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)
Investment and Internal Finance: Asymmetric Information or Managerial Discretion?
in: International Journal of Industrial Organization, No. 1, 2006
This paper examines the investment-cash flow sensitivity of publicly listed firms in The Netherlands. Investment-cash flow sensitivities can be attributed to overinvestment resulting from the abuse of managerial discretion, but also to underinvestment due to information problems. The Dutch corporate governance structure presents a number of distinctive features, in particular the limited influence of shareholders, the presence of large blockholders, and the importance of bank ties. We expect that in The Netherlands, the managerial discretion problem is more important than the asymmetric information problem. We use Tobin's Q to discriminate between firms with these problems, where LOW Q firms face the managerial discretion problem and HIGH Q firms the asymmetric information problem. As hypothesized, we find substantially larger investment-cash flow sensitivity for LOW Q firms. Moreover, specifically in the LOW Q sample, we find that firms with higher (bank) debt have lower investment-cash flow sensitivity. This finding shows that leverage, and particularly bank debt, is a key disciplinary mechanism which reduces the managerial discretion problem.
Aggressive Orders and the Resiliency of a Limit Order Market
in: Review of Finance, No. 2, 2005
We analyze the resiliency of a pure limit order market by investigating the limit order book (bid and ask prices, spreads, depth and duration), order flow and transaction prices in a window of best limit updates and transactions around aggressive orders (orders that move prices). We find strong persistence in the submission of aggressive orders. Aggressive orders take place when spreads and depths are relatively low, and they induce bid and ask prices to be persistently different after the shock. Depth and spread remain also higher than just before the order, but do return to their initial level within 20 best limit updates after the shock. Relative to the sample average, depths stay around their mean before and after aggressive orders, whereas spreads return to their mean after about twenty best limit updates. The initial price impact of the aggressive order is partly reversed in the subsequent transactions. However, the aggressive order produces a long-term effect as prices show a tendency to return slowly to the price of the aggressive order.
Distance, Lending Relationships, and Competition
in: The Journal of Finance, No. 1, 2005
We study the effect on loan conditions of geographical distance between firms, the lending bank, and all other banks in the vicinity. For our study, we employ detailed contract information from more than 15,000 bank loans to small firms comprising the entire loan portfolio of a large Belgian bank. We report the first comprehensive evidence on the occurrence of spatial price discrimination in bank lending. Loan rates decrease with the distance between the firm and the lending bank and increase with the distance between the firm and competing banks. Transportation costs cause the spatial price discrimination we observe.
The Impact of Technology and Regulation on the Geographical Scope of Banking
in: Oxford Review of Economic Policy, No. 4, 2004
We review how technological advances and changes in regulation may shape the (future) geographical scope of banking. We first review how both physical distance and the presence of borders currently affect bank lending conditions (loan pricing and credit availability) and market presence (branching and servicing). Next we discuss how technology and regulation have altered this impact and analyse the current state of the European banking sector. We discuss both theoretical contributions and empirical work and highlight open questions along the way. We draw three main lessons from the current theoretical and empirical literature: (i) bank lending to small businesses in Europe may be characterized both by (local) spatial pricing and resilient (regional and/or national) market segmentation; (ii) because of informational asymmetries in the retail market, bank mergers and acquisitions seem the optimal route of entering another market, long before cross-border servicing or direct entry are economically feasible; and (iii) current technological and regulatory developments may, to a large extent, remain impotent in further dismantling the various residual but mutually reinforcing frictions in the retail banking markets in Europe. We conclude the paper by offering pertinent policy recommendations based on these three lessons.
Softening Competition by Inducing Switching in Credit Markets
in: The Journal of Industrial Economics, No. 1, 2004
We show that competing banks relax overall competition by inducing borrowers to switch lenders. We illustrate our findings in a two-period model with adverse selection where banks strategically commit to disclosing borrower information. By doing this, they invite rivals to poach their first-period market. Disclosure of borrower information increases the rival's second-period profits. This dampens competition for serving the first-period market.
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.
Do Asset Purchase Programmes Shape Industry Dynamics? Evidence from the ECB's SMP on Plant Entries and Exits
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.