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PhD Dissertation Defense, Noémie Pinardon-Touati, Finance

Noemie Pinardon-Touati, HEC PhD Finance 2022

Congratulations to Dr Noémie Pinardon-Touati, Finance specialization, who successfully defended her Doctoral Dissertation at HEC Paris, on June 20, 2022. Dr Pinardon-Touati has accepted a position at Columbia University (USA) as Assistant Professor.

Dr Pinardon-Touati was in June 2022 recognized amongst the most promising finance PhD graduates  by AQR Top Finance Graduate Award. See more here

She has also been selected by the prestigious Restud American Tour to present her research to audiences in U.S. universities this summer.

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Specialization: Finance

Topic: Three essays on government intervention and corporate behavior 

Supervisor: 
Johan Hombert, Professor of Finance, HEC Paris

Jury Members:

Vicente CUñAT, Professor of Finance, The London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), 
Laurent BACH, Professor of Finance, ESSEC Business School (France),
David THESMAR, Professor of Finance, MIT – Sloan School of Management (USA),
Johan HOMBERT, Professor of Finance, HEC Paris, Supervisor 

Abstract: This three-chapter thesis investigates the interplay between government intervention and corporate financial and real behavior. The first chapter investigates how the financing of government expenditures affects corporate outcomes. I show that local governments’ increased reliance on debt to finance their expenditures adversely affects the private sector via a crowding out effect. In large developed and developing countries, local government debt mostly consists of bank loans. Using French administrative data over 2006-2018, I uncover a crowding out effect of these loans on corporate credit, investment, employment, and output. Combining causal reduced-form evidence and a model, I show that crowding out reduces the output multiplier of debt-financed local government spending by 0.3. These results show that constraints on financing supply reduce the stimulus effect of debt-financed government spending. The second chapter focuses on government intervention in the corporate sector. This chapter is in collaboration with Aymeric Bellon (Wharton) and Louis-Marie Harpedanne (Banque de France). We investigate the French credit mediation program, a policy aimed at helping firms solve their disputes with their lenders. In a mediation, an expert suggests a non-legally binding solution after communicating with all parties. Can a policy that only facilitates negotiation have any real effect? Exploiting administrative data and plausibly exogenous variation in eligibility to public mediators across counties for identification, we find that participating in a mediation reduces firms’ liquidation probability by 34.6 percentage points, and leads to higher credit, employment, and investment at the three-year horizon. All the effects are driven by firms that borrow from more than one bank. These results support the view that mediations solve coordination problems between lenders. In the last chapter, I study how the political economy distortions inherent to governments affect firms. This chapter is in collaboration with Anne-Laure Delatte (Université Paris Dauphine) and Adrien Matray (Princeton). We document a reciprocal favors scheme between local politicians and banks in France. We find that formally independent, profit-maximizing banks increase their supply of credit to the corporate sector for the constituencies of contested political incumbents in order to improve their reelection prospects. In return, politicians grant such banks access to the profitable market for loans to local public entities among their constituencies. These results show that, if politicians can control the allocation of rents, then formal independence does not ensure the private sector's effective independence from politically motivated distortions.

Keywords: Corporate finance, Financial intermediation, Government, Debt