Real and Financial Innovation
This research group belongs to the IWH Research Cluster Productivity and Innovation. This research project contributes to the scientific literature in three main ways. First, it provides new ways to identify shocks to the financial sector in financial systems and analyses how these shocks affect intermediaries with regard to risk taking (stability), efficiency (productivity) and the market structure in banking markets in general. Second, the identified external shocks are central to measure effects that financial intermediaries have on the real sector of financial systems. Because financial intermediaries play a special role in financial systems and are subject to many regulations, it is very important to understand how, e.g., risk taking incentives or different competition structures in banking markets affect real sector outcome like sales, GDP growth or employment. Third, the group focuses on the effects of foreign banks in financial systems and specifically how shocks to these banks (e.g., via their holding companies during the recent financial crisis) affect activities (e.g., lending) in the host countries.
Research ClusterProductivity and Innovation
01.2015 ‐ 12.2017
Interactions between Bank-specific Risk and Macroeconomic Performance
German Research Foundation (DFG)
The Political Economy of Financial Systems: Evidence from Suffrage Reforms in the Last Two Centuries
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.
Bank Financing, Institutions and Regional Entrepreneurial Activities: Evidence from China
in: International Review of Economics & Finance , forthcoming
We investigate the effects of bank financing on regional entrepreneurial activities in China. We present contrasting findings on the role of quantity vs. quality of bank financing on small business formation in China: while we document a consistent, significantly positive relationship between the quality of bank financing and new venture formation, we find that the quantity of supplied credit is insignificant. We report that formal institutions are positively correlated to regional entrepreneurial activities, and informal institutions substitute formal institutions. Our findings also reveal that the institutional environment tends to supplement bank financing in promoting regional entrepreneurial activities.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Financial Performance: The Mediating Role of Productivity
in: Journal of Business Ethics , forthcoming
This study treats firm productivity as an accumulation of productive intangibles and posits that stakeholder engagement associated with better corporate social performance helps develop such intangibles. We hypothesize that because shareholders factor improved productive efficiency into stock price, productivity mediates the relationship between corporate social and financial performance. Furthermore, we argue that key stakeholders’ social considerations are more valuable for firms with higher levels of discretionary cash and income stream uncertainty. Therefore, we hypothesize that those two contingencies moderate the mediated process of corporate social performance with financial performance. Our analysis, based on a comprehensive longitudinal dataset of the U.S. manufacturing firms from 1992 to 2009, lends strong support for these hypotheses. In short, this paper uncovers a productivity-based, context-dependent mechanism underlying the relationship between corporate social performance and financial performance.
What Type of Finance Matters for Growth? Bayesian Model Averaging Evidence
in: The World Bank Economic Review , forthcoming
We examine the effect of finance on long-term economic growth using Bayesian model averaging to address model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions. The literature largely focuses on financial indicators that assess the financial depth of banks and stock markets. We examine these indicators jointly with newly developed indicators that assess the stability and efficiency of financial markets. Once we subject the finance-growth regressions to model uncertainty, our results suggest that commonly used indicators of financial development are not robustly related to long-term growth. However, the findings from our global sample indicate that one newly developed indicator—the efficiency of financial intermediaries—is robustly related to long-term growth.
Is More Finance Better? Disentangling Intermediation and Size Effects of Financial Systems
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.
Bank-specific Shocks and House Price Growth in the U.S.
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.
Banks and Sovereign Risk: A Granular View
in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 12, 2015
We identify the determinants of all German banks’ sovereign debt exposures between 2005 and 2013 and test for the implications of these exposures for bank risk. Larger, more capital market affine, and less capitalised banks hold more sovereign bonds. Around 15% of all German banks never hold sovereign bonds during the sample period. The sensitivity of sovereign bond holdings by banks to eurozone membership and inflation increased significantly since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Since the outbreak of the sovereign debt crisis, banks prefer sovereigns with lower debt ratios and lower bond yields. Finally, we find that riskiness of government bond holdings affects bank risk only since 2010. This confirms the existence of a nexus between government debt and bank risk.
How Effective is Macroprudential Policy during Financial Downturns? Evidence from Caps on Banks' Leverage
in: Working Papers of Eesti Pank , No. 7, 2015
This paper investigates the effect of a macroprudential policy instrument, caps on banks' leverage, on domestic credit to the private sector since the Global Financial Crisis. Applying a difference-in-differences approach to a panel of 69 advanced and emerging economies over 2002–2014, we show that real credit grew after the crisis at considerably higher rates in countries which had implemented the leverage cap prior to the crisis. This stabilising effect is more pronounced for countries in which banks had a higher pre-crisis capital ratio, which suggests that after the crisis, banks were able to draw on buffers built up prior to the crisis due to the regulation. The results are robust to different choices of subsamples as well as to competing explanations such as standard adjustment to the pre-crisis credit boom.
Monetary Policy under the Microscope: Intra-bank Transmission of Asset Purchase Programs of the ECB
in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 9, 2015
With a unique loan portfolio maintained by a top-20 universal bank in Germany, this study tests whether unconventional monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB) reduced corporate borrowing costs. We decompose corporate lending rates into refinancing costs, as determined by money markets, and markups that the bank is able to charge its customers in regional markets. This decomposition reveals how banks transmit monetary policy within their organizations. To identify policy effects on loan rate components, we exploit the co-existence of eurozone-wide security purchase programs and regional fiscal policies at the district level. ECB purchase programs reduced refinancing costs significantly, even in an economy not specifically targeted for sovereign debt stress relief, but not loan rates themselves. However, asset purchases mitigated those loan price hikes due to additional credit demand stimulated by regional tax policy and enabled the bank to realize larger economic margins.
Financial Transaction Taxes: Announcement Effects, Short-run Effects, and Long-run Effects
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.