The Real Effects of Price Transparency: Evidence from Steel Futures
[Selected for the 2019 AFA Annual Meetings]
I study the real effects of product price transparency on producers and their customers. I use the introduction of steel futures at the London Metal Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange in 2008 as a quasi-natural experiment. I exploit the fact that the futures market did not become a new venue for buying physical steel and did not change firms' hedging behavior significantly. Instead, the creation of the futures market increased price transparency in the product market. I compare steel products with futures traded on the exchanges to other steel products in a difference-in-differences setting. I find that price transparency reduces prices, producer surplus and customer material costs. Price transparency further reduces input cost dispersion within narrowly defined customer industries and increases the market share of low-cost producers and aggregate producer productivity.
The Downstream Impact of Upstream Tariffs: Evidence from Investment Decisions in Supply Chains , with Clemens Otto
[Selected for the 2018 WFA Annual Meetings]
Using data on import tariffs and investment in U.S. manufacturing industries between 1974 and 2012, we show that upstream tariff reductions are followed by increased downstream investment. We test different possible explanations. The results are most consistent with tariff reductions improving downstream customers' incentives to invest by mitigating the risk of ex post hold-up from upstream suppliers. In particular, we find that the investment response is stronger if the customers have little bargaining power and are not vertically integrated with their suppliers, if the suppliers produce specific inputs, and if high uncertainty inhibits the use of long-term contracts.
Managerial Ownership Changes and Mutual Fund Performance, with Florian Sonnenburg
We study the dynamics of fund manager ownership for a sample of U.S. equity mutual funds from 2005 to 2011. We find that ownership changes positively predict changes in future risk-adjusted fund performance. A one-standard deviation increase in ownership predicts a 1.6 percent increase in alpha in the following year. Fund managers who are required to increase their ownership by fund family policy show the strongest increase in alpha. They do so by increasing their trading activity in line with the view that higher ownership aligns interests of managers with those of shareholders and induces higher effort.
Work in Progress:
Why Do Non-Financial Firms offer Financial Services? Evidence from Car Dealerships
Sectoral Bubbles, Misallocation and Productivity: Evidence from Metropolitan Statistical Areas