Financial System Adaptability and Resilience
This research group investigates critical aspects of financial system adaptability and resilience. First, it analyses the impact of natural disasters on financial systems. Second, the group aims to investigate the effects of political preferences for the green transition. Third, the group's research analyses the role of culture in economies.
Research ClusterFinancial Resilience and Regulation
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)
Informal or Formal Financing? Evidence on the Co-Funding of Chinese Firms
in: Journal of Financial Intermediation, 2016
Different modes of external finance provide heterogeneous benefits for the borrowing firms. Informal finance offers informational advantages whereas formal finance is scalable. Using unique survey data from China, we find that informal finance is associated with higher sales growth for small firms but lower sales growth for large firms. We identify a complementary effect between informal and formal finance for the sales growth of small firms, but not for large firms. Co-funding, thereby simultaneously using the informational advantage of informal finance and the scalability of formal finance, is therefore the optimal choice for small firms.
Did TARP Distort Competition Among Sound Unsupported Banks?
in: Economic Inquiry, No. 2, 2016
This study investigates if the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) distorted price competition in U.S. banking. Political indicators reveal bailout expectations after 2009, manifested as beliefs about the predicted probability of receiving equity support relative to failing during the TARP disbursement period. In addition, the TARP affected the competitive conduct of unsupported banks after the program stopped in the fourth quarter of 2009. Loan rates were higher, and the risk premium required by depositors was lower for banks with higher bailout expectations. The interest margins of unsupported banks increased in the immediate aftermath of the TARP disbursement but not after 2010. No effects emerged for loan or deposit growth, which suggests that protected banks did not increase their market shares at the expense of less protected banks.
A Review of Empirical Research on the Design and Impact of Regulation in the Banking Sector
in: Annual Review of Financial Economics, 2015
We review existing empirical research on the design and impact of regulation in the banking sector. The impact of each individual piece of regulation may inexorably depend on the set of regulations already in place, the characteristics of the banks involved (from their size or ownership structure to operational idiosyncrasies in terms of capitalization levels or risk-taking behavior), and the institutional development of the country where the regulation is introduced. This complexity is challenging for the econometrician, who relies either on single-country data to identify challenges for regulation or on cross-country data to assess the overall effects of regulation. It is also troubling for the policy maker, who has to optimally design regulation to avoid any unintended consequences, especially those that vary over the credit cycle such as the currently developing macroprudential frameworks.
The Impact of Securitization on Credit Rationing: Empirical Evidence
in: Journal of Financial Stability, 2015
We study whether banks’ involvement into different types of securitization activity – asset backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds – in Spain influences credit supply before and during the financial crisis. While both ABS and covered bonds were hit by the crisis, the former were hit more severely. Employing a disequilibrium model to identify credit rationing, we find that firms with banks that were more involved in securitization see their credit constraints more relaxed in normal periods. In contrast, only greater covered bonds issuance reduces credit rationing during crisis periods whereas ABS aggravates these firms’ credit rationing in crisis periods. Our results are in line with the theoretical predictions that a securitization instrument that retains risk (covered bond) may induce a more prudent risk behavior of banks than an instrument that provides risk transferring (ABS).
Bank Market Power, Factor Reallocation, and Aggregate Growth
in: Journal of Financial Stability, 2015
Using a unique firm-level sample of approximately 700,000 firm-year observations of German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this study seeks to identify the effect of bank market power on aggregate growth components. We test for a pre-crisis sample whether bank market power spurs or hinders the reallocation of resources across informationally opaque firms. Identification relies on the dependence on external finance in each industry and the regional demarcation of regional banking markets in Germany. The results show that bank markups spur aggregate SME growth, primarily through technical change and the reallocation of resources. Banks seem to need sufficient markups to generate the necessary private information to allocate financial funds efficiently.
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.
‘And Forgive Us Our Debts’: Do Christian Moralities Influence Over-indebtedness of Individuals?
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.
What Drives Banks‘ Geographic Expansion? The Role of Locally Non-diversifiable Risk
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.
Politics, Banks, and Sub-sovereign Debt: Unholy Trinity or Divine Coincidence?
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.
May the Force Be with You: Exit Barriers, Governance Shocks, and Profitability Sclerosis in Banking
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.