Masami Imai, chair and professor of economics, professor of East Asian studies, presented a paper at the 19th Annual International Banking Conference held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on Nov. 4. This year’s theme was Achieving Financial Stability: Challenges to Prudential Regulation, giving Imai the opportunity to speak on “Japan’s Regulatory Response to Banking Problems.”
At the 12th Annual Workshop on Macroeconomics Research at Liberal Arts Colleges, held at Williams College in August, and at the Japanese Economic Association Meeting held at Waseda University College in Tokyo, Japan in September, Imai discussed “The Effects of Ethnic Chinese Minority on Vietnam’s Regional Economic Development in the Post-Vietnam War Period.”
His work examined the impact of the Hoa, an ethnically Chinese, economically dominant minority on regional economic development in Vietnam following the Vietnam War. Imai found that the ethnic group had a positive impact on the development of Vietnam, but the “post-Vietnam War exodus of ethnic Chinese is likely to have had long-term negative economic impacts.”
Imai teaches courses on money, banking and financial markets, economy of Japan, economies of East Asia, and quantitative methods in economics. His research interests include money and banking, political economy, and the economy of Japan.
(Randi Plake contributed to this article).
Richard Grossman, professor of economics, and Masami Imai, professor and chair of economics, professor of East Asian studies, are the authors of an article published January 2016 in Explorations in Economic History.
The article is titled “Taking the lord’s name in vain: The impact of connected directors on 19th century British banks.” Grossman and Imai considered the appointment of prominent, well-connected individuals (former members of Parliament and lords) to the boards of directors of banks in pre-World War I Britain, and investigated whether their presence enhanced equity value for bank shareholders. Surprisingly, they found that these individuals actually had negative effects on bank equity returns.
The article is available online to read for free until February 2016.
Richard Grossman, professor of economics, and Masami Imai, professor and chair of economics, professor of East Asian studies, are the authors of an op-ed published in The Guardian about House Speaker John Boehner’s likely next move when he retires from Congress. The op-ed is titled “Whoever hires John Boehner post-Congress will make a terrible investment.”
They anticipate that, like most former members of Congress and high ranking members of the executive branch, Boehner is likely to have his pick of lucrative job offers—to become an investment banker, lobbyist or corporate adviser. “But for any of these companies, John Boehner would be a terrible investment,” they write.
They cite their own research looking at the hiring of politically connected directors from British government in the three decades before World War I, which found that these appointments tended to have a negative effect on bank equity returns.
Richard Grossman, professor of economics, recently presented a talk titled, “An historical perspective on regulatory competition versus cooperation: the view from economics” at the third annual Conference of the University Research Priority Program. The conference, held June 1-2 at the University of Zurich Institute of Law, was titled, “International Aspects of Financial Regulation: Competition vs. Coordination.”
Grossman’s talk focused on cross-border cooperation between international bank regulators in the wake of the U.S. subprime and European debt crises—an effort to enhance banking stability. Examples include the Basel capital accords and European Stability Mechanism. Grossman put these into historical context by looking at episodes of cooperation—and competition—between federal and state regulators in the U.S. during the 19th and early 20th centuries. He presented evidence on several episodes in which state and federal regulators loosened regulations to help banks under their supervision gain a competitive advantage over banks in neighboring jurisdictions. Although cooperation is feasible in some areas of regulation, Grossman argued that regulators will always be inclined to compete—that is, favor their own banks at the expense of others.
On June 20, Grossman presented a paper at the Third CERP Economic History Symposium, held at Norges Bank, Norway’s central bank, in Oslo.
The paper, co-authored by Grossman and Masami Imai, professor of economics, professor of East Asian studies, is titled “Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain: The Impact of Connected Directors on 19th Century British Banks.”
The paper utilizes data on the presence of prominent individuals—that is, those with political (e.g., Members of Parliament) and aristocratic titles (e.g., lords) — on the boards of directors of English and Welsh banks from 1879-1909 to investigate whether the appointment of well-connected directors enhanced equity value for bank shareholders.
Their analysis of panel data shows that the appointment of connected directors did not increase equity returns (as measured by the capital gain plus dividend yield on bank shares), but rather that the appointment of MPs to directorships had negative effects on bank equity returns.
Masami Imai, professor of economics, professor of East Asian studies, is the co-author of an article titled “Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence from Trade Shocks,” published in the January 2015 edition of Economy Inquiry, Volume 53, Issue 1, pages 258-257.
Rosa Hayes ’13, currently a research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, also is one of the paper’s co-authors.
This article exploits the international transmission of business cycles to examine the prevalence of attribution error in economic voting in a large panel of countries from 1990 to 2009. Masami and his co-authors found that voters, on average, exhibit a strong tendency to oust the incumbent governments during an economic downturn, regardless of whether the recession is home-grown or merely imported from trading partners.
The authors also found an important heterogeneity in the extent of attribution error. A split sample analysis shows that countries with more experienced voters, more educated voters, and possibly more informed voters—all conditions that have been shown to mitigate other voter agency problems—do better in distinguishing imported from domestic growth.
Masami Imai, professor of economics, participated in the first annual Stanford Summer Juku on the Japanese Political Economy. He discussed a paper titled, “Banks restructuring sonata: How capital injection triggered labor force rejuvenation in Japanese banks” by David Vera. Learn more here.
Masami Imai, professor of economics, professor of East Asian studies, is the author of a newly-published paper and a paper that just won an award. “Local Economic Effects of a Government-Owned Depository Institution: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Japan,” was given the best paper award in the Journal of Financial Intermediation. The paper, originally published in that journal in January 2012, can be read here.
Imai is also the co-author–with Peter Hull of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology–of a paper,”Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Foreign Interest Rate Movements,” published in the Journal of Development Economics in July. It can be read online here.
Masami Imai, presented a paper titled “Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from the Constraints of the Open-Economy Trilemma” at three venues in Japan, including the Center for Economic Institutions of Hitotsubashi University; Keio University; and the Institute of Developing
Economies-Japan External Trade Organization. The paper is co-authored with Peter Hull ’10. Imai is the director and chair of the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies and associate professor of economics.
Articles by Masami Imai, director of the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, chair and associate professor of east asian studies, associate professor of economics, were published in two economic publications:
“Elections and Political Risk: New Evidence from Political Prediction Markets in Taiwan,” with Cameron Shelton, appeared in the Journal of Public Economics, 95 (7-8), August 2011.
“Transmission of Liquidity Shock to Bank Credit: Evidence from Deposit Insurance Reform in Japan,” with Seitaro Takarabe, appeared in the Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, June 2011.
An article by Masami Imai, director and chair of the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, associate professor of economics, was published in Journal of International Business Studies, Issue 42, pages 406-426, in 2011. The article is titled “Related Lending and Banking Development,” and is co-authored by Robert Cull and Stephen Haber.
Richard Grossman, professor of economics. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)
Richard Grossman, professor of economics, presented a paper titled “Contingent Capital and Bank Risk-Taking: Evidence from British Equity Markets before World War I” at the Yale Economic History Workshop on Feb. 21.
Masami Imai, chair and associate professor of East Asian studies, associate professor of economics and director of the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, co-authored the paper.
The workshop was sponsored by Yale University’s Department of Economics.
Masami Imai, associate professor of economics, chair and associate professor of East Asian studies, director of the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, is the co-author of an article titled, “Bank Integration and Transmission of Financial Shocks: Evidence from Japan,” published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Vol. 3, No. 1, pages 155-183 in January 2011.
This paper investigates whether banking integration plays an important role in transmitting financial shocks across geographical boundaries by using a dataset on the branch network of nationwide city banks and prefecture-level dataset on the formation and collapse of the real estate bubble in Japan.
The results show that the credit and economic cycle of financially integrated prefectures exhibits higher sensitivity to fluctuation in land prices in cities relative to financially isolated ones. These results suggest nationwide banks can be a source of economic volatility when they pass on the impacts of financial shocks to host economies.