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.
The Cleansing Effect of Banking Crises
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2020
We assess the cleansing effects of the recent banking crisis. In U.S. regions with higher levels of supervisory forbearance on distressed banks during the crisis, there is less restructuring in the real sector and the banking sector remains less healthy for several years after the crisis. Regions with less supervisory forbearance experience higher productivity growth after the crisis with more firm entries, job creation, and employment, wages, patents, and output growth. Supervisory forbearance is greater for state-chartered banks and in regions with weaker banking competition and more independent banks, while recapitalisation of distressed banks through TARP does not facilitate cleansing.
To Securitise or to Price Credit Default Risk?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 10, 2020
We evaluate lenders‘ incentives to mitigate credit default risk through pricing or securitisation. Exploiting exogenous variation in credit default risk created by differences in foreclosure law along US state borders, we find that lenders in the mortgage market respond to the law in heterogeneous ways. In the agency market where the GSEs mandate a common interest rate policy, foreclosure law provokes a 4.5% increase in securitisation rates but does not affect interest rates. For nonagency loans where market participants demand risk premium, foreclosure law does not incentivise lenders to transfer the risk through the use of securitisation but causes a 625 basis point increase in interest rates. The results highlight how the GSEs‘ common interest rate policy inhibits lenders‘ risk-based pricing incentives, increases the GSEs‘ debt holdings by $70 billion per annum, and exposes taxpayers to preventable losses in the housing market.
Physical Climate Change Risks and the Sovereign Creditworthiness of Emerging Economies
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 8, 2020
I show that rising temperatures can detrimentally affect the sovereign creditworthiness of emerging economies. To this end, I collect long-term monthly temperature data of 54 emerging countries. I calculate a country’s temperature deviation from its historical average, which approximates present day climate change trends. Running regressions from 1994m1-2018m12, I find that higher temperature anomalies lower sovereign bond performances (i.e. increase sovereign risk) significantly for countries that are warmer on average and have lower seasonality. The estimated magnitudes suggest that affected countries likely face significant increases in their sovereign borrowing costs if temperatures continue to rise due to climate change. However, results indicate that stronger institutions can make a country more resilient towards temperature shocks, which holds independent of a country’s climate.
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).