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G - Financial Economics

Financial Economics

JEL Code: 

Firm Investment Decisions Under Hyperbolic Discounting

This paper constructs a model of corporate investment decisions under hyperbolic discounting of present values. The hyperbolic discounted present value can be interpreted as reflecting irrational myopic preferences or, as this paper demonstrates, reduced-form implications of corporate agency issues. Both cases in an underinvestment problem for the firm, but the firm valuation criteria differ.

Banking the Unbanked? Evidence From Three Countries

We experimentally test the impact of expanding access to basic bank accounts in Uganda, Malawi, and Chile. Over two years, 17 percent, 10 percent, and 3 percent of treatment individuals made five or more deposits, respectively. Average monthly deposits for them were at the 79th, 91st, and 96th percentiles of baseline savings. Survey data show no clearly discernible intention–to–treat effects on savings or any downstream outcomes.

Valuing Peace: The Effects of Financial Market Exposure on Votes And Political Attitudes

Financial markets expose individuals to the risks and returns of the broader economy. Can they also lead to a reevaluation of the costs and benefits of conflict and peace initiatives? Can this happen even in the context of persistent ethnic conflict, and even affect voting decisions? Prior to the 2015 Israeli elections, we randomly assigned financial assets to likely voters and gave them incentives to actively trade for up to seven weeks. The assets included stocks of Israeli and Palestinian companies. We also randomly assigned their initial amounts and divestment dates.

The Effect of Savings Accounts on Interpersonal Financial Relationships: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Kenya

The welfare impact of expanding access to bank accounts depends on whether accounts crowd out pre-existing financial relationships, or whether private gains from accounts are shared within social networks. To study the effect of accounts on financial linkages, we provided free bank accounts to a random subset of 885 households. Within households, we randomized which spouse was offered an account and find no evidence of negative spillovers to spouses.

Do Government Guaranteed Small Business Loans Promote Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship?

This paper examines the impact of government guaranteed small business loans on urban economic growth, and compares the growth impacts of government versus market financed entrepreneurship. OLS estimates indicate a significant and positive relation between the Small Business Administration’s guaranteed loans and metropolitan growth between 1993 and 2002. However, first-difference and instrumental variable regressions show no growth impact from government guaranteed loans. In contrast, market entrepreneurship significantly and positively contributes to local economic growth.

The Impact of State Tax Subsidies for Private Long-Term Care Insurance on Coverage and Medicaid Expenditures

In spite of the large expected costs of needing long-term care, only 10-12 percent of the elderly population has private insurance coverage. Medicaid, which provides means-tested public assistance and pays for almost half of long-term care costs, spends more than $100 billion annually on long-term care. In this paper, I exploit variation in the adoption and generosity of state tax subsidies for private long-term care insurance to determine whether tax subsidies increase private coverage and reduce Medicaid's costs for long-term care.

Firms and Credit Constraints along the Global Value Chain: Processing Trade in China

Global value chains (GVCs) allow firms to produce and export final goods, or to perform only intermediate stages of production by processing imported inputs for re-exporting. We examine how financial constraints determine companies’ position in GVCs and how this position affects profitability. We exploit matched customs and balance-sheet data from China, where exports are classified as ordinary trade, import-and-assembly processing trade (processing firm sources and pays for imported inputs), and pure-assembly processing trade (processing firm receives foreign inputs for free).

Host-Country Financial Development and Multinational Activity

We establish that host-country financial development affects the global operations of multinational firms. Using detailed U.S. data, we provide robust evidence that host-country financial development attracts more entry by multinational affiliates, while also influencing affiliates’ incentives to sell in the local market, versus to their parent country and third-country destinations.


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