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


Bertrand Competition with an Asymmetric No-discrimination Constraint

Jan Bouckaert Hans Degryse Theon van Dijk

in: The Journal of Industrial Economics, No. 1, 2013


Regulators and competition authorities often prevent firms with significant market power, or dominant firms, from practicing price discrimination. The goal of such an asymmetric no-discrimination constraint is to encourage entry and serve consumers' interests. This constraint prohibits the firm with significant market power from practicing both behaviour-based price discrimination within the competitive segment and third-degree price discrimination across the monopolistic and competitive segments. We find that this constraint hinders entry and reduces welfare when the monopolistic segment is small.

read publication


Regional Origins of Employment Volatility: Evidence from German States

Claudia M. Buch M. Schlotter

in: Empirica, No. 1, 2013


Greater openness for trade can have positive welfare effects in terms of higher growth. But increased openness may also increase uncertainty through a higher volatility of employment. We use regional data from Germany to test whether openness for trade has an impact on volatility. We find a downward trend in the unconditional volatility of employment, paralleling patterns for output volatility. The conditional volatility of employment, measuring idiosyncratic developments across states, in contrast, has remained fairly unchanged. In contrast to evidence for the US, we do not find a significant link between employment volatility and trade openness.

read publication


Foreign Bank Entry, Credit Allocation and Lending Rates in Emerging Markets: Empirical Evidence from Poland

Hans Degryse Olena Havrylchyk Emilia Jurzyk Sylwester Kozak

in: Journal of Banking & Finance, No. 11, 2012


Earlier studies have documented that foreign banks charge lower lending rates and interest spreads than domestic banks. We hypothesize that this may stem from the superior efficiency of foreign entrants that they decide to pass onto borrowers (“performance hypothesis”), but could also reflect a different loan allocation with respect to borrower transparency, loan maturity and currency (“portfolio composition hypothesis”). We are able to differentiate between the above hypotheses thanks to a novel dataset containing detailed bank-specific information for the Polish banking industry. Our findings demonstrate that banks differ significantly in terms of portfolio composition and we attest to the “portfolio composition hypothesis” by showing that, having controlled for portfolio composition, there are no differences in lending rates between banks.

read publication


Credit Allocation and Value Creation of Banks: The Impact of Relationship Banking in Normal and Crisis-times

Hans Degryse Steven Ongena

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.

read publication


The Impact of Firm and Industry Characteristics on Small Firms’ Capital Structure

Hans Degryse Peter de Goeij Peter Kappert

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.

read publication

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.

read publication


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.

read publication


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.

read publication


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.

read publication


Basel III Capital Requirements and Heterogeneous Banks

Carola Müller

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2018


I develop a theoretical model to investigate the effect of simultaneous regulation with a leverage ratio and a risk-weighted ratio on banks‘ risk taking and banking market structure. I extend a portfolio choice model by adding heterogeneity in productivity among banks. Regulators face a trade-off between the efficient allocation of resources and financial stability. In an oligopolistic market, risk-weighted requirements incentivise banks with high productivity to lend to low-risk firms. When a leverage ratio is introduced, these banks lose market shares to less productive competitors and react with risk-shifting into high-risk loans. While average productivity in the low-risk market falls, market shares in the high-risk market are dispersed across new entrants with high as well as low productivity.

read publication
Mitglied der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft LogoTotal-Equality-LogoWeltoffen Logo