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)
Cultural Norms and Corporate Fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen Scandal
in: Journal of Corporate Finance, October 2023
We examine a corporate governance role of local culture via its impact on consumer behavior following corporate scandals. Our proxy for culture is the presence of local Protestantism. Exploiting the unexpected nature of the Volkswagen (VW) diesel scandal in September 2015, we show that new registrations of VW cars decline significantly in German counties with a Protestant majority following the VW scandal. Further survey evidence shows that, compared to Catholics, Protestants respond significantly more negatively to fraud but not to environmental issues. Our findings suggest that the enforcement culture in Protestantism facilitates penalizing corporate fraud.
What Makes the Difference? Microfinance Versus Commercial Banks
in: Borsa Istanbul Review, No. 4, 2023
We make a comparison of microfinance banks (MBs) and commercial banks (CBs) in terms of efficiency, business orientation, stability, and asset quality by analyzing a large sample of banks from 60 countries around the world. Our findings indicate that microfinance banks have higher intermediation, non-interest income, wholesale funding and liquidity, but lower efficiency and asset quality. These significant variations are influenced by smaller microfinance banks and are driven mostly to African and Latin American microfinance banks.
Political Ties and the Yield Curve
in: Economics Letters, July 2023
We examine the effect of political ties with the US on sovereign yields and ratings at various horizons. We find beneficial effects across both short- and long-term yields and ratings. Specifically, we find that stronger political ties with the US affect mainly the level of the yield curve of foreign sovereign bonds. These results imply that the market perceives political ties with the US as having both near- and long-term beneficial consequences.
Natural Disasters and Bank Stability: Evidence from the U.S. Financial System
in: Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, May 2023
We show that weather-related natural disasters in the United States significantly weaken the financial stability of banks with business activities in affected regions. This is reflected in higher probabilities of default, lower z-scores, higher non-performing assets ratios, higher foreclosure ratios, lower returns on assets and lower equity ratios of affected banks in the years following a natural disaster. The effects are economically relevant and highlight the financial vulnerability of banks and their borrowers despite insurances and public aid programs.
The Impact of Lowering Carbon Emissions on Corporate Labour Investment: A Quasi-Natural Experiment
in: Energy Economics, May 2023
We examine the impact of low-carbon city (LCC) initiatives on labour investment decisions (quantity, quality, and well-being). Using a time-varying difference-in-differences approach based on staggered implementations of such a pilot program, we report an inefficient outcome - absolute deviation of labour investment from the optimal net hiring – especially for firms in labour-intensive industries and firms with high financial slack or adjustment costs. We, however, observe increased investments in highly skilled personnel and compensated with employee stock ownership, especially by firms under intense pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Such initiatives are also closely associated with the significant enhancement of workplace safety. Overall, LCC helps to upgrade the corporate labour structure by hiring more skilled employees through reduced agency problems and heightened green innovation.
Green Investing, Information Asymmetry, and Capital Structure
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 20, 2023
We investigate how optimal attention allocation of green-motivated investors changes information asymmetry in financial markets and thus affects firms‘ financing costs. To guide our empirical analysis, we propose a model where investors with heterogeneous green preferences endogenously allocate limited attention to learn market-level or firm-specific fundamental shocks. We find that a higher fraction of green investors in the market leads to higher aggregate attention to green firms. This reduces the information asymmetry of green firms, leading to higher price informativeness and lower leverage. Moreover, the information asymmetry of brown firms and the market increases with the share of green investors. Therefore, greater green attention is associated with less market efficiency. We provide empirical evidence to support our model predictions using U.S. data. Our paper shows how the growing demand for sustainable investing shifts investors‘ attention and benefits eco-friendly firms.
Long-run Competitive Spillovers of the Credit Crunch
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 10, 2023
Competition in the U.S. appears to have declined. One contributing factor may have been heterogeneity in the availability of credit during the financial crisis. I examine the impact of product market peer credit constraints on long-run competitive outcomes and behavior among non-financial firms. I use measures of lender exposure to the financial crisis to create a plausibly exogenous instrument for product market credit availability. I find that credit constraints of product market peers positively predict growth in sales, market share, profitability, and markups. This is consistent with the notion that firms gained at the expense of their credit constrained peers. The relationship is robust to accounting for other sources of inter-firm spillovers, namely credit access of technology network and supply chain peers. Further, I find evidence of strategic investment, i.e. the idea that firms increase investment in response to peer credit constraints to commit to deter entry mobility. This behavior may explain why temporary heterogeneity in the availability of credit appears to have resulted in a persistent redistribution of output across firms.
Banking Market Deregulation and Mortality Inequality
in: Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2022
This paper shows that local banking market conditions affect mortality rates in the United States. Exploiting the staggered relaxation of branching restrictions in the 1990s across states, we find that banking deregulation decreases local mortality rates. This effect is driven by a decrease in the mortality rate of black residents, implying a decrease in the black-white mortality gap. We further analyze the role of mortgage markets as a transmitter between banking deregulation and mortality and show that households' easier access to finance explains mortality dynamics. We do not find any evidence that our results can be explained by improved labor outcomes.
A Note on the Use of Syndicated Loan Data
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 17, 2022
Syndicated loan data provided by DealScan has become an essential input in banking research over recent years. This data is rich enough to answer urging questions on bank lending, e.g., in the presence of financial shocks or climate change. However, many data options raise the question of how to choose the estimation sample. We employ a standard regression framework analyzing bank lending during the financial crisis to study how conventional but varying usages of DealScan affect the estimates. The key finding is that the direction of coefficients remains relatively robust. However, statistical significance seems to depend on the data and sampling choice.
Capital Requirements, Market Structure, and Heterogeneous Banks
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 15, 2022
Bank regulators interfere with the efficient allocation of resources for the sake of financial stability. Based on this trade-off, I compare how different capital requirements affect default probabilities and the allocation of market shares across heterogeneous banks. In the model, banks‘ productivity determines their optimal strategy in oligopolistic markets. Higher productivity gives banks higher profit margins that lower their default risk. Hence, capital requirements indirectly aiming at high-productivity banks are less effective. They also bear a distortionary cost: Because incumbents increase interest rates, new entrants with low productivity are attracted and thus average productivity in the banking market decreases.