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 Cluster
Productivity and Innovation

Your contact

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


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


Is Social Capital Associated with Corporate Innovation? Evidence from Publicly Listed Firms in the U.S

Iftekhar Hasan Chun-Keung (Stan) Hoi Qiang Wu Hao Zhang

in: Journal of Corporate Finance, forthcoming


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.

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Political Cycles in Bank Lending to the Government

Michael Koetter Alexander Popov

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.

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Borrowers Under Water! Rare Disasters, Regional Banks, and Recovery Lending

Michael Koetter Felix Noth Oliver Rehbein

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.

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Cross-country Evidence on the Relationship between Regulations and the Development of the Life Insurance Sector

Chrysovalantis Gaganis Iftekhar Hasan Fotios Pasiouras

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.

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Democracy and Credit

Manthos D. Delis Iftekhar Hasan Steven Ongena

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.

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Working Papers


Financial Transaction Taxes: Announcement Effects, Short-run Effects, and Long-run Effects

Sebastian Eichfelder Mona Lau Felix Noth

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2017


We analyze the impact of the French 2012 financial transaction tax (FTT) on trading volumes, stock prices, liquidity, and volatility. We extend the empirical research by identifying FTT announcement and short-run treatment effects, which can distort difference-in-differences estimates. In addition, we consider long-run volatility measures that better fit the French FTT’s legislative design. While we find strong evidence of a positive FTT announcement effect on trading volumes, there is almost no statistically significant evidence of a long-run treatment effect. Thus, evidence of a strong reduction of trading volumes resulting from the French FTT might be driven by announcement effects and short-term treatment effects. We find evidence of an increase of intraday volatilities in the announcement period and a significant reduction of weekly and monthly volatilities in the treatment period. Our findings support theoretical considerations suggesting a stabilizing impact of FTTs on financial markets.

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Bank-specific Shocks and House Price Growth in the U.S.

F. Bremus Thomas Krause Felix Noth

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2017


This paper investigates the link between mortgage supply shocks at the banklevel and regional house price growth in the U.S. using micro-level data on mortgage markets from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for the 1990-2014 period. Our results suggest that bank-specific mortgage supply shocks indeed affect house price growth at the regional level. The larger the idiosyncratic shocks to newly issued mortgages, the stronger is house price growth. We show that the positive link between idiosyncratic mortgage shocks and regional house price growth is very robust and economically meaningful, however not very persistent since it fades out after two years.

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How Effective is Macroprudential Policy during Financial Downturns? Evidence from Caps on Banks' Leverage

Manuel Buchholz

in: Working Papers of Eesti Pank, No. 7, 2015


This paper investigates the effect of a macroprudential policy instrument, caps on banks' leverage, on domestic credit to the private sector since the Global Financial Crisis. Applying a difference-in-differences approach to a panel of 69 advanced and emerging economies over 2002–2014, we show that real credit grew after the crisis at considerably higher rates in countries which had implemented the leverage cap prior to the crisis. This stabilising effect is more pronounced for countries in which banks had a higher pre-crisis capital ratio, which suggests that after the crisis, banks were able to draw on buffers built up prior to the crisis due to the regulation. The results are robust to different choices of subsamples as well as to competing explanations such as standard adjustment to the pre-crisis credit boom.

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Monetary Policy under the Microscope: Intra-bank Transmission of Asset Purchase Programs of the ECB

L. Cycon Michael Koetter

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 9, 2015


With a unique loan portfolio maintained by a top-20 universal bank in Germany, this study tests whether unconventional monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB) reduced corporate borrowing costs. We decompose corporate lending rates into refinancing costs, as determined by money markets, and markups that the bank is able to charge its customers in regional markets. This decomposition reveals how banks transmit monetary policy within their organizations. To identify policy effects on loan rate components, we exploit the co-existence of eurozone-wide security purchase programs and regional fiscal policies at the district level. ECB purchase programs reduced refinancing costs significantly, even in an economy not specifically targeted for sovereign debt stress relief, but not loan rates themselves. However, asset purchases mitigated those loan price hikes due to additional credit demand stimulated by regional tax policy and enabled the bank to realize larger economic margins.

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Corporate Governance Structures and Financial Constraints in Multinational Enterprises – An Analysis in Selected European Transition Economies on the Basis of the IWH FDI Micro Database 2013 –

Andrea Gauselmann Felix Noth

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2015


In our analysis, we consider the distribution of decision power over financing and investment between MNEs’ headquarters and foreign subsidiaries and its influence on the foreign affiliates’ financial restrictions. Our research results show that headquarters of multinational enterprises have not (yet) moved much decision power to their foreign subsidiaries at all. We use data from the IWH FDI Micro Database which contains information on corporate governance structures and financial restrictions of 609 enterprises with a foreign investor in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and East Germany. We match data from Bureau van Dijk’s AMADEUS database on financial characteristics. We find that a high concentration of decision power within the MNE’s headquarter implicates high financial restrictions within the subsidiary. Square term results show, however, that the effect of financial constraints within the subsidiary decreases and finally turns insignificant when decision power moves from headquarter to subsidiary. Thus, economic policy should encourage foreign investors in the case of foreign acquisition of local enterprises to leave decision power within the enterprise and in the case of Greenfield investment to provide the newly established subsidiaries with as much power over corporate governance structures as possible.

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