Cracks in the facade: American economic and financial structures after the boom
The United States experienced a historic boom during the late 1990s and briefly into the new millennium, highlighted by rapid economic and productivity growth, surging corporate profitability, sustained business investment in many areas, including high technology and telecommunications, and a soaring stock market. Many observers concluded that a "new era" had arrived. Meanwhile, the prestige of the Federal Reserve rose along with faith in the U.S. economy and its stock market. Deflation of the great boom brings with it many unanswered questions. Was there ever really a "new era" in the ...
Credit unions and the common bond
A distinguishing feature of credit unions is the legal requirement that members share a common bond. This organizing principle recently became the focus of national attention when the Supreme Court and the U.S. Congress took opposite sides in a controversy regarding the number of common bonds (fields of membership) that could coexist within a single credit union. In this article, Emmons and Schmid develop and simulate a model of credit-union formation and consolidation to examine the effects of common-bond restrictions on the performance of credit unions. The performance measures are ...
Universal banking, control rights, and corporate finance in Germany
This article describes the most important corporate governance practices in contemporary Germany. These practices include a prominent role for universal banks, other large financial and non-financial firms, and employees through a system known as codetermination. While some similarities exist, many features of corporate governance in Germany differ greatly from those found in the United States. This article provides historical background and a review of the existing empirical evidence on these topics.
Bank competition and concentration: do credit unions matter?
One interesting aspect of the financial services industry is that for-profit institutions, such as commercial banks, compete directly with not-for-profit financial intermediaries, such as credit unions. In this article, William R. Emmons and Frank A. Schmid analyze the competition between banks and credit unions. Using annual county-level data on banking-market concentration and household participation rates at occupational credit unions for the period between 1989 and 1996, the authors find empirical evidence of two-way competitive interactions between banks and credit unions.
Class struggle inside the firm: a study of German codetermination
Under the German system of "codetermination," employees are legally allocated some control rights over corporate assets, in the form of board seats. We empirically investigate the implications of equal board representation compared with one-third employee representation and find a 26% stock market discount on firms with equal representation. Employees redistribute the firm's surplus towards themselves but may also prefer a different objective function for the firm, maximizing employee utility rather than shareholder value. We investigate the shareholder response to codetermination via ...
Banks vs. credit unions; dynamic competition in local markets
One interesting aspect of the financial services industry is that for-profit institutions such as commercial banks compete directly with not-for-profit financial intermediaries such as credit unions. In this article, we analyze competition among banks and between banks and credit unions using a dynamic model of spatial competition. The model allows for the co-existence of (for-profit) banks and (not-for-profit) credit unions. Using annual county-level data on banking market concentration and credit-union participation rates for the period 1989-96, we find empirical evidence of two-way ...
Universal banking, allocation of control rights, and corporate finance in Germany
Corporate governance practices differ greatly in the United States and Germany. This paper describes the main institutional features of the German corporate governance system, focusing on universal banks and codetermination. The paper also summarizes existing empirical evidence that has investigated how- and how well- this system works.
Fear of hell might fire up the economy
In those countries where a large percentage of the population believes in hell, there seem to be less corruption and a higher standard of living.