Berardino Palazzo

Boston University

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2017Firm Selection and Corporate Cash Holdings
with Juliane Begenau: w23249
Among stock market entrants, more firms over time are R&D–intensive with initially lower profitability but higher growth potential. This sample-selection effect determines the secular trend in U.S. public firms’ cash holdings. A stylized firm industry model allows us to analyze two competing changes to the selection mechanism: a change in industry composition and a shift toward less profitable R&D–firms. The latter is key to generating higher cash ratios at IPO, necessary for the secular increase, whereas the former mechanism amplifies this effect. The data confirm the prominent role played by selection, and corroborate the model’s predictions.
April 2015Investment and The Cross-Section of Equity Returns
with Gian Luca Clementi: w21064
When the neoclassical model of investment is serious about investment, it fails to replicate elementary cross-sectional features of equity returns. Without leverage, the model produces a value discount - i.e. value firms earn lower returns than growth firms. With large enough operating leverage, a value premium emerges, but its magnitude is always smaller than the size premium's. Furthermore, when parameters are set to match key moments of the cross--sectional distribution of investment and the average book-to-market ratio, the value premium is minuscule -- about one order of magnitude smaller than found in the data. This result holds true for different specifications of the stochastic discount factor and does not depend upon the magnitude of capital adjustment costs
July 2013Entry, Exit, Firm Dynamics, and Aggregate Fluctuations
with Gian Luca Clementi: w19217
Do firm entry and exit play a major role in shaping aggregate dynamics? Our answer is yes. Entry and exit propagate the effects of aggregate shocks. In turn, this results in greater persistence and unconditional variation of aggregate time-series. These are features of the equilibrium allocation in Hopenhayn (1992)'s model of equilibrium industry dynamics, amended to allow for investment in physical capital and aggregate fluctuations. In the aftermath of a positive productivity shock, the number of entrants increases. The new firms are smaller and less productive than the incumbents, as in the data. As the common productivity component reverts to its unconditional mean, the new entrants that survive become more productive over time, keeping aggregate efficiency higher than in a scenario w...

"Entry, Exit, Firm Dynamics, and Aggregate Fluctuations." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, forthcoming. With Dino Palazzo.

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