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Working Paper
Investment and Union Certification

A growing body of work--both theoretical and empirical--has emphasized that unionization may be better understood as a tax on capital rather than a tax on labor. Under this "new" view, unionization unambiguously lowers investment. Using data on union certification elections, we estimate the impact of unionization on firms' investment behavior. Employing both a standard q-model and an "investment surprises" technique, we find that union certification significantly reduces investment. We find that a winning certification election has, on average, about the same effect on investment as would a ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1996-43

Working Paper
Tax Exhaustion, Firm Investment, and Leasing: A Test of the Q Model of Investment

Standard models of investment usually incorporate various tax factors but often overlook "tax exhaustion," the case when a firm has negative taxable income and cannot claim immediately its tax deductions or credits. However, tax exhausted firms face a higher cost of capital, and evidence shows that tax exhaustion is not uncommon. This paper incorporates tax exhaustion into a "Q" model of investment to see whether its performance is improved. In addition, leased investment is fully incorporated into the model, in part because tax exhaustion creates incentives to lease investment products and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1996-31

Working Paper
Investment and Bilateral Insurance

Private information may limit insurance possibilities when two agents get together to pool idiosyncratic risk. However, if there is capital accumulation, bilateral insurance possibilities may improve because misreporting distorts investment. We show that if one of the Pareto weights is sufficiently large, that agent does not have incentives to misreport. This implies that, under some conditions, the full information allocation is incentive compatible when agents have equal Pareto weights. In the long run, either one of the agents goes to immiseration, or both agents’ lifetime utilities are ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-001

Working Paper
Natural Resources and Global Misallocation

We explore the efficiency in the allocation of physical capital and human capital across countries. The observed marginal products can differ across countries because of differences in technology (i.e. production functions) and in distortions (i.e. differences in use of factors) across countries. To identify differences in technology, we use new data and propose a simple method to estimate output shares of natural resources, and thus adjust the estimated marginal products of physical and human capital. With a sample of 79 countries from 1970 to 2005, we find that the world has decidedly moved ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-13

Working Paper
Privacy Regulation and Quality Investment

This paper analyzes whether a privacy regulation that restricts a dominant firm?s data disclosure level harms the firm?s incentives to invest in service quality and thereby harms social welfare. We study how the regulation affects the privacy and quality choices of a monopoly service provider, who derives revenues solely from disclosing user data to third parties, as well as how those choices in turn affect consumers? participation and information-sharing decisions. We show that the regulation does not always harm investment incentives; moreover, even when it does, it may still improve social ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-5

Working Paper
The Economic Effects of Trade Policy Uncertainty

We study the effects of unexpected changes in trade policy uncertainty (TPU) on the U.S. economy. We construct three measures of TPU based on newspaper coverage, firms' earnings conference calls, and aggregate data on tari rates. We document that increases in TPU reduce investment and activity using both firm-level and aggregate macroeconomic data. We interpret the empirical results through the lens of a two-country general equilibrium model with nominal rigidities and firms' export participation decisions. In the model as in the data, news and increased uncertainty about higher future ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1256

Working Paper
The Long and Short of It : Do Public and Private Firms Invest Differently?

Using data from U.S. corporate tax returns, which provide a sample representative of the universe of U.S. corporations, we investigate the differential investment propensities of public and private firms. Re-weighting the data to generate observationally comparable sets of public and private firms, we find robust evidence that public firms invest more overall, particularly in R&D. Exploiting within-firm variation in public status, we find that firms dedicate more of their investment to R&D following IPO, and reduce these investments upon going private. Our findings suggest that public stock ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-068

Working Paper
Investment Responses to Trade Liberalization : Evidence from U.S. Industries and Establishments

This paper examines the effect of a change in U.S. trade policy on the domestic investment of U.S. manufacturers. Using a difference-in-differences identification strategy, we find that industries more exposed to reductions in import tariff uncertainty exhibit relative declines in investment after the change in trade policy. Within industries, we find that this relationship is concentrated among establishments with low initial levels of labor productivity, capital intensity and skill intensity. For plants with high initial levels of skill intensity, we find that increased exposure is ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-120

Working Paper
Mixed Signals: Investment Distortions with Adverse Selection

We study how adverse selection distorts equilibrium investment allocations in a Walrasian credit market with two-sided heterogeneity. Representative investor and partial equilibrium economies are special cases where investment allocations are distorted above perfect information allocations. By contrast, the general setting features a pecuniary externality that leads to trade and investment allocations below perfect information levels. The degree of heterogeneity between informed agents' type governs the direction of the distortion. Moreover, contracts that complete markets dampen the impact ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-044

Working Paper
A Model of Endogenous Debt Maturity with Heterogeneous Beliefs

This paper studies optimal debt maturity in an economy with repayment enforcement frictions and investors disagree about repayment probabilities. The optimal debt maturity choice is a mix of long- and short-term debt securities. Spreading risky debt claims on cash flows over time allows debt to be priced by investors most willing to hold risk at each point in time, thereby increasing investment and output. By contrast, a single maturity, either all long- or short-term, will be priced by investors less willing to hold risk, which reduces investment and output. The model provides a novel ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-057


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