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Where Did the Money Go? Impact of the ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Program on Eurozone Corporate Spending

By Tina Tian   

Slow corporate growth and a lack of corporate investment has plagued European markets for the past decade. As a response, the ECB began the Corporate Sector Purchase Program (CSPP) in 2016 to provide liquidity to corporate debt markets through bond purchases. Four years after the start of the program, this paper assesses its impact by looking at how companies spent this money on a micro level. In particular, it looks at the impact of long-term debt on five expenditures (fixed assets and R&D, cash balances, short-term debt, cash to shareholders, and share buybacks). We test these hypothesized expenditures based on financial statement panel data from a selection of European firms whose bonds were purchased by the ECB. The results show an increase in financial expenditures including cash balances and short-term debt and a decrease in productive investment expenditures such as fixed assets and R&D. This indicates a lack of efficacy of the corporate bond purchase program as excess liquidity provided by the ECB went towards eurozone companies refinancing existing debt rather than investing in growth ventures.

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Advisors: Professor Connel Fullenkamp, Professor Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: G3, O16, E58

Time-Varying Beta: The Heterogeneous Autoregressive Beta Model

By Kunal Jain

Conventional models of volatility estimation do not capture the persistence in high-frequency market data and are not able to limit the impact of market micro-structure noise present at very finely sampled intervals. In an attempt to incorporate these two elements, we use the beta-metric as a proxy for equity-specific volatility and use finely sampled time-varying conditional forecasts estimated using the Heterogeneous Auto-regressive framework to form a predictive beta model. The findings suggest that this predictive beta is better able to capture persistence in financial data and limit the effect of micro-structure noise in high frequency data when compared to the existing benchmarks.

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Advisor: George Tauchen | JEL Codes: C01, C13, C22, C29, C58 | Tagged: Beta, Financial Markets, Heterogeneous Autoregressive, Persistence

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