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.
Tornado Activity, House Price and Stock Returns
in: The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, forthcomingread publication
Banks’ Equity Performance and the Term Structure of Interest Rates
in: Financial Markets, Institutions & Instruments, forthcoming
Using an extensive global sample, this paper investigates the impact of the term structure of interest rates on bank equity returns. Decomposing the yield curve to its three constituents (level, slope and curvature), the paper evaluates the time-varying sensitivity of the bank’s equity returns to these constituents by using a diagonal dynamic conditional correlation multivariate GARCH framework. Evidence reveals that the empirical proxies for the three factors explain the variations in equity returns above and beyond the market-wide effect. More specifically, shocks to the long-term (level) and short-term (slope) factors have a statistically significant impact on equity returns, while those on the medium-term (curvature) factor are less clear-cut. Bank size plays an important role in the sense that exposures are higher for SIFIs and large banks compared to medium and small banks. Moreover, banks exhibit greater sensitivities to all risk factors during the crisis and postcrisis periods compared to the pre-crisis period; though these sensitivities do not differ for market-oriented and bank-oriented financial systems.
Finance and Wealth Inequality
in: Journal of International Money and Finance, forthcomingread publication
Tournament Incentives and Acquisition Performance
in: The Review of Corporate Finance Studies, forthcomingread publication
The Influence of Bondholder Concentration and Temporal Orientation on Investments in R&D
in: Journal of Management, forthcoming
Although innovation can be a critical source of competitive advantage, research has found that debt can erode management’s willingness to invest in R&D. In this article, we employ a stakeholder bargaining power perspective to argue that this effect is most pronounced when the firm’s bonds are concentrated in the hands of bond blockholders. Furthermore, we contend that the temporal orientation of bondholders influences this relationship. Specifically, while it is commonly assumed that bondholders have a limited temporal orientation that induces them to focus on short-term value appropriation, we argue that some bond blockholders adopt a long-term temporal orientation. This orientation, in turn, makes them more inclined to support long-term value creation for the firm in the form of enhanced investments in R&D. Moreover, while agency theory suggests that there is an inherent conflict of interest between shareholders and bondholders, our results suggest that the temporal orientation of investors (i.e., both shareholders and bondholders) matters much more than whether they invested in the firm’s equity or its debt.
Asymmetric Investment Responses to Firm-specific Forecast Errors
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 5, 2020
This paper analyses how firm-specific forecast errors derived from survey data of German manufacturing firms over 2007–2011 affect firms’ investment propensity. Understanding how forecast errors affect firm investment behaviour is key to mitigate economic downturns during and after crisis periods in which forecast errors tend to increase. Our findings reveal a negative impact of absolute forecast errors on investment. Strikingly, asymmetries arise depending on the size and direction of the forecast error. The investment propensity declines if the realised situation is worse than expected. However, firms do not adjust investment if the realised situation is better than expected suggesting that the uncertainty component of the forecast error counteracts positive effects of unexpectedly favorable business conditions. Given that the fraction of firms making positive forecast errors is higher after the peak of the recent financial crisis, this mechanism can be one explanation behind staggered economic growth and slow recovery following crises.
Financial Linkages and Sectoral Business Cycle Synchronisation: Evidence from Europe
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 2, 2020
We analyse whether financial integration between countries leads to converging or diverging business cycles using a dynamic spatial model. Our model allows for contemporaneous spillovers of shocks to GDP growth between countries that are financially integrated and delivers a scalar measure of the spillover intensity at each point in time. For a financial network of ten European countries from 1996-2017, we find that the spillover effects are positive on average but much larger during periods of financial stress, pointing towards stronger business cycle synchronisation. Dismantling GDP growth into value added growth of ten major industries, we observe that some sectors are strongly affected by positive spillovers (wholesale & retail trade, industrial production), others only to a weaker degree (agriculture, construction, finance), while more nationally influenced industries show no evidence for significant spillover effects (public administration, arts & entertainment, real estate).
What Drives the Commodity-Sovereign-Risk-Dependence in Emerging Market Economies?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 23, 2019
Using daily data for 34 emerging markets in the period 1994-2016, we find robust evidence that higher export commodity prices are associated with higher sovereign bond returns (indicating lower sovereign risk). The economic effect is especially pronounced for heavy commodity exporters. Examining the drivers, we find, first, that commodity-dependence is higher for countries that export large volumes of volatile commodities and that the effect increases in times of recessions, high inflation, and expansionary U.S. monetary policy. Second, the importance of raw material prices for sovereign financing can likely be mitigated if a country improves institutions and tax systems, attracts FDI inflows, invests in manufacturing, machinery and infrastructure, builds up reserve assets and opens capital and trade accounts. Third, the concentration of commodities within a country’s portfolio, its government indebtedness or amount of received development assistance appear to be only of secondary importance for commodity-dependence.
Interactions between Bank Levies and Corporate Taxes: How is the Bank Leverage Affected?
in: ESRB Working Paper Series, No. 103, 2019
Regulatory bank levies set incentives for banks to reduce leverage. At the same time, corporate income taxation makes funding through debt more attractive. In this paper, we explore how regulatory levies affect bank capital structure, depending on corporate income taxation. Based on bank balance sheet data from 2006 to 2014 for a panel of EU-banks, our analysis yields three main results: The introduction of bank levies leads to lower leverage as liabilities become more expensive. This effect is weaker the more elevated corporate income taxes are. In countries charging very high corporate income taxes, the incentives of bank levies to reduce leverage turn ineffective. Thus, bank levies can counteract the debt bias of taxation only partially.
Firm-level Employment, Labour Market Reforms, and Bank Distress
in: ECB Working Paper Series, No. 2334, 2019
We explore the interaction between labour market reforms and financial frictions. Our study combines a new cross-country reform database on labour market reforms with matched firm-bank data for nine euro area countries over the period 1999 to 2013. While we find that labour market reforms are overall effective in increasing employment, restricted access to bank credit can undo up to half of long-term employment gains at the firm-level. Entrepreneurs without sufficient access to credit cannot reap the full benefits of more flexible employment regulation.