nep-bec New Economics Papers
on Business Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒15
fifteen papers chosen by
Vasileios Bougioukos
Bangor University

  2. Responding to Regulation: The Effects of Changes in Mandatory Retirement Laws on Firm-Provided Incentives By Frederiksen, Anders; Flaherty Manchester, Colleen
  3. Firm heterogeneity and exports in Portugal - Identifying export potential By Frederico Oliveira Torres
  4. The Value of Online Banking to Small and Meduim-Sized Enterprises: Evidence From Firms Operating in The UAE From Trade Zones By Parvaneh Shahnoori; Glenn P. Jenkins
  5. Endogenous vertical segmentation in a Cournot oligopoly By BELLEFLAMME Paul,; FORLIN Valeria,
  6. The Impact of ESG Scores on both Firm Profitability and Value in the Automotive Sector (2002-2016) By Carlo Bellavite Pellegrini; Raul Caruso; Rocco Cifone
  7. FIRM OWNERSHIP AND GREEN PATENTS. DOES FAMILY INVOLVEMENT IN BUSINESS MATTER? By Francesco Aiello; Paola Cardamone; Lidia Mannarino; Valeria Pupo
  8. The price and employment response of firms to the introduction of minimum wages By Sebastian Link
  9. The Synchronization of Business Cycles and Financial Cycles in the Euro Area By William Oman
  10. Towards a survival capabilities framework: Lessons from the Portuguese Textile and Clothing industry By Arash Rezazadeh; Ana Carvalho
  11. The Multi-Entity Structure and Control in Business Groups By Mazumdar, Surajit
  12. Waiting for Godot: the Failure of SMEs in the Italian Manufacturing Industry to Grow By Primo AutoreAuthor-X-Name-First: MaurizioAuthor-X-Name-Last: BaussolaAuthor-Email: maurizio.baussola@unicatt.itAuthor-Workplace-Name: DISCE, Università CattolicaAuthor-Name: Secondo AutoreAuthor-X-Name-First: EleonoraAuthor-X-Name-Last: BartoloniAuthor-Email: bartolon@istat.itAuthor-Workplace-Name: ISTAT, Regional Office for Lombardy; Quarto Autore
  13. Global innovation networks for Chinese high tech small and medium enterprises: the supportive role of highly skilled migrants and returnees By Lin, Jingyi; Plechero, Monica
  14. Networks, Start-Up Capital and Women's Entrepreneurial Performance in Africa: Evidence from Eswatini By Brixiova, Zuzana; Kangoye, Thierry
  15. Corporate Strategy, Conformism, and the Stock Market By Thierry Foucault; Laurent Frésard

  1. By: Francesco Aiello (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Paola Cardamone (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Valeria Pupo (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of university-industry links in five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), using internationally comparable firm-level data for the period 2007-2009. Besides the usual firm-specific variables, it examines the role of meritocratic management practices in firms’ decisions to collaborate in R&D. Firm innovative efforts, the export status and the R&D government support are positively related to business-university links in almost all countries, human capital and firms’ size in two out of five countries under scrutiny, while belonging to science-based sectors does not seem to play a significant role. Importantly, we find that meritocratic managerial practices positively affect the firm-university nexus in Germany, France and UK, while meritocracy does not appear to enhance businesses’ R&D collaboration in Italy and in Spain.
    Keywords: industry-university links, European countries, R&D, manufacturing firms, meritocratic managerial practices
    JEL: O31 D21 C25
    Date: 2019–04
  2. By: Frederiksen, Anders (Aarhus University); Flaherty Manchester, Colleen (University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1978 expanded employee age protections to age 70, making the widespread practice by U.S. firms of mandating retirement at age 65 illegal. Building on the work of Lazear (1979), we propose that the law change not only weakened the long-term employment contract, but also contributed to the rise in pay-for-performance incentives. We model the firm's choice between offering long-term incentive contracts with low monitoring requirements and pay-for-performance (PFP) contracts with high monitoring requirements, showing how the law change increased the relative attractiveness of PFP contracts. We test the model's predictions using data from the Baker-Gibbs-Holmstrom firm, evaluating the effect of the law change on the slope of the age-pay profile, turnover rates, and the sensitivity of pay to performance. Further, we find direct evidence of strategic response to the law change by the firm, including the introduction of bonus payments, change in performance management system, and increase in the proportion of top managers. The setting also provides an opportunity to empirically investigate how firms navigate career incentives for employees.
    Keywords: incentive pay, pay for performance, long-term incentive contracts, promotions, slot constraints, career incentives
    JEL: M51 M52
    Date: 2019–03
  3. By: Frederico Oliveira Torres
    Abstract: For Melitz (2003), the driving force behind a firm’s decision to export is productivity. If firms pass the productivity cut-off, they all export. Nonetheless, empirical studies show that a substantial share of high-productive firms do not export. Using a dataset that covers Portuguese non-financial firms, between 2010 and 2016, we assess which factors determine the export decision, besides productivity. According to our results, firm’s characteristics, such as size, turnover, import as well as export status, age, worker skills and knowledge agglomeration, are crucial in the process of internationalisation of firms.
    Keywords: Exports, firm heterogeneity, firm-level data
    JEL: D22
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Parvaneh Shahnoori (Department of Economics, Eastern Mediterranean University, Mersin 10, Turkey and Payame Noor University, Bandar Abbas, Iran); Glenn P. Jenkins (Department of Economics, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada and Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus)
    Abstract: This study estimates the willingness to pay of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for a business online banking services. The estimation utilizes a contingent valuation method employing data from 400 SMEs in the United Arab Emirates free zones. An interval regression model is used to identify company characteristics affecting WTP. The results indicate an average WTP for online banking of $518.50 per month. Firms engaging in international trade value these services at least 10% more than those with only domestic operations. Other variables that significantly affect WTP include number of employees and the transportation cost of using traditional branch banking.
    Keywords: contingent valuation method, interval regression model, willingness to pay, business online banking.
    JEL: C13 F10 G21
    Date: 2018–12
  5. By: BELLEFLAMME Paul, (CORE, UCLouvain); FORLIN Valeria, (CORE, UCLouvain and European Commission, DG Clima)
    Abstract: An arbitrary number of (ex ante symmetric) firms first choose whether to produce a high-quality or a low-quality product and then the quantity of product to put on the market. We establish the following results: (i) there exists competition within and across quality segments; (ii) firms may be better off producing the low quality if competition within this segment is sufficiently low; (iii) a firm's switch across qualities may benefit all the other firms; (iv) there exists a unique partition of the firms between the two quality segments; (v) if high quality has a larger cost-quality ratio, then the equilibrium exhibits vertical differentiation; (vi) there may be too much differentiation from the consumers' point of view.
    Keywords: quality, differentiation, oligopolistic competition
    JEL: D43 L13 L25
    Date: 2019–03–06
  6. By: Carlo Bellavite Pellegrini (Department of Economic Policy and CSEA, Catholic University of Sacred Heart); Raul Caruso (European Center of Peace Science, Integration and Cooperation CESPIC; Catholic University 'Our Lady of Good Counsel'); Rocco Cifone (CSEA, Catholic University of Sacred Heart)
    Abstract: This study analyses the impact of ESG scores on firms’ profitability in the automotive sector between 2002 and 2016. In particular, we exploit a novel dataset of European and North American listed firms. Results show that the environmental component of the ESG scores is positively associated with firms’ profitability. Among the components of overall ESG, the environmental score is the only that exhibits the most robust association. Eventually when considering firm value proxied by means of Tobin’s Q, results show a negative association between the Tobin’s Q and the environmental component of ESG. Further estimations have highlighted a more nuanced evidence in particular with regard to profitability namely: (i) there is a an inverse U-shaped relationship between the governance score of ESG and ROA of firms; (ii) when considering interactions, it comes out that as the firm size increases both environmental and social score are negatively associated with ROA; (iii) when considering non-linearities results show that when governance score is small ROA of firms slightly decreases but as the governance scores increases it eventually increases.
    Keywords: ESG, Profitability, ROA, Firm Value, Tobin's Q
    Date: 2019–01
  7. By: Francesco Aiello (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Paola Cardamone (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Lidia Mannarino (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Valeria Pupo (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how family and non-family firms differ in terms of their capability to introduce environmental innovation, which is measured by green patents. The analysis is carried out using a large patenting data set related to the inventions produced by about 4200 Italian manufacturing firms over the period 2009–2017. The results show that family firms are less likely than non-family firms to implement innovations in green technologies. Moreover, the role played by the stock of knowledge and the environmental management system certification differs across firm type.
    Keywords: eco-innovation, green patent, family firms
    JEL: O31 C23 G34
    Date: 2019–03
  8. By: Sebastian Link
    Abstract: This paper studies the price and employment response of firms to the introduction of a nation-wide minimum wage in Germany. In line with previous studies, the estimated employment effect is only modestly negative and statistically insignificant. In contrast, affected firms increased prices much more frequently. The price effect is prevalent across different sectors of the economy including manufacturing and is thus not limited to low wage industries. I document that speed and degree of price pass-through were high and firms rolled over the lion’s share of the costs generated by the minimum wage to their customers. Consistent with the role of price pass-through, I find considerable heterogeneity in firms’ responses to the minimum wage depending on their own business expectations, product market competition, and local labor market conditions.
    Keywords: price pass-through, heterogeneity in minimum wage effects, firm data, Germany
    JEL: J38 J08 E31 J31
    Date: 2019
  9. By: William Oman (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, International Monetary Fund (IMF))
    Abstract: Using a frequency-based filter, I document the existence of a euro-area financial cycle and high- and low-amplitude national financial cycles. Applying concordance and similarity analysis to business and financial cycles, I provide evidence of five empirical regularities: (i) the aggregate euro-area creditto- GDP ratio behaved procyclically in the years preceding euro-area recessions; (ii) financial cycles are less synchronized than business cycles; (iii) business cycle synchronization has increased while financial cycle synchronization has decreased; (iv) financial cycle desynchronization was more pronounced between high-amplitude and low-amplitude countries, especially Germany; (v) high-amplitude countries and Germany experienced divergent leverage dynamics after 2002.
    Keywords: Business cycle,Economic integration,Euro area,Financial cycle,Monetary policy
    Date: 2019–03
  10. By: Arash Rezazadeh (School of Economics and Management and NIPE, University of Minho); Ana Carvalho (University of Minho: School of Economics and Management and NIPE)
    Abstract: Influenced dramatically by the financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis, many European industries are now struggling with the new international division of labour that compels the shift of manufacturing to lower labour cost countries. These decisive global challenges underline the need to investigate why some firms can survive such crises while many others fail. Grounded in this narrative, ‘survival’ can be regarded as a period of the firm’s growth and change over time, where it faces a crisis and stiff competition. This view is different from the one that defines the concept of ‘business survival’ as the second stage of the firm’s lifespan, after birth and before success, where it has obtained certain customers having their demanded products or services delivered (Lewis & Churchill, 1983). Survival is of essential significance for the firm since a desirable performance over the surviving period enables eventual success, whilst a poor performance precipitates failure and shutdown (Bo , 2008; Korunka, Kessler, Frank, & Lueger, 2010; Naidoo, 2010). Although the literature is well developed on the structural determinants of firm survival, mostly related to firm age and size, less is known about certain internal capabilities the firm needs to develop in order to compensate for resource scarcity and financial restrictions caused by a crisis or other environmental disruptions. This reinforces the need to provide a more detailed clarification of the concept of ‘business survival’ and explore the capabilities that are vital to the survival of firms in times of struggle.
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Mazumdar, Surajit
    Abstract: The literature on business groups in ‘emerging’ markets emphasizes several dimensions along which the group form may differ from its presumed opposite – the stand-alone firm. However, what does not usually capture too much attention is that the business group structure in India can and does incorporate several companies/firms which are neither publicly listed nor even individually large. So much so that several apparently stand-alone companies can also be parts of networks connecting them to other such companies/firms. The interconnections which link these several entities are, however, crucial inter alia to the exercise of control by business families over capital and wealth far in excess of what is legally owned by them. Concentrated control over assets as well as concentrated ‘ownership’ of companies are the related outcomes of these – and this provides an important reason for the resilience of the multi-entity group structure. The specific structure of the network of individual business groups and their participating entities, however, change over time in response to changing institutional contexts as well as due to its endogenous dynamics. This paper will seek to develop these propositions using the specific case of the Reliance group as an illustration and further argue that liberalization, instead of developing a “market for corporate control”, has only served to reinforce this method of “entrenchment”.
    Keywords: India, Business Groups, Corporate Control
    JEL: K2 L2 L5 N8 N85
    Date: 2018–12
  12. By: Primo AutoreAuthor-X-Name-First: MaurizioAuthor-X-Name-Last: BaussolaAuthor-Email: maurizio.baussola@unicatt.itAuthor-Workplace-Name: DISCE, Università CattolicaAuthor-Name: Secondo AutoreAuthor-X-Name-First: EleonoraAuthor-X-Name-Last: BartoloniAuthor-Email: bartolon@istat.itAuthor-Workplace-Name: ISTAT, Regional Office for Lombardy (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Quarto Autore (DISCE, Università Cattolica)
    Abstract: Abstract of the paper. We use a panel of Italian manufacturing firms for the period 2001-2014 to analyse the distribution of firm size, and then test for the validity of Gibrat’s law using unit root tests. Although Gibrat’s Law is rejected and the estimates suggest that small firms grow faster than larger ones, we do not observe a signifi- cant change in the average size of companies at the end of the period under investigation. Also, by using a long-run Transition Probability Matrix, we verify that the steady-state distribution of firm size remains stable. The higher propensity to grow shown by smaller firms is confined to the size class in which the firm is established. We further investigate the relationship between the rate of growth in a firm’s size conditional on specific firm and industry characteristics. Export intensity plays a signifi- cant role in affecting the size growth rate together with industry characteristics related to technological levels. Finally, we esti- mate the probability that a firm increases in size relative to the mean size prevailing in its own size class over a 14-year interval. This approach enables us to highlight those factors that affect this probability, thereby enabling us to underline how Gibrat’s Law tests, although important, require complementary analysis to ascertain whether a firm’s propensity to increase in size is a long run effect and thus a significant modification of the distri- bution of company size or only implies a marginal increase in size within a reference size class.
    Keywords: Gibrat’s Law, Lognormal distribution, firm size dis- tribution.
    JEL: L11 L2 L6
    Date: 2018–03
  13. By: Lin, Jingyi (Lund University); Plechero, Monica (University of Florence)
    Abstract: Literature investigating highly skilled Chinese migrants has so far focused on their role as drivers of new entrepreneurship as well as innovation in firms and regions, although their role in supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engagement in global innovation networks (GINs) is still underexplored. The participation in GINs is key for high tech SMEs, which rely on sophisticated knowledge but may not have the same absorptive capacity of large firms and multinational corporations. Based on primary data from a case study on 19 SMEs in the IT and new media industry in Beijing, this paper investigates the role of returnees and highly skilled migrants in supporting the engagement of Chinese high-tech SMEs in GINs. The results reveal the important role of those individuals in bringing SMEs in former international knowledge networks and establishing new linkages for sourcing key knowledge.
    Keywords: lobal innovation networks; GIN; knowledge sourcing; small and medium enterprises; SMEs; Beijing; China; highly skilled migrants; returnees; IT and new media industry
    JEL: F20 O30
    Date: 2019–04–04
  14. By: Brixiova, Zuzana (Technical University of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republik); Kangoye, Thierry (African Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of networks in access of women entrepreneurs to start-up capital and firm performance in Eswatini, a country with one of the highest female unemployment rates in Africa. The paper first shows that higher initial capital is associated with better sales performance for both men and women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs start their firms with smaller start-up capital than men and are more likely to fund it from their own sources, which reduces the size of their firm and sales level. However, women with higher education start their firms with more capital than their less educated counterparts. Moreover, women who receive support from professional networks have higher initial capital, while those trained in financial literacy more often access external funding sources, including through their networks.
    Keywords: networks, start-up capital, multivariate analysis, Africa
    JEL: L53 O12
    Date: 2019–03
  15. By: Thierry Foucault (HEC Paris); Laurent Frésard (University of Lugano; Swiss Finance Institute; University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business)
    Abstract: We show that product differentiation reduces the informativeness of a firm's stock price (or its peers' stock prices) about the value of its growth opportunities. This results in less efficient exercise of a firm's growth options when managers rely on information in stock prices for their decisions. This informational cost of differentiation induces conformity in product market strategies and is larger for private firms. Hence, a fi rm should differentiate more after going public. We con firm this prediction empirically and show that the post-IPO increase in differentiation is stronger for fi rms with better informed managers or less informative peers' stock prices.
    Keywords: Conformism, Product Differentiation, Managerial Learning, Peers, Informational efficiency
    JEL: G31 D21 D83
    Date: 2018–08

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