experienced more patenting and citations between 1940 and 2000. The contribution of immigrant inventors to US innovation was substantial. We also show that immigrant inventors were more productive than native born inventors; however, they received significantly lower levels of labor income. The immigrant inventor wage-gap cannot be explained by differentials in productivity.
Social Comparisons and Attitudes towards Foreigners. Evidence from the ‘Fall of the Iron Curtain’
IWH Discussion Papers,
We exploit the natural experiment of German re-unification to address the question whether distress from social (income) comparisons results in negative attitudes towards foreigners. Our empirical approach rests upon East German individuals who have West German peers. We use the exogenous variation of wealth of West German peers shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall as an instrument to identify the effect of distress from social comparisons on East Germans’ attitudes. We find robust evidence that East Germans expose strong negative attitudes towards foreigners, particularly from low-wage countries, if they worry about their economic status compared to better-off peers.
Does It Pay to Have Friends? Social Ties and Executive Appointments in Banking
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We exploit a unique sample to analyze how homophily (affinity for similar others) and social ties affect career outcomes in banking. We test if these factors increase the probability that the appointee to an executive board is an outsider without previous employment at the bank compared to being an insider. Homophily based on age and gender increase the chances of the outsider appointments. Similar educational backgrounds, in contrast, reduce the chance that the appointee is an outsider. Greater social ties also increase the probability of an outside appointment. Results from a duration model show that larger age differences shorten tenure significantly, whereas gender similarities barely affect tenure. Differences in educational backgrounds affect tenure differently across the banking sectors. Maintaining more contacts to the executive board reduces tenure. We also find weak evidence that social ties are associated with reduced profitability, consistent with cronyism in banking.