This paper documents the changing nature of seminars in economics organized by institutions worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of seminars held decreased by approximately 20 percent. The composition of seminar speakers changed significantly. Leading top economists in terms of overall output gave relatively fewer seminars, whereas the share of seminars held by top young economists increased. The share of seminars held by women increased in relative terms, but not in absolute terms. Moving from in person seminar delivery to online delivery of seminars caused a significant shift in the geography of knowledge dissemination. The distance between host and speaker institutions increased on average by 20 percent. The share of seminars held across countries’ borders increased modestly by 2.9 percent.
This paper shows that idiosyncratic shocks to individual firms can affect growth all over the world, even if shocked firms have no direct foreign connections and no operations abroad. We identify an idiosyncratic shock to a German bank, which caused the bank to cut lending to German borrowers. Multinational parent firms located in Germany became financially constrained. In response, international affiliates of affected parents supported their parent by lending through internal capital markets and became constrained themselves. The real growth of affiliates fell sharply and took three years to fully recover. Though the initial shock only hit the domestic activities of a firm in Germany, the impact in other countries was sizable (for instance, around 0.4 percent of aggregate sales in Austria and the Czech Republic). The findings reveal that idiosyncratic shocks to individual firms influence economic outcomes far beyond firms’ direct scope of operation.
This paper investigates how management practices as intangible transfers are associated with the performance of multinational business groups. Differences in the management level across source countries are predictive for multinationals’ entry patterns for a given destination country. This study uses acquisitions as a means to transplant management practices from parents to affiliates abroad. It finds that better-managed parents decrease employment and increase productivity post-acquisition. The productivity gains are driven by targets with less developed management practices and by targets of larger parents. Better-managed parents are also more likely to install or retain a manager from the parent country post-acquisition.
What effect did trade have on the size distribution of firms during the first wave of globalization? Three historical datasets from the German Empire between 1875 and 1907 were collected and harmonized to answer this question. This paper combines industry census and bilateral railway trade data from the same industry and region along with industry-level tariff data. The evidence shows that increases in aggregate trade caused the share of firms to shift from smaller to larger firms. Exogenous decreases in tariffs caused an increase in the share of the largest firms. The regional distributive effects of trade on inequality between firms that are discussed in the contemporaneous literature were already present during the first wave globalization.
Environmental Preferences and Deep Trade Agreements (with Gonzague Vannoorenberghe)
Financing Service Trade (with Peter Eppinger and Karol Paludkiewicz)