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.


IWH Research Seminar in Economics

PhD Graduates of the Department

FIN Brown Bag Seminar (until 2020)

Your contact

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

Refereed Publications


Firm-specific Forecast Errors and Asymmetric Investment Propensity

Manuel Buchholz Lena Tonzer Julian Berner

in: Economic Inquiry, forthcoming


This paper analyzes how firm-specific forecast errors derived from survey data of German manufacturing firms over 2007–2011 relate to firms' investment propensity. Our findings reveal that asymmetries arise depending on the size and direction of the forecast error. The investment propensity declines if the realized situation is worse than expected. However, firms do not adjust investment if the realized situation is better than expected suggesting that the uncertainty component of the forecast error counteracts good surprises of unexpectedly favorable business conditions. This asymmetric mechanism can be one explanation behind slow recovery following crises.

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Agency Cost of CEO Perquisites in Bank Loan Contracts

Chia-Ying Chan Iftekhar Hasan Chih-Yung Lin

in: Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, forthcoming


This study investigates the association between CEO perquisites and bank loan spreads. We collect detailed data on CEO perquisites from the proxy statements of S&P 500 firms between 1993 and 2015 to study this issue. The empirical evidence supports the agency cost view that the lending banks demand significantly higher returns (spread), more collateral, and stricter covenants from firms with higher CEO perquisites. We further confirm that the effect of these perquisites remains after we control for various corporate governance and agency cost factors. We conclude that banks consider CEO perquisites as a type of agency cost when they make lending decisions.

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Bank Market Power and Loan Contracts: Empirical Evidence

Iftekhar Hasan Liuling Liu Haizhi Wang Xinting Zhen

in: Economic Notes, forthcoming


Using a sample of syndicated loan facilities granted to US corporate borrowers from 1987 to 2013, we directly gauge the lead banks’ market power, and test its effects on both price and non‐price terms in loan contracts. We find that bank market power is positively correlated with loan spreads, and the positive relation holds for both non‐relationship loans and relationship loans. In particular, we report that, for relationship loans, lending banks charge lower loan price for borrowing firms with lower switching cost. We further employ a framework accommodating the joint determination of loan contractual terms, and document that the lead banks’ market power is positively correlated with collateral and negatively correlated with loan maturity. In addition, we report a significant and negative relationship between banking power and the number of covenants in loan contracts, and the negative relationship is stronger for relationship loans.

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Does It Pay to Get Connected? An Examination of Bank Alliance Network and Bond Spread

Iftekhar Hasan Céline Meslier Amine Tarazi Mingming Zhou

in: Journal of Economics and Business, forthcoming


This paper examines the effects of bank alliance network on bonds issued by European banks during the period 1990–2009. We construct six measures capturing different dimensions of banks’ network characteristics. In opposition to the results obtained for non-financial firms, our findings indicate that being part of a network does not create value for bank’s bondholders, indicating a dark side effect of strategic alliances in the banking sector. While being part of a network is perceived as a risk-increasing event by market participants, this negative perception is significantly lower for the larger banks, and, to a lesser extent, for the more profitable banks. Moreover, during crisis times, the positive impact on bond spread of a bank’s higher centrality or of a bank’s higher connectedness in the network is stronger, indicating that market participants may fear spillover effects within the network during periods of banks’ heightened financial fragility.

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To Securitize or To Price Credit Risk?

Danny McGowan Huyen Nguyen

in: Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, forthcoming


Do lenders securitize or price loans in response to credit risk? Exploiting exogenous variation in regional credit risk due to foreclosure law differences along US state borders, we find that lenders securitize mortgages that are eligible for sale to the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) rather than price regional credit risk. For non-GSE-eligible mortgages with no GSE buyback provision, lenders increase interest rates as they are unable to shift credit risk to loan purchasers. The results inform the debate surrounding the GSEs' buyback provisions, the constant interest rate policy, and show that underpricing regional credit risk increases the GSEs' debt holdings. 

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Working Papers


Capital Requirements, Market Structure, and Heterogeneous Banks

Carola Müller

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 15, 2022


Bank regulators interfere with the efficient allocation of resources for the sake of financial stability. Based on this trade-off, I compare how different capital requirements affect default probabilities and the allocation of market shares across heterogeneous banks. In the model, banks‘ productivity determines their optimal strategy in oligopolistic markets. Higher productivity gives banks higher profit margins that lower their default risk. Hence, capital requirements indirectly aiming at high-productivity banks are less effective. They also bear a distortionary cost: Because incumbents increase interest rates, new entrants with low productivity are attracted and thus average productivity in the banking market decreases.

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Explaining Regional Disparities in Housing Prices Across German Districts

Lars Brausewetter Stephan L. Thomsen Johannes Trunzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 13, 2022


Over the last decade, German housing prices have increased unprecedentedly. Drawing on quality-adjusted housing price data at the district level, we document large and increasing regional disparities: Growth rates were higher in 1) the largest seven cities, 2) districts located in the south, and 3) districts with higher initial price levels. Indications of price bubbles are concentrated in the largest cities and in the purchasing market. Prices seem to be driven by the demand side: Increasing population density, higher shares of academically educated employees and increasing purchasing power explain our findings, while supply remained relatively constrained in the short term.

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The Impact of Financial Transaction Taxes on Stock Markets: Short-run Effects, Long-run Effects, and Reallocation of Trading Activity

Sebastian Eichfelder Mona Noack Felix Noth

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2022


We investigate the impact of the French 2012 financial transaction tax on trading activity, volatility, and price efficiency measured by first-order autocorrelation. We extend empirical research by analysing anticipation and reallocation effects. In addition, we consider measures for long-run volatility and first-order autocorrelation that have not been explored yet. We find robust evidence for anticipation effects before the effective date of the French FTT. Controlling for short-run effects, we only find weak evidence for a long-run reduction of trading activity due to the French FTT. Thus, the main impact of the French FTT on trading activity is short-run. We find stronger reactions of low-liquidity treated stocks and a reallocation of trading activity to high-liquidity stocks participating in the Supplemental Liquidity Provider Programme, which is both in line with liquidity clientele effects. Finally, we find weak evidence for a persistent volatility reduction but no indication for a significant FTT impact on price efficiency measured by first-order autocorrelation.

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Stress-ridden Finance and Growth Losses: Does Financial Development Break the Link?

Serafín Martínez-Jaramillo Ricardo Montañez-Enríquez Matias Ossandon Busch Manuel Ramos-Francia Anahí Rodríguez-Martínez José Manuel Sánchez-Martínez

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2022


Does financial development shield countries from the pass-through of financial shocks to real outcomes? We evaluate this question by characterising the probability density of expected GDP growth conditional on financial stability indicators in a panel of 28 countries. Our robust results unveil a non-linear nexus between financial stability and expected GDP growth, depending on countries’ degree of financial development. While both domestic and global financial factors affect expected growth, the effect of global factors is moderated by financial development. This result highlights a previously unexplored channel trough which financial development can break the link between financial (in)stability and GDP growth.

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Firm Subsidies, Financial Intermediation, and Bank Risk

Aleksandr Kazakov Michael Koetter Mirko Titze Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 2, 2022


We study whether government subsidies can stimulate bank funding of marginal investment projects and the associated effect on financial stability. We do so by exploiting granular project-level information for the largest regional economic development programme in Germany since 1997: the Improvement of Regional Economic Structures programme (GRW). By combining the universe of subsidised firms to virtually all German local banks over the period 1998-2019, we test whether this large-scale transfer programme destabilised regional credit markets. Because GRW subsidies to firms are destabilised at the EU level, we can use it as an exogenous shock to identify bank responses. On average, firm subsidies do not affect bank lending, but reduce banks’ distance to default. Average effects conflate important bank-level heterogeneity though. Conditional on various bank traits, we show that well capitalised banks with more industry experience expand lending when being exposed to subsidised firms without exhibiting more risky financial profiles. Our results thus indicate that stable banks can act as an important facilitator of regional economic development policies. Against the backdrop of pervasive transfer payments to mitigate Covid-19 losses and in light of far-reaching transformation policies required to green the economy, our study bears important implications as to whether and which banks to incorporate into the design of transfer Programmes.

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