25 Years IWH

Professor Lena Tonzer, PhD

Professor Lena Tonzer, PhD
Current Position

since 9/17

Assistant Professor

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

since 5/14

Head of the Research Group Regulation of International Financial Markets and International Banking

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

since 5/14

Head of the International Banking Library

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

Research Interests

  • banking and sovereign debt crises
  • integration of financial markets
  • banking regulation

Lena Tonzer joined the Department of Financial Markets in May 2014. She coordinates the Research Group Regulation of International Financial Markets and International Banking. Her research focuses on banking and sovereign debt crises, integration of financial markets, and banking regulation. Lena Tonzer is also Assistant Professor at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (ESF project The Political Economy of the European Banking Union) since September 2017.

Lena Tonzer studied International Economics at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen before joining the doctoral programme in Economics at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence in 2010. She defended her thesis "Essays on Financial Stability and Regulation in Integrated Markets" in April 2014. In 2013, she joined the IWH as a Junior Research Affiliate.

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Professor Lena Tonzer, PhD
Professor Lena Tonzer, PhD
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Publications

Taxing Banks: An Evaluation of the German Bank Levy

Claudia M. Buch Björn Hilberg Lena Tonzer

in: Journal of Banking & Finance , 2016

Abstract

Bank distress can have severe negative consequences for the stability of the financial system. Regimes for the restructuring and resolution of banks, financed by bank levies, aim at reducing these costs. This paper evaluates the German bank levy, which has been implemented since 2011. Our analysis offers three main insights. First, revenues raised through the levy were lower than expected. Second, the bulk of the payments were contributed by large commercial banks and by the central institutions of savings banks and credit unions. Third, for those banks, which were affected by the levy, we find evidence for a reduction in lending and higher deposit rates.

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Uncertainty, Bank Lending, and Bank-Level Heterogeneity

Claudia M. Buch Manuel Buchholz Lena Tonzer

in: IMF Economic Review , No. 4, 2015

Abstract

We analyze how uncertainty affects bank lending. We measure uncertainty as the cross-sectional dispersion of shocks to bank-level variables. Comparing this measure of uncertainty in banking to more traditional measures of uncertainty, we find similar but no identical patterns. Higher uncertainty in banking has negative effects on bank lending. This effect is heterogeneous across banks: lending by banks that are better capitalized and have higher liquidity buffers tends to be affected less. Also, the degree of internationalization matters, as loan supply by banks in financially open countries is affected less by uncertainty. The impact of the ownership status of the individual bank is less important, in contrast.

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Sovereign Credit Risk Co-Movements in the Eurozone: Simple Interdependence or Contagion?

Manuel Buchholz Lena Tonzer

in: International Finance , No. 3, 2016

Abstract

We investigate credit risk co-movements and contagion in the sovereign debt markets of 17 industrialized countries during the period 2008–2012. We use dynamic conditional correlations of sovereign credit default swap spreads to detect contagion. This approach allows us to separate contagion channels from the determinants of simple interdependence. The results show that, first, sovereign credit risk co-moves considerably, particularly among eurozone countries and during the sovereign debt crisis. Second, contagion varies across time and countries. Third, similarities in economic fundamentals, cross-country linkages in banking and common market sentiment constitute the main channels of contagion.

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Working Papers

Drivers of systemic risk: Do national and European perspectives differ?

Claudia M. Buch Thomas Krause Lena Tonzer

in: Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Papers , No. 9, 2017

Abstract

In Europe, the financial stability mandate generally rests at the national level. But there is an important exception. Since the establishment of the Banking Union in 2014, the European Central Bank (ECB) can impose stricter regulations than the national regulator. The precondition is that the ECB identifies systemic risks which are not adequately addressed by the macroprudential regulator at the national level. In this paper, we ask whether the drivers of systemic risk differ when applying a national versus a European perspective. We use market data for 80 listed euro-area banks to measure each bank’s contribution to systemic risk (SRISK) at the national and the euro-area level. Our research delivers three main findings. First, on average, systemic risk increased during the financial crisis. The difference between systemic risk at the national and the euro-area level is not very large, but there is considerable heterogeneity across countries and banks. Second, an exploration of the drivers of systemic risk shows that a bank’s contribution to systemic risk is positively related to its size and profitability. It decreases in a bank’s share of loans to total assets. Third, the qualitative determinants of systemic risk are similar at the national and euro-area level, whereas the quantitative importance of some determinants differs.

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Do Conventional Monetary Policy Instruments Matter in Unconventional Times?

Manuel Buchholz Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 12, 2017

Abstract

This paper investigates how declines in the deposit facility rate set by the European Central Bank (ECB) affect bank behavior. The ECB aims to reduce banks’ incentives to hold reserves at the central bank and thus to encourage loan supply. However, given depressed margins in a low interest environment, banks might reallocate their liquidity toward more profitable liquid assets other than traditional loans. Our analysis is based on a sample of euro area banks for the period from 2009 to 2014. Three key findings arise. First, banks reduce their reserve holdings following declines in the deposit facility rate. Second, this effect is heterogeneous across banks depending on their business model. Banks with a more interest-sensitive business model are more responsive to changes in the deposit facility rate. Third, there is evidence of a reallocation of liquidity toward loans but not toward other liquid assets. This result is most pronounced for non-GIIPS countries of the euro area.

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Uncertainty, Financial Crises, and Subjective Well-being

Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 2, 2017

Abstract

This paper focuses on the effect of uncertainty as reflected by financial market variables on subjective well-being. The analysis is based on Eurobarometer surveys, covering 20 countries over the period from 2000 to 2013. Individuals report lower levels of life satisfaction in times of higher uncertainty approximated by stock market volatility. This effect is heterogeneous across respondents: The probability of being unsatisfied is higher for respondents who are older, less educated, and live in one of the GIIPS countries of the euro area. Furthermore, higher uncertainty in combination with a financial crisis increases the probability of reporting low values of life satisfaction.

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