nep-bec New Economics Papers
on Business Economics
Issue of 2012‒09‒22
twenty-six papers chosen by
Christian Calmes
Universite du Quebec en Outaouais

  1. Understanding the Effect of Technology Shocks in SVARs with Long-Run Restrictions By Chaudourne, Jeremy; Fève, Patrick; Gay, Alain
  2. Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance in the U.S.: Perceptions, Facts and Challenges By Steven N. Kaplan
  3. Leverage, skewness and amplitude asymmetric cycles By Artiach, Miguel
  4. Higher and Higher? - Performance Pay and Wage Inequality in Germany By Katrin Sommerfeld
  5. Prevalence and Longitudinal Trends of Early Internationalisation Patterns among Canadian SMEs By Sui, Sui; Yu, Zhihao; Baum , Matthias
  6. Dynamic risk management: investment, capital structure, and hedging in the presence of financial frictions By Amaya, Diego; Gauthier, Geneviève; Léautier, Thomas-Olivier
  7. Inventories and Endogenous Stackelberg Leadership in Two-period Cournot Oligopoly By Mitraille, Sébastien; Moreaux, Michel
  8. On the strategic value of risk management By Léautier, Thomas-Olivier; Rochet, Jean-Charles
  9. Do Standard Corporate Governance Practices Matter in Family Firms? By Sridhar Arcot; Valentina Bruno
  10. Profitability, uncertainty and multi-product firm product proliferation: The Spanish car industry By Xosé-Luís Varela-Irimia
  11. Loyalty Discounts By Ugur Akgun; Ioana Chioveanu
  12. The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade By Andrew B. Bernard; J. Bradford Jensen; Stephen J. Redding; Peter K. Schott
  13. Cultural diversity and plant‐level productivity By Michaela Trax; Stephan Brunow; Jens Suedekum
  14. Price Competition and Consumer Confusion By Ioana Chioveanu; Jidong Zhou
  15. Binding Constraints: Does Firm Size Matter? By Vargas, Jose P Mauricio
  16. Changes in the Operational Efficiency of National Oil Companies By Peter R Hartley; Kenneth B. Medlock III
  17. Essays on executive remuneration contracting: Managerial power, corporate payout, and gender discrimination. By Geiler, P.H.M.
  18. Stricter employment protection and firms’ incentives to sponsor training: The case of French older workers By Messe, Pierre-Jean; Rouland, Bénédicte
  19. Mediocrity and Induced Reciprocity By Natalia Montinari; Antonio Nicolò; Regine Oexl
  20. Delegation in Long-Term Relationships By Miriam Schütte; Philipp C. Wichardt
  21. ‘Everything must go!’- Cournot as a Stable Convention within Strategic Supply Function Competition By Michal Król
  22. How frequently firms export? Evidence from France By Gábor Békés; Lionel Fontagné; Balázs Muraközy; Vincent Vicard
  23. Liability versus Regulation for Controlling Product-Related Risks By Thomas J. Miceli; Rebecca Rabon; Kathleen Segerson
  24. Entrepreneurial employees: Are they different from independent entrepreneurs? By Nyström, Kristina
  25. Theory and Practice in Business Intelligence By Muntean, Mihaela
  26. Expected Currency Excess Returns and International Business Cycles By Sanglim Lee

  1. By: Chaudourne, Jeremy (UQAM); Fève, Patrick (TSE (GREMAQ, IUF, IDEI et Banque de France)); Gay, Alain (UQAM)
    Abstract: This paper studies the statistical properties of impulse response functions in structural vector autoregressions (SVARs) with a highly persistent variable as hours worked and long-run identifying restrictions. The highly persistent variable is specified as a nearly stationary persistent process. Such process appears particularly well suited to characterized the dynamics of hours worked because it implies a unit root in finite sample but is asymptotically stationary and persistent. This is typically the case for per capita hours worked which are included in SVARs. Theoretical results derived from this specification allow to explain most of the empirical findings from SVARs which include U.S. hours worked. Simulation experiments from an estimated DSGE model confirm theoretical results.
    Keywords: , , , , , , , SVARs, long-run restrictions, locally nonstationary process, technology shocks, hours worked
    JEL: C32 E32
    Date: 2012–08
  2. By: Steven N. Kaplan
    Abstract: In this paper, I consider the evidence for three common perceptions of U.S. CEO pay and corporate governance: (1) CEOs are overpaid and their pay keeps increasing; (2) CEOs are not paid for performance; and (3) boards do not penalize CEOs for poor performance. While average CEO pay increased substantially through the 1990s, it has declined since then. CEO pay levels relative to other highly paid groups today are comparable to their average levels in the early 1990s. In fact, the relative pay of large company CEOs is similar to its average level since the 1930s. The ratio of large company CEO pay to firm market value also has remained roughly constant since 1960. This suggests that similar forces, likely technology and scale, have played a meaningful role in driving CEO pay and the pay of others with top incomes. With regard to performance, CEOs are paid for performance and penalized for poor performance. Finally, boards do monitor CEOs. The rate of CEO turnover has increased in the 2000s compared to the 1980s and 1990s, and is significantly tied to poor stock performance. While corporate governance failures and pay outliers as well as the very high average pay levels relative to the typical household undoubtedly have contributed to the common perceptions, a meaningful part of CEO pay appears to be market determined and boards do appear to monitor their CEOs. Consistent with that, top executive pay policies at over 98% of S&P 500 and Russell 3000 companies received majority shareholder support in the Dodd-Frank mandated Say-On-Pay votes in 2011.
    JEL: G30 G32 J33 L2
    Date: 2012–09
  3. By: Artiach, Miguel
    Abstract: The leverage parameter is shown to turn up as part of the third-order moment when a stochastic volatility process is linearly filtered. If the filter is of the autoregressive class and possesses complex-valued roots or is a Gegenbauer long-memory filter, the leverage effect plays a determinant role in producing Amplitude Asymmetric Cycles, in which the degree of asymmetry depends on the persistence of the process at both levels (conditional mean and variance), the variance of the shocks to the volatility and the value of their inter-temporal correlation with the shocks to the levels.
    Keywords: Leverage; stochastic volatility; skewness; amplitude asymmetric cycles
    JEL: C22 E37
    Date: 2012–06–07
  4. By: Katrin Sommerfeld
    Abstract: Performance pay is of growing importance to the wage structure as it applies to a rising share of employees. At the same time wage dispersion is growing continuously. This leads to the question of how the growing use of performance pay schemes is related to the increase in wage inequality? German SOEP data for the years 1984 to 2009 confirm the large increase in the application of performance pay schemes. This in turn led to an upward shift of the wage distribution by about one log point. However, it did not contribute to the growth in wage inequality. Even though wage inequality grew within the group of employees who receive performance pay, it grew even more so within the group who do not receive it. Still, the wage difference between both wage schemes remained flat over the distribution. The empirical analysis employs sequential decompositions in a quantile regression framework.
    Keywords: Performance pay, wage structure, quantile regression, sequential decomposition
    JEL: J31 J33 C21
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Sui, Sui; Yu, Zhihao; Baum , Matthias
    Abstract: Purpose: Recently, studies call for a more nuanced perspective on different internationalization patterns pursued by early internationalizers. These studies argue that most Born Global firms turn out to be Born Regional and that the proportion of true Born Global firms would be overestimated. Moreover, literature claims that the proportion of Born Global firms increases over time due to macroeconomic trends. We investigate these assumptions by providing a dynamic perspective on the prevalence of different types of internationalization patterns among Canadian small and medium-sized exporters (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach: To empirically examine the ideas above, we constructed a unique large-scale longitudinal (1997–2004) dataset. A multinomial logit model is employed to estimate a firm’s predicted probability, ceteris paribus, of choosing different internationalization patterns: Born Global, Born Regional, and Gradual Internationalization. Findings: We find that Born Global firms indeed account for a smaller proportion than Born Regional firms (16% vs. 27%). However, we find evidence that Born Globals and Born Regionals are increasingly established over time and that macroeconomic factors seem to account for this development at least partially. Originality/value Combining a rigorous empirical analysis with a unique large scale longitudinal dataset, we address two fundamental research questions in the international entrepreneurship (IE) literature a) which internationalization pattern prevails and b) if the Born Global pattern is increasingly established over time. We therewith theoretically contribute by comparing the predictive value of different internationalization frameworks international new venture (INV) framework, stage-models and regionalization hypothesis), toward which there is considerable current debate.
    Keywords: International New Ventures; Born Globals; Born Regionals; Longitudinal Study; Regional Strategy; Internationalization Process
    JEL: F13 O51
    Date: 2012–06
  6. By: Amaya, Diego (UQAM); Gauthier, Geneviève (HEC Montréal); Léautier, Thomas-Olivier (TSE,IAE)
    Abstract: This paper develops a dynamic risk management model to determine a firm's optimal risk management strategy. The risk management strategy has two elements: first, until leverage is very high, the firm fully hedges its operating cash how exposure, due to the convexity in its cost of capital. When leverage exceeds a very high threshold, the firm gambles for resurrection and stops hedging. Second, the firm manages its capital structure through dividend distributions and investment. When leverage is very low, the firm fully replaces depreciated assets, fully invests in opportunities if they arise, and distribute dividends to reach its optimal capital structure. As leverage increases, the firm stops paying dividends, while fully investing. After a certain leverage, the firm also reduces investment, until it stop investing completely. The model predictions are consistent with empirical observations.
    JEL: C61 G32
    Date: 2012–04
  7. By: Mitraille, Sébastien (Université de Toulouse, Toulouse Business School); Moreaux, Michel (Toulouse School of Economics (IDEI and LERNA))
    Abstract: Two-period Cournot competition between n identical firms producing at constant marginal cost and able to store before selling has pure strategy Nash-perfect equilibria, in which some firms store to exert endogenously a leadership over rivals. The number of firms storing balances market share gains, obtained by accumulating early the output, with losses in margin resulting from increased sales and higher operation costs. This number and the industry inventories are non monotonic in n. Concentration (HHI) and aggregate sales increase due to the strategic use of inventories.
    JEL: D43 L13
    Date: 2012–02
  8. By: Léautier, Thomas-Olivier (TSE,IAE); Rochet, Jean-Charles (TSE, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This article examines how firms facing volatile input prices and holding some degree of market power in their product market link their risk management and production or pricing strategies. This issue is relevant in many industries ranging from manufacturing to energy retailing, where risk averse firms decide on their hedging strategies before their product market strategies. We find that hedging modifies the pricing and production strategies of firms. This strategic effect is channelled through the expected risk-adjusted cost, i.e., the expected marginal cost under the measure induced by investors'risk aversion, and has diametrically opposed impacts depending on the nature of product market competition: hedging toughens quantity competition while it softens price competition. Finally, committing to a hedging strategy is always a best response to non committing, and is a dominant strategy if firms compete à la Hotelling.
    JEL: G32 L13
    Date: 2012–09–03
  9. By: Sridhar Arcot; Valentina Bruno
    Abstract: We study the unique governance dynamics surrounding family ownership in a voluntary regulatory arena where we can directly observe the impact of firm ownership on corporate governance practices pertaining to the composition of the board of directors. We find that family firms are more likely to deviate from standards of best practice in corporate governance. However, lesser governance standards in family firms are not associated with lower performance because the family shareholder is the monitor in-place. In contrast, governance practices and disclosures matter in widely-held firms because they alleviate the conflicts between managers and dispersed shareholders. More broadly, our results show that family ownership and board governance practices are substitute governance mechanisms.
    Date: 2012–09
  10. By: Xosé-Luís Varela-Irimia (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
    Abstract: This article studies how product introduction decisions relate to profitability and uncertainty in the context of multi-product firms and product differentiation. These two features, common to many modern industries, have not received much attention in the literature as compared to the classical problem of firm entry, even if the determinants of firm and product entry are quite different. The theoretical predictions about the sign of the impact of uncertainty on product entry are not conclusive. Therefore, an econometric model relating firms’ product introduction decisions with profitability and profit uncertainty is proposed. Firm’s estimated profits are obtained from a structural model of product demand and supply, and uncertainty is proxied by profits’ variance. The empirical analysis is carried out using data on the Spanish car industry for the period 1990-2000. The results show a positive relationship between product introduction and profitability, and a negative one with respect to profit variability. Interestingly, the degree of uncertainty appears to be a driving force of entry stronger than profitability, suggesting that the product proliferation process in the Spanish car market may have been mainly a consequence of lower uncertainty rather than the result of having a more profitable market
    Keywords: Product introduction, entry, uncertainty, multiproduct firms, automobile.
    JEL: L11 L13
    Date: 2012–09
  11. By: Ugur Akgun; Ioana Chioveanu
    Abstract: This paper considers the use of loyalty inducing discounts in vertical supply chains. An upstream manufacturer and a competitive fringe sell differentiated products to a retailer who has private information about the level of stochastic demand. We provide a comparison of market outcomes when the manufacturer uses two-part tariffs (2PT), all-unit quantity discounts (AU), and market share discounts (MS). We show that retailer ís risk attitude affects manufacturer's preferences over these three pricing schemes. When the retailer is risk-neutral, it bears all the risk and all three schemes lead to the same outcome. When the retailer is risk- averse, 2PT performs the worst from manufacturer's perspective but it leads to the highest total surplus. For a wide range of parameter values (but not for all) the manufacturer prefers MS to AU. By limiting the retailer's product substitution possibilities MS makes the demand for manufacturer's product more inelastic. This reduces the amount (share of total profits) the manufacturer needs to leave to the retailer for the latter to participate in the scheme.
    Date: 2012–06
  12. By: Andrew B. Bernard; J. Bradford Jensen; Stephen J. Redding; Peter K. Schott
    Abstract: This paper reviews the empirical evidence on firm heterogeneity in international trade. A first wave of empirical findings from micro data on plants and firms proposed challenges for existing models of international trade and inspired the development of new theories emphasizing firm heterogeneity. Subsequent empirical research has examined additional predictions of these theories and explored other dimensions of the data not originally captured by them. These other dimensions include multi-product firms, offshoring, intra-firm trade and firm export market dynamics.
    Date: 2012–09
  13. By: Michaela Trax (Mercator School of Management, University of Duisburg-Essen); Stephan Brunow (Institute of Employment Research (IAB)); Jens Suedekum (Mercator School of Management, University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: Using comprehensive data for German establishments (1999-2008), we estimate plant-level production functions to analyze if “cultural diversity” affects total factor productivity. We distinguish diversity in the establishment’s workforce and in the aggregate regional labor force where the plant is located. We find that a larger share of foreign workers –either in the establishment or in the region –does not affect productivity. However, there are strong spillovers associated with the degree of cultural heterogeneity. The aggregate level is, quantitatively, at least as important as the workforce composition inside the establishment. Diversity thus seems to induce externalities beyond the boundaries of a single firm; it improves local business environments.
    Keywords: Cultural Diversity, Plant-level Productivity and knowlege Spillovers.
    JEL: R23 J21 J31
    Date: 2012–09
  14. By: Ioana Chioveanu; Jidong Zhou
    Abstract: This paper proposes a model in which identical sellers of a homogenous product compete in both prices and price frames (i.e., ways to present price information). Frame choices affect the comparability of price offers, and may cause consumer confusion and lower price sensitivity. In equilibrium, firms randomize their frame choices to obfuscate price comparisons and sustain positive profits. The nature of equilibrium depends on whether frame differentiation or frame complexity is more confusing. Moreover, an increase in the number of competitors induces firms to rely more on frame complexity and this may boost industry profits and lower consumer surplus.
    Date: 2012–07
  15. By: Vargas, Jose P Mauricio
    Abstract: Using Bolivian firm level data from the World Bank 2010 Enterprise Survey, we attempt to find evidence to support the idea that distinct formal firms (according to their size) have a distinct likelihood of facing obstacles. We propose that a potential endogeneity between firms' constraints and firm size should be considered. After calculating estimations from an IV-ordered probit with an ordinal endogenous regressor, the results suggest that the firm size affects the constraint level reported by firms, but not for all kind of obstacles. `Corruption', `Political Instability', and `Crime, Theft and Disorder' are obstacles which affect all firms; `Electricity' and `Transportation' are binding constraints to medium and large firms; and `Access to Financing' is a binding constraint to small firms. These findings are important because they can be directly extrapolated to public policy that is focused on the performance of firms.
    Keywords: Firm; Size; Constraints; IV-oprobit
    JEL: D21 L25 C42 O12
    Date: 2012–09–04
  16. By: Peter R Hartley (Business School, University of Western Australia and Rice University); Kenneth B. Medlock III (Rice University)
    Abstract: Using data on 61 oil companies from 2001-09, we examine the evolution of revenue efficiency of National Oil Companies (NOCs) and shareholder-owned oil companies (SOCs). We find that NOCs generally are less efficient than SOCs, but their efficiency increased faster over the last decade. We also find evidence that partial privatizations increase operational efficiency, and (weaker) evidence that mergers and acquisitions during the decade tended to increase the efficiency of the merging firms. Finally, we find evidence that much of the inefficiency of NOCs is consistent with the hypothesis that government ownership leads to different firm objectives.
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Geiler, P.H.M. (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: Chapter 4 examines the existence of the gender pay gap among top managers in the UK. The study suggests the existence of substantial differences in both the level and mix of executive remuneration between male and female executives, but fails to establish a gender pay gap at the CEO level. The fourth chapter also shows that the pay-for-performance sensitivity of female CEOs is higher than that of male CEOs.
    Date: 2012
  18. By: Messe, Pierre-Jean; Rouland, Bénédicte
    Abstract: From French data, this paper uses a difference-in-differences approach combined with propensity score matching to identify the effect of an exogenous change in employment protection among older workers on firm’s incentives to sponsor training. Laying off workers aged 50 and above, French firms have to pay a tax to the unemployment insurance system, known as the Delalande tax. In 1999, the measure was subjected to a reform that increased due taxes but that did not concern equally all firms. We find that this exogenous shock to employment protection for older workers substantially rises firms’ incentives to train the 45-49 age group of workers. This result confirms predictions of the simple labor market model we develop in a first stage.
    Keywords: older workers; employment protection; firms’ training incentives
    JEL: J14 J24 J26
    Date: 2012–09
  19. By: Natalia Montinari (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany); Antonio Nicolò (University of Padua, Italy); Regine Oexl (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
    Abstract: We report evidence from an experiment where a principal chooses an agent out of two to perform a task for a fixed compensation. The principal's payoff depends on the agent's ex-ante ability and on a non-contractible effort that the agent has to exert once employed. We find that a significant share of principals select the mediocre agent (i.e. the one with the lower ex-ante ability). When the principal is allowed to send a message, mediocre agents exert more effort than agents with the higher ability, and principals who chooses mediocre agents on average have a larger payoff than principals who select agents with higher ability. This difference in effort overcompensates the difference in ability. Mediocre agents reciprocate more than agents who have ex-ante higher ability when the principals are able to make them feeling indebted.
    Keywords: reciprocity, communication, incentives, mediocrity
    JEL: C9
    Date: 2012–09–12
  20. By: Miriam Schütte; Philipp C. Wichardt
    Abstract: This paper considers the e effcts of a two-period interaction on the decision of a principal to delegate authority to a potentially biased but better informed agent. Compared to the (repeated) one-period case, the agent's first period actions may also signal his type which in turn impacts wages in Period 2. As a result, biased agents have an incentive not to follow their own preferences in Period 1, thereby inducing the principal to delegate more often. Moreover, we find that, depending on the players' relative utilities and the wage schedule, long term relationships will increase aggregate welfare. Finally, to empirically support our findings, we analyse data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) which show that temporary workers indeed experience less autonomy in their decisions.
    Keywords: delegation, signalling, reputation
    JEL: C72 C73 D82 D86 L22 M54
    Date: 2012
  21. By: Michal Król
    Date: 2012
  22. By: Gábor Békés; Lionel Fontagné; Balázs Muraközy; Vincent Vicard
    Abstract: This paper proposes studying export frequency as an additional margin of international trade. While extensive margins of products and destination define the scope of firm’s export, export shipment frequency is determined by sale method choice and cost structure of the trade technology. We define export shipment frequency as the per annum number of shipments of a given product, by a firm to a given destination. In order to more deeply understand the trade cost structure and sale methods, we estimate gravity models on export frequency and other margins of trade using monthly firm-product-destination level export data from France. We show that in key predictions of the model are validated. During the recent trade collapse, we also find a great deal of stability in shipment frequency with a modest adjustment to declining GDP.
    Date: 2012–03–01
  23. By: Thomas J. Miceli (University of Connecticut); Rebecca Rabon (University of Connecticut); Kathleen Segerson (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Liability and regulation are equally good at controlling product-related risks when consumers suffer the same expected harm and perceive risks correctly. When they misperceive risks, however, liability is preferred because the product price accurately signals risk and therefore induces efficient purchase decisions. When consumers vary in their susceptibility to harm and accurately perceive risk, regulation dominates liability because under regulation, consumers bear their own damages and are therefore induced to self-select in their purchase decisions. When consumers also misperceive risk, however, the choice between the two modes of risk control is ambiguous, with neither being capable of achieving the socially optimal outcome. Generally, regulation is preferred when consumers perceive risks fairly accurately, and liability is preferred when they do not. JEL Classification: K13, L51 Key words: Products liability, regulation, risk perceptions
    Date: 2012–09
  24. By: Nyström, Kristina (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper uses individual-level data from the Swedish 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) to investigate differences with respect to individual characteristics associated with independent entrepreneurs (nascent entrepreneurship and new business ownership) and entrepreneurial employees. Are there any differences with respect to gender, age, income and education associated with these different forms of entrepreneurship? Furthermore, it can be argued that an entrepreneurial employee differs with respect to attitudes and perceptions about entrepreneurship. Do attitudes and perceptions about entrepreneurship, for example, perceiving entrepreneurship as good career choice, or the fear of failure differ between entrepreneurial employees and independent entrepreneurs? Our empirical findings shows what differs between entrepreneurial employees and independent entrepreneurs are their perceptions about opportunities and capabilities. Moreover, the probability of becoming an entrepreneurial employee increases with the level of education.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurial employees; Global Entrepreneurship monitor; Sweden
    JEL: D20 J24 L26
    Date: 2012–09–11
  25. By: Muntean, Mihaela
    Abstract: The debate is developed based on the following considerations: 1 - Business Intelligence (BI) is unanimous considered the art of gaining business advantage from data; therefore BI systems and infrastructures must integrate disparate data sources into a single coherent framework for real-time reporting and detailed analysis within the extended enterprise; 2 - Business Intelligence can be described as a value proposition that helps organizations in their decision-making processes; 3 – the Business Intelligence Value Chain represents a „From DATA To PROFIT“ approach and is recommended to ground any performance management program. Different aspects, including theoretical considerations and practice examples, regarding location intelligence, mobile BI, cloud-based BI, social BI and collaborative Business Intelligence will be treated, pointing out some of the author’s contributions. Nowadays, organizations have adopted more prudent policies requiring a financial justification for nearly every IT initiative, including Business Intelligence system implementations. A business-driven methodology is recommended in any BI project management approach, project scoping and planning being vital for the project success. A business-driven approach of a BI project implementation starts with a feasibility study. The decision-making process for large projects is very complicated, and will not be subject of this paper. Having in mind a middle-sized BI project, a feasibility study based on the Monte Carlo simulation method will be conducted.
    Keywords: Business Intelligence (BI); BI value chain; BI project; Location Intelligence; Social BI; Mobile BI; Cloud BI; Collaborative BI
    JEL: M10 L86
    Date: 2012–08–05
  26. By: Sanglim Lee (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: It is well known that the uncovered interest parity condition does not hold empirically, implying that investments in high-interest rate currencies in foreign currency markets result in a positive expected excess return. Verdelhan (2010) successfully explains this phenomenon by referring to exogenous consumption processes and external habit formation. In this paper, I extend his model by using an international real business cycle model (Backus, Kehoe, and Kydland 1994) with internal habit formation. When the production-based stochastic discount factor is used, this benchmark model, driven by total factor productivity, accounts for this empirical evidence as well. JEL Classification: E32, E44, F31, F44 Key words: Currency Excess Return, Real Business Cycle, Forward Premium Puzzle
    Date: 2012–09

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