Thomas R. Covert

Booth School of Business
University of Chicago
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: IO
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2017Crude by Rail, Option Value, and Pipeline Investment
with Ryan Kellogg: w23855
The recent large-scale use of railroads to transport crude oil out of newly discovered shale formations has no recent precedent in the U.S. oil industry. This paper addresses the question of whether crude-by-rail is simply a transient phenomenon, owing to delays in pipeline construction, or whether it will be a durable presence in the industry by reducing investment in pipeline infrastructure. We develop a model of crude oil transportation that highlights how railroads generate option value by: (1) giving shippers the ability to flexibly increase or decrease volumes shipped in response to price shocks; and (2) allowing shippers to opportunistically send oil to multiple destinations. In contrast, pipelines have low amortized costs but lock shippers into debt-like ship-or-pay contracts to a ...
September 2013The Effects of Mandatory Transparency in Financial Market Design: Evidence from the Corporate Bond Market
with Paul Asquith, Parag Pathak: w19417
Many financial markets have recently become subject to new regulations requiring transparency. This paper studies how mandatory transparency affects trading in the corporate bond market. In July 2002, TRACE began requiring the public dissemination of post-trade price and volume information for corporate bonds. Dissemination took place in Phases, with actively traded, investment grade bonds becoming transparent before thinly traded, high-yield bonds. Using new data and a differences-in-differences research design, we find that transparency causes a significant decrease in price dispersion for all bonds and a significant decrease in trading activity for some categories of bonds. The largest decrease in daily price standard deviation, 24.7%, and the largest decrease in trading activity, 41...
August 2010The Market for Borrowing Corporate Bonds
with Paul Asquith, Andrea S. Au, Parag A. Pathak: w16282
This paper describes the market for borrowing corporate bonds using a comprehensive dataset from a major lender. The cost of borrowing corporate bonds is comparable to the cost of borrowing stock, between 10 and 20 basis points per year. Factors that increase borrowing costs are loan size, percentage of inventory lent, rating, and borrower identity. Trading strategies based on cost or amount of borrowing do not yield excess returns. Bonds with corresponding CDS contracts are more actively lent than those without. Finally, the 2007 Credit Crunch did not affect average borrowing cost or loan volume, but increased borrowing cost variance.

Published: Asquith, Paul & Au, Andrea S. & Covert, Thomas & Pathak, Parag A., 2013. "The market for borrowing corporate bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 155-182. citation courtesy of

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us