Selim Elekdag, Gaston Gelos, 24 November 2016

The relationship between corporate governance and financial stability has received little attention in the context of emerging markets. Using new firm-level indices of governance in emerging markets, this column shows that both firm-level governance and governance frameworks have generally improved at the country level over recent years. These stronger frameworks have enhanced the resilience of firms to global shocks, and bolstered balance sheets.

Rui Albuquerque, Miguel Ferreira, Luis Brandao-Marques, Pedro Matos, 17 January 2016

Previous research has shown that the corporate governance practices of firms are constrained by the legal standards of their country of incorporation. This column explores how an active international market for corporate control can substitute for weak institutions in a host country. Using firm-level data from 22 countries, it shows how cross-border M&A activity improves the governance of non-target firms in the same industry, via peer pressure. These findings provide evidence for corporate governance improvements as a novel positive spillover from FDI.

Joaquin Blaum, Claire Lelarge, Michael Peters, 05 December 2015

As intermediate inputs account for two thirds of world trade, understanding the implications of input trade is an important task in international economics. This column argues that spending patterns on foreign inputs at the firm-level are key to quantifying the welfare consequence of input trade, as trade in intermediates allows firms to reduce their costs of production thereby benefitting the aggregate economy. It estimates that a 20% drop in the share of imported inputs in France would lead to a 7% increase in the consumer price index.

Katharina Eck, Martina Engemann, Monika Schnitzer, 20 April 2015

Credits extended bilaterally between firms, so called trade credits, are particularly expensive yet many firms use it, especially for international transactions. This column argues that such cash-in-advance financing serves as a credible signal of quality. Data from a unique survey of German firms show that it fosters export participation in particular for firms that tend to have the greatest difficulties in entering foreign markets.

Carlo Altomonte, Tommaso Aquilante, Gianmarco Ottaviano, 23 August 2012

Competitiveness is one of the most debated issues in policy circles. But, what triggers it? Capitalising on the first existing harmonised cross-country dataset measuring the entire range of international activities of firms in seven European countries, this column identifies the triggers of competitiveness. It argues that policymaking could be improved by firm-level evidence if there were less reluctance to the use of micro-founded indicators to inform policy decisions.

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