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

Lending Technology, Bank Organization and Competition

Hans Degryse Steven Ongena Günseli Tümer-Alkan

in: Journal of Financial Transformation, 2009


This paper reviews recent theoretical and empirical studies investigating how both bank technology and organization shape bank-borrower interactions. We refer to two related concepts for bank technology. First, the technologies banks employ in loan granting decisions and second, the advances in information technology linked to the bank's lending technology. We also summarize and interpret the theoretical and empirical work on bank organization and its influence on lending technologies. We show that the choice of lending technology and bank organization depend heavily on the availability of information, the technological progress in the collection of information, as well as the banking market structure and the legal environment. We draw important policy conclusions from the literature. Competition authorities and supervisors have to remain alert to the consequences of the introduction of any new technology because: (1) advances in technology do not necessarily lead to more intense banking competition, and (2) the impact of technological and financial innovation on financial efficiency and stability depends on the incentives of the entire „loan production chain.‟

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The Impact of Organizational Structure and Lending Technology on Banking Competition

Hans Degryse Luc Laeven Steven Ongena

in: Review of Finance, No. 2, 2009


We investigate how bank organization shapes banking competition. We show that a bank's geographical lending reach and loan pricing strategy is determined by its own and its rivals’ organizational structure. We estimate the impact of organization on the geographical reach and loan pricing of a large bank. We find that the reach of the bank is smaller when rival banks are large and hierarchically organized, have superior communication technology, have a narrower span of organization, and are closer to a decision unit with lending authority. Rival banks’ size and the number of layers to a decision unit soften spatial pricing.

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Dynamic Order Submission Strategies with Competition between a Dealer Market and a Crossing Network

Hans Degryse Mark Van Achter Gunther Wuyts

in: Journal of Financial Economics, No. 3, 2009


We analyze a dynamic microstructure model in which a dealer market (DM) and a crossing network (CN) interact for three informational settings. A key result is that coexistence of trading systems generates systematic patterns in order flow, which depend on the degree of transparency. Further, we study overall welfare, measured by the gains from trade of all agents, and compare it with the maximum overall welfare. The discrepancy between both measures is attributable to two inefficiencies. Due to these inefficiencies, introducing a CN next to a DM, as well as increasing the transparency level, not necessarily produces greater overall welfare.

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Competition between Financial Markets in Europe: What can be Expected from MiFID?

Hans Degryse

in: Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, No. 1, 2009


The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) could be the foundation of new trading platforms in Europe. This contribution employs insights from the theoretical and empirical literature to highlight some of the possible implications of MiFID. In particular, we argue that more competition will lead to more liquid markets, reflected in lower bid–ask spreads and greater depth. It will also lead to innovation in incumbent markets and stimulate the design of new trading platforms. MiFID has already introduced more competition, as evidenced by the startup of Instinet Chi-X, the announcement of new initiatives, including Project Turquoise and BATS, and the reactions of incumbent exchanges.

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Softening Competition by Inducing Switching in Credit Markets: A Correction

Jan Bouckaert Hans Degryse Jorge Fernández-Ruiz Miguel García-Cestona

in: The Journal of Industrial Economics, No. 3, 2008


In a recent article in this journal, Bouckaert and Degryse [2004] (denoted B&D) present a model in which banks strategically commit to disclosing borrower information. In this note, we point out an error in B&D and show that, although banks' information disclosure may indeed arise in equilibrium, it only does so if adverse selection is not too harsh.

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Working Papers


Spillovers of Asset Purchases Within the Real Sector: Win-Win or Joy and Sorrow?

Talina Sondershaus

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.

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Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness Against Your Customers: Cultural Norms and the Volkswagen Scandal

Iftekhar Hasan Felix Noth Lena Tonzer

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.

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Do Asset Purchase Programmes Shape Industry Dynamics? Evidence from the ECB's SMP on Plant Entries and Exits

Manfred Antoni Michael Koetter Steffen Müller Talina Sondershaus

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.

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‘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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