I’m a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Economics, Finance and Management (GSEFM) at Goethe University Frankfurt.

In fall 2022, I will join the IWH Halle as a Postdoc in Ufuk Akcigit’s research group “The Economic Gap between East and West Germany”, founded through the Max-Planck Research Award 2019.

My research focuses on the theoretical and empirical analysis of labor markets with assortative matching, corporate finance and banking.

Advisors: Ester Faia, Gianmarco Ottaviano and Vincenzo Pezone

Contact: mail.mayermaximilian@gmail.com


The Right Director in the Right Firm: Director Heterogeneity, Sorting and Firm Performance, November 2021

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This paper studies the sorting of firms and directors appointed to their boards. I leverage a novel finite-mixture random-effects model to estimate the contribution of unobserved firm and director heterogeneity while being the first to explicitly allow for an interaction between the two to estimate the quality of the match between board members and firms. Results reveal that positive complementarities drive positive sorting. Using hand-collected data and textual analysis to build a large dataset on directors’ skills and qualifications, I find directors with specialized skill sets to be associated with higher complementarities while, consistent with the idea of knowledge hierarchies in the firm. On the contrary, CEOs or CFOs tend to be generalists relying on directors’ advice. Finally, I exploit unexpected deaths of board members to establish a positive causal effect of boards, where productivity is concentrated to a few highly complementary directors, on firm value and firm performance. Keywords: Sorting, Board of Directors, Complementarities, Skills and Qualifications, Productivity Concentration

The Value of Firm Networks: A Natural Experiment on Board Connections, June 2021

joint with Ester Faia and Vincenzo Pezone

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We present causal evidence on the effect of boardroom networks on firm value and compensation policies. We exploit a ban on interlocking directorates of Italian financial and insurance companies as exogenous variation and show that firms that lose centrality in the network experience negative abnormal returns around the announcement date. The key driver of our results is the role of boardroom connections in reducing asymmetric information. The complementarities with the input-output and cross-ownership networks are consistent with this channel. Using hand-collected data, we also show that network centrality has a positive effect on directors’ compensation, providing evidence of rent sharing.

The paper is also available as SAFE Working Paper No. 269 and CEPR Discussion Paper No. 14591 — Read a non-technical summary on VoxEU


Global Banking: Endogenous Competition and Risk Taking

joint with Ester Faia, Sebastien Laffitte and Gianmarco Ottaviano
European Economic Review, Vol. 133, April 2021 [DOI]

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When banks expand abroad, their riskiness decreases if foreign expansion happens in destination countries that are more competitive than their origin countries. We reach this conclusion in three steps. First, we develop a flexible dynamic model of global banking with endogenous competition and endogenous risk-taking. Sec- ond, we calibrate and simulate the model to generate empirically relevant predic- tions. Third, we validate these predictions by testing them on an original dataset covering the activities of the 15 European global systemically important banks (G- SIBs). Our results hold across alternative measures of individual and systemic bank risk.

[Click here to download accepted version]

The Employment Consequences of Automation and Offshoring: A Labor Market Sorting View,

joint with Ester Faia, Sebastien Laffitte and Gianmarco Ottaviano
Robots and AI: A New Economic Era (1st ed.), Eds. Ing, L.Y., & Grossman, G.M. (2022) Routledge. [DOI]

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We show, theoretically and empirically, that the effects of technological change associated with automation and offshoring on the labor market can substantially deviate from standard neoclassical conclusions when search frictions hinder efficient assortative matching between firms with heterogeneous tasks and workers with heterogeneous skills. Our key hypothesis is that better matches enjoy a comparative advantage in exploiting automation and a comparative disadvantage in exploiting offshoring. It implies that automation (offshoring) may reduce (raise) employment by lengthening (shortening) unemployment duration due to higher (lower) match selectivity. We find empirical support for this implication in a dataset covering 92 occupations and 16 sec- tors in 13 European countries from 1995 to 2010.

The paper is also available as CEPR Discussion Paper No. 14787 and IZA Working Paper No.13267 — Read a non-technical summary on VoxEU

Work in Progress

Climate Change Concerns and Information Spillovers from Socially-Connected Friends

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This paper studies the role of social connections in shaping individuals' concerns about climate change. I combine granular climate data, region-level social network data and survey responses for 24 European countries in order to document large information spillovers. Individuals become more concerned about climate change when their geographically distant friends living in socially-connected regions have experienced large increases in temperatures since 1990. Exploring the heterogeneity of the spillover effects, I uncover that the learning via social networks plays a central role. Further, results illustrate the important role of social values and economic preferences for understanding how information spillovers affect individual concerns. Keywords: Information Spillovers, Climate Change, Beliefs, Social Networks


Maximilian Mayer
Goethe University Frankfurt
House of Finance (Office 3.43)
Theodor-W.- Adorno Platz 3
60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
+49 (69) 798 33800