Professor Dr Stefan Eichler

Professor Dr Stefan Eichler
Current Position

since 10/16

Professor of International Monetary Economics 

TU Dresden

since 4/14

Head of the Research Group Financial Market Structure and Financial Stability

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

Research Interests

  • financial crises
  • monetary policy
  • exchange rates
  • international investment

Stefan Eichler is Professor of International Monetary Economics at TU Dresden since October 2016 as well as a member of the Department of Financial Markets at IWH since April 2014. His research focuses on financial market structure and financial stability.

Stefan Eichler earned a diploma from Chemnitz University of Technology and TU Dresden. He received his PhD from TU Dresden. Prior to joining IWH, he was Temporary Professor of  Monetary Economics at TU Dresden, Assistant Professor of International Macroeconomics and Finance at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, and Professor of International Money and Finance at the Leibniz University Hannover.

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Publications

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What drives the Commodity-Sovereign-Risk-Dependence in Emerging Market Economies?

Hannes Böhm Stefan Eichler Stefan Gießler

in: Journal of International Money and Finance, March 2021

Abstract

Using daily data for 34 emerging markets in the period 1994–2016, we find robust evidence that higher export commodity prices are associated with lower sovereign default risk, as measured by lower EMBI spreads. The economic effect is especially pronounced for heavy commodity exporters. Examining the drivers, we find that, first, commodity dependence is higher for countries that export large volumes of commodities, whereas other portfolio characteristics like volatility or concentration are less important. Second, commodity-sovereign risk dependence increases in times of recessions and expansionary U.S. monetary policy. Third, the importance of raw material prices for sovereign financing can likely be mitigated if a country improves institutions and tax systems, attracts FDI inflows, invests in manufacturing, machinery and infrastructure, builds up reserve assets and opens capital and trade accounts. Fourth, the country’s government indebtedness or amount of received development assistance appear to be only of secondary importance for commodity dependence.

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Avoiding the Fall into the Loop: Isolating the Transmission of Bank-to-Sovereign Distress in the Euro Area

Stefan Eichler Hannes Böhm

in: Journal of Financial Stability, No. 100763, December 2020

Abstract

While the sovereign-bank loop literature has demonstrated the amplification between sovereign and bank risks in the Euro Area, its econometric identification is vulnerable to reverse causality and omitted variable biases. We address the loop's endogenous nature and isolate the direct bank-to-sovereign distress channel by exploiting the global, non-Eurozone related variation in banks’ stock prices. We instrument banking sector stock returns in the Eurozone with exposure-weighted stock market returns from non-Eurozone countries and take further precautions to remove Eurozone-related variation. We find that the transmission of instrumented bank distress to sovereign distress is around 50% smaller than the corresponding coefficient in the unadjusted OLS framework, confirming concerns on endogeneity. Despite the smaller relative magnitude, increasing instrumented bank distress is found to be an economically and statistically significant cause for rising sovereign fragility in the Eurozone.

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The Economic Record of the Government and Sovereign Bond and Stock Returns Around National Elections

Stefan Eichler Timo Plaga

in: Journal of Banking & Finance, No. 105832, September 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of the fiscal and economic record of the incumbent government in shaping the price response of sovereign bonds and stocks to the election outcome in emerging markets and developed countries. For sovereign bonds in emerging markets, we find robust evidence for higher cumulative abnormal returns (CARs) if a government associated with a relatively low primary fiscal balance is voted out of office compared to elections where the fiscal balance was relatively high. This effect of the incumbent government's fiscal record is significantly more pronounced in the presence of high sovereign default risk and strong political veto players, whereas the quality of institutions does not explain differences in effects for different events. We do not find robust effects of the government's fiscal record for developed countries and stocks.

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Working Papers

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What Drives the Commodity-Sovereign-Risk-Dependence in Emerging Market Economies?

Hannes Böhm Stefan Eichler Stefan Gießler

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 23, 2019

Abstract

Using daily data for 34 emerging markets in the period 1994-2016, we find robust evidence that higher export commodity prices are associated with higher sovereign bond returns (indicating lower sovereign risk). The economic effect is especially pronounced for heavy commodity exporters. Examining the drivers, we find, first, that commodity-dependence is higher for countries that export large volumes of volatile commodities and that the effect increases in times of recessions, high inflation, and expansionary U.S. monetary policy. Second, the importance of raw material prices for sovereign financing can likely be mitigated if a country improves institutions and tax systems, attracts FDI inflows, invests in manufacturing, machinery and infrastructure, builds up reserve assets and opens capital and trade accounts. Third, the concentration of commodities within a country’s portfolio, its government indebtedness or amount of received development assistance appear to be only of secondary importance for commodity-dependence.

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Avoiding the Fall into the Loop: Isolating the Transmission of Bank-to-Sovereign Distress in the Euro Area and its Drivers

Hannes Böhm Stefan Eichler

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 19, 2018

Abstract

We isolate the direct bank-to-sovereign distress channel within the eurozone’s sovereign-bank-loop by exploiting the global, non-eurozone related variation in stock prices. We instrument banking sector stock returns in the eurozone with exposure-weighted stock market returns from non-eurozone countries and take further precautions to remove any eurozone crisis-related variation. We find that the transmission of instrumented bank distress, while economically relevant, is significantly smaller than the corresponding coefficient in the unadjusted OLS framework, confirming concerns on reverse causality and omitted variables in previous studies. Furthermore, we show that the spillover of bank distress is significantly stronger for countries with poorer macroeconomic performances, weaker financial sectors and financial regulation and during times of elevated political uncertainty.

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A Market-based Indicator of Currency Risk: Evidence from American Depositary Receipts

Stefan Eichler Ingmar Roevekamp

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2016

Abstract

We introduce a novel currency risk measure based on American Depositary Receipts(ADRs). Using a multifactor pricing model, we exploit ADR investors’ exposure to potential devaluation losses to derive an indicator of currency risk. Using weekly data for a sample of 831 ADRs located in 23 emerging markets over the 1994-2014 period, we find that a deterioration in the fiscal and current account balance, as well as higher inflation, increases currency risk. Interaction models reveal that these macroeconomic fundamentals drive currency risk, particularly in countries with managed exchange rates, low levels of foreign exchange reserves and a poor sovereign credit rating.

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