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)
Commitment or Constraint? The Effect of Loan Covenants on Merger and Acquisition Activity
in: Finance Research Letters, June 2022
We investigate how loan covenants associated with potential target firms affect takeover deals. We propose two possible channels. Under a discipline channel, the target firm becomes an attractive candidate for takeovers and merger deals are facilitated. Under a constraint channel, covenants hinder merger activity. We find support for the latter channel. Takeover likelihood is lower, deal failures are more common, the likelihood of price renegotiation is higher, and acquisition premium is lower when the target is bound by covenants. Covenant tightness exacerbates this effect.
Bank Failures, Local Business Dynamics, and Government Policy
in: Small Business Economics, No. 4, 2022
Using MSA-level data over 1994–2014, we study the effect of bank failures on local business dynamics, in the form of net business formation and net job creation. We find that at least one bank failure in the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) with the mean population prevents approximately 475 net businesses from forming in that area, compared with MSAs that experience no bank failures, ceteris paribus. The equivalent effect on net job creation is 16,433 net job losses. Our results are even stronger for small businesses, which are usually more dependent on bank-firm relationships. These effects point to significant welfare losses stemming from bank failures, highlighting an important role for government intervention. We show that the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is effective in reducing the negative effects of bank failures on local business dynamics. This positive effect of TARP is quite uniform across small and large firms.
Banking Reform, Risk-Taking, and Accounting Quality: Evidence from Post-Soviet Transition States
in: Journal of International Accounting Research, No. 1, 2022
The drastic banking reform within Central and Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union provides an ideal quasi-experimental design to examine the causal effects of institutional development on accounting quality (AQ). We find that banking reform spurs significant improvement in predictive power of earnings and reductions in earnings smoothing, earnings-inflating discretionary provisions, and avoidance of reporting losses. These effects hold under alternative model specifications and after considering concurrent institutional developments. In contrast, corporate reform shows no such effects, refuting the alternative explanation that unobserved factors affect both reform speed in general and the quality of financial reporting. We further identify four specific reformative actions that are integral to the drastic banking reform process where prudential regulation contributes the most to the observed AQ improvement. It supports the conjecture that banking reform improves AQ by reducing banks' risk-taking behaviors and, as a result, their motive behind accounting manipulation.
Income, Trading, and Performance: Evidence from Retail Investors
in: Journal of Empirical Finance, March 2022
We examine whether household income influences the trading styles of retail investors and their investment performance. To investigate this question, we use a unique dataset of branch-level trading that contains all retail investors and observe that those investors with high income trade more and earn significantly higher returns in the stock market. In addition, this income effect becomes stronger for highly risky stocks, such as gambling or lottery-like stocks. These findings are in line with the information model theorized by Peress (2004) in which wealthy investors take extra risks by trading more stocks.
Understanding Climate Activism: Who Participates in Climate Marches Such As “Fridays for Future” and What Can We Learn from It?
in: Energy Research and Social Science, February 2022
Young people are marching around the globe to ask for measures against climate change and to protect the environment. Using novel survey data, we ask who participates in such powerful movements and what can be learned from our findings. The survey was conducted in German and is based on answers from more than 600 participants. We find that survey respondents are less likely to participate in climate marches like “Fridays for Future” in case they trust more in (large) corporations suggesting a link between trust and climate activism. We also ask whether worries about climate change or attitudes towards more environmentally friendly behavior match their participation frequency in climate marches. Results reveal that respondents being more worried about climate change or the environment tend to participate more often in marches addressing these concerns. Similarly, participation in climate marches correlates positively with acting environmentally sustainable. Hence, our findings might be relevant for corporations in case they want to keep the support of young customers participating in climate marches.
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.