Financial System Adaptability and Resilience
This research group investigates critical aspects of financial system adaptability and resilience. First, it analyses the impact of natural disasters on financial systems. Second, the group aims to investigate the effects of political preferences for the green transition. Third, the group's research analyses the role of culture in economies.
Research ClusterFinancial Resilience and Regulation
07.2016 ‐ 12.2018
Relationship Lenders and Unorthodox Monetary Policy: Investment, Employment, and Resource Reallocation Effects
We combine a number of unique and proprietary data sources to measure the impact of relationship lenders and unconventional monetary policy during and after the European sovereign debt crisis on the real economy. Establishing systematic links between different research data centers (Forschungsdatenzentren, FDZ) and central banks with detailed micro-level information on both financial and real activity is the stand-alone proposition of our proposal. The main objective is to permit the identification of causal effects, or their absence, regarding which policies were conducive to mitigate financial shocks and stimulate real economic activities, such as employment, investment, or the closure of plants.
01.2015 ‐ 12.2019
Interactions between Bank-specific Risk and Macroeconomic Performance
German Research Foundation (DFG)
Credit Allocation and Value Creation of Banks: The Impact of Relationship Banking in Normal and Crisis-times
in: Revue d'économie financière, No. 106, 2012
In this paper we review the literature on credit allocation and value creation of banks. We focus on relationship banking that occurs when a bank and a borrower engage into multiple interactions and when both parties invest in obtaining some counterparty specific information. We summarize how relationship banking generates costs and benefits for both firms and banks, but argue that on average it generates value for both of them. The impact however hinges substantially on whether we are in normal times versus crisis times. We further discuss how credit allocation as measured by industry specialization impacts firms and banks. At last we review the recent literature on securitization and relationship banking to study how securitization impacts the effects of relationship banking.
The Impact of Firm and Industry Characteristics on Small Firms’ Capital Structure
in: Small Business Economics, No. 4, 2012
We study the impact of firm and industry characteristics on small firms’ capital structure, employing a proprietary database containing financial statements of Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 2003 to 2005. The firm characteristics suggest that the capital structure decision is consistent with the pecking-order theory: Dutch SMEs use profits to reduce their debt level, and growing firms increase their debt position since they need more funds. We further document that profits reduce in particular short-term debt, whereas growth increases long-term debt. We also find that inter- and intra-industry effects are important in explaining small firms’ capital structure. Industries exhibit different average debt levels, which is in line with the trade-off theory. Furthermore, there is substantial intra-industry heterogeneity, showing that the degree of industry competition, the degree of agency conflicts, and the heterogeneity in employed technology are also important drivers of capital structure.
Enhancing Market Power by Reducing Switching Costs
in: Economics Letters, No. 3, 2012
A proportional decrease in switching costs increases competition and social welfare. However, a lump-sum decrease in switching costs softens competition and does not invariably increase social welfare.
Rules versus Discretion in Loan Rate Setting
in: Journal of Financial Intermediation, No. 4, 2011
Loan rates for seemingly identical borrowers often exhibit substantial dispersion. This paper investigates the determinants of the dispersion in interest rates on loans granted by banks to small and medium sized enterprises. We associate this dispersion with the loan officers’ use of “discretion” in the loan rate setting process. We find that “discretion” is most important if: (i) loans are small and unsecured; (ii) firms are small and opaque; (iii) the firm operates in a large and highly concentrated banking market; and (iv) the firm is distantly located from the lender. Consistent with the proliferation of information-technologies in the banking industry, we find a decreasing role for “discretion” over time in the provision of small credits to opaque firms. While widely used in the pricing of loans, “discretion” plays only a minor role in the decisions to grant loans.
Staying, Dropping, or Switching: The Impacts of Bank Mergers on Small Firms
in: Review of Financial Studies, No. 4, 2011
Assessing the impacts of bank mergers on small firms requires separating borrowers with single versus multiple banking relationships and distinguishing the three alternatives of “staying,” “dropping,” and “switching” of relationships. Single-relationship borrowers who “switch” to another bank following a merger will be less harmed than those whose relationship is “dropped” and not replaced. Using Belgian data, we find that single-relationship borrowers of target banks are more likely than other borrowers to be dropped. We track postmerger performance and show that many dropped target-bank borrowers are harmed by the merger. Multiple-relationship borrowers are less harmed, as they can better hedge against relationship discontinuations.
Green Investing, Information Asymmetry, and Capital Structure
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 20, 2023
We investigate how optimal attention allocation of green-motivated investors changes information asymmetry in financial markets and thus affects firms‘ financing costs. To guide our empirical analysis, we propose a model where investors with heterogeneous green preferences endogenously allocate limited attention to learn market-level or firm-specific fundamental shocks. We find that a higher fraction of green investors in the market leads to higher aggregate attention to green firms. This reduces the information asymmetry of green firms, leading to higher price informativeness and lower leverage. Moreover, the information asymmetry of brown firms and the market increases with the share of green investors. Therefore, greater green attention is associated with less market efficiency. We provide empirical evidence to support our model predictions using U.S. data. Our paper shows how the growing demand for sustainable investing shifts investors‘ attention and benefits eco-friendly firms.
Long-run Competitive Spillovers of the Credit Crunch
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 10, 2023
Competition in the U.S. appears to have declined. One contributing factor may have been heterogeneity in the availability of credit during the financial crisis. I examine the impact of product market peer credit constraints on long-run competitive outcomes and behavior among non-financial firms. I use measures of lender exposure to the financial crisis to create a plausibly exogenous instrument for product market credit availability. I find that credit constraints of product market peers positively predict growth in sales, market share, profitability, and markups. This is consistent with the notion that firms gained at the expense of their credit constrained peers. The relationship is robust to accounting for other sources of inter-firm spillovers, namely credit access of technology network and supply chain peers. Further, I find evidence of strategic investment, i.e. the idea that firms increase investment in response to peer credit constraints to commit to deter entry mobility. This behavior may explain why temporary heterogeneity in the availability of credit appears to have resulted in a persistent redistribution of output across firms.
Banking Market Deregulation and Mortality Inequality
in: Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2022
This paper shows that local banking market conditions affect mortality rates in the United States. Exploiting the staggered relaxation of branching restrictions in the 1990s across states, we find that banking deregulation decreases local mortality rates. This effect is driven by a decrease in the mortality rate of black residents, implying a decrease in the black-white mortality gap. We further analyze the role of mortgage markets as a transmitter between banking deregulation and mortality and show that households' easier access to finance explains mortality dynamics. We do not find any evidence that our results can be explained by improved labor outcomes.
A Note on the Use of Syndicated Loan Data
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 17, 2022
Syndicated loan data provided by DealScan has become an essential input in banking research over recent years. This data is rich enough to answer urging questions on bank lending, e.g., in the presence of financial shocks or climate change. However, many data options raise the question of how to choose the estimation sample. We employ a standard regression framework analyzing bank lending during the financial crisis to study how conventional but varying usages of DealScan affect the estimates. The key finding is that the direction of coefficients remains relatively robust. However, statistical significance seems to depend on the data and sampling choice.
Capital Requirements, Market Structure, and Heterogeneous Banks
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 15, 2022
Bank regulators interfere with the efficient allocation of resources for the sake of financial stability. Based on this trade-off, I compare how different capital requirements affect default probabilities and the allocation of market shares across heterogeneous banks. In the model, banks‘ productivity determines their optimal strategy in oligopolistic markets. Higher productivity gives banks higher profit margins that lower their default risk. Hence, capital requirements indirectly aiming at high-productivity banks are less effective. They also bear a distortionary cost: Because incumbents increase interest rates, new entrants with low productivity are attracted and thus average productivity in the banking market decreases.