Gesetzgebung, Regulierung und Faktormärkte
Traditionell wird die Regulierung von Finanz- und Arbeitsmärkten isoliert analysiert. Die neue Abteilung „Gesetzgebung, Regulierung und Faktormärkte“ erforscht systematisch die Interaktion von Regulierungen der Finanz- und Arbeitsmärkte und deren Auswirkungen auf die langfristige realwirtschaftliche Entwicklung. Dies wird erreicht, indem wachstums- und strukturrelevante Aspekte der Rahmenbedingungen an Finanz- und Arbeitsmärkten gemeinsam erforscht werden. Das Alleinstellungsmerkmal der neuen Abteilung ist die Untersuchung der Interdependenz von staatlicher Regulierung im Bereich der Finanz- und Arbeitsmärkte und der realwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
Supranational Rules, National Discretion: Increasing versus Inflating Regulatory Bank Capital?
in: Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, im Erscheinen
We study how banks use “regulatory adjustments” to inflate their regulatory capital ratios and whether this depends on forbearance on the part of national authorities. Using the 2011 EBA capital exercise as a quasi-natural experiment, we find that banks substantially inflated their levels of regulatory capital via a reduction in regulatory adjustments — without a commensurate increase in book equity and without a reduction in bank risk. We document substantial heterogeneity in regulatory capital inflation across countries, suggesting that national authorities forbear their domestic banks to meet supranational requirements, with a focus on short-term economic considerations.
A Congestion Theory of Unemployment Fluctuations
in: American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, im Erscheinen
We propose a theory of unemployment fluctuations in which newhires and incumbentworkers are imperfect substitutes. Hence, attempts to hire away the unemployed during recessions diminish the marginal product of new hires, discouraging job creation. This single feature achieves a ten-fold increase in the volatility of hiring in an otherwise standard search model, produces a realistic Beveridge curve despite countercyclical separations, and explains 30–40% of U.S. unemployment fluctuations. Additionally, it explains the excess procyclicality of new hires’ wages, the cyclical labor wedge, countercyclical earnings losses from job displacement, and the limited steady-state effects of unemployment insurance.
Productivity, Place, and Plants
in: Review of Economics and Statistics, im Erscheinen
Why do cities differ so much in productivity? A long literature has sought out systematic sources, such as inherent productivity advantages, market access, agglomeration forces, or sorting. We document that up to three quarters of the measured regional productivity dispersion is spurious, reflecting the “luck of the draw” of finite counts of idiosyncratically heterogeneous plants that happen to operate in a given location. The patterns are even more pronounced for new plants, hold for alternative productivity measures, and broadly extend to European countries. This large role for individual plants suggests a smaller role for places in driving regional differences.
The Labor Effects of Judicial Bias in Bankruptcy
in: Journal of Financial Economics, Nr. 2, 2023
We study the effect of judicial bias favoring firm continuation in bankruptcy on the labor market outcomes of employees by exploiting the random assignment of cases across courts in the State of São Paulo in Brazil. Employees of firms assigned to courts that favor firm continuation are more likely to stay with their employer, but they earn, on average, lower wages three to five years after bankruptcy. We discuss several potential mechanisms that can rationalize this result, and provide evidence that imperfect information about outside options in the local labor market and adjustment costs associated with job change play an important role.
Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: A Test of the Efficiency of Separations
in: Review of Economic Studies, Nr. 3, 2023
We present a test of Coasean theories of efficient separations. We study a cohort of jobs from the introduction through the repeal of a large age- and region-specific unemployment benefit extension in Austria. In the treatment group, 18.5% fewer jobs survive the program period. According to the Coasean view, the destroyed marginal jobs had low joint surplus. Hence, after the repeal, the treatment survivors should be more resilient than the ineligible control group survivors. Strikingly, the two groups instead exhibit identical post-repeal separation behavior. We provide, and find suggestive evidence consistent with, an alternative model in which wage rigidity drives the inefficient separation dynamics.
R&D Tax Credits and the Acquisition of Startups
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 15, 2023
We propose a novel mechanism through which established firms contribute to the startup ecosystem: the allocation of R&D tax credits to startups via the M&A channel. We show that when established firms become eligible for R&D tax credits, they increase their R&D and M&A activity. In particular, they acquire more venture capital (VC)-backed startups, but not non-VC-backed firms. Moreover, the impact of R&D tax credits on firms’ R&D is increasing with their acquisition of VC-backed startups. The results suggest that established firms respond to R&D tax credits by acquiring startups rather than solely focusing on increasing their R&D intensity in-house. We also highlight evidence that startups do not appear to benefit from R&D tax credits directly, perhaps because they typically lack the taxable income necessary to directly benefit from the tax credits. In this context, established firms can play an intermediary role by acquiring startups and reallocating R&D tax credits, effectively relaxing the financial constraints faced by startups.
Going Public and the Internal Organization of the Firm
in: SSRN Working Paper, May 2022
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.
Banking Deregulation and Consumption of Home Durables
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 4, 2022
We exploit the spatial and temporal variation of the staggered introduction of interstate banking deregulation across the U.S. to study the relationship between credit constraints and consumption of durables. Using the American Housing Survey from 1981 to 1989, we link the timing of these reforms with evidence of a credit expansion and household responses on many margins. We find evidence that low-income households are more likely to purchase new appliances after the deregulation. These durable goods allowed households to consume less natural gas and spend less time in domestic activities after the reforms.
The Adverse Effect of Contingent Convertible Bonds on Bank Stability
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 1, 2022
This paper examines the effect of CoCo bonds that qualify as additional tier 1 capital on bank fundamentals. The results reveal a significant reduction in the distance to insolvency following the hybrid bond issuance due to increased earnings volatility. Further analyses suggest a link between CoCo issuance and more active earnings management, evidenced by a higher standard deviation of loan loss provisions and impairment charges. The findings substantiate long-standing theoretical hypotheses suggesting that the regulatory design requirements for going-concern CoCos adversely affect bank stability. Furthermore, they correspond to the notion that private monitoring is largely absent as a corrective measure due to prevailing uncertainties and information frictions.
Corporate Loan Spreads and Economic Activity
in: SSRN Working Paper, 2021
We use secondary corporate loan-market prices to construct a novel loan-market-based credit spread. This measure has considerable predictive power for economic activity across macroeconomic outcomes in both the U.S. and Europe and captures unique information not contained in public market credit spreads. Loan-market borrowers are compositionally different and particularly sensitive to supply-side frictions as well as financial frictions that emanate from their own balance sheets. This evidence highlights the joint role of financial intermediary and borrower balance-sheet frictions in understanding macroeconomic developments and enriches our understanding of which type of financial frictions matter for the economy.