My research interests are in FinTech, empirical corporate finance, behavioral corporate finance, financial econometrics, and textual analysis.
- Dynamic Capital Structure Adjustment and the Impact of Fractional Dependent Variables, with Ralf Elsas (LMU Munich), Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 50 (5), 1105–1133, 2015.
- Heterogeneity in the Speed of Adjustment towards Target Leverage, with Ralf Elsas (LMU Munich), International Review of Finance 11 (2), 181–211, 2011.
- Download: doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2443.2011.01130.x
- Empirical Capital Structure Research: New Ideas, Recent Evidence, and Methodological Issues, with Ralf Elsas (LMU Munich), Journal of Business Economics (Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft), Special Issue 6, 39–71, 2008.
- Download: ssrn.com/abstract=1634932
- Capital Market Access and Cash Flow Allocation During the Financial Crisis, with Vidhan Goyal (HKUST Business School), February 2017.
- Semi-finalist FMA (2016) Best Paper Award (Financial Markets and Institutions).
- Download: ssrn.com/abstract=2726048
- Keywords: Stock market access, private firms, financial constraints, short-termist pressures, cash flow allocation, financial crisis, bank-based vs. market-based financial markets.
To understand how a stock market listing influences corporate policies if external financing is restricted, we examine how European public and counterfactual private firms jointly adjust their investment, financing, payout policies during the global financial crisis - when bank lending tightened. Our findings suggest that a stock market listing provides better access to external debt financing during the crisis as public firms, on average, net issue more long-term debt. Excess debt financing is, however, not allocated to investments but mostly to payouts to shareholders. Thus, a stock market listing relaxes financial constraints but induces managers to cater to shareholders during the crisis. Independent of a country's financial market structure (bank-based vs. market based) in our European firm sample, a stock market listing always provides a firm with more long-term debt during the crisis. In bank-based economies, this excess debt is mostly allocated to maintain investments while in market-based economies, inducing higher short-termist pressures, a stock-listing leads to lower investments and excess debt is used to maintain payouts.
- Managerial Optimism and the Perception of Financial Constraints, with Tobias Heizer (LMU Munich), September 2015.
- Download: Available upon request.
- Keywords: Managerial optimism, perceived financing constraints, distinguishing behavioral and rational predictions, matched survey and financial statement data.
We find that optimistic managers are more likely to perceive financing constraints, which is a fundamental but previously untested prediction of behavioral corporate finance theory. However, this effect is statistically significant but relatively small compared to other previously identified determinants of perceived financing constraints. Moreover, the vast majority of optimistic managers actually do not perceive any financing constraints. Our findings have implications for both behavioral corporate finance and financial constraints research. We argue that previous findings relating optimism and corporate policies are probably driven by perceived financing constraints and not optimism. Apart from their potential usefulness, commonly applied financial constraint indices are likely to be biased by not accounting for managerial optimism. Our analysis is based on large survey panel data for high-level managers of 2,897 German firms for the period 1995 to 2010, which is matched with financial and non-financial firm-level information. The data enable us to implement a survey based measure of managerial optimism and to directly access the managers’ perception of financing constraints from survey answers.
- The Information Content of ICO White Papers, with Alexander Schandlbauer (University of Southern Denmark and Danish Finance Institute), December 2020.
- Download: ssrn.com/abstract=3265007
- Keywords: Initial coin offerings, white paper, textual analysis, information content, signaling, platform economy, ICO expert ratings.
White papers are likely the most important source of information provided to potential Initial Coin Offering (ICO) investors in platform-based ventures that may reduce information asymmetry between ICO issuers and investors. We use textual analysis to measure the information content of white paper documents. Testing predictions of adverse selection and signaling during the pre-ICO, ICO, and post-ICO phases, observed empirical associations between ratings, ICO success, funding volume, token exchange-listing probability, underpricing, cumulative returns, and trading volume are jointly consistent with high-quality ICO issuers signaling their type by providing more informative content, i.e. excess or new textual information not contained in recent and peer white papers. Moreover, signaling is likely impaired during the ICO process as investors include potentially biased expert ratings in their investment decision-making. As a result, low-quality ICO issuers successfully raise funds and exchange-list their tokens, leading to inefficient funding allocation, generating potentially large adverse selection costs, and increased risk of market failure.
- How and When Do Firms Adjust their Investments toward Targets?, with Ralf Elsas (LMU Munich) and Catharina Schauer (LMU Munich), September 2017.
- Download: ssrn.com/abstract=3265007
- Keywords: Investment behavior, partial adjustment, adjustment costs, survey data, financial crisis.
We analyze how adjustment costs influence firms’ adjustment behavior toward target investments by using unique investment plan data. We find heterogeneity in adjustment behavior, as financially constrained firms and firms with major capacity expansion investments face higher adjustment costs. By examining the effects of the financial crisis it is shown that the crisis did not affect adjustment costs due to financial constraints, but affected the costs of capacity expansions. Difference-in-differences and instrumental variables estimations alleviate endogeneity concerns and confirm robustness of results. Our paper provides new insights on firms’ adjustment behavior and on the design of policy measures during crises.
Work in Progress
- An Autopsy of a Total Stock Market Failure, with Ioannis Floros (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Shane Johnson (Texas A&M), March 2018.
We study a unique case in which a stock market experienced an Akerlof-type failure. We find that a relatively small fraction of ‘bad’ firms combined with high levels of asymmetric information led to a series of Akerlof-type spillovers onto good firms evident in increased trading costs and reduced liquidity and volume. As good firms suffered adverse pricing effects, they exited the market, leading to increases in the fraction of bad firms and further deterioration in the market. Regulators intervened attempting to rescue the market, but the problems accelerated; regulators ultimately shut down the market. Our work sheds light on how stock markets with low transparency and low listing requirements can fail with even just a small fraction of bad firms.
- Unionization, Spill-Over Effects, and Corporate Policies, with Nikolas Breitkopf (Aalto) and Harm Schütt (Tilburg), June 2017.
Labor unions influence firm decisions depending on how powerful they are. We develop a new measure of union power faced by individual firms. Our measure is based on annual 10-K filings and reflects the amount of union and labor related discourse in the narrative parts of the annual report. Thus, in contrast to traditional measures of unionization, the text-based measure allows researchers to analyze firm-specific, intra-industry variation of the degree of union influence over time for all listed US-firms. The measure correlates significantly with union elections, showing an increase in union influence before elections, and various other observable determinants of union power, such as industry unionization, labor laws, firm characteristics and the macroeconomic environment.
- Real Regulatory Spill-Over, Catharina Klepsch (LMU Munich) and Daniel Rettl (University of Georgia), June 2017.
- Peer Effects and the IPO Decision, with Daniel Rettl (University of Georgia), March 2016.
- Leverage and Credit Ratings Revisited: Evidence from High-Dimensional Estimation, with Martin Spindler (University of Hamburg), November 2015.
- The Information Content of ICO White Papers
- 32nd Australasian Finance and Banking Conference 2019, Sydney; Financial Management Association 2019, New Orleans; German Finance Association (DGF) 2019, Essen; European Financial Management Association (EFMA) 2019, Ponta Delgada; University of Munich (LMU) Workshop, 2019, Austria; Midwest Finance Association 2019, Chicago; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee 2019; Second Toronto FinTech Conference 2019, Toronto.
- An Autopsy of a Total Stock Market Failure
- German Finance Association (DGF) 2018, Trier; French Finance Association (AFFI) 2018, Paris; WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, 2018; University of Salzburg 2017, Austria; HKUST Business School 2017, Hong Kong.
- Managerial Optimism and the Perception of Financial Constraints
- Eastern Finance Association 2019, Miami; Financial Management Association 2018, San Diego; Behavioral Finance Working Group Conference at Queen Mary University 2018, London; French Finance Association (AFFI) 2018, Paris; Midwest Finance Association 2018, San Antonio; Asian Finance Association 2017, Seoul; German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB) 2016, Munich; Munich Finance Day 2016, Munich.
- Capital Market Access and Cash Flow Allocation During the Financial Crisis
- International Association for Applied Econometrics (IAAE) 2018, Montreal; Swiss Society for Financial Market Research (SGF) 2018, Zurich; Midwest Finance Association 2018, San Antonio; University of Hong Kong 2017, Hong Kong; ESCP Paris 2017, France; University of Southern Denmark 2017, Denmark; Financial Management Association 2016, Las Vegas; European Financial Management Association (EFMA) 2016, Basel; Munich Finance Day 2016, Munich; Rotterdam School of Management 2014, Rotterdam; Kühne Logistics University 2014, Hamburg; UCLA Anderson School of Management 2014, Los Angeles.
- Dynamic Capital Structure Adjustment and the Impact of Fractional Dependent Variables
- Financial Management Association 2011, Denver; Campus for Finance Research Conference 2011, Vallendar; Eastern Finance Association 2010, Miami Beach; Swiss Society for Financial Market Research (SGF) 2010, Zurich; Midwest Finance Association 2010, Las Vegas; Finance PhDWorkshop 2009, HKUST Business School, Hong Kong.
- Heterogeneity in the Speed of Adjustment towards Target Leverage
- Swiss Society for Financial Market Research (SGF) 2011, Zurich; Midwest Finance Association 2011, Chicago; Munich Finance Day 2011, Munich.
Grants and Awards
- Scientific Network “Textual Analysis in Economics and Finance”, DFG
- Principal Investigator, € 24,188, 2016–2017.
- German Science Foundation (DFG) grant for conducting three workshops for network members and guest speakers (11 members from LMU Munich, Mannheim, HU Berlin, UT Austin, University of Hamburg, Georgia Tech, and Aalto University).
- Research Collaboration Grant, BayCHINA
- Principal Investigator, € 7,808, 2014–2016.
- Travel funding for research collaboration from Bayerisches Hochschulzentrum für China for project “Capital Market Access and Cash Flow Allocation”.
- Research Scholarship, DFG
- German Science Foundation (DFG) scholarship for conducting research at UCLA Anderson School of Management, project “Leverage Adjustments: Evidence from European Private Firms”. 03/2013—02/2014 (12 months).
- Doctoral Dissertation Prize, LMU Management Alumni, 2011.
- Travel Grants, DAAD and LMU Management Alumni, 2010–2016.
- Journal of Corporate Finance
- Journal of Banking and Finance
- Journal of Empirical Finance
- Journal of Financial Econometrics
- Research Grants Council (RGC) Hong Kong
- European Journal of Finance
- Journal of Commodity Markets
- Empirical Economics
- Journal of Business Economics (Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft)