The American Inventors Protection Act: A Natural Experiment on Innovation Disclosure and the Cost of Debt
In this study, Nagihan Mimiroglu, Arvid Hoffmann, Joost Pennings and I examine the impact of innovation disclosure through patenting on firms’ cost of debt, focusing on the American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) as an exogenous shock in innovation disclosure regulation. Post-AIPA, firms have an incentive to apply for patents only if commercial success is likely. Accordingly, we expect post-AIPA patents to be a better proxy for successful innovation activity, and thus to have a stronger effect on reducing the cost of debt than pre-AIPA patents. Indeed, we find that pre-AIPA patents reduce the cost of debt only for the most innovative firms, while post-AIPA this effect holds for all firms.
In this paper, Itzhak Ben-David (Ohio State University), Michael Viehs (University of Oxford) and I present our latest research on the effects of environmental regulation on firms' carbon emission.
Despite awareness of the detrimental impact of CO2 pollution on the world climate, countries vary widely in how they design and enforce environmental laws. Using novel micro data about firms’ CO2 emissions levels in their home and foreign countries, we document firm behaviour that is in line with the Pollution Haven Hypothesis: Firms headquartered in countries with strict environmental policies perform their polluting activities abroad in countries with relatively weaker policies. These effects are stronger for firms in high-polluting industries and with poor corporate governance characteristics. Although firms export pollution, they nevertheless emit less overall CO2 globally in response to strict environmental policies at home.
Credit Supply: Are there negative spillovers from banks’ proprietary trading?
In this paper, Michael Kurz (De Nederlandsche Bank) and I ask the question whether banks that heavily engage in proprietary trading reduce credit supply relative to their non-trading peers. We answer this question by looking at credit provided by the 135 leading banks in the global corporate loan market between 2003 and 2016. We find that banks with greater trading expertise supply less credit during economically stable times than their non-trading peers and even less during crisis times. This double effect can be attributed to US banks. International banks only reduce their credit supply during crises. We show that these spillovers from trading to credit supply have adverse consequences for the real economy as firms’ ability to invest in capital and expand their workforce is reduced. During a crisis, firms that rely on banks with high trading expertise are most severely affected. Overall, our results suggest that the mandates by global regulators to separate trading from commercial banking are well advised.