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)
The Impact of Technology and Regulation on the Geographical Scope of Banking
in: Oxford Review of Economic Policy, No. 4, 2004
We review how technological advances and changes in regulation may shape the (future) geographical scope of banking. We first review how both physical distance and the presence of borders currently affect bank lending conditions (loan pricing and credit availability) and market presence (branching and servicing). Next we discuss how technology and regulation have altered this impact and analyse the current state of the European banking sector. We discuss both theoretical contributions and empirical work and highlight open questions along the way. We draw three main lessons from the current theoretical and empirical literature: (i) bank lending to small businesses in Europe may be characterized both by (local) spatial pricing and resilient (regional and/or national) market segmentation; (ii) because of informational asymmetries in the retail market, bank mergers and acquisitions seem the optimal route of entering another market, long before cross-border servicing or direct entry are economically feasible; and (iii) current technological and regulatory developments may, to a large extent, remain impotent in further dismantling the various residual but mutually reinforcing frictions in the retail banking markets in Europe. We conclude the paper by offering pertinent policy recommendations based on these three lessons.
Softening Competition by Inducing Switching in Credit Markets
in: Journal of Industrial Economics, No. 1, 2004
We show that competing banks relax overall competition by inducing borrowers to switch lenders. We illustrate our findings in a two-period model with adverse selection where banks strategically commit to disclosing borrower information. By doing this, they invite rivals to poach their first-period market. Disclosure of borrower information increases the rival's second-period profits. This dampens competition for serving the first-period market.
Bank-Firm Relationships and International Banking Markets
in: International Journal of the Economics of Business, No. 3, 2002
This paper reviews how long-term relationships between firms and banks shape the structure and integration of banking markets worldwide. Bank relationships arise to span informational asymmetries that are endemic in financial markets. Firm-bank relationships not only entail specific benefits and costs for both the engaged firms and banks, but also directly affect the structure of banking markets. In particular, the sunk cost of screening and monitoring activities and the 'informational capital' collected by the incumbent banks may act as a barrier to entry. The intensity of the existing firm-bank relationships will determine the height of this barrier and shape the structure of international banking markets. For example, in Scandinavia where firms maintain few and strong relationships, foreign banks may only be able to enter successfully through mergers and acquisitions. On the other hand, Southern European firms maintain many bank relationships. Therefore, banks may consider entering Southern European banking markets through direct investment.
Attribute Dependence and the Provision of Quality
in: Regional Science and Urban Economics, No. 5, 2001
Often a quality improvement necessitates modifications of varietal product features. This paper studies firms’ incentives to provide quality when this decision affects the goods’ degree of perceived horizontal differentiation. We find that the quality level hinges crucially on the interaction between the quality and the varietal product attribute. We examine the outcome of a game where firms decide on quality and price relative to what a social planner would desire. If the interaction between quality and perceived horizontal differentiation is sufficiently positive, we find for the sequential game ‘quality then price’ that the private incentives to provide quality are excessive relative to the social optimum. As a result the level and the direction of interaction between the attributes determines whether there is excessive or insufficient provision of quality.
On the Incentives to Provide Fuel-Efficient Automobiles
in: Journal of Economics, No. 2, 2001
We argue that the provision of more fuel-efficient cars necessitates specific aerodynamic shapes. We show that the presence of this technological constraint may reduce the incentives to provide fuel efficiency. In equilibrium, cars become more similar and aerodynamic as fuel prices increase. However, the provided level of fuel efficiency falls short of the social optimal one such that a fuel-economy standard is welfare-enhancing.
Do Asset Purchase Programmes Shape Industry Dynamics? Evidence from the ECB's SMP on Plant Entries and Exits
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2019
Asset purchase programmes (APPs) may insulate banks from having to terminate relationships with unproductive customers. Using administrative plant and bank data, we test whether APPs impinge on industry dynamics in terms of plant entry and exit. Plants in Germany connected to banks with access to an APP are approximately 20% less likely to exit. In particular, unproductive plants connected to weak banks with APP access are less likely to close. Aggregate entry and exit rates in regional markets with high APP exposures are also lower. Thus, APPs seem to subdue Schumpeterian cleansing mechanisms, which may hamper factor reallocation and aggregate productivity growth.
‘And Forgive Us Our Debts’: Do Christian Moralities Influence Over-indebtedness of Individuals?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 8, 2019
This paper analyses whether Christian moralities and rules formed differently by Catholics and Protestants impact the likelihood of households to become overindebted. We find that over-indebtedness is lower in regions in which Catholics outweigh Protestants, indicating that Catholics‘ forgiveness culture and a stricter enforcement of rules by Protestants serve as explanations for our results. Our results provide evidence that religion affects the financial situations of individuals and show that even 500 years after the split between Catholics and Protestants, the differences in the mind-sets of both denominations play an important role for situations of severe financial conditions.
What Drives Banks‘ Geographic Expansion? The Role of Locally Non-diversifiable Risk
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 6, 2019
We show that banks that are facing relatively high locally non-diversifiable risks in their home region expand more across states than banks that do not face such risks following branching deregulation in the 1990s and 2000s. These banks with high locally non-diversifiable risks also benefit relatively more from deregulation in terms of higher bank stability. Further, these banks expand more into counties where risks are relatively high and positively correlated with risks in their home region, suggesting that they do not only diversify but also build on their expertise in local risks when they expand into new regions.
Politics, Banks, and Sub-sovereign Debt: Unholy Trinity or Divine Coincidence?
in: Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper, No. 53, 2018
We exploit election-driven turnover in State and local governments in Germany to study how banks adjust their securities portfolios in response to the loss of political connections. We find that local savings banks, which are owned by their host county and supervised by local politicians, increase significantly their holdings of home-State sovereign bonds when the local government and the State government are dominated by different political parties. Banks' holdings of other securities, like federal bonds, bonds issued by other States, or stocks, are not affected by election outcomes. We argue that banks use sub-sovereign bond purchases to gain access to politically distant government authorities.
May the Force Be with You: Exit Barriers, Governance Shocks, and Profitability Sclerosis in Banking
in: Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper, No. 49, 2018
We test whether limited market discipline imposes exit barriers and poor profitability in banking. We exploit an exogenous shock to the governance of government-owned banks: the unification of counties. County mergers lead to enforced government-owned bank mergers. We compare forced to voluntary bank exits and show that the former cause better bank profitability and efficiency at the expense of riskier financial profiles. Regarding real effects, firms exposed to forced bank mergers borrow more at lower cost, increase investment, and exhibit higher employment. Thus, reduced exit frictions in banking seem to unleash the economic potential of both banks and firms.