Financial Markets

Research in this department centres on institutional changes in Europe’s financial markets. The department analyses the causes and consequences of banks’ international expansions, the link between market structures in banking and aggregate (financial) stability, contagion effects on international financial markets and the role of the financial system for the real economy.

The interdependence of the financial services sector with innovation and productivity in the real economy are of particular interest. Methodologically, research focuses on empirical methods that support analyses of feedback from the micro to the macro level and that allow for causal evaluations of regulatory interventions into financial systems.

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Professor Michael Koetter, PhD
Professor Michael Koetter, PhD
Leiter - Department Financial Markets
Send Message +49 345 7753-727

Junior Research Affiliates

Refereed Publications

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

Manuel Buchholz Lena Tonzer

in: International Finance , forthcoming


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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On the Nonexclusivity of Loan Contracts: An Empirical Investigation

Hans Degryse Vasso Ioannidou Erik von Schedvin

in: Management Science , No. 12, 2016


We study how a bank's willingness to lend to a previously exclusive firm changes once the firm obtains a loan from another bank ("outside loan") and breaks an exclusive relationship. Using a difference-in-difference analysis and a setting where outside loans are observable, we document that an outside loan triggers a decrease in the initial bank's willingness to lend to the firm, i.e., outside loans are strategic substitutes. Consistent with concerns about coordination problems and higher indebtedness, we find that this reaction is more pronounced the larger the outside loan and it is muted if the initial bank's existing and future loans retain seniority and are protected with valuable collateral. Our results give a benevolent role to transparency enabling banks to mitigate adverse effects from outside loans. The resulting substitute behavior may also act as a stabilizing force in credit markets limiting positive comovements between lenders, decreasing the possibility of credit freezes and financial crises.

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Complexity and Bank Risk During the Financial Crisis

Thomas Krause Talina Sondershaus Lena Tonzer

in: Economics Letters , 2017


We construct a novel dataset to measure banks’ complexity and relate it to banks’ riskiness. The sample covers stock listed Euro area banks from 2007 to 2014. Bank stability is significantly affected by complexity, whereas the direction of the effect differs across complexity measures.

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How Do Insured Deposits Affect Bank Risk? Evidence from the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act

Claudia Lambert Felix Noth Ulrich Schüwer

in: Journal of Financial Intermediation , 2017


This paper tests whether an increase in insured deposits causes banks to become more risky. We use variation introduced by the U.S. Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in October 2008, which increased the deposit insurance coverage from $100,000 to $250,000 per depositor and bank. For some banks, the amount of insured deposits increased significantly; for others, it was a minor change. Our analysis shows that the more affected banks increase their investments in risky commercial real estate loans and become more risky relative to unaffected banks following the change. This effect is most distinct for affected banks that are low capitalized.

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Bank Risk Proxies and the Crisis of 2007/09: a Comparison

Felix Noth Lena Tonzer

in: Applied Economics Letters , No. 7, 2017


The global financial crisis has again shown that it is important to understand the emergence and measurement of risks in the banking sector. However, there is no consensus in the literature which risk proxy works best at the level of the individual bank. A commonly used measure in applied work is the Z-score, which might suffer from calculation issues given poor data quality. Motivated by the variety of bank risk proxies, our analysis reveals that nonperforming assets are a well-suited complement to the Z-score in studies of bank risk.

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Working Papers


Bank-specific Shocks and House Price Growth in the U.S.

F. Bremus Thomas Krause Felix Noth

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 3, 2017


This paper investigates the link between mortgage supply shocks at the banklevel and regional house price growth in the U.S. using micro-level data on mortgage markets from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for the 1990-2014 period. Our results suggest that bank-specific mortgage supply shocks indeed affect house price growth at the regional level. The larger the idiosyncratic shocks to newly issued mortgages, the stronger is house price growth. We show that the positive link between idiosyncratic mortgage shocks and regional house price growth is very robust and economically meaningful, however not very persistent since it fades out after two years.

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Internal Governance and Creditor Governance: Evidence from Credit Default Swaps

Stefano Colonnello

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 6, 2017


I study the relation between internal governance and creditor governance. A deterioration in creditor governance may increase the agency costs of debt and managerial opportunism at the expense of shareholders. I exploit the introduction of credit default swaps (CDS) as a negative shock to creditor governance. I provide evidence consistent with shareholders pushing for a substitution effect between internal governance and creditor governance. Following CDS introduction, CDS firms reduce managerial risk-taking incentives relative to other firms. At the same time, after the start of CDS trading, CDS firms increase managerial wealth-performance sensitivity, board independence, and CEO turnover performance-sensitivity relative to other firms.

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Financial Transaction Taxes: Announcement Effects, Short-run Effects, and Long-run Effects

Sebastian Eichfelder Mona Lau Felix Noth

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 4, 2017


We analyze the impact of the French 2012 financial transaction tax (FTT) on trading volumes, stock prices, liquidity, and volatility. We extend the empirical research by identifying FTT announcement and short-run treatment effects, which can distort difference-in-differences estimates. In addition, we consider long-run volatility measures that better fit the French FTT’s legislative design. While we find strong evidence of a positive FTT announcement effect on trading volumes, there is almost no statistically significant evidence of a long-run treatment effect. Thus, evidence of a strong reduction of trading volumes resulting from the French FTT might be driven by announcement effects and short-term treatment effects. We find evidence of an increase of intraday volatilities in the announcement period and a significant reduction of weekly and monthly volatilities in the treatment period. Our findings support theoretical considerations suggesting a stabilizing impact of FTTs on financial markets.

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Mortgage Supply and the US Housing Boom: The Role of the Community Reinvestment Act

Vahid Saadi

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 32, 2016


This paper studies the role of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in the recent US housing boom-bust cycle. Using a difference-in-differences matching estimation, I find that the enhancement of CRA enforcement in 1998 caused a 7.7 percentage points increase in annual growth rate of mortgage lending by CRA-regulated banks to CRA-eligible census tracts relative to a group of similar-income CRA-ineligible census tracts within the same state. Financial institutions which are not subject to the CRA, however, do not show any change in their mortgage supply between these two types of census tracts after 1998. I take advantage of this exogenous shift in mortgage supply within an instrumental variable framework to identify the causal effect of mortgage supply on housing prices. I find that every 1 percentage point higher annual growth rate of mortgage supply leads to 0.3 percentage points higher annual growth rate of housing prices. Reduced form regressions show that CRA-eligible neighborhoods experienced higher house price growth during the boom and sharper decline during the bust period. I use placebo tests to confirm that this effect is in fact channeled through the shift in mortgage supply by CRA-regulated banks and not by unobserved demand factors. Furthermore, my results indicate that CRA-induced mortgages went to borrowers with lower FICO scores, carried higher interest rates, and encountered more frequent delinquencies.

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Uncertainty, Financial Crises, and Subjective Well-being

Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 2, 2017


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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