Professor Dr Lena Tonzer

Professor Dr Lena Tonzer
Current Position

since 9/17

Assistant Professor of the Political Economy of the European Banking Union

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

since 5/14

Head of the Research Group Regulation of International Financial Markets and International Banking

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

since 5/14

Head of the International Banking Library

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

Research Interests

  • banking and sovereign debt crises
  • integration of financial markets
  • banking regulation
  • International Banking Library

Lena Tonzer is Assistant Professor at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (ESF project The Political Economy of the European Banking Union) since September 2017 and a member of the Department of Financial Markets at IWH since May 2014. In 2019 she joined the SUERF Research Affiliate programme. Her research focuses on banking and sovereign debt crises, integration of financial markets, and banking regulation.

Lena Tonzer received her bachelor's and master's degree from University of Tübingen, and her PhD from European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

Your contact

Professor Dr Lena Tonzer
Professor Dr Lena Tonzer
Mitglied - Department Financial Markets
Send Message +49 345 7753-835 Personal page

Publications

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Do Conventional Monetary Policy Instruments Matter in Unconventional Times?

Manuel Buchholz Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: Journal of Banking & Finance, 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates how declines in the deposit facility rate set by the ECB affect euro area banks’ incentives to hold reserves at the central bank. We find that, in the face of lower deposit rates, banks with a more interest-sensitive business model are more likely to reduce reserve holdings and allocate freed-up liquidity to loans. The result is driven by banks in the non-GIIPS countries of the euro area. This reveals that conventional monetary policy instruments have limited effects in restoring monetary policy transmission during times of crisis.

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Interactions Between Bank Levies and Corporate Taxes: How is Bank Leverage Affected?

F. Bremus Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: Journal of Banking & Finance, 2020

Abstract

Regulatory bank levies set incentives for banks to reduce leverage. At the same time, corporate income taxation makes funding through debt more attractive. In this paper, we explore how regulatory levies affect bank capital structure, depending on corporate income taxation. Based on bank balance sheet data from 2006 to 2014 for a panel of EU-banks, our analysis yields three main results: The introduction of bank levies leads to lower leverage as liabilities become more expensive. This effect is weaker the more elevated corporate income taxes are. In countries charging very high corporate income taxes, the incentives of bank levies to reduce leverage turn insignificant. Thus, bank levies can counteract the debt bias of taxation only partially.

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Delay Determinants of European Banking Union Implementation

Michael Koetter Thomas Krause Lena Tonzer

in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2019

Abstract

Most countries in the European Union (EU) delay the transposition of European Commission (EC) directives, which aim at reforming banking supervision, resolution, and deposit insurance. We compile a systematic overview of these delays to investigate if they result from strategic considerations of governments conditional on the state of their financial, regulatory, and political systems. Transposition delays pertaining to the three Banking Union directives differ considerably across the 28 EU members. Bivariate regression analyses suggest that existing national bank regulation and supervision drive delays the most. Political factors are less relevant. These results are qualitatively insensitive to alternative estimation methods and lag structures. Multivariate analyses highlight that well-stocked deposit insurance schemes speed-up the implementation of capital requirements, banking systems with many banks are slower in implementing new bank rescue and resolution rules, and countries with a more intensive sovereign-bank nexus delay the harmonization of EU deposit insurance more.

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Working Papers

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How Effective are Bank Levies in Reducing Leverage Given the Debt Bias of Corporate Income Taxation?

F. Bremus Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: SUERF Policy Brief, No. 21, 2020

Abstract

To finance resolution funds, the regulatory toolkit has been expanded in many countries by bank levies. In addition, these levies are often designed to reduce incentives for banks to rely excessively on wholesale funding resulting in high leverage ratios. At the same time, corporate income taxation biases banks’ capital structure towards debt financing in light of the deductibility of interest on debt. A recent paper published in the Journal of Banking and Finance shows that the implementation of bank levies can significantly reduce leverage ratios, however, only in case corporate income taxes are not too high. The result demonstrates that the effectiveness of regulatory tools can depend upon non-regulatory measures such as corporate taxes, which differ at the country level.

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Asymmetric Investment Responses to Firm-specific Forecast Errors

Julian Berner Manuel Buchholz Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 5, 2020

Abstract

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.

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Financial Linkages and Sectoral Business Cycle Synchronisation: Evidence from Europe

Hannes Böhm Julia Schaumburg Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 2, 2020

Abstract

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).

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