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Session Overview
CFGE-17: Crime, politics, and firm value
Saturday, 24/Aug/2019:
9:00 - 10:30

Session Chair: Pat Akey, University of Toronto
Location: D -110

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Investor Rewards to Climate Responsibility: Evidence from the 2016 Climate Policy Shock

Stefano Ramelli1, Alexander Wagner2, Richard Zeckhauser3, Alexandre Ziegler1

1University of Zurich; 2University of Zurich, Swiss Finance Institute, CEPR, ECGI; 3Harvard University, NBER

Discussant: Julien Sauvagnat (Bocconi University)

Donald Trump's election and his nomination of Scott Pruitt, a climate skeptic, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency drastically downshifted expectations on US climate-change policy. We study firms' stock-price reactions and institutional investors' portfolio adjustments after these events. As expected, carbon-intensive firms benefited. Should not companies with responsible strategies on climate change have lost value, since they were paying for actions that were now less urgent? In fact, investors actually rewarded such firms. The premium the firms received resulted, at least in part, from the move into climate-responsible stocks by long-horizon investors presumably expecting a post-Trump rebound to green policy.

efa2019-CFGE-17-1300-Investor Rewards to Climate Responsibility.pdf

Organized Crime and Firms: Evidence from Italy

Pablo Slutzky1, Stefan Zeume2

1University of Maryland; 2University of Michigan, United States of America

Discussant: Emanuele Colonnelli (The University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

We employ staggered municipality-level anti-mafia enforcement actions over the 1995-2015 period in Italy to study the effect of organized crime on firms. At the municipality level, we find that as the influence of organized crime weakens, competition among firms, innovation activity, and competition for public procurement contracts increase. At the firm level, firms that do not exit in response to anti-mafia enforcement actions shrink in size and experience a decline in employee productivity, as well as a slight reduction in profitability. These results are more pronounced for firms that are treated by multiple anti-mafia enforcement actions, firms founded during the height of mafia activity, and firms that operate in the non-tradable sector. Our findings are consistent with accounts of organized crime members acting as cartel enforcers and using legitimate firms to launder money.

efa2019-CFGE-17-1283-Organized Crime and Firms.pdf

Who pays a visit to Brussels? Cross-border firm value effects of meetings with European Commissioners

Kizkitza Biguri2, Jörg Stahl1

1Católica Lisbon School of Business&Economics, Portugal; 2BI Norwegian Business School

Discussant: Thomas Lambert (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University)

Analyzing novel data on meetings of U.S. company representatives with European Commission (EC) policy-makers, we present novel evidence on the value of political access in a cross-border setting. Meetings with European Commissioners are associated with substantial positive abnormal equity returns. We then study channels of value creation. Using a dataset of merger cases at the EC, we find that U.S. firms with political access are more likely to receive a favorable decision than their peers without meetings. We show that a firm's sensitivity to the European corporate tax environment is a strong predictor of the likelihood of the firm seeking political access at the EC. We contribute to the scant literature on access to the executive branch and provide novel evidence in a cross-border setting.

efa2019-CFGE-17-1752-Who pays a visit to Brussels Cross-border firm value effects.pdf

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