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 Cluster
Productivity and Innovation

Your contact

Professor Dr Felix Noth
Professor Dr Felix Noth
Mitglied - Department Financial Markets
Send Message +49 345 7753-702


07.2016 ‐ 12.2018

Relationship Lenders and Unorthodox Monetary Policy: Investment, Employment, and Resource Reallocation Effects

Leibniz Association

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.

Professor Michael Koetter, PhD
Professor Dr Steffen Müller

01.2015 ‐ 12.2019

Interactions between Bank-specific Risk and Macroeconomic Performance

German Research Foundation (DFG)

Professor Dr Felix Noth

Refereed Publications


SMEs and Access to Bank Credit: Evidence on the Regional Propagation of the Financial Crisis in the UK

Hans Degryse Kent Matthews Tianshu Zhao

in: Journal of Financial Stability, 2018


We study the sensitivity of banks’ credit supply to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the UK with respect to the banks’ financial condition before and during the financial crisis. Employing unique data on the geographical location of all bank branches in the UK, we connect firms’ access to bank credit to the financial condition (i.e., bank health and the use of core deposits) of all bank branches in the vicinity of the firm for the period 2004–2011. Before the crisis, banks’ local financial conditions did not influence credit availability irrespective of the functional distance (i.e., the distance between bank branch and bank headquarters). However, during the crisis, we find that SMEs with banks within their vicinity that have stronger financial conditions faced greater credit availability when the functional distance is close. Our results point to a “flight to headquarters” effect during the financial crisis.

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Crises and Rescues: Liquidity Transmission Through Global Banks

Michael Koetter Claudia M. Buch C. T. Koch

in: International Journal of Central Banking, No. 4, 2018


This paper shows that global banks transmit liquidity shocks via their network of foreign affiliates. We use the (unexpected) access of German banks' affiliates located in the United States to the Federal Reserve's Term Auction Facility. We condition on the parent banks' U.S. dollar funding needs in order to examine how affiliates located outside the United States adjusted their balance sheets when the U.S. affiliate of the same parent tapped into TAF liquidity. Our research has three main findings. First, affiliates tied to parents with higher U.S. dollar funding needs expanded their foreign assets during periods of active TAF borrowing. Second, the overall effects are driven by affiliates located in financial centers. Third, U.S.- dollar-denominated lending particularly increased in response to the TAF program.

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Market Power and Risk: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Market

Carola Müller Felix Noth

in: Economics Letters, 2018


We use mortgage loan application data of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) to shed light on the role of banks’ market power on their presumably insufficient risk screening activities in the U.S. mortgage market in the pre-crisis era. We find that banks with higher market power protect their charter value. The effect is stronger for banks that have more information about local markets.

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The Political Economy of Financial Systems: Evidence from Suffrage Reforms in the Last Two Centuries

Hans Degryse Thomas Lambert Armin Schwienbacher

in: The Economic Journal, No. 611, 2018


Voting rights were initially limited to wealthy elites providing political support for stock markets. The franchise expansion induces the median voter to provide political support for banking development, as this new electorate has lower financial holdings and benefits less from the riskiness and financial returns from stock markets. Our panel data evidence covering the years 1830–1999 shows that tighter restrictions on the voting franchise induce greater stock market development, whereas a broader voting franchise is more conducive to the banking sector, consistent with Perotti and von Thadden (2006). The results are robust to controlling for other institutional arrangements and endogeneity.

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What Type of Finance Matters for Growth? Bayesian Model Averaging Evidence

Iftekhar Hasan Roman Horvath Jan Mares

in: The World Bank Economic Review, No. 2, 2018


We examine the effect of finance on long-term economic growth using Bayesian model averaging to address model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions. The literature largely focuses on financial indicators that assess the financial depth of banks and stock markets. We examine these indicators jointly with newly developed indicators that assess the stability and efficiency of financial markets. Once we subject the finance-growth regressions to model uncertainty, our results suggest that commonly used indicators of financial development are not robustly related to long-term growth. However, the findings from our global sample indicate that one newly developed indicator—the efficiency of financial intermediaries—is robustly related to long-term growth.

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Working Papers


Cultural Norms and Corporate Fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen Scandal

Iftekhar Hasan Felix Noth Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 24, 2020


We investigate whether cultural norms shaped by religion drive consumer decisions after a corporate scandal. We exploit the notice of violation by the US Environmental Protection Agency in September 2015 accusing Volkswagen (VW) of using software to manipulate car emission values during test phases. We show that new registrations of VW cars decline significantly in German counties with a high share of Protestants following the VW scandal. Our findings document that the enforcement culture in Protestantism facilitates penalising corporate fraud. We corroborate this channel with a survey documenting that Protestants respond significantly different to fraud but not to environmental issues.

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Cultural Resilience and Economic Recovery: Evidence from Hurricane Katrina

Iftekhar Hasan Stefano Manfredonia Felix Noth

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.

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Trade Shocks, Credit Reallocation and the Role of Specialisation: Evidence from Syndicated Lending

Isabella Müller

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.

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Spillovers of Asset Purchases Within the Real Sector: Win-Win or Joy and Sorrow?

Talina Sondershaus

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.

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Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness Against Your Customers: Cultural Norms and the Volkswagen Scandal

Iftekhar Hasan Felix Noth Lena Tonzer

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.

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