Information Disclosures, Default Risk, and Bank Value
This paper investigates the causal effects of voluntary information disclosures on a bank's expected default probability, enterprise risk, and value. I measure disclosure via a self-constructed index for the largest 80 U.S. bank holding companies for the period 1998-2011. I provide evidence that a bank's management responds to a plausibly exogenous deterioration in the supply of public information by increasing its voluntary disclosure, which in turn improves investors' assessment of the bank risk and value. This evidence suggests that disclosure may alleviate informational frictions and lead ...
Uncertain booms and fragility
I develop a framework of the buildup and outbreak of financial crises in an asymmetric information setting. In equilibrium, two distinct economic states arise endogenously: ?normal times,? periods of modest investment, and ?booms,? periods of expansionary investment. Normal times occur when the intermediary sector realizes moderate investment opportunities. Booms occur when the intermediary sector realizes many investment opportunities, but also occur when it realizes very few opportunities. As a result, investors face greater uncertainty in booms. During a boom, subsequent arrival of ...
Employment Dynamics in a Signaling Model with Workers' Incentives
Many firms adjust employment in a "lumpy" manner -- infrequently and in large bursts. In this paper, I show that lumpy adjustments can arise from concerns about the incentives of remaining workers. Specifically, I develop a model in which a firm's productivity depends on its workers' effort and workers' income prospects depend on the firm's profitability. I use this model to analyze the consequences of demand shocks that are observed by the firm but not by its workers, who can only try to infer the firm's profitability from its employment decisions. I show that the resulting signaling model ...
Are Lemons Sold First? Dynamic Signaling in the Mortgage Market
A central result in the theory of adverse selection in asset markets is that informed sellers can signal quality and obtain higher prices by delaying trade. This paper provides some of the first evidence of a signaling mechanism through trade delays using the residential mortgage market as a laboratory. We find a strong relationship between mortgage performance and time to sale for privately securitized mortgages. Additionally, deals made up of more seasoned mortgages are sold at lower yields. These effects are strongest in the "Alt-A" segment of the market, where mortgages are often sold ...
Credit access and relational contracts: An experiment testing informational and contractual frictions for Pakistani farmers
The Heterogeneous Impact of Referrals on Labor Market Outcomes
We document a new set of facts regarding the impact of referrals on labor market outcomes. Our results highlight the importance of distinguishing between different types of referrals—those from family and friends and those from business contacts—and different occupations. Then we develop an on-the-job search model that incorporates referrals and calibrate the model to key moments in the data. The calibrated model yields new insights into the roles played by different types of referrals in the match formation process, and provides quantitative estimates of the effects of referrals on ...
Banks, Non Banks, and Lending Standards
We study how competition between banks and non-banks affects lending standards. Banks have private information about some borrowers and are subject to capital requirements to mitigate risk-taking incentives from deposit insurance. Non-banks are uninformed and market forces determine their capital structure. We show that lending standards monotonically increase in bank capital requirements. Intuitively, higher capital requirements raise banks’ skin in the game and screening out bad projects assures positive expected lending returns. Non-banks enter the market when capital requirements are ...
The Fed Funds Market during the 2007-09 Financial Crisis
The U.S. federal funds market played a central role in the financial system during the 2007-09 crisis, because it was the market which provided banks with immediate liquidity, even late in the day. Interpreting changes in fed funds rates is notoriously difficult, however, as many of the economic drivers behind the rates are simultaneously changing. In this post, I highlight results from a working paper which untangles the impact of these economic drivers and measures their respective effects on the marketplace using data over a sample period leading up to and during the financial crisis. The ...
Moldy Lemons and Market Shutdowns
This paper studies competitive market shutdowns due to adverse selection, where sellers post nonexclusive menus of contracts. We first show that the presence of the worst type of agents (moldy lemons) causes markets to fail only if their mass is sufficiently large. We then show that a small mass of moldy lemons can lead to a large cascade of exits when buyers possess outside options. Our results suggest a parsimonious way of generating sudden market shutdowns without relying on institutional details or imposing additional structure on the model. Thus, the simple insights on the properties of ...
The theory and practice of supervision--Remarks at the SIFMA Internal Auditors Society Education Luncheon, Harvard Club, New York City
Remarks at the SIFMA Internal Auditors Society Education Luncheon, Harvard Club, New York City.