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.

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Professor Michael Koetter, PhD
Professor Michael Koetter, PhD
Leiter - Department Financial Markets
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Refereed Publications


Equity Crowdfunding: High-quality or Low-quality Entrepreneurs?

Daniel Blaseg Douglas Cumming Michael Koetter

in: Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, forthcoming


Equity crowdfunding (ECF) has potential benefits that might be attractive to high-quality entrepreneurs, including fast access to a large pool of investors and obtaining feedback from the market. However, there are potential costs associated with ECF due to early public disclosure of entrepreneurial activities, communication costs with large pools of investors, and equity dilution that could discourage future equity investors; these costs suggest that ECF attracts low-quality entrepreneurs. In this paper, we hypothesize that entrepreneurs tied to more risky banks are more likely to be low-quality entrepreneurs and thus are more likely to use ECF. A large sample of ECF campaigns in Germany shows strong evidence that connections to distressed banks push entrepreneurs to use ECF. We find some evidence, albeit less robust, that entrepreneurs who can access other forms of equity are less likely to use ECF. Finally, the data indicate that entrepreneurs who access ECF are more likely to fail.

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The Real Effects of Universal Bank : Does Access to the Public Debt Market Matter?

Stefano Colonnello

in: Journal of Financial Services Research, forthcoming


I analyze the impact of the formation of universal banks on corporate investment by looking at the gradual dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act’s separation between commercial and investment banking. Using a sample of US firms and their relationship banks, I show that firms curtail debt issuance and investment after positive shocks to the underwriting capacity of their main bank. This result is driven by unrated firms and is strongest immediately after a shock. These findings suggest that universal banks may pay more attention to large firms providing more underwriting opportunities while exacerbating financial constraints of opaque firms, in line with a shift to a banking model based on transactional lending.

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Is Social Capital Associated with Corporate Innovation? Evidence from Publicly Listed Firms in the U.S

Iftekhar Hasan Chun-Keung (Stan) Hoi Qiang Wu Hao Zhang

in: Journal of Corporate Finance, forthcoming


We find that social capital in U.S. counties, as captured by strength of social norms and density of social networks, is positively associated with innovation of firms headquartered in the county, as captured by patents and citations. This relation is robust in fixed-effect regressions, instrumental variable regressions with a Bartik instrument, propensity score matching regressions, and a difference-in-differences design that isolates the effects of over time variations in social capital due to corporate headquarter relocations. Strength of social norms plays a more dominant role than density of social networks in producing these empirical regularities. Cross-sectional evidence indicates the prominence of the contracting channel through which social capital relates to innovation. Additionally, we find that social capital is also positively associated with trademarks and effectiveness of corporate R&D expenditures.

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Political Cycles in Bank Lending to the Government

Michael Koetter Alexander Popov

in: Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming


We study how political party turnover after German state elections affects banks’ lending to the regional government. We find that between 1992 and 2018, party turnover at the state level leads to a sharp and substantial increase in lending by local savings banks to their home-state government. This effect is accompanied by an equivalent reduction in private lending. A statistical association between political party turnover and government lending is absent for comparable cooperative banks that exhibit a similar regional organization and business model. Our results suggest that political frictions may interfere with government-owned banks’ local development objectives.

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The Influence of Bondholder Concentration and Temporal Orientation on Investments in R&D

Pengfei Ye Jonathan O’Brien Christina Matz Carnes Iftekhar Hasan

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.

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Working Papers


Cultural Norms and Corporate Fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen Scandal

Iftekhar Hasan Felix Noth Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 24, 2020


We investigate whether cultural norms shaped by religion drive consumer decisions after a corporate scandal. We exploit the notice of violation by the US Environmental Protection Agency in September 2015 accusing Volkswagen (VW) of using software to manipulate car emission values during test phases. We show that new registrations of VW cars decline significantly in German counties with a high share of Protestants following the VW scandal. Our findings document that the enforcement culture in Protestantism facilitates penalising corporate fraud. We corroborate this channel with a survey documenting that Protestants respond significantly different to fraud but not to environmental issues.

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Competition, Cost Structure, and Labour Leverage: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry

Konstantin Wagner

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 21, 2020


I study the effect of increasing competition on financial performance through labour leverage. To capture competition, I exploit variation in product market contestability in the U.S. airline industry. First, I find that increasing competitive pressure leads to increasing labour leverage, proxied by labour share. This explains the decrease in operating profitability through labour rigidities. Second, by exploiting variation in human capital specificity, I show that contestability of product markets induces labour market contestability. Whereas affected firms might experience more stress through higher wages or loss of skilled human capital, more mobile employee groups benefit from competitions through higher labour shares.

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Marginal Returns to Talent for Material Risk Takers in Banking

Moritz Stieglitz Konstantin Wagner

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 20, 2020


Economies of scale can explain compensation differentials over time, across firms of different size, different hierarchy-levels, and different industries. Consequently, the most talented individuals tend to match with the largest firms in industries where marginal returns to their talent are greatest. We explore a new dimension of this size-pay nexus by showing that marginal returns also differ across activities within firms and industries. Using hand-collected data on managers in European banks well below the level of executive directors, we find that the size-pay nexus is strongest for investment banking business units and for banks with a market-based business model. Thus, managerial compensation is most sensitive to size increases for activities that can easily be scaled up.

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Cultural Resilience and Economic Recovery: Evidence from Hurricane Katrina

Iftekhar Hasan Stefano Manfredonia Felix Noth

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 16, 2020


This paper investigates the critical role of culture for economic recovery after natural disasters. Using Hurricane Katrina as our laboratory, we find a significant adverse treatment effect for plant-level productivity. However, local religious adherence and larger shares of ancestors with disaster experiences mutually mitigate this detrimental effect from the disaster. Religious adherence further dampens anxiety after Hurricane Katrina, which potentially spur economic recovery. We also detect this effect on the aggregate county level. More religious counties recover faster in terms of population, new establishments, and GDP.

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Dynamic Equity Slope

Matthijs Breugem Stefano Colonnello Roberto Marfè Francesca Zucchi

in: Working Papers University of Venice "Ca' Foscari", No. 21, 2020


The term structure of equity and its cyclicality are key to understand the risks drivingequilibrium asset prices. We propose a general equilibrium model that jointly  explainsfour important features of the term structure of equity: (i) a negative unconditionalterm premium, (ii) countercyclical term premia, (iii) procyclical equity yields, and (iv)premia to value and growth claims respectively increasing and decreasing with thehorizon. The economic mechanism hinges on the interaction between heteroskedasticlong-run growth — which helps price long-term cash flows and leads to countercyclicalrisk premia — and homoskedastic short-term shocks in the presence of limited marketparticipation — which produce sizeable risk premia to short-term cash flows. The slopedynamics hold irrespective of the sign of its unconditional average. We provide empir-ical support to our model assumptions and predictions.

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