25 Years IWH

Oliver Rehbein

Oliver Rehbein
Current Position

since 11/14

Economist in the Department of Financial Markets

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

Research Interests

  • real effects of financial intermediation
  • natural disasters
  • bank capital regulation
  • financial development

Oliver Rehbein joined the Research Group "Real and Financial Innovation" in the Department of Financial Markets at IWH in November 2014. He has been working on his dissertation studying the intersection of financial intermediation and the real economy, mainly using natural disasters as identification.

From 2009 to 2012, Oliver Rehbein studied Business Economics (BSc) at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. From 2012 to 2014, he studied Economics (MSc) at the Ruhr University Bochum. His Master thesis was focused on the size of the microfinancing sector and its determinants.

Your contact

Oliver Rehbein
Oliver Rehbein
Mitglied - Department Financial Markets
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Working Papers


Flooded Through the Back Door: Firm-level Effects of Banks‘ Lending Shifts

Oliver Rehbein

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2018


I show that natural disasters transmit to firms in non-disaster areas via their banks. This spillover of non-financial shocks through the banking system is stronger for banks with less regulatory capital. Firms connected to a disaster-exposed bank with below median capital reduce their employment by 11% and their fixed assets by 20% compared to firms in the same region without such a bank during the 2013 flooding in Germany. Relationship banking and higher firm capital also mitigate the effects of such negative cross-regional spillovers.

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Badly Hurt? Natural Disasters and Direct Firm Effects

Felix Noth Oliver Rehbein

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 25, 2017


We investigate firm outcomes after a major flood in Germany in 2013. We robustly find that firms located in the disaster regions have significantly higher turnover, lower leverage, and higher cash in the period after 2013. We provide evidence that the effects stem from firms that already experienced a similar major disaster in 2002. Overall, our results document a positive net effect on firm performance in the direct aftermath of a natural disaster.

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Borrowers Under Water! Rare Disasters, Regional Banks, and Recovery Lending

Michael Koetter Felix Noth Oliver Rehbein

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 31, 2016


We test if and how banks adjust their lending in response to disaster risk in the form of a natural catastrophe striking its customers: the 2013 Elbe flooding. The flood affected firms in East and South Germany, and we identify shocked banks based on bank-firm relationships gathered for more than a million firms. Banks with relationships to flooded firms lend 13-23% more than banks without such customers compared to the preflooding period. This lending hike is associated with higher profitability and reduced risk. Our results suggest that local banks are an effective mechanism to mitigate rare disaster shocks faced especially by small and medium firms.

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