Professor Lena Tonzer, PhD

Professor Lena Tonzer, PhD
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

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. 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.

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Professor Lena Tonzer, PhD
Professor Lena Tonzer, PhD
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Publications

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Central Bank Transparency and Cross-border Banking

Stefan Eichler Helge Littke Lena Tonzer

in: Journal of International Money and Finance, No. 6, 2017

Abstract

We analyze the effect of central bank transparency on cross-border bank activities. Based on a panel gravity model for cross-border bank claims for 21 home and 47 destination countries from 1998 to 2010, we find strong empirical evidence that a rise in central bank transparency in the destination country, on average, increases cross-border claims. Using interaction models, we find that the positive effect of central bank transparency on cross-border claims is only significant if the central bank is politically independent and operates in a stable economic environment. Central bank transparency and credibility are thus considered complements by banks investing abroad.

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International Banking and Cross-border Effects of Regulation: Lessons from Germany

Jana Ohls Markus Pramor Lena Tonzer

in: International Journal of Central Banking, Supplement 1, March 2017

Abstract

We analyze the inward and outward transmission of regulatory changes through German banks’ (international) loan portfolio. Overall, our results provide evidence for international spillovers of prudential instruments. These spillovers are, however, quite heterogeneous between types of banks and can only be observed for some instruments. For instance, domestic affiliates of foreign-owned global banks reduce their loan growth to the German economy in response to a tightening of sector-specific capital buffers, local reserve requirements, and loan-to-value ratios in their home country. Furthermore, from the point of view of foreign countries, tightening reserve requirements is effective in reducing lending inflows from German banks. Finally, we find that business and financial cycles matter for lending decisions.

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Bank Risk Proxies and the Crisis of 2007/09: A Comparison

Felix Noth Lena Tonzer

in: Applied Economics Letters, No. 7, 2017

Abstract

The global financial crisis has again shown that it is important to understand the emergence and measurement of risks in the banking sector. However, there is no consensus in the literature which risk proxy works best at the level of the individual bank. A commonly used measure in applied work is the Z-score, which might suffer from calculation issues given poor data quality. Motivated by the variety of bank risk proxies, our analysis reveals that nonperforming assets are a well-suited complement to the Z-score in studies of bank risk.

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Working Papers

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Interactions Between Regulatory and Corporate Taxes: How Is Bank Leverage Affected?

F. Bremus Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 16, 2018

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 ineffective. Thus, bank levies can counteract the debt bias of taxation only partially.

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Did the Swiss Exchange Rate Shock Shock the Market?

Manuel Buchholz Gregor von Schweinitz Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 9, 2018

Abstract

The Swiss National Bank abolished the exchange rate floor versus the Euro in January 2015. Based on a synthetic matching framework, we analyse the impact of this unexpected (and therefore exogenous) shock on the stock market. The results reveal a significant level shift (decline) in asset prices in Switzerland following the discontinuation of the minimum exchange rate. While adjustments in stock market returns were most pronounced directly after the news announcement, the variance was elevated for some weeks, indicating signs of increased uncertainty and potentially negative consequences for the real economy.

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Delay Determinants of European Banking Union Implementation

Michael Koetter Thomas Krause Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 24, 2017

Abstract

To safeguard financial stability and harmonise regulation, the European Commission substantially reformed banking supervision, resolution, and deposit insurance via EU directives. But most countries delay the transposition of these directives. We ask if transposition delays result from strategic considerations of governments conditional on the state of their financial, regulatory, and political systems? Supervisors might try to protect national banking systems and local politicians maybe reluctant to surrender national sovereignty to deal with failed banks. Alternatively, intricate financial regulation might require more implementation time in large and complex financial and political systems. We therefore collect data on the transposition delays of the three Banking Union directives and investigate observed delay variation across member states. Our correlation analyses suggest that existing regulatory and institutional frameworks, rather than banking market structure or political factors, matter for transposition delays.

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