Real and Financial Innovation
This research group contributes to the scientific literature in three main ways. First, it provides new ways to identify shocks to the financial sector in financial systems and analyses how these shocks affect intermediaries with regard to risk taking (stability), efficiency (productivity) and the market structure in banking markets in general. Second, the identified external shocks are central to measure effects that financial intermediaries have on the real sector of financial systems. Because financial intermediaries play a special role in financial systems and are subject to many regulations, it is very important to understand how, e.g., risk taking incentives or different competition structures in banking markets affect real sector outcome like sales, GDP growth or employment. Third, the group focuses on the effects of foreign banks in financial systems and specifically how shocks to these banks (e.g., via their holding companies during the recent financial crisis) affect activities (e.g., lending) in the host countries.
Research ClusterProductivity and Innovation
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)
Political Cycles in Bank Lending to the Government
in: Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming
We study how political party turnover after German state elections affects banks’ lending to the regional government. We find that between 1992 and 2018, party turnover at the state level leads to a sharp and substantial increase in lending by local savings banks to their home-state government. This effect is accompanied by an equivalent reduction in private lending. A statistical association between political party turnover and government lending is absent for comparable cooperative banks that exhibit a similar regional organization and business model. Our results suggest that political frictions may interfere with government-owned banks’ local development objectives.
Borrowers Under Water! Rare Disasters, Regional Banks, and Recovery Lending
in: Journal of Financial Intermediation, July 2020
We show that local banks provide corporate recovery lending to firms affected by adverse regional macro shocks. Banks that reside in counties unaffected by the natural disaster that we specify as macro shock increase lending to firms inside affected counties by 3%. Firms domiciled in flooded counties, in turn, increase corporate borrowing by 16% if they are connected to banks in unaffected counties. We find no indication that recovery lending entails excessive risk-taking or rent-seeking. However, within the group of shock-exposed banks, those without access to geographically more diversified interbank markets exhibit more credit risk and less equity capital.
Cross-country Evidence on the Relationship between Regulations and the Development of the Life Insurance Sector
in: Economic Modelling, July 2020
Using a global sample, this study sketches the impact of insurance regulations on the life insurance sector, revealing a significant negative association between supervisory control on policy conditions of life annuities as well as pension products and the development of the industry. A similar inverse relation is observed between the index of capital requirements and insurance development. These results hold when we control for demographic factors, economic factors, religious inclination, culture, as well as for other relevant regulations. We also find some evidence that while the overall supervisory power does not matter, the ability to intervene at an early stage could have a positive effect on insurance development. Additionally, the impact of some regulations appears to differ between advanced and developing countries.
Is Social Capital Associated with Corporate Innovation? Evidence from Publicly Listed Firms in the U.S
in: Journal of Corporate Finance, Juni 2020
We find that social capital in U.S. counties, as captured by strength of social norms and density of social networks, is positively associated with innovation of firms headquartered in the county, as captured by patents and citations. This relation is robust in fixed-effect regressions, instrumental variable regressions with a Bartik instrument, propensity score matching regressions, and a difference-in-differences design that isolates the effects of over time variations in social capital due to corporate headquarter relocations. Strength of social norms plays a more dominant role than density of social networks in producing these empirical regularities. Cross-sectional evidence indicates the prominence of the contracting channel through which social capital relates to innovation. Additionally, we find that social capital is also positively associated with trademarks and effectiveness of corporate R&D expenditures.
Democracy and Credit
in: Journal of Financial Economics, No. 2, 2020
Does democratization reduce the cost of credit? Using global syndicated loan data from 1984 to 2014, we find that democratization has a sizable negative effect on loan spreads: a 1-point increase in the zero-to-ten Polity IV index of democracy shaves at least 19 basis points off spreads, but likely more. Reversals to autocracy hike spreads more strongly. Our findings are robust to the comprehensive inclusion of relevant controls, to the instrumentation with regional waves of democratization, and to a battery of other sensitivity tests. We thus highlight the lower cost of loans as one relevant mechanism through which democratization can affect economic development.
Cultural Norms and Corporate Fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen Scandal
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 24, 2020
We investigate whether cultural norms shaped by religion drive consumer decisions after a corporate scandal. We exploit the notice of violation by the US Environmental Protection Agency in September 2015 accusing Volkswagen (VW) of using software to manipulate car emission values during test phases. We show that new registrations of VW cars decline significantly in German counties with a high share of Protestants following the VW scandal. Our findings document that the enforcement culture in Protestantism facilitates penalising corporate fraud. We corroborate this channel with a survey documenting that Protestants respond significantly different to fraud but not to environmental issues.
Cultural Resilience and Economic Recovery: Evidence from Hurricane Katrina
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 16, 2020
This paper investigates the critical role of culture for economic recovery after natural disasters. Using Hurricane Katrina as our laboratory, we find a significant adverse treatment effect for plant-level productivity. However, local religious adherence and larger shares of ancestors with disaster experiences mutually mitigate this detrimental effect from the disaster. Religious adherence further dampens anxiety after Hurricane Katrina, which potentially spur economic recovery. We also detect this effect on the aggregate county level. More religious counties recover faster in terms of population, new establishments, and GDP.
Trade Shocks, Credit Reallocation and the Role of Specialisation: Evidence from Syndicated Lending
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 15, 2020
This paper provides evidence that banks cut lending to US borrowers as a consequence of a trade shock. This adverse reaction is stronger for banks with higher ex-ante lending to US industries hit by the trade shock. Importantly, I document large heterogeneity in banks‘ reaction depending on their sectoral specialisation. Banks shield industries in which they are specialised in and at the same time reduce the availability of credit to industries they are not specialised in. The latter is driven by low-capital banks and lending to firms that are themselves hit by the trade shock. Banks‘ adjustments have adverse real effects.
Spillovers of Asset Purchases Within the Real Sector: Win-Win or Joy and Sorrow?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 22, 2019
Events which have an adverse or positive effect on some firms can disseminate through the economy to firms which are not directly affected. By exploiting the first large sovereign bond purchase programme of the ECB, this paper investigates whether more lending to some firms spill over to firms in the surroundings of direct beneficiaries. Firms operating in the same industry and region invest less and reduce employment. The paper shows the importance to consider spillover effects when assessing unconventional monetary policies: Differences between treatment and control groups can be entirely attributed to negative effects on the control group.
Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness Against Your Customers: Cultural Norms and the Volkswagen Scandal
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 21, 2019
This paper investigates whether cultural norms shaped by religion drive consumer decisions after a corporate scandal. We exploit the unexpected notice of violation by the US Environmental Protection Agency in September 2015, accusing the car producer Volkswagen (VW) to have used software to manipulate car emission values during test phases. Using a difference-in-difference model, we show that new registrations of VW (diesel) cars decline significantly in German counties with a high share of Protestants following the VW scandal. Our results suggest that the enforcement culture rooted in Protestantism affects consumer decisions and penalises corporate fraud.