Journal of Banking & Finance

Published by Elsevier BV

Print ISSN: 0378-4266


Household portfolio choices, health status and health care systems: A cross-country analysis based on SHARE
  • Article

May 2012


139 Reads



Nicole Maestas
Health risk is increasingly viewed as an important form of background risk that affects household portfolio decisions. However, its role might be mediated by the presence of a protective full-coverage national health service that could reduce households' probability of incurring current and future out-of-pocket medical expenditures. We use SHARE data to study the influence of current health status and future health risk on the decision to hold risky assets, across ten European countries with different health systems, each offering a different degree of protection against out-of-pocket medical expenditures. We find robust empirical evidence that perceived health status matters more than objective health status and, consistent with the theory of background risk, health risk affects portfolio choices only in countries with less protective health care systems. Furthermore, portfolio decisions consistent with background risk models are observed only with respect to middle-aged and highly-educated investors.

Finance is good for the poor but it depends where you live
  • Article
  • Full-text available

May 2013


277 Reads

I examine whether or not the incomes of the poor systematically grow with average incomes, and whether financial development enhances the incomes of the poorest quintile. Following the methodology of Dollar and Kraay (2002), I find, once extending Dollar and Kraay's data, their findings are robust to the Lucas critique and economic growth is important for poverty reduction universally. However, in comparison to other authors' work I show financial development aids the incomes of the poor in certain regions, whilst it may be detrimental in others. This proposes evidence against a "one size fits all" model adding a further contribution to the literature on financial development and poverty.

The non-7% solution

July 2010


73 Reads

While the vast majority of underwriters charge a gross spread of exactly 7%, as documented in Chen and Ritter (2000), more than a third charge something other than 7%. Among offerings of $50 million and below where underwriters charge the firm other than 7%, two-thirds of issuers pay more than published NASD1 compensation guidelines. When underwriters charge less than expected, they do not trade-off IPO compensation with underpricing. However, our evidence suggests a trade-off between IPO compensation and future SEO business among underwriters that charge something other than 7% and less than expected. Underwriters that overcharge may provide a signal to investors about future underperformance.

Value and risk

February 2002


98 Reads

The corporation is often viewed as a nexus of contracts. That view is slightly altered here. The corporation is viewed as a nexus of risks. The management of the corporation may then be thought of as the selection and management of the risks in a way that creates value. This I perspective is applied in a discussion of the three articles presented in this session.

Interpreting Deviations from Covered Interest Parity during the Financial Market Turmoil of 2007–08

November 2009


195 Reads

This paper investigates the spillover effects of money market turbulence in 2007–08 on the short-term covered interest parity (CIP) condition between the US dollar and the euro through the foreign exchange (FX) swap market. Sharp and persistent deviations from the CIP condition observed during the turmoil are found to be significantly associated with differences in the counterparty risk between European and US financial institutions. Furthermore, evidence is found that US dollar term funding auctions by the ECB, supported by US dollar swap lines with the Federal Reserve, alleviated the level of dislocations, as well as the instability, of the FX swap market.

Global and local information asymmetries, illiquidity and SEC Rule 144A/Regulation S: The case of Indian GDRs

February 2002


89 Reads

Between 1992 and 1997, Indian firms were the most frequent issuers of equity-backed Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) governed by the SEC's Rule 144A and Regulation S. They also accounted for the highest dollar volume. Home-market stock price responses to these issues are consistent with the hypotheses that GDRs enable firms to resolve two forms of information asymmetry: (1) an asymmetry between issuing firms and international investors that results from market segmentation and (2) an asymmetry between Indian firms and home-market investors that resembles asymmetries that help explain abnormal returns in equity private placements by US firms. Our evidence suggests that GDR issuance can increase investors' recognition of underlying shares even if there are no liquidity enhancements and even if disclosure requirements are not as demanding as those imposed on foreign firms whose depositary receipts trade in public US markets.

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