Theses Doctoral

Essays in Empirical Corporate Finance

Slutzky, Pablo

This dissertation studies empirical corporate finance problems of regulations and monitoring. The dissertation is composed of three chapters. First, I study how firms deal with business regulations that limit their operations. In the first chapter I exploit a natural experiment in Argentina to show that the ownership structure of a firm affects its degree of compliance with regulations, with publicly listed firms complying more than privately held ones. In 2012 the Argentine government banned companies from transferring funds abroad from their domestic operations. Despite this limitation, companies trying to repatriate capital could still overprice products they import from their headquarters or affiliates. I find that after the regulation, private firms overprice imports by almost 10% and manage to repatriate up to 46% of the profits that would have otherwise remained locked in at the Argentine subsidiary. Listed companies do not exploit this mechanism, showing that listing status affects compliance.
The second chapter studies whether the differential cost imposed on listed firms operating in emerging markets by these higher compliance rates is significant. The main empirical challenge is that the cost is firm-time-regulation specific, and, for that reason, it is empirically unfeasible to measure it. I take an alternative route and show that changes in the levels of market regulations impose compliance costs of such magnitude that they shape the patterns of M&A transactions. First, I show that after the regulation studied in Chapter 1, private firms acquired listed ones at an extraordinary pace, while listed firms stopped acquiring private ones. This evidence suggests that the regulation increased the cost of being public. Then, I show that this finding is not specific to the Argentine market but is common across emerging markets. I do so by analyzing the response of M&A transactions to changes in the regulatory intensity of each country.
Finally, the third chapter, co-authored with Matthieu Chavaz, studies the effect of deposit insurance on market discipline in a close-to-ideal setting. We exploit the political relationship between the United Kingdom and its Crown Dependencies and use a novel dataset to test this effect. Tracking the price paid for thousands of deposit products between 2007 and 2015, we find that deposit insurance deters discipline. In addition, we provide the first direct test of the interaction between depositors’ attention, deposit insurance, and market discipline. We show that when attention increases, risky banks offer higher rates both to insured and uninsured depositors, but that the effect is stronger for uninsured depositors. These results suggest that discipline is imposed even in the presence of deposit insurance, but only when information becomes salient.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Calomiris, Charles W.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 5, 2017