29.09.2016 • 40/2016
Gemeinschaftsdiagnose im Herbst 2016: Deutsche Wirtschaft gut ausgelastet – Wirtschaftspolitik neu ausrichten
Die deutsche Wirtschaft befindet sich in einem moderaten Aufschwung, der von einem stabilen Arbeitsmarkt und kräftigen Konsum gestützt wird. Davon gehen die an der Gemeinschaftsdiagnose beteiligten Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitute aus. Das Bruttoinlandsprodukt wird demnach im nächsten Jahr um 1,4 Prozent und im Jahr 2018 um 1,6 Prozent wachsen. Für das laufende Jahr wird ein Wachstum von 1,9 Prozent erwartet, so die von der Bundesregierung in Auftrag gegebene Gemeinschaftsdiagnose. Im Frühjahr gingen die Institute noch von einem Wachstum von 1,6 Prozent für dieses und 1,5 Prozent für nächstes Jahr aus.
The Forward-looking Disclosures of Corporate Managers: Theory and Evidence
IWH Discussion Papers,
We consider an infinitely repeated game in which a privately informed, long-lived manager raises funds from short-lived investors in order to finance a project. The manager can signal project quality to investors by making a (possibly costly) forward-looking disclosure about her project’s potential for success. We find that if the manager’s disclosures are costly, she will never release forward-looking statements that do not convey information to external investors. Furthermore, managers of firms that are transparent and face significant disclosure-related costs will refrain from forward-looking disclosures. In contrast, managers of opaque and profitable firms will follow a policy of accurate disclosures. To test our findings empirically, we devise an index that captures the quantity of forward-looking disclosures in public firms’ 10-K reports, and relate it to multiple firm characteristics. For opaque firms, our index is positively correlated with a firm’s profitability and financing needs. For transparent firms, there is only a weak relation between our index and firm fundamentals. Furthermore, the overall level of forward-looking disclosures declined significantly between 2001 and 2009, possibly as a result of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Stabile Finanzmärkte: Was uns die Forschung lehrt Dossier ...
Bank Market Power, Factor Reallocation, and Aggregate Growth
Journal of Financial Stability,
Using a unique firm-level sample of approximately 700,000 firm-year observations of German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this study seeks to identify the effect of bank market power on aggregate growth components. We test for a pre-crisis sample whether bank market power spurs or hinders the reallocation of resources across informationally opaque firms. Identification relies on the dependence on external finance in each industry and the regional demarcation of regional banking markets in Germany. The results show that bank markups spur aggregate SME growth, primarily through technical change and the reallocation of resources. Banks seem to need sufficient markups to generate the necessary private information to allocate financial funds efficiently.
Financial Constraints of Private Firms and Bank Lending Behavior
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We investigate whether and how financial constraints of private firms depend on bank lending behavior. Bank lending behavior, especially its scale, scope and timing, is largely driven by bank business models which differ between privately owned and state-owned banks. Using a unique dataset on private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) we find that an increase in relative borrowings from local state-owned banks significantly reduces firms’ financial constraints, while there is no such effect for privately owned banks. Improved credit availability and private information production are the main channels that explain our result. We also show that the lending behavior of local state-owned banks can be sustainable because it is less cyclical and neither leads to more risk taking nor underperformance.
Hidden Gems and Borrowers with Dirty Little Secrets: Investment in Soft Information, Borrower Self-Selection and Competition
SAFE Working Paper Series, No. 19,
This paper empirically examines the role of soft information in the competitive interaction between relationship and transaction banks. Soft information can be interpreted as a private signal about the quality of a firm that is observable to a relationship bank, but not to a transaction bank. We show that borrowers self-select to relationship banks depending on whether their privately observed soft information is positive or negative. Competition affects the investment in learning the private signal from firms by relationship banks and transaction banks asymmetrically. Relationship banks invest more; transaction banks invest less in soft information, exacerbating the selection effect. Finally, we show that firms where soft information was important in the lending decision were no more likely to default compared to firms where only financial information was used.
Stale Information, Shocks, and Volatility
Journal of Money Credit and Banking,
We propose a new approach to measuring the effect of unobservable private information on volatility. Using intraday data, we estimate the effect of a well-identified shock on the volatility of stock returns of European banks as a function of the quality of public information available about the banks. We hypothesize that as publicly available information becomes stale, volatility effects and its persistence increase, as private information of investors becomes more important. We find strong support for this idea in the data. We further show that stock volatility is higher just before important announcements if information is stale.
Does Central Bank Staff Beat Private Forecasters?
In the tradition of Romer and Romer (2000), this paper compares staff forecasts of the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB) for inflation and output with corresponding private forecasts. Standard tests show that the Fed and less so the ECB have a considerable information advantage about inflation and output. Using novel tests for conditional predictive ability and forecast stability for the US, we identify the driving forces of the narrowing of the information advantage of Greenbook forecasts coinciding with the Great Moderation.
Analyzing Innovation Drivers in the German Laser Industry: the Role of Positioning in the Social and Geographical Space
IWH Discussion Papers,
Empirical and theoretical contributions provide strong evidence that firm-level performance outcomes in terms of innovativeness can either be determined by the firm’s position in the social space (network effects) or by the firm’s position in the geographical space (co-location effects). Even though we can observe quite recently first attempts in bringing together these traditionally distinct research streams (Whittington et al. 2009), research on interdependent network and geographical co-location effects is still rare. Consequently, we seek to answer the following research question: considering that the effects of social and geographic proximity on firm’s innovativeness can be interdependent, what are the distinct and combined effects of firm’s network and geographic position on firm-level innovation output? We analyze the innovative performance of German laser source manufacturers between 1995 and 2007. We use an official database on publicly funded R&D collaboration projects in order to construct yearly networks and analyze firm’s network positions. Based on information on population entries and exits we calculate various types of geographical proximity measures between private sector and public research organizations (PRO). We use patent grants as dependent variable in order to measure firm-level innovation output. Empirical results provide evidence for distinct effect of network degree centrality. Distinct effect of firm’s geographical co-location to laser-related public research organization promotes patenting activity. Results on combined network and co-location effects confirms partially the existence of in-terdependent proximity effects, even though a closer look at these effects reveals some ambiguous but quite interesting findings.
Evaluating Communication Strategies for Public Agencies: Transparency, Opacity, and Secrecy
The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics,
This paper analyses in a simple global games framework welfare effects stemming from different communication strategies of public agencies if strategies of agents are complementary to each other: Communication can either be fully transparent, or the agency opaquely publishes only its overall assessment of the economy, or it keeps information completely secret. It is shown that private agents put more weight on their private information in the transparent case than in the case of opacity. Thus, in many cases, the appropriate measure against overreliance on public information is giving more details to the public instead of denying access to public information.