25 Years IWH

Professor Hans Degryse, PhD

Professor Hans Degryse, PhD
Current Position

since 12/16

Research Fellow at the Department of Financial Markets

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 01/12

Research Professor

KU Leuven

Research Interests

  • financial intermediation
  • empirical banking

Hans Degryse is a Research Fellow at the IWH since December 2016. His research focuses on financial intermediation – including empirical banking, the law and economics of banking, and market microstructure.

Since 2012 Hans Degryse has been a Research Professor at KU Leuven. Before that he taught at CentER, the research institute of Tilburg University.

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Professor Hans Degryse, PhD
Professor Hans Degryse, PhD
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The Political Economy of Financial Systems: Evidence from Suffrage Reforms in the Last Two Centuries

Hans Degryse Thomas Lambert Armin Schwienbacher

in: The Economic Journal , forthcoming


Voting rights were initially limited to wealthy elites providing political support for stock markets. The franchise expansion induces the median voter to provide political support for banking development, as this new electorate has lower financial holdings and benefits less from the riskiness and financial returns from stock markets. Our panel data evidence covering the years 1830–1999 shows that tighter restrictions on the voting franchise induce greater stock market development, whereas a broader voting franchise is more conducive to the banking sector, consistent with Perotti and von Thadden (2006). The results are robust to controlling for other institutional arrangements and endogeneity.

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Is More Finance Better? Disentangling Intermediation and Size Effects of Financial Systems

Thorsten Beck Hans Degryse Christiane Kneer

in: Journal of Financial Stability , 2014


Financial systems all over the world have grown dramatically over recent decades. But is more finance necessarily better? And what concept of financial system – a focus on its size, including both intermediation and other auxiliary “non-intermediation” activities, or a focus on traditional intermediation activity – is relevant for its impact on real sector outcomes? This paper assesses the relationship between the size of the financial system and intermediation, on the one hand, and GDP per capita growth and growth volatility, on the other hand. Based on a sample of 77 countries for the period 1980–2007, we find that intermediation activities increase growth and reduce volatility in the long run. An expansion of the financial sectors along other dimensions has no long-run effect on real sector outcomes. Over shorter time horizons a large financial sector stimulates growth at the cost of higher volatility in high-income countries. Intermediation activities stabilize the economy in the medium run especially in low-income countries. As this is an initial exploration of the link between financial system indicators and growth and volatility, we focus on OLS regressions, leaving issues of endogeneity and omitted variable biases for future research.

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When Arm’s Length Is Too Far. Relationship Banking over the Credit Cycle

Thorsten Beck Hans Degryse Ralph De Haas Neeltje van Horen

in: Journal of Financial Economics , 2099


We conduct face-to-face interviews with bank CEOs to classify 397 banks across 21 countries as either relationship or transaction lenders. We then use the geographic coordinates of these banks’ branches and of 14,100 businesses to analyze how the lending techniques of banks in the vicinity of firms are related to credit constraints at two contrasting points of the credit cycle. We find that while relationship lending is not associated with credit constraints during a credit boom, it alleviates such constraints during a downturn. This positive role of relationship lending is stronger for small and opaque firms and in regions with a more severe economic downturn. Moreover, our evidence suggests that relationship lending mitigates the impact of a downturn on firm growth and does not constitute evergreening of loans.

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