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.
CEO Network Centrality and the Likelihood of Financial Reporting Fraud
in: Abacus, forthcoming
This paper investigates the association between CEO’s relative position in the social network and the likelihood of being involved in corporate fraud. Tracing a large sample of US publicly listed firms, we find that CEO network centrality is inversely related to the likelihood of fraudulent financial reporting. We also document a significant spillover effect of financial reporting behaviour from the dominant (most central) CEO to other CEOs in the same social network, suggesting that the ethical corporate behaviour of CEOs is, on average, influenced by that of their dominant CEO in the network. We further find that the role of CEO network centrality in reducing fraud risk is more prominent in firms with lower auditor quality. Overall, our results suggest that network centrality is an important CEO trait that promotes ethical financial reporting behaviour within social networks.
Gender, Credit, and Firm Outcomes
in: Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, forthcoming
Small and micro enterprises are usually majority-owned by entrepreneurs. Using a unique sample of loan applications from such firms, we study the role of owners’ gender in bank credit decisions and post-credit-decision firm outcomes. We find that, ceteris paribus, female entrepreneurs are more prudent loan applicants than are males, since they are less likely to apply for credit or to default after loan origination. The relatively more aggressive behavior of male applicants pays off, however, in terms of higher average firm performance after loan origination.
Executives with Customer Experience and Firm Performance in the B2B Context
in: European Journal of Marketing, forthcoming
Purpose: This paper aims to examine the presence of an executive with customer experience (ECE) in a supplier firm’s top management team (TMT). The role of ECE presence remains understudied in the marketing literature. This study attempts to examine the relationship between ECE presence and firm performance. Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws on the resource-based view of the firm and adopts a panel firm fixed effects estimator to test the proposed hypotheses. The empirical analysis uses a sample of 1,974 firm-year observations with 489 unique supplier firms. Selection-induced endogeneity is mitigated through the Heckman procedure. Findings: ECE presence improves firm performance. Additionally, firms benefit less from ECE presence if a board member with customer experience (BCE) is also present, if a chief executive officer commands a higher pay slice (compared to other executives), and if a TMT is more functionally diversified. However, ECE presence is particularly beneficial if the overall economy is in contraction. Comparing the functional positions held by ECEs reveals that ECE in the marketing function (as a chief marketing officer) offers the largest benefit to an average supplier firm. ECE presence is also associated with other firm outcomes (e.g. bankruptcy odds, innovation and customer orientation).
Do Activist Hedge Funds Target Female CEOs? The Role of CEO Gender in Hedge Fund Activism
in: Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming
Using a comprehensive US hedge fund activism dataset from 2003 to 2018, we find that activist hedge funds are about 52% more likely to target firms with female CEOs compared to firms with male CEOs. We find that firm fundamentals, the existence of a “glass cliff,” gender discrimination bias, and hedge fund activists’ inherent characteristics do not explain the observed gender effect. We also find that the transformational leadership style of female CEOs is a plausible explanation for this gender effect: instead of being self-defensive, female CEOs are more likely to communicate and cooperate with hedge fund activists to achieve intervention goals. Finally, we find that female-led targets experience greater increases in market and operational performance subsequent to hedge fund targeting.
Social Capital, Trusting, and Trustworthiness: Evidence from Peer-to-Peer Lending
in: Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, forthcoming
How does social capital affect trust? Evidence from a Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform shows regional social capital affects the trustee’s trustworthiness and the trustor’s trust propensity. Ceteris paribus, borrowers from higher social capital regions receive larger bid from individual lenders, have higher funding success, larger loan size, and lower default rates, especially for low-quality borrowers. Lenders from higher social capital regions take higher risks and have higher default rates, especially for inexperienced lenders. Cross-regional transactions are most (least) likely to be realized between parties from high (low) social capital regions.
Deposit Competition and the Securitisation Boom
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 6, 2021
We provide novel evidence that regulatory-induced deposit market competition provoked banks to enter the securitisation market. Exploiting the state-specific removal of interstate bank branching restrictions across U.S states between 1994 and 2006 as an exogenous source of deposit competition, we document four key results. First, the interstate branching deregulation leads to an intensification of deposit market competition. Second, this rise in the cost of deposits increases the probability that a bank operates an ‘originate-to-distribute’ model by 6%. Third, the securitisation effect holds across bank asset classes but is most pronounced for mortgages. Finally, the results are strongest among small and single state banks owing to their reliance on deposit funding. The evidence is consistent with theories where increasing the cost of deposits creates incentives for banks to use securitisation as a cheaper loan funding model. The findings highlight a hitherto neglected supply-side explanation for the rapid expansion in securitisation before the financial crisis and speak to the debate about banking competition policy.
Completing the European Banking Union: Capital Cost Consequences for Credit Providers and Corporate Borrowers
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2021
The bank recovery and resolution directive (BRRD) regulates the bail-in hierarchy to resolve distressed banks without burdening tax payers. We exploit the staggered implementation of the BRRD across 15 European Union (EU) member states to identify banks’ capital cost and capital structure responses. In a first stage, we show that average capital costs of banks increased. WACC hikes are lowest in the core countries of the European Monetary Union (EMU) compared to formerly stressed EMU and non-EMU countries. This pattern is driven by changes in the relative WACC weight of equity in response to the BRRD, which indicates enhanced financial system resilience. In a second stage, we document asymmetric transmission patterns of banks’ capital cost changes on to corporates’ borrowing terms. Only EMU banks located in core countries that exhibit higher WACC are those that also increase firms’ borrowing cost and contract credit supply. Hence, the BRRD had unintended consequences for selected segments of the real economy.
Lender-specific Mortgage Supply Shocks and Macroeconomic Performance in the United States
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2021
This paper provides evidence for the propagation of idiosyncratic mortgage supply shocks to the macroeconomy. Based on micro-level data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for the 1990-2016 period, our results suggest that lender-specific mortgage supply shocks affect aggregate mortgage, house price, and employment dynamics at the regional level. The larger the idiosyncratic shocks to newly issued mortgages, the stronger are mortgage, house price, and employment growth. While shocks at the level of shadow banks significantly affect mortgage and house price dynamics, too, they do not matter much for employment.
To Rent or not to Rent: A Household Finance Perspective on Berlin's Short-term Rental Regulation
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 1, 2021
With the increasing concerns that accompany the rising trends of house sharing economies, regulators impose new laws to counteract housing supply scarcity. In this paper, I investigate whether the ban on short-term entire house listings activated in Berlin in May 2016 had any adverse effects from a household finance perspective. More specifically, I derive short-term rental income and counter-factually compare it with long-term rental income to find that the ban, by decreasing the supply of short-term housing, accelerated short-term rental income but did not have any direct effect on long-term rental income. Commercial home-owners therefore would find renting on the short-term market to be financially advantageous.
Cultural Norms and Corporate Fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen Scandal
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.