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.
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.