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 Cluster
Financial Resilience and Regulation

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Professor Dr Felix Noth
Professor Dr Felix Noth
Mitglied - Department Financial Markets
Send Message +49 345 7753-702 Personal page


07.2016 ‐ 12.2018

Relationship Lenders and Unorthodox Monetary Policy: Investment, Employment, and Resource Reallocation Effects

Leibniz Association

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.

Professor Michael Koetter, PhD
Professor Dr Steffen Müller

01.2015 ‐ 12.2019

Interactions between Bank-specific Risk and Macroeconomic Performance

German Research Foundation (DFG)

Professor Dr Felix Noth

Refereed Publications


What Makes the Difference? Microfinance Versus Commercial Banks

Afsheen Abrar Iftekhar Hasan Rezaul Kabir

in: Borsa Istanbul Review, forthcoming


We make a comparison of microfinance banks (MBs) and commercial banks (CBs) in terms of efficiency, business orientation, stability, and asset quality by analyzing a large sample of banks from 60 countries around the world. Our findings indicate that microfinance banks have higher intermediation, non-interest income, wholesale funding and liquidity, but lower efficiency and asset quality. These significant variations are influenced by smaller microfinance banks and are driven mostly to African and Latin American microfinance banks.

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Does IFRS Information on Tax Loss Carryforwards and Negative Performance Improve Predictions of Earnings and Cash Flows?

Sandra Dreher Sebastian Eichfelder Felix Noth

in: Journal of Business Economics, forthcoming


We analyze the usefulness of accounting information on tax loss carryforwards and negative performance to predict earnings and cash flows. We use hand-collected information on tax loss carryforwards and corresponding deferred taxes from the International Financial Reporting Standards tax footnotes for listed firms from Germany. Our out-of-sample tests show that considering accounting information on tax loss carryforwards does not enhance performance forecasts and typically even worsens predictions. The most likely explanation is model overfitting. Besides, common forecasting approaches that deal with negative performance are prone to prediction errors. We provide a simple empirical specification to account for that problem.

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Trust, Politics and Post-IPO Performance: SOEs vs. the Private Sector

Bill Francis Iftekhar Hasan Xian Sun Mingming Zhou

in: Economic and Political Studies, forthcoming


This paper empirically investigates the role of social trust in the long-term performance of the initial public offerings (IPOs) in China, controlling for the formal institutional environment. We find that privately owned or smaller IPO firms experience significantly better post-IPO performance when they are incorporated in regions with more social trust. The state-owned and bigger IPO firms, on the other hand, experience better long-term post-IPO performance when they are incorporated in regions with stronger formal institutions (e.g. court enforcement and contract holding). Political pluralism turns out to benefit all IPOs in the long term. In addition, our evidence shows that stronger social trust substitutes for the quality of court enforcement but complements the role of contract holding. These results are robust after controlling for alternative definitions of ownership, outliers, non-linear effects of institutions, and the potential endogeneity of institutions in the model.

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Cultural Norms and Corporate Fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen Scandal

Iftekhar Hasan Felix Noth Lena Tonzer

in: Journal of Corporate Finance, October 2023


We examine a corporate governance role of local culture via its impact on consumer behavior following corporate scandals. Our proxy for culture is the presence of local Protestantism. Exploiting the unexpected nature of the Volkswagen (VW) diesel scandal in September 2015, we show that new registrations of VW cars decline significantly in German counties with a Protestant majority following the VW scandal. Further survey evidence shows that, compared to Catholics, Protestants respond significantly more negatively to fraud but not to environmental issues. Our findings suggest that the enforcement culture in Protestantism facilitates penalizing corporate fraud.

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Natural Disasters and Bank Stability: Evidence from the U.S. Financial System

Felix Noth Ulrich Schüwer

in: Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, May 2023


We show that weather-related natural disasters in the United States significantly weaken the financial stability of banks with business activities in affected regions. This is reflected in higher probabilities of default, lower z-scores, higher non-performing assets ratios, higher foreclosure ratios, lower returns on assets and lower equity ratios of affected banks in the years following a natural disaster. The effects are economically relevant and highlight the financial vulnerability of banks and their borrowers despite insurances and public aid programs.

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Working Papers


‘And Forgive Us Our Debts’: Do Christian Moralities Influence Over-indebtedness of Individuals?

Iftekhar Hasan Konstantin Kiesel Felix Noth

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.

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What Drives Banks‘ Geographic Expansion? The Role of Locally Non-diversifiable Risk

Reint E. Gropp Felix Noth Ulrich Schüwer

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.

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Politics, Banks, and Sub-sovereign Debt: Unholy Trinity or Divine Coincidence?

Michael Koetter Alexander Popov

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.

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May the Force Be with You: Exit Barriers, Governance Shocks, and Profitability Sclerosis in Banking

Michael Koetter Carola Müller Felix Noth Benedikt Fritz

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.

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Banks Fearing the Drought? Liquidity Hoarding as a Response to Idiosyncratic Interbank Funding Dry-ups

Helge Littke Matias Ossandon Busch

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2018


Since the global financial crisis, economic literature has highlighted banks’ inclination to bolster up their liquid asset positions once the aggregate interbank funding market experiences a dry-up. To this regard, we show that liquidity hoarding and its detrimental effects on credit can also be triggered by idiosyncratic, i.e. bankspecific, interbank funding shocks with implications for monetary policy. Combining a unique data set of the Brazilian banking sector with a novel identification strategy enables us to overcome previous limitations for studying this phenomenon as a bankspecific event. This strategy further helps us to analyse how disruptions in the bank headquarters’ interbank market can lead to liquidity and lending adjustments at the regional bank branch level. From the perspective of the policy maker, understanding this market-to-market spillover effect is important as local bank branch markets are characterised by market concentration and relationship lending.

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