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PHD Publications

The three chapters of this thesis study households’ financial decisions over the lifecycle.The first chapter focuses on the decision to become an entrepreneur, the second on the choice to invest in stock market and the third on the value of pension entitlements.In the first chapter, I use French administrative data on job-creating entrepreneurs to estimate a life-cycle model in which risk-averse individuals can start businesses and return to paid employment. I find that unobserved benefits represent 6,100 euros per year, summing up to 67,000 over the average entrepreneurial spell. The option to return to paid employment is worth 82,000 euros to new entrepreneurs.In the second chapter, I estimate a life-cycle model of portfolio choices that incorporates the relationship between stock market returns and the skewness of idiosyncratic income shocks.The cyclicality of skewness can explain low stock market participation among young households with modest financial wealth and why the equity share of participants slightly increases until retirement. In the third chapter, I calibrate a life-cycle model in which the stock and labor markets are cointegrated and Social Security benefits are wage-indexed. I find that the certainty equivalent of Social Security for working households is 46% lower than the sum of future cash flows discounted at the risk-free rate and negative for young households. At the national scale, the risk-adjusted value of Social Security entitlements is 19.6 trillion dollars, which is 37% lower than the unadjusted value of 31 trillion dollars.

Advisor(s): Denis Gromb, David Thesmar

The first chapter studies how refinancing risk impacts product market performance. I find that firms with a large fraction of short-term debt (i.e., debt maturing within three years) exhibit significantly lower growth in sales and market share.The second chapter asks how horizontal M&As affect peer stock market evaluation. Horizontal M&A announcements induce negative average industry peer revaluations in a large sample of public and private M&A transactions. The average peers’ revaluation is a strong predictor of future industry returns. The revaluation of peers also depends on the public status of the target (positive when the target is public and negative when the target is private) and varies systematically with proxies for overall market misvaluation. Our findings are consistent with the idea that investors incorporate new information about industry-wide misevaluation into the valuation of non-merging firms.The third chapter studies how labor laws affect payout policy. This paper shows that labor bargaining power affects both capital structure decisions and payout policy. I find that the adoption of the wrongful discharge law leads to an increase in dividends per share, dividend yield, and the dividend payout ratio whereas book leverage decreases.

Advisor(s): François Derrien

This thesis is in the interface of sustainable operations management, technology management, and finance. Specifically, in my thesis I strive to examine firm's incentives to adopt `technology improvement' (TI) measures that lead to the more efficient use of inputs in operations and thereby affect the cost structure, risk exposure, and environmental performance of firms. Thus, I seek to identify the factors that affect---and the mechanisms by which they do so---a firm's decision to invest in TI: forces within a supply chain, price uncertainty in the markets for inputs, cash constraints, financial hedging mechanisms, industry competition, and the firm's competitive pricing strategy. By collaborating with professors in the fields of operations research, economics, and finance, I have embraced a multidisciplinary approach to studying the adoption of efficient and sustainable technologies. In particular, in my first chapter, ``Technology Improvement Contracting in Supply Chains under Asymmetric Bargaining Power'' I examine how asymmetric bargaining power---between buyers and suppliers---affects the optimal level of investment in technology improvement. In my second chapter, ``Input-price Risk Management: TechnologyImprovement and Financial Hedging'', I explore the mechanism driving a firm's interest in TI under increased uncertainty about input prices. Finally, in the third chapter, ``The Value of Financial Risk Management in Dynamic Capacity Investment and Technology Improvement'', I study the role of budget constraint and financial hedging on the choice of technology.

Advisor(s): Andrea Masini, Sam Aflaki

The first chapter studies how the introduction of a futures market for steel affects steel producers and their customers. The second chapter asks how import tariffs in upstream industries affect downstream firms’ incentives to invest. The third chapter studies how managerial ownership affects performance in the mutual fund industry

Advisor(s): Denis Gromb, David Thesmar

Financial implications for buyers in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have been a topic of fascination with academics and practitioners for decades. Despite extensive business research dedicated toward investigating whether and how acquirers perform financially in the short and long terms following M&A, so far, the clarity of our understanding about these issues remains elusive. This doctoral thesis seeks to bring more clarity to these questions by examining complex interactions among several key aspects of M&A. Chapter 1 investigates how acquirer experience influences long-term performance through key pre- and post-transaction decisions and how such indirect influence differs in domestic and cross-border contexts. Chapter 2 explores the configurations of deal and acquirer characteristics as well as acquirer corporate governance mechanisms corresponding to positive acquirer cumulative abnormal returns (CAR). Chapter 3 investigates the interactive effects among host countries’ formal institutions, acquirer characteristics and corporate governance mechanisms on acquirer CAR. Finally, Chapter 4 examines the influence of business news reports on acquirer CAR.

By Jiachen YANG
Advisor(s): Michel Lander

In this dissertation, I examine the influence of aversive states (e.g., unpleasant emotions, undesired outcomes) on consumers' motivations and behaviors. In essay 1, I explore how feelings of physical and moral disgust can be threatening to consumers’ sense of self and motivate them to engage in compensatory consumption. In essay 2, I investigate why and when consumers exhibit negative behavioral intentions against firms that terminate unconditional business-to-consumer gift-giving initiatives. In essay 3, I explore how loneliness affects consumers’ preferences for products and services that do or do not require interpersonal touch and interaction (e.g., getting a massage vs. shopping online). Together, the three essays contribute to the literature on emotion, identity threats, and compensatory consumption, to the literature on sales promotion, and to the literature on loneliness. Moreover, the research findings inform marketing practice in the fields of advertising, sales promotions design, and consumer haptics. Finally, this research provides insights into consumer welfare by bringing attention to the unforeseen consequences of marketers’ actions that seek to benefit the consumers but instead generate compensatory behaviors to cope with their aversiveness.

Advisor(s): L.j. Shrum

This thesis is divided into three chapters. The first one deals with Central Clearing Counterparties (CCPs) and their resiliency in crisis times. This is a joint work with François Derrien, Evren Ors and David Thesmar. Focusing on CCPs backed repotrades during the eurozone crisis, we show that the market factored in the default of CCPs. In turn, this affected their capacity to ensure liquidity in the interbank market. Our results have strong consequences for the way CCPs should be regulate.The second chapter aims at quantifying the impact of the rise of the concentration in the banking sector on aggregate credit fluctuations.Building on novel empirical approach, I show that big players’ idiosyncratic shocks have a limited impact on aggregate credit. The explanation lies in the fact that the strength of banking groups idiosyncratic shocks is limited compared to aggregate and subsidiaries level ones.The last chapter, a joint work with Thomas Bourveau and Adrien Matray, focuses on the transmission of corporate risk culture. We show that subsidiaries of the same banking group tend to assess future risks in similar ways. In turn, this gives insights on how banking crisis can spread be fueled by corporate risk culture.

Advisor(s): Denis Gromb, David Thesmar

Consumer liminality is a vital concept in marketing research, usually defined as a transitional state of betwixt and between social positions. It enlightens life transitions, extraordinary experiences, and consumption rituals. This dissertation assesses the conceptualization of consumer liminality and advances its theorization in liquid modernity by exploring contemporary consumer lifestyles, which embrace contingency, uncertainty, and ambiguity. The first essay conceptually reexamines the treatment of liminality in consumer research. I identify two distinct forms, transformational liminality and liminoidity, thus challenging the unidimensionality assumption. Countering its celebratory treatment, I highlight the dangers of liminality when it is part of a meaningless transition. This essay contributes to the literature by resolving definitional ambiguities, outlining the concept’s scope, and delineating research directions. The second essay explores the flexible consumer lifestyle, defined as purposefully embracing instability, change, and adaptability in every aspect of life through professional precariousness. With long interviews, projective techniques, and participant observation, I question how the frequent life transitions of the flexible lifestyle, which can be analyzed as an experience of permanent liminality, are handled by consumers. Departing from prior literature, I contribute to consumer research on liminality by illustrating that permanent liminality is unsustainable for individuals, who need a release from the overwhelming pressures of its pursuit. I also identify flexibility capital which enables consumers to be comfortable on the long-term with high degrees of change and uncertainty and thus, to create an escape from the social structure which otherwise compels them to dominated positions. The third essay studies the liminal consumer journeys of consumers who experience repeated cross-cultural transitions. I combine autodriving and long interviews to explore open-ended mobility, a type of international mobility characterized by a high uncertainty regarding the duration of the stay abroad and the next destination. This essay contributes by emphasizing liminal dangers. I identify that liminal consumer journeys put consumers at risk of rootlessness and self-loss and must be compensated by solidifying consumption, which anchors consumers’ identity narratives in crystallized consumption experiences, material objects, and symbolic brands.

By Laetitia MIMOUN
Advisor(s): Tina Lowrey

This dissertation is composed of three chapters investigating the antecedents andconsequences of corporate disclosure in the domain of empirical-archival financial accounting. Thefirst chapter examines the real effects of firm disclosure and its timing on firm advertisinginvestment. The second chapter presents a joint project with Vedran Capkun and Yun Lou,exploring intra-industry peer disclosure of proprietary information as antecedents of corporatedisclosure decision at product level. The third chapter, joint work with Thomas Bourveau and Vedran Capkun, documents the real consequences of pharmaceutical firms’ clinical trial disclosure in financial markets and on broader society.

Advisor(s): Vedran Capkun

The present dissertation examines theentanglement of the social and material in MultinationalEnterprises during the transnational transfer of HumanResource Management Practices, especially PerformanceManagement Practices. Using 4 local Chinese entities of atransnational firm as my case study, I explore how localemployees make Performance Management practices theirown, both internalizing global practices and innovating toadapt to local environments. This research is based on 60interviews, secondary materials and direct observationsover more than 10 years. In the first chapter of thisdissertation, I explore more specifically the adoption ofHuman Resource Management practices at the micro level,and I identify four archetypes of the adoption of HumanResource Management practices: formal, ceremonial,deviant and innovative. In the second chapter, I focus onthe adoption of Performance Management practices inMultinational Enterprises at a meso level. Drawing onsociomaterial theory, I propose a new definition ofhybridization as being a process by which unique practicesemerge in local subsidiaries from the entanglement of thesocial and the material at Headquarters and in localsubsidiaries. This definition allowed me to identify two newhybrid performance management practices in the fourChinese entities of the Multinational Enterprises underinvestigation, which I have called the “harmoniousConfucian” Performance Management practice and the“harmonious instrumental” Performance Managementpractice. In the third chapter, I build on the results of thetwo previous empirical chapters to conceptualize anintegrated multilevel model for the transnational transfer ofHuman Resource Management practices in MultinationalEnterprises by expanding another central concept tosociomaterial theory: the notion of “apparatus”. Thisdissertation aims therefore at contributing both toInternational Human Resources Management literature andto the literature of the sociology of management tools.

By Vincent MEYER
Advisor(s): Francoise Chevalier