We investigate whether financial statement complexity is associated with firms' reliance on bank financing and the terms of bank loans. We focus on two aspects of complexity, the length of financial reports and the complexity of financial reporting rules. We document that both aspects of complexity are positively associated with firms' reliance on bank financing (i.e., level of debt and new financing). This result is consistent with banks' superior information processing capabilities. Next, we document that banks ameliorate information frictions using loan contractual terms that depend on the source of complexity. Overall, banks are an attractive source of financing for firms with complex disclosures, but banks also increase screening and monitoring for relatively complex borrowers.
The U.S. Federal Reserve purchased both agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and Treasury securities to conduct quantitative easing (QE). Using micro-level data, we find that banks benefiting from MBS purchases increase mortgage origination, compared to other banks. At the same time, these banks reduce commercial lending and firms that borrow from these banks decrease investment. The effect of Treasury purchases is different: either positive or insignificant in most cases. Our results suggest that MBS purchases caused unintended real effects and that Treasury purchases did not cause a large positive stimulus to the economy through the bank lending channel.
Analyzing the period 1988–2006, we document that banks that are active in strong housing markets increase mortgage lending and decrease commercial lending. Firms that borrow from these banks have significantly lower investment. This is especially pronounced for firms that are more capital constrained or borrow from more-constrained banks. Various extensions and robustness analyses are consistent with the interpretation that commercial loans were crowded out by banks responding to profitable opportunities in mortgage lending, rather than with a demand-based interpretation. The results suggest that housing prices appreciations have negative spillovers to the real economy, which were overlooked thus far.
This paper examines whether agency conflicts during venture capital (VC) fundraising impact investment behavior. Using novel investment-level decisions of VCs in the process of raising new funds, we find that venture capitalists take actions hidden from their investors, i.e. limited partners (LPs), that delay revealing negative information about VC fund performance until after a new fund is raised. After fundraising is complete, write-offs double and reinvestments in relatively worse off entrepreneurial firms increase. We find that these observations cannot be explained by strategic bundling of news or effort constraints due to the newly raised fund. Funds with both long and short fundraising track record exhibit this behavior and the delay is costly for fund investors (LPs). This strategic delay shows that fundraising incentives have real impacts on VC fund investment decisions, which are often difficult for LPs to observe.
We investigate how the reduction of income inequality through tax policy affects economic growth. Taxation at different points of the income distribution has heterogeneous impacts on households’ incentives to work, invest, and consume. Using U.S. state-level data and micro-level household tax returns over the last three decades, we find that reducing income inequality between low and median income households improves economic growth. However, reducing income inequality through taxation between median and high-income households reduces economic growth. These asymmetric economic growth effects are attributable both to supply-side factors (i.e., changes in small business activity and labour supply) and to consumption demand.
Carnegie-Rochester-NYU Conference on Public Policy, April 2016.
Using data from 15 European Union economies, we quantify the real effects of supply-side frictions due to the financial disintegration of European countries since the 2008 financial crisis. We develop a multi-country general equilibrium model with heterogeneous countries and destination specific financial frictions. Financial institutions allocate capital endogenously across countries, determining the cost of capital to firms and the wealth of nations. The cost of financial disintegration is reduced access to capital for firms which results in lower output. Financial disintegration leads to a 0.54% fall in output in Europe since the crisis. We also estimate benefits of further financial integration.
Americans work more than Europeans. Using micro data from the United States and 17 European countries, we document that women are typically the largest contributors to the cross-country differences in work hours. We also show that there is a negative relation between taxes and annual hours worked, driven by men, and a positive relation between divorce rates and annual hours worked, driven by women. In a calibrated life-cycle model with heterogeneous agents, marriage and divorce we find that the divorce and tax mechanisms together can explain 45% of the variation in labor supply between the United States and the European countries.
We propose a new role for private investments in public equity (PIPEs) as a mechanism to reduce coordination frictions among existing equity holders. We establish a causal link between the coordination ability of incumbent shareholders and PIPE issuance. This result obtains even after controlling for alternative explanations such as information asymmetry and access to public markets. Improved equity coordination following a private placement leads to favorable debt renegotiations within one year of issuance. Mitigating coordination frictions among shareholders ultimately decreases the odds of firm default in half.