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Author:Penciakova, Veronika 

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and that public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links information on campaign contributions, state legislative elections, firm characteristics, and ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 38 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-13

Working Paper
COVID-19 and SME Failures

We estimate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on business failures among small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in seventeen countries using a large representative firm-level database. We use a simple model of firm cost minimization and measure each firm’s liquidity shortfall during and after COVID-19. Our framework allows for a rich combination of sectoral and aggregate supply, productivity, and demand shocks. Accommodation and food services; arts, entertainment, and recreation; education; and other services are among the sectors most affected. The SME jobs at risk due to business ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-21

Working Paper
Leverage over the Firm Life Cycle, Firm Growth, and Aggregate Fluctuations

We study the leverage of U.S. firms over their life cycles and the connection between firm leverage, firm growth, and aggregate shocks. We construct a new dataset that combines private and public firms' balance sheets with firm-level data from U.S. Census Bureau's Longitudinal Business Database for the period 2005-12. Public and private firms exhibit different leverage dynamics over their life cycles. Firm age and size are systematically related to leverage for private firms but not for public firms. We show that private firms, but not public ones, deleveraged during the Great Recession and ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2019-18

Working Paper
Business Formation: A Tale of Two Recessions

The trajectory of new business applications and transitions to employer businesses differ markedly during the Great Recession and the COVID-19 recession. Both applications and transitions to employer startups decreased slowly but persistently in the post-Lehman crisis period of the Great Recession. In contrast, during the COVID-19 recession new applications initially declined but have since sharply rebounded, resulting in a surge in applications during 2020. Projected transitions to employer businesses also rise, but this projection is dampened by a change in the composition of applications ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-5

Working Paper
Synergizing Ventures

Venture capital (VC) and growth are examined both empirically and theoretically. Empirically, VC-backed startups have higher early growth rates and initial patent quality than non-VC-backed ones. VC backing increases a startup's likelihood of reaching the right tails of the firm size and innovation distributions. Furthermore, outcomes are better for startups matched with more experienced venture capitalists. An endogenous growth model, where venture capitalists provide both expertise and financing for business startups, is constructed to match these facts. The presence of venture capital, the ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2019-17

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and that public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links information on campaign contributions, state legislative elections, firm characteristics, and ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 38 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-005r1

Working Paper
COVID-19 and SMEs: A 2021 "Time Bomb"?

This paper assesses the prospects of a 2021 time bomb in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) failures triggered by the generous support policies enacted during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. Policies implemented in 2020, on their own, do not create a 2021 time bomb for SMEs. Rather, business failures and policy costs remain modest. By contrast, credit contraction poses significant risk. Such a contraction would disproportionately affect firms that could have survived COVID-19 in 2020 without any fiscal support. Even in that scenario, most business failures would not arise from excessively ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-6

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links campaign contributions and state legislative election outcomes to ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 64 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an instrumental variable approach, we ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-005

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