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)
Do Banks Value Borrowers' Environmental Record? Evidence from Financial Contracts
in: Journal of Business Ethics, December 2021
Banks play a unique role in society. They not only maximize profits but also consider the interests of stakeholders. We investigate whether banks consider firms’ pollution records in their lending decisions. The evidence shows that banks offer significantly higher loan spreads, higher total borrowing costs, shorter loan maturities, and greater collateral to firms with higher levels of chemical pollution. The costly effects are stronger for borrowers with greater risk and weaker corporate governance. Further, the results show that banks with higher social responsibility account for their borrowers’ environmental performance and charge higher loan spreads to those with poor performance. These results support the idea that banks with higher social responsibility can promote the practice of business ethics in firms.
The Impact of Political Uncertainty on Institutional Ownership
in: Journal of Financial Stability, December 2021
This paper provides original evidence from institutional investors that political uncertainty greatly affects investment behavior. Using institutional holdings of common stock, we find that institutions significantly reduce their holdings by 0.8–2.3% points during presidential election years. Such effect holds for gubernatorial elections with cross-state-border difference-in-difference analysis and for tests using a political uncertainty index. The effect is the opposite for American Depository Receipts (ADRs). In addition, we find that institutions benefit financially from the observed strategy, and such strategy is in line with predicted outcomes of presidential election polls.
Banking Globalization, Local Lending, and Labor Market Effects: Micro-level Evidence from Brazil
in: Journal of Financial Stability, October 2021
Recent financial crises have prompted the interest in understanding how banking globalization interacts with domestic institutions in shaping foreign shocks’ transmission. This paper uses regional banking data from Brazil to show that a foreign funding shock to banks negatively affects lending by their regional branches. This effect increases in the presence of frictions in internal capital markets, which affect branches’ capacity to access funding from other regions via intra-bank linkages. These results also matter on an aggregate level, as municipality-level credit and job flows drop in exposed regions. Policies aiming to reduce the fragmented structure of regional banking markets could moderate the propagation of foreign shocks.
Political Cycles in Bank Lending to the Government
in: Review of Financial Studies, No. 6, 2021
We study how political party turnover after German state elections affects banks’ lending to the regional government. We find that between 1992 and 2018, party turnover at the state level leads to a sharp and substantial increase in lending by local savings banks to their home-state government. This effect is accompanied by an equivalent reduction in private lending. A statistical association between political party turnover and government lending is absent for comparable cooperative banks that exhibit a similar regional organization and business model. Our results suggest that political frictions may interfere with government-owned banks’ local development objectives.
Loan Syndication under Basel II: How Do Firm Credit Ratings Affect the Cost of Credit?
in: Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, May 2021
This paper investigates how syndicated lenders react to borrowers’ rating changes under heterogeneous conditions and different regulatory regimes. Our findings suggest that corporate downgrades that increase capital requirements for lending banks under the Basel II framework are associated with increased loan spreads and deteriorating non-price loan terms relative to downgrades that do not affect capital requirements. Ratings exert an asymmetric impact on loan spreads, as these remain unresponsive to rating upgrades, even when the latter are associated with a reduction in risk weights for corporate loans. The increase in firm borrowing costs is mitigated in the presence of previous bank-firm lending relationships and for borrowers with relatively strong performance, high cash flows and low leverage.
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.
Covered Bonds and Bank Portfolio Rebalancing
in: Norges Bank Working Papers, No. 6, 2021
We use administrative and supervisory data at the bank and loan level to investigate the impact of the introduction of covered bonds on the composition of bank balance sheets and bank risk. Covered bonds, despite being collateralized by mortgages, lead to a shift in bank lending from mortgages to corporate loans. Young and low-rated firms in particular receive more credit, suggesting that overall credit risk increases. At the same time, we find that total balance sheet liquidity increases. We identify the channel in a theoretical model and provide empirical evidence: Banks with low initial liquidity and banks with sufficiently high risk-adjusted return on firm lending drive the results.
Cultural Resilience, Religion, and Economic Recovery: Evidence from the 2005 Hurricane Season
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 9, 2021
This paper investigates the critical role of religion in the economic recovery after high-impact natural disasters. Exploiting the 2005 hurricane season in the southeast United States, we document that establishments in counties with higher religious adherence rates saw a significantly stronger recovery in terms of productivity for 2005-2010. Our results further suggest that a particular religious denomination does not drive the effect. We observe that different aspects of religion, such as adherence, shared experiences from ancestors, and institutionalised features, all drive the effect on recovery. Our results matter since they underline the importance of cultural characteristics like religion during and after economic crises.