Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets
The idea in forming the new department “Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets” is the observation that the regulation of financial and labour markets are traditionally analysed separately. The new department aims to overcome this divide from the perspective of real sector development. It will achieve this objective by conducting joint research into aspects of the framework conditions for financial and labour markets that are relevant to growth and structure. The unique attribute of the new department is the analysis of interdependency between national and supranational regulation within the field of financial and labour markets on the one hand, and real sector development on the other.
Spillover Effects in Empirical Corporate Finance
in: Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming
Despite their importance, the discussion of spillover effects in empirical research often misses the rigor dedicated to endogeneity concerns. We analyze a broad set of workhorse models of firm interactions and show that spillovers naturally arise in many corporate finance settings. This has important implications for the estimation of treatment effects: i) even with random treatment, spillovers lead to a complicated bias, ii) fixed effects can exacerbate the spillover-induced bias. We propose simple diagnostic tools for empirical researchers and illustrate our guidance in an application.
The Real Effects of Universal Banking: Does Access to the Public Debt Market Matter?
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.
The Nexus between Loan Portfolio Size and Volatility: Does Bank Capital Regulation Matter?
in: Journal of Banking and Finance, June 2021
This paper analyzes the effects of bank capital regulation on the link between bank size and volatility. Using bank-level data for 27 advanced economies over the 2000–2014 period, we estimate a power law that relates the volume of a bank’s loan portfolio to the volatility of loan growth. Our analysis reveals, first, that more stringent capital regulation weakens the size-volatility nexus. Hence, in countries with more stringent capital regulation, large banks show, ceteris paribus, lower loan portfolio volatility. Second, the effect of tighter capital requirements on the size-volatility nexus becomes stronger for the upper tail of the bank size distribution. This is in line with capitalization decreasing with bank size, such that larger banks tend to be more affected by increasing capital requirements. Third, in countries with higher sectoral capital buffers, the size-volatility nexus is weaker.
Public Bank Guarantees and Allocative Efficiency
in: Journal of Monetary Economics, December 2020
A natural experiment and matched bank/firm data are used to identify the effects of bank guarantees on allocative efficiency. We find that with guarantees in place unproductive firms receive larger loans, invest more, and maintain higher rates of sales and wage growth. Moreover, firms produce less productively. Firms also survive longer in banks’ portfolios and those that enter guaranteed banks’ portfolios are less profitable and productive. Finally, we observe fewer economy-wide firm exits and bankruptcy filings in the presence of guarantees. Overall, the results are consistent with the idea that guaranteed banks keep unproductive firms in business for too long.
Role of the Community Reinvestment Act in Mortgage Supply and the U.S. Housing Boom
in: Review of Financial Studies, No. 11, 2020
This paper studies the role of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in the U.S. housing boom-bust cycle. I find that enhanced CRA enforcement in 1998 increased the growth rate of mortgage lending by CRA-regulated banks to CRA-eligible census tracts. I show that during the boom period house price growth was higher in the eligible census tracts because of the shift in mortgage supply of regulated banks. Consequently, these census tracts experienced a worse housing bust. I find that CRA-induced mortgages were awarded to borrowers with lower FICO scores and were more frequently delinquent.
Supranational Rules, National Discretion: Increasing versus Inflating Regulatory Bank Capital?
in: Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Papers, No. 15764, 2021
We study how higher capital requirements introduced at the supranational and implemented at the national level affect the regulatory capital of banks across countries. Using the 2011 EBA capital exercise as a quasi-natural experiment, we find that affected banks inflate their levels of regulatory capital without a commensurate increase in their book equity and without a reduction in bank risk. This observed regulatory capital inflation is more pronounced in countries where credit supply is expected to tighten. Our results suggest that national authorities forbear their domestic banks to meet supranational requirements, with a focus on short-term economic considerations.
Banking Deregulation and Household Consumption of Durables
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 18, 2020
We exploit the spatial and temporal variation of the staggered introduction of interstate banking deregulation across the U.S. to study the relationship between credit constraints and consumption of durables. Using the American Housing Survey from 1981 to 1993, we link the timing of these reforms with evidence of a credit expansion and household responses on many margins. We find robust evidence that households are more likely to purchase new appliances and invest in home renovations and modifications after the deregulation. These durable goods allowed households to consume less electricity and spend less time in domestic activities after the reforms.