Dr Esteban Prieto

Current Position

since 6/14

Research Affiliate

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 2014


Research Centre of the Deutsche Bundesbank

Research Interests

  • monetary policy and financial markets
  • applied macroeconometrics
  • empirical banking and financial intermediation

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Dr Esteban Prieto
- Department Financial Markets
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Macroeconomic Factors and Microlevel Bank Behavior

Claudia M. Buch S. Eickmeier Esteban Prieto

in: Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, No. 4, 2014


We analyze the link between banks and the macroeconomy using a model that extends a macroeconomic VAR for the U.S. with a set of factors summarizing conditions in about 1,500 commercial banks. We investigate how macroeconomic shocks are transmitted to individual banks and obtain the following main findings. Backward-looking risk of a representative bank declines, and bank lending increases following expansionary shocks. Forward-looking risk increases following an expansionary monetary policy shock. There is, however, substantial heterogeneity in the transmission of macroeconomic shocks, which is due to bank size, capitalization, liquidity, risk, and the exposure to real estate and consumer loans.

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Do Better Capitalized Banks Lend Less? Long-run Panel Evidence from Germany

Claudia M. Buch Esteban Prieto

in: International Finance, No. 1, 2014


Higher capital features prominently in proposals for regulatory reform. But how does increased bank capital affect business loans? The real costs of increased bank capital in terms of reduced loans are widely believed to be substantial. But the negative real-sector implications need not be severe. In this paper, we take a long-run perspective by analysing the link between the capitalization of the banking sector and bank loans using panel cointegration models. We study the evolution of the German economy for the past 44 years. Higher bank capital tends to be associated with higher business loan volume, and we find no evidence for a negative effect. This result holds both for pooled regressions as well as for the individual banking groups in Germany.

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In Search for Yield? Survey-based Evidence on Bank Risk Taking

Claudia M. Buch S. Eickmeier Esteban Prieto

in: Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, No. 43, 2014


Monetary policy can have an impact on economic and financial stability through the risk taking of banks. Falling interest rates might induce investment into risky activities. This paper provides evidence on the link between monetary policy and bank risk taking. We use a factor-augmented vector autoregressive model (FAVAR) for the US for the period 1997–2008. Besides standard macroeconomic indicators, we include factors summarizing information provided in the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Terms of Business Lending (STBL). These data provide information on banks׳ new loans as well as interest rates for different loan risk categories and different banking groups. We identify a risk-taking channel of monetary policy by distinguishing responses to monetary policy shocks across different types of banks and different loan risk categories. Following an expansionary monetary policy shock, small domestic banks increase their exposure to risk. Large domestic banks do not change their risk exposure. Foreign banks take on more risk only in the mid-2000s, when interest rates were ‘too low for too long’.

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Working Papers


Time-varying Volatility, Financial Intermediation and Monetary Policy

S. Eickmeier N. Metiu Esteban Prieto

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 19, 2016


We document that expansionary monetary policy shocks are less effective at stimulating output and investment in periods of high volatility compared to periods of low volatility, using a regime-switching vector autoregression. Exogenous policy changes are identified by adapting an external instruments approach to the non-linear model. The lower effectiveness of monetary policy can be linked to weaker responses of credit costs, suggesting a financial accelerator mechanism that is weaker in high volatility periods. To rationalize our robust empirical results, we use a macroeconomic model in which financial intermediaries endogenously choose their capital structure. In the model, the leverage choice of banks depends on the volatility of aggregate shocks. In low volatility periods, financial intermediaries lever up, which makes their balance sheets more sensitive to aggregate shocks and the financial accelerator more effective. On the contrary, in high volatility periods, banks decrease leverage, which renders the financial accelerator less effective; this in turn decreases the ability of monetary policy to improve funding conditions and credit supply, and thereby to stimulate the economy. Hence, we provide a novel explanation for the non-linear effects of monetary stimuli observed in the data, linking the effectiveness of monetary policy to the procyclicality of leverage.

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