Barriers to network-specific innovation
We examine incentives for network-specific investment and the implications for network governance. We model an environment in which participants that make payments over a network can invest in a technology that reduces the marginal cost of using the network. A network effect results in multiple equilibria; either all agents invest and network usage is high or no agents invest and network usage is low. When commitment is feasible, the high-use equilibrium can be implemented; however, when commitment is infeasible, fixed costs associated with use of the network-specific technology result in a ...
Counterparty risk in material supply contracts
This paper explores the sources of counterparty risk in material supply relationships. Using long-term supply contracts collected from SEC filings, we test whether three sources of counterparty risk?financial exposure, product quality risk, and redeployability risk?are priced in the equity returns of linked firms. Our results show that equity holders require compensation for exposure to all three sources of risk. Specifically, offering trade credit to counterparties and investing in relationship-specific assets increase the firm?s exposure to counterparty risk. Further, we show that contracts ...
Payment networks in a search model of money
In a simple search model of money, we study a special kind of memory that gives rise to an arrangement resembling a payment network. Specifically, we assume that agents can pay a cost to access a central database that tracks payments made and received. Incentives must be provided to agents to access the central database and to produce when they participate in this arrangement. We also study policies that can loosen these incentive constraints. In particular, we show that a "no-surcharge" rule has good incentive properties. Finally, we compare our model with that of Cavalcanti and Wallace.
Firm-to-Firm Relationships and the Pass-Through of Shocks: Theory and Evidence
Economists have long suspected that firm-to-firm relationships might lower the responsiveness of prices to shocks due to the use of fixed-price contracts. Using transaction-level U.S. import data, I show that the pass-through of exchange rate shocks in fact rises as a relationship grows older. Based on novel stylized facts about a relationship?s life cycle, I develop a model of relationship dynamics in which a buyer-seller pair accumulates relationship capital to lower production costs under limited commitment. The structurally estimated model generates countercyclical markups and ...
Can Reputation Discipline the Gig Economy? Experimental Evidence from an Online Labor Market
Just as employers face uncertainty when hiring workers, workers also face uncertainty when accepting employment, and bad employers may opportunistically depart from expectations, norms, and laws. However, prior research in economics and information sciences has focused sharply on the employer?s problem of identifying good workers rather than vice versa. This issue is especially pronounced in markets for gig work, including online labor markets, where platforms are developing strategies to help workers identify good employers. We build a theoretical model for the value of such reputation ...
Interbank Connections, Contagion and Bank Distress in the Great Depression
Liquidity shocks transmitted through interbank connections contributed to bank distress during the Great Depression. New data on interbank connections reveal that banks were much more likely to close when their correspondents closed. Further, after the Federal Reserve was established, banks? management of cash and capital buffers was less responsive to network risk, suggesting that banks expected the Fed to reduce network risk. Because the Fed?s presence removed the incentives for the most systemically important banks to maintain capital and cash buffers that had protected against liquidity ...
The Founding of the Federal Reserve, the Great Depression and the Evolution of the U.S. Interbank Network
Financial network structure is an important determinant of systemic risk. This paper examines how the U.S. interbank network evolved over a long and important period that included two key events: the founding of the Federal Reserve and the Great Depression. Banks established connections to correspondents that joined the Federal Reserve in cities with Fed offices, initially reducing overall network concentration. The network became even more focused on Fed cities during the Depression, as survival rates were higher for banks with more existing connections to Fed cities, and as survivors ...
Superstar Economists: Coauthorship networks and research output
We study the impact of research collaborations in coauthorship networks on research output and how optimal funding can maximize it. Through the links in the collaboration network, researchers create spillovers not only to their direct coauthors but also to researchers indirectly linked to them. We characterize the equilibrium when agents collaborate in multiple and possibly overlapping projects. We bring our model to the data by analyzing the coauthorship network of economists registered in the RePEc Author Service. We rank the authors and research institutions according to their contribution ...
Identifying Contagion in a Banking Network
We present the first micro-level evidence of the transmission of shocks through financial networks. Using the network of credit default swap (CDS) transactions between banks, we identify bank CDS returns attributable to counterparty losses. A bank's own CDS spread increases whenever counterparties from whom it has purchased default protection themselves experience losses. We find no such effect from losses of non-counterparties, nor from counterparties to whom the bank has sold protection. The effect on bank CDS returns through this counterparty loss channel is large relative to the direct ...
Financing Constraints, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade
There is growing empirical support for the conjecture that access to credit is an important determinant of firms' export decisions. We study a multi-country general equilibrium economy in which entrepreneurs and lenders engage in long-term credit relationships. Financial constraints arise as a consequence of financial contracts that are optimal under private information. Consistent with empirical regularities, the model implies that older and larger firms have lower average and more stable growth rates, and are more likely to survive. Exporters are larger, their survival in international ...