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)
Bank-Firm Relationships and International Banking Markets
in: International Journal of the Economics of Business, No. 3, 2002
This paper reviews how long-term relationships between firms and banks shape the structure and integration of banking markets worldwide. Bank relationships arise to span informational asymmetries that are endemic in financial markets. Firm-bank relationships not only entail specific benefits and costs for both the engaged firms and banks, but also directly affect the structure of banking markets. In particular, the sunk cost of screening and monitoring activities and the 'informational capital' collected by the incumbent banks may act as a barrier to entry. The intensity of the existing firm-bank relationships will determine the height of this barrier and shape the structure of international banking markets. For example, in Scandinavia where firms maintain few and strong relationships, foreign banks may only be able to enter successfully through mergers and acquisitions. On the other hand, Southern European firms maintain many bank relationships. Therefore, banks may consider entering Southern European banking markets through direct investment.
Attribute Dependence and the Provision of Quality
in: Regional Science and Urban Economics, No. 5, 2001
Often a quality improvement necessitates modifications of varietal product features. This paper studies firms’ incentives to provide quality when this decision affects the goods’ degree of perceived horizontal differentiation. We find that the quality level hinges crucially on the interaction between the quality and the varietal product attribute. We examine the outcome of a game where firms decide on quality and price relative to what a social planner would desire. If the interaction between quality and perceived horizontal differentiation is sufficiently positive, we find for the sequential game ‘quality then price’ that the private incentives to provide quality are excessive relative to the social optimum. As a result the level and the direction of interaction between the attributes determines whether there is excessive or insufficient provision of quality.
On the Incentives to Provide Fuel-Efficient Automobiles
in: Journal of Economics, No. 2, 2001
We argue that the provision of more fuel-efficient cars necessitates specific aerodynamic shapes. We show that the presence of this technological constraint may reduce the incentives to provide fuel efficiency. In equilibrium, cars become more similar and aerodynamic as fuel prices increase. However, the provided level of fuel efficiency falls short of the social optimal one such that a fuel-economy standard is welfare-enhancing.
Bank Relationships and Firm Profitability
in: Financial Management, No. 1, 2001
This paper examines how bank relationships affect firm performance. An empirical implication of recent theoretical models is that firms maintaining multiple bank relationships are less profitable than their single-bank peers. We investigate this empirical implication using a data set containing virtually all Norwegian publicly listed firms for the period 1979-1995. We find that profitability is substantially higher if firms maintain only a single bank relationship. We also find that firms replacing a single bank relationship are on average smaller and younger than firms not replacing a single bank relationship.
Price Competition between an Expert and a Non-Expert
in: International Journal of Industrial Organization, No. 6, 2000
This paper characterizes price competition between an expert and a non-expert. In contrast with the expert, the non-expert's repair technology is not always successful. Consumers visit the expert after experiencing an unsuccessful match at the non-expert. This re-entry affects the behavior of both sellers. For low enough probability of successful repair at the non-expert, all consumers first visit the non-expert, and a 'timid-pricing' equilibrium results. If the non-expert's repair technology performs well enough, it pays for some consumers to disregard the non-expert a visit. They directly go to the expert's shop, and an 'aggressive-pricing' equilibrium pops up. For intermediate values of the non-expert's successful repair a 'mixed-pricing' equilibrium emerges where the expert randomizes over the monopoly price and some lower price.
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.