Bank of Lithuania
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No 35

Mergers and Acquisitions Over the Cycle – An Empirical Investigation

  • Abstract

    Using US firm-level data from 1985-2019, this paper investigates how the characteristics of matches between acquirers and targets of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) vary over the business cycle. We document several findings. (1) Acquirers are on average larger, more profitable, and in a stronger financial position than targets. (2) Targets are more innovative than acquirers, and (3) M&A targets during a recession have worse financial health but higher levels of innovation compared to M&A targets in booms. Our empirical evidence suggests that an economy may benefit from an economy may benefit from adjusting its antitrust stance over the business cycle.

    Keywords: mergers, M&A, business cycle, R&D, productivity

    JEL codes: E22, E32, G34

No 119

The transmission of trade shocks across countries: firm-level evidence from the Covid-19 crisis

  • Abstract

    This paper studies the margins and heterogeneity of adjustments to trade shocks by estimating how Covid-19 restrictions affected imports and exports. We use data from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on foreign trade at the level of the firm and the partner country and at monthly frequency from January 2019 to December 2020. The focus is on the short-term adjustment and on the first wave of the pandemic. We find that the adjustment to the restrictions mostly occurs through the intensive margin, meaning trade values are reduced rather than trade in certain markets or products ceasing. It is further observed that quantity played a more important role in the adjustment process than prices and that both upstream and downstream restrictions played an equally important role in the decline of foreign trade. It is shown that differentiated products that are difficult to replace are responsible for this adjustment pattern.

    Keywords: transmission of shocks, input-output linkages, global value chains, Covid-19, workplace closing.

    JEL codes: F14, F61, D22

No 34

Consumer price rigidity in periods of low and high inflation: the case of Lithuania

  • Abstract

    I provide new monthly statistics on consumer price rigidity in Lithuania. The statistics are derived from CPI price records, covering an average of 90% of the ECOICOP4 weights between 2019 and 2023. Through a comparative study of two distinct periods – low inflation from January 2019 to December 2020, and high inflation from January 2021 to March 2023 – a significant shift in the frequency of price changes is observed in the latter period. This shift is mainly due to a significant rise in the frequency of price increases, while the average size of these increases has remained relatively constant over the years. Furthermore, I show that structural aggregate demand and energy shocks induced shifts in the frequency of price changes during the high-inflation period, suggesting that state-dependent sticky price models may be more suitable than time dependent ones for explaining inflation fluctuations in Lithuania.

    Keywords: consumer price rigidity, price-setting, high inflation, frequency of price changes.

    JEL codes: D40, E31, E50

No 33

Household Wealth and Finances in Lithuania

  • Abstract

    This report presents the stylized facts gathered in the fourth wave of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey, which was conducted in Lithuania as the second wave of results. The survey provides household-level data on wealth, finances, consumption, savings, and additional individual characteristics, covering a sample of 1,664 households. Although the reference period for the data varies across countries, for Lithuania, it pertains to 2021. The report compares new results with those from the previous survey conducted in 2017. The results indicate an increase in measures for household wealth and finances that were only minimally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Keywords: Household-level data, assets, liabilities, net wealth, financial pressure, consumption

    JEL codes: D12, D14, D31

No 32

Climate Risk and Bank Capital Structure

  • Abstract

    We study the role of climate risk exposure in the dynamic behavior of banks’ regulatory capital adjustment using a large European sample from 39 countries during the 2006–2021 period. We find that banks facing high exposure to climate risk opt for a higher target (regulatory) capital adequacy ratio and make faster adjustments to their optimal capital structure, especially if they are more exposed to carbon pollution. Such banks boost their adjustment during the post-Paris Agreement period. These banks move to their target capital adequacy ratio mainly by adjusting their risk-weighted assets or by reallocating them more quickly than their peers, without necessarily altering assets, particularly lending. This paper lends support to the importance of taking climate change-related risks into prudential supervision to protect the financial system’s resilience and contributes to the debate on climate-related capital requirements.

    Keywords: Dynamic capital structure, Speed of adjustment, Climate change, Paris Agreement, Balance sheet composition.

    JEL Classification: G21, G28, Q53, Q54.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 118

The Dynamics of Product and Labor Market Power: Evidence from Lithuania

  • Abstract

    This paper characterizes the power dynamics of firms in both product and labor markets in Lithuania between 2004 and 2018. We first show that both markets are not perfectly competitive, as both price markups and wage markdowns are far from unitary and homogeneous. Interestingly, we unveil that the Dynamics of these margins followed different patterns. On the one hand, both the dispersijon and the economy-wide markup have increased, indicative of an increase in product market power. On the other hand, we document a decline in monopsony power, as both the heterogeneity and the aggregate level of markdowns have declined. Altogether, our results underline the importance of jointly analyzing product and labor markets when assessing firms’ market power.

    Keywords: Firm heterogeneity, Monopoly, Markups, Monopsony, Markdowns.

    JEL Classification: D4, E2, J3, L1.

No 117

Labor Market Competition and Inequality

  • Abstract

    Does competition in the labor market affect wage inequality? Standard textbook monopsony models predict that lower employer labor market power reduces wage dispersion. We test this hypothesis using Social Security data from Lithuania. We first fit a two-way fixed effects model to quantify the contribution of worker and firm heterogeneity to wage dispersion and document that the compression of dispersion in firm fixed effects has been the main source of the decline in inequality over the past 20 years. Using a theory-based relationship, we then leverage variation across sectors and over time to show that a 10 percentage point increase in labor market competition leads to a 0.7 percentage point reduction in the variance of firm-specific wage components. A counterfactual exercise using our preferred estimates suggests that the increase in labor market competition can explain at least 15 percent of the observed decline in overall wage inequality.

    Keywords: Wage inequality, Firm heterogeneity, Monopsony, Labor supply elasticity.
    JEL Classification: J31, J42, O15.

No 48

Assessing Nature-Related Financial Risks: The Case of Lithuania

  • Abstract

    All real economic sectors depend on nature. Accordingly, lending to economic sectors carries some degree of nature-related financial risk. To assess and mitigate the potential impact of ecosystem service loss on financial stability, it is crucial to identify and measure nature-related financial risks. Using FINREP and ENCORE data, we assess the direct material dependence on nature and evaluate physical nature-related financial risks in Lithuanian commercial bank lending. While a substantial share of bank loans (70,1%) in Lithuania goes to sectors that are very highly dependent on at least one ecosystem service, the financial risks arising from hypothetical scenarios of disruption in the provision of some of these ecosystem services is markedly lower than in other European countries due to Lithuania’s geographic specificity. The case study of Lithuania illustrates that the impacts from the loss of ecosystem services are not uniform across geographic regions, that the assumption that the level of dependence on ecosystem services can serve as an approximation of physical nature-related financial risks is inappropriate for certain geographies, and that an accurate assessment of nature-related financial risks requires location-specific dependency-risk mapping matrices.

    Keywords: Ecosystem Services, ENCORE, Nature-related Financial Risks, Financial Stability

    JEL Codes: 58, G21, Q01, Q57

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 31

Households' inflation expectations in Lithuania: A First look and overview

  • Abstract

    We document a number of novel stylised facts about Lithuanian households' inflation expectations. Inflation expectations of Lithuanian households are significantly above the recent observation of actual inflation. On average, year-on-year inflation was around 4 percent from 2004 to 2023. However, one-year-ahead inflation expectations of households over the same period were on average 16.9 percent. Although we observe a clear upward bias in inflation expectations, there is significant co-movement between actual inflation and inflation expectations of households. Additionally, we find that over the economic boom, inflation expectations are higher than inflation perceptions, a finding that reverses over the economic downturn. We build a VAR model to analyse whether and how inflation, households' inflation expectations/perceptions and unemployment are linked. We show that structural shocks to inflation expectations play a minor role in overall inflation and unemployment dynamics.

    Keywords: Households' inflation perceptions, inflation expectations.
    JEL Classification: C83, D12, E21, E31.

No 116

Overconfidence and Correlated Information Structures

  • Abstract

    This paper analyzes a model of multiple overconfident traders submitting market orders where traders’ private information is subject to correlated errors, as well as its extension to endogenous information. We consider two standard types of overconfidence: overconfidence in own signals and underconfidence in others’ signals. The analyses on the effects of overconfidence on traders’ behavior and the equilibrium price suggest that these effects are richer than our typical understanding of overconfidence focusing on its positive effect on trading volume as follows: First, trading volume may increase or decrease with overconfidence depending on its type. Second, these different types of overconfidence may differ radically on the patterns of trading volume and price informativeness with respect to the number of traders. Third, overconfidence can cause equilibrium multiplicity in information acquisition.

    JEL Classification: G11, G14, G4
    Keywords: Overconfidence; Disagreement; Strategic trading; Information aggregation; Efficient market hypothesis

No 115

Carbon Intensity, Productivity, and Growth

  • Abstract

    The carbon intensity of U.S. output has experienced a secular decline in recent decades. Using an agnostic identification approach we show that news about future total factor productivity explain the bulk of longrun variation in emission intensity. News about green technologies give rise to similar dynamics. Both innovations precede a persistent increase of output and TFP. Yet, they are associated with only a temporary decline of emissions, followed by a hump-shaped rebound. New technologies have thus been a key driver of growth in recent decades but have not permanently reduced emissions. We discuss the Economic underpinnings of this rebound effect.

    Keywords: carbon emissions, carbon intensity, news shocks, structural vector autoregressions.

    JEL Classification: C32, O47, Q43, Q55.

No 30

Do projected fiscal deficits play a role in ECB monetary policymaking?

  • Abstract

    We estimate a large number of alternative monetary policy reaction functions for the ECB in order to robustly ascertain whether fiscal stance matters for the conduct of monetary policy. We use the GMM and SVAR methods to estimate inflation-output reaction functions with and without a fiscal deficit indicator from 2001 until 2022 using the thick-modelling approach. The results reveal that the actions of the ECB have exhibited desirable effects on stabilising monetary policy, and have generally been found to be consistent with the Taylor principle. Most importantly, the projected euro area fiscal deficit is usually not statistically significant in explaining the ECB’s stance on monetary policy. Nevertheless, when the fiscal deficit indicator is statistically significant, the sign of its coefficient is always positive, implying that increasing deficits lead to a more restrictive monetary policy stance. These findings speak against the fiscal dominance regime in the euro area, where monetary policy is single and fiscal policies are decentralised. The results remain qualitatively similar independent of the precise specification of the GMM and SVAR models or whether the sample period is shortened to only 2012–2022.

    Keywords: ECB, monetary policy, reaction function, Taylor rule, fiscal deficits, fiscal stance.

    JEL Classification: E43; E52; E58; E61; E62; H62.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

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