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


A Review of Empirical Research on the Design and Impact of Regulation in the Banking Sector

Sanja Jakovljević Hans Degryse Steven Ongena

in: Annual Review of Financial Economics, 2015


We review existing empirical research on the design and impact of regulation in the banking sector. The impact of each individual piece of regulation may inexorably depend on the set of regulations already in place, the characteristics of the banks involved (from their size or ownership structure to operational idiosyncrasies in terms of capitalization levels or risk-taking behavior), and the institutional development of the country where the regulation is introduced. This complexity is challenging for the econometrician, who relies either on single-country data to identify challenges for regulation or on cross-country data to assess the overall effects of regulation. It is also troubling for the policy maker, who has to optimally design regulation to avoid any unintended consequences, especially those that vary over the credit cycle such as the currently developing macroprudential frameworks.

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The Impact of Securitization on Credit Rationing: Empirical Evidence

Santiago Carbo-Valverde Hans Degryse Francisco Rodríguez-Fernández

in: Journal of Financial Stability, 2015


We study whether banks’ involvement into different types of securitization activity – asset backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds – in Spain influences credit supply before and during the financial crisis. While both ABS and covered bonds were hit by the crisis, the former were hit more severely. Employing a disequilibrium model to identify credit rationing, we find that firms with banks that were more involved in securitization see their credit constraints more relaxed in normal periods. In contrast, only greater covered bonds issuance reduces credit rationing during crisis periods whereas ABS aggravates these firms’ credit rationing in crisis periods. Our results are in line with the theoretical predictions that a securitization instrument that retains risk (covered bond) may induce a more prudent risk behavior of banks than an instrument that provides risk transferring (ABS).

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Bank Market Power, Factor Reallocation, and Aggregate Growth

R. Inklaar Michael Koetter Felix Noth

in: Journal of Financial Stability, 2015


Using a unique firm-level sample of approximately 700,000 firm-year observations of German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this study seeks to identify the effect of bank market power on aggregate growth components. We test for a pre-crisis sample whether bank market power spurs or hinders the reallocation of resources across informationally opaque firms. Identification relies on the dependence on external finance in each industry and the regional demarcation of regional banking markets in Germany. The results show that bank markups spur aggregate SME growth, primarily through technical change and the reallocation of resources. Banks seem to need sufficient markups to generate the necessary private information to allocate financial funds efficiently.

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The Impact of Dark Trading and Visible Fragmentation on Market Quality

Hans Degryse Frank de Jong Vincent van Kervel

in: Review of Finance, No. 4, 2015


Two important characteristics of current equity markets are the large number of competing trading venues with publicly displayed order books and the substantial fraction of dark trading, which takes place outside such visible order books. This article evaluates the impact on liquidity of dark trading and fragmentation in visible order books. Dark trading has a detrimental effect on liquidity. Visible fragmentation improves liquidity aggregated over all visible trading venues but lowers liquidity at the traditional market, meaning that the benefits of fragmentation are not enjoyed by investors who choose to send orders only to the traditional market.

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Labor Market Volatility, Skills, and Financial Globalization

Claudia M. Buch C. Pierdzioch

in: Macroeconomic Dynamics, No. 5, 2014


We analyze the impact of financial globalization on volatilities of hours worked and wages of high-skilled and low-skilled workers. Using cross-country, industry-level data for the years 1970–2004, we establish stylized facts that document how volatilities of hours worked and wages of workers with different skill levels have changed over time. We then document that the volatility of hours worked by low-skilled workers has increased the most in response to the increase in financial globalization. We develop a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of a small open economy that is consistent with the empirical results. The model predicts that greater financial globalization increases the volatility of hours worked, and this effect is strongest for low-skilled workers.

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Working Papers


Politics, Banks, and Sub-sovereign Debt: Unholy Trinity or Divine Coincidence?

Michael Koetter Alexander Popov

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.

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May the Force Be with You: Exit Barriers, Governance Shocks, and Profitability Sclerosis in Banking

Michael Koetter Carola Müller Felix Noth Benedikt Fritz

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.

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Basel III Capital Requirements and Heterogeneous Banks

Carola Müller

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2018


I develop a theoretical model to investigate the effect of simultaneous regulation with a leverage ratio and a risk-weighted ratio on banks‘ risk taking and banking market structure. I extend a portfolio choice model by adding heterogeneity in productivity among banks. Regulators face a trade-off between the efficient allocation of resources and financial stability. In an oligopolistic market, risk-weighted requirements incentivise banks with high productivity to lend to low-risk firms. When a leverage ratio is introduced, these banks lose market shares to less productive competitors and react with risk-shifting into high-risk loans. While average productivity in the low-risk market falls, market shares in the high-risk market are dispersed across new entrants with high as well as low productivity.

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Banks Fearing the Drought? Liquidity Hoarding as a Response to Idiosyncratic Interbank Funding Dry-ups

Helge Littke Matias Ossandon Busch

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2018


Since the global financial crisis, economic literature has highlighted banks’ inclination to bolster up their liquid asset positions once the aggregate interbank funding market experiences a dry-up. To this regard, we show that liquidity hoarding and its detrimental effects on credit can also be triggered by idiosyncratic, i.e. bankspecific, interbank funding shocks with implications for monetary policy. Combining a unique data set of the Brazilian banking sector with a novel identification strategy enables us to overcome previous limitations for studying this phenomenon as a bankspecific event. This strategy further helps us to analyse how disruptions in the bank headquarters’ interbank market can lead to liquidity and lending adjustments at the regional bank branch level. From the perspective of the policy maker, understanding this market-to-market spillover effect is important as local bank branch markets are characterised by market concentration and relationship lending.

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Flooded Through the Back Door: Firm-level Effects of Banks‘ Lending Shifts

Oliver Rehbein

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2018


I show that natural disasters transmit to firms in non-disaster areas via their banks. This spillover of non-financial shocks through the banking system is stronger for banks with less regulatory capital. Firms connected to a disaster-exposed bank with below median capital reduce their employment by 11% and their fixed assets by 20% compared to firms in the same region without such a bank during the 2013 flooding in Germany. Relationship banking and higher firm capital also mitigate the effects of such negative cross-regional spillovers.

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