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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2014||When Real Estate is the Only Game in Town|
with Hyun-Soo Choi, Harrison Hong, Jeffrey P. Thompson: w19798
Using data on household portfolios and mortgage originations, we find that households residing in a city with few publicly traded firms headquartered there are more likely to own an investment home nearby. Households in these areas are also less likely to own stocks. This only-game-in-town effect is more pronounced for households living in high credit quality areas, who can access financing to afford a second home. This effect also becomes pronounced for households living in low credit quality areas after 2002 when securitization made it easier for these households to buy second homes. Cities with few local stocks have in equilibrium higher price-to-rent ratios, making it more attractive to rent, and lower (primary residence) homeownership rates.
|October 2012||Financial Constraints on Corporate Goodness|
with Harrison Hong, Jose A. Scheinkman: w18476
An influential thesis, dubbed "Doing well by doing good," argues that corporate social responsibility is profitable. But heterogeneity in firm financial constraints can induce a spurious correlation between profits and goodness even if the motives for goodness are non-profit in nature. We use two identification strategies to show that financial constraints are indeed an important driver of corporate goodness. First, during the Internet bubble, previously constrained firms experienced a temporary relaxation of their constraints and their goodness temporarily increased relative to their previously unconstrained peers. Second, a constrained firm's sustainability score increases more with its idiosyncratic equity valuation and lower cost of capital than a less-constrained counterpart. In sum, ...
|July 2005||The Only Game in Town: Stock-Price Consequences of Local Bias|
with Harrison Hong, Jeremy C. Stein: w11488
Theory suggests that, in the presence of local bias, the price of a stock should be decreasing in the ratio of the aggregate book value of firms in its region to the aggregate risk tolerance of investors in its region. We test this proposition using data on U.S. Census regions and states, and find clear-cut support for it. Most of the variation in the ratio of interest comes from differences across regions in aggregate book value per capita. Regions with low population density--e.g., the Deep South--are home to relatively few firms per capita, which leads to higher stock prices via an "only-game-in-town" effect. This effect is especially pronounced for smaller, less visible firms, where the impact of location on stock prices is roughly 12 percent.
Published: Hong, Harrison, Jeffrey D. Kubik and Jeremy C. Stein. “The Only Game in Town: The Stock Price Consequences of Local Bias.” Journal of Financial Economics 90 (2008): 20-37. citation courtesy of
|September 2002||Health Insurance Coverage and the Disability Insurance Application Decision|
with Jonathan Gruber: w9148
We investigate the effect of health insurance coverage on the decision of individuals to apply for Disability Insurance (DI). Those who qualify for DI receive public insurance under Medicare, but only after a two-year waiting period. This raises concerns that many disabled are going uninsured while they wait for their Medicare coverage. Moreover, the combination of this waiting period and the uncertainty about application acceptance may deter those with health insurance on their jobs, but no alternative source of coverage, from leaving work to apply for DI. Data from the Health and Retirement Survey show that, in fact, uninsurance does not rise during the waiting period for DI benefits; reductions in own employer coverage are small, and are offset by increases in other sources of insura...