The Firm Size and Leverage Relationship and Its Implications for Entry and Concentration in a Low Interest Rate World
Larger firms (by sales or employment) have higher leverage. This pattern is explained using a model in which firms produce multiple varieties and borrow with the option to default against their future cash ow. A variety can die with a constant probability, implying that bigger firms (those with more varieties) have lower coefficient of variation of sales and higher leverage. A lower risk-free rate benefits bigger firms more as they are able to lever more and existing firms buy more of the new varieties arriving into the economy. This leads to lower startup rates and greater concentration of ...
The Firm Size and Leverage Relationship and Its Implications for Entry and Business Concentration
Larger firms (by sales or employment) have higher leverage. This pattern is explained using a model in which firms produce multiple varieties and borrow with the option to default against their future cash flow. A variety can die with a constant probability, implying that bigger firms (those with more varieties) have a lower coefficient of variation of sales and higher leverage. A lower risk-free rate benefits bigger firms more as they are able to lever more and existing firms buy more of the new varieties arriving into the economy. This leads to lower startup rates and greater concentration ...
Barriers to Creative Destruction: Large Firms and Nonproductive Strategies
This working paper reviews recent empirical evidence on large firms and nonproductivestrategies that hinder creative destruction and reallocation. The focus is on three types ofnonproductive strategies: political connections, nonproductive patenting, and anticompetitiveacquisitions. Across different contexts using granular micro data sets, we overwhelmingly see that asfirms gain market share, they increasingly rely on nonproductive strategies but reduce theirproductive, innovation-based strategies. I also discuss theoretical channels, aggregate implications,and potentials for some policies.
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 ...
Connecting to Power: Political Connections, Innovation, and Firm Dynamics
How do political connections affect firm dynamics, innovation, and creative destruction? To answer this question, we build a firm dynamics model, where we allow firms to invest in innovation and/or political connection to advance their productivity and to overcome certain market frictions. Our model generates a number of theoretical testable predictions and highlights a new interaction between static gains and dynamic losses from rent-seeking in aggregate productivity. We test the predictions of our model using a brand-new dataset on Italian firms and their workers. Our dataset spans the ...
A unified approach to measuring u*
This paper bridges the gap between two popular approaches to estimating the natural rate of unemployment, u*. The first approach uses detailed labor market indicators, such as labor market flows, cross-sectional data on unemployment and vacancies, or various measures of demographic changes. The second approach, which employs reduced-form models and DSGE models, relies on aggregate price and wage Phillips curve relationships. We combine the key features of these two approaches to estimate the natural rate of unemployment in the United States using both data on labor market flows and a ...
The Firm Size-Leverage Relationship and Its Implications for Entry and Business Concentration
Larger firms (by sales or employment) have higher leverage. This pattern is explained using a model in which firms produce multiple varieties, acquire new varieties from their inventors, and borrow against the future cash flow of the firm with the option to default. A variety can die with a constant probability, implying that firms with more varieties (bigger firms) have a lower variance of sales growth and, in equilibrium, higher leverage. In this setup, a drop in the risk-free rate increases the value of an acquisition more for bigger firms because of their higher leverage: They can (and ...
Grown-up business cycles
We document two striking facts about U.S. firm dynamics and interpret their significance for employment dynamics. The first is the dramatic decline in firm entry and the second is the gradual shift of employment toward older firms since 1980. We show that despite these trends, the lifecycle dynamics of firms and their business cycle properties have remained virtually unchanged. Consequently, aging is the delayed effect of accumulating startup deficits. Together, the decline in the employment contribution of startups and the shift of employment toward more mature firms contributed to the ...
Bank Capital Pressures, Loan Substitutability, and Nonfinancial Employment
We exploit the cross-state, cross-time variation in bank tangible capital ratios-brought about by bank branch deregulation on a state-by-state basis-to identify the effects of bank capital pressures on employment and firm dynamics during two waves of changes in bank capital regulation. We show that stronger capital pressures temporarily slowed down growth in employment in industries that depend on external finance, retarding growth in the average size of firms rather than in the number of firms. Such effects were particularly strong for smaller firms that may not have had access to national ...
Firm Dynamics and SOE Transformation During China's Economic Reform
We study China’s state-owned enterprises (SOE) reform with a focus on the corporatization of SOEs. We first empirically document that small SOEs are more likely to exit or become privatized, whereas big SOEs are more likely to be corporatized while remaining under state ownership. We then build a heterogeneous-firm model featuring financial frictions, endogenous entry and exit, and optimal firm-type choices. Our calibrated model suggests that in the long run, the SOE reform increases the aggregate output by facilitating resource reallocation to the private sector. Along the transition, the ...