No. 87: Firm-level political risk and credit markets

Year: 2022
Type: Working Paper


We take advantage of a new measure of political risk (Hassan et al. (2019)) to study the effects of firmlevel political risk on private debt markets. First, we use panel data tests and exploit the redrawing of US congressional districts to uncover plausibly exogenous variation in firm-level political risk. We show that borrowers’ political risk is causally linked to interest rates set by lenders. Second, we test for the transmission of political risk from lenders to borrowers. We predict and find that lender-level political risk propagates to borrowers through lending relationships. Furthermore, we introduce new text-based methods to understand the distinct sources of political risk to lenders and borrowers and provide textual evidence of the transmission of political risk from lenders to borrowers. Our analysis allows for endogenous matching between lenders and borrowers and indicates the role of network effects in diffusing political risk throughout the economy.

Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, ESMT Berlin and Goethe University Frankfurt who share the same research agenda.

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