Firm-level Political Risk and Credit Markets
73 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2019 Last revised: 6 Sep 2023
Date Written: July 17, 2023
We take advantage of a new composite measure of political risk (Hassan et al., 2019) to study the effects of firm-level 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 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. Our analysis allows for endogenous matching between lenders and borrowers and indicates the presence of network effects in diffusing political risk throughout the economy. Finally, we introduce new text-based methods to analyze the distinct sources of political risk to lenders and borrowers and provide textual evidence of the transmission of political risk from lenders to borrowers.
Keywords: credit markets; political risk; financial institutions; earnings calls
JEL Classification: G10, G12, G18, G21, M41, P16
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