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.
The CompNet Competitiveness Database The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet)...
Going Public and the Internal Organization of the Firm
SSRN Working Paper,
We examine how firms adapt their organization when they go public. To conform with the requirements of public capital markets, we expect IPO firms to become more organized, making the firm more accountable and its human capital more easily replaceable. We find that IPO firms transform into a more hierarchical organization with smaller departments. Managerial oversight increases. Organizational functions dedicated to accounting, finance, information and communication, and human resources become much more prominent. Employee turnover is sizeable and directly related to changes in hierarchical layers. New hires are better educated, but younger and less experienced than incumbents, which reflects the staffing needs of a more hierarchical organization. Wage inequality increases as firms become more hierarchical. Overall, going public is associated with a comprehensive transformation of the firm's organization which becomes geared towards efficiently operating a public firm.
Capital Requirements, Market Structure, and Heterogeneous Banks
IWH Discussion Papers,
Bank regulators interfere with the efficient allocation of resources for the sake of financial stability. Based on this trade-off, I compare how different capital requirements affect default probabilities and the allocation of market shares across heterogeneous banks. In the model, banks‘ productivity determines their optimal strategy in oligopolistic markets. Higher productivity gives banks higher profit margins that lower their default risk. Hence, capital requirements indirectly aiming at high-productivity banks are less effective. They also bear a distortionary cost: Because incumbents increase interest rates, new entrants with low productivity are attracted and thus average productivity in the banking market decreases.
Does Working at a Start-up Pay Off?
Small Business Economics,
Using representative linked employer-employee data for Germany, this paper analyzes short- and long-run differences in labor market performance of workers joining start-ups instead of incumbent firms. Applying entropy balancing and following individuals over ten years, we find huge and long-lasting drawbacks from entering a start-up in terms of wages, yearly income, and (un)employment. These disadvantages hold for all groups of workers and types of start-ups analyzed. Although our analysis of different subsequent career paths highlights important heterogeneities, it does not reveal any strategy through which workers joining start-ups can catch up with the income of similar workers entering incumbent firms.
Deposit Competition and Securitization
IWH Discussion Papers,
We provide novel evidence that deposit competition incentivizes banks to securitize loans. Exploiting the state-specific removal of deposit market caps across the U.S. as an exogenous source of competition, we document a 7.1 percentage point increase in the probability that banks securitize their assets. This result is driven by an 11 basis point increase in costs of deposits and a corresponding decrease in banks’ deposit growth. Our results are strongest among small and single state incumbent banks that rely more on deposit funding. These findings highlight an unintended regulatory cause that motivates banks to adopt the originate-to-distribute model.
The Economic Record of the Government and Sovereign Bond and Stock Returns Around National Elections
Journal of Banking and Finance,
This paper investigates the role of the fiscal and economic record of the incumbent government in shaping the price response of sovereign bonds and stocks to the election outcome in emerging markets and developed countries. For sovereign bonds in emerging markets, we find robust evidence for higher cumulative abnormal returns (CARs) if a government associated with a relatively low primary fiscal balance is voted out of office compared to elections where the fiscal balance was relatively high. This effect of the incumbent government's fiscal record is significantly more pronounced in the presence of high sovereign default risk and strong political veto players, whereas the quality of institutions does not explain differences in effects for different events. We do not find robust effects of the government's fiscal record for developed countries and stocks.
Employment Protection and Firm-level Job Reallocation: Adjusting for Coverage
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This paper finds that employment protection legislation (EPL) had a significant impact on employment adjustment in Europe over 2001-2013, once we account for firm-size related exemptions to EPL. We construct a novel coverage-adjusted EPL indicator and find that EPL hinders employment growth at the firm level and increases the share of firms that remain in the same size class. This suggests that stricter EPL restrains job creation because firms fear the costs of shedding jobs during downturns. We do not find evidence that EPL has positive effects on employment by limiting job losses after adverse shocks. In addition to standard controls for the share of credit-constrained firms and the position in the business cycle, we also control for sizerelated corporate tax exemptions and find that these also significantly constrain job creation among incumbent firms.