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 ClusterProductivity and Innovation
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)
Why Do Banks Provide Leasing?
in: Journal of Financial Services Research, No. 2, 2014
Banks are engaging in leasing activities at an increasing rate, which is demonstrated by aggregated data for both European and U.S. banking companies. However, little is known about leasing activities at the bank level. The contribution of this paper is the introduction of the nexus of leasing in banking. Beginning from an institutional basis, this paper describes the key features of banks’ leasing activities using the example of German regional banks. The banks in this sample can choose from different types of leasing contracts, providing the banks with a degree of leeway in conducting business with their clients. We find a robust and significant positive impact of banks’ leasing activities on their profitability. Specifically, the beneficial effect of leasing stems from commission business in which the bank acts as a middleman and is not affected by the potential defaults of customers.
IT Use, Productivity, and Market Power in Banking
in: Journal of Financial Stability, No. 4, 2013
Information management is a core process in banking that can resolve information asymmetries and thereby help to mitigate competitive pressure. We test if the use of information technology (IT) contributes to bank output, and how IT-augmented bank productivity relates to differences in market power. Detailed bank-level information on the use of IT reveals a substantial upward bias in bank productivity estimates when ignoring banks’ IT expenditures. IT-augmented bank productivity correlates positively with Lerner markups. A mere increase in IT expenditures, however, reduces markups. Results hold across a range of bank output definitions and productivity estimation methods.
Has Labor Income Become More Volatile? Evidence from International Industry-Level Data
in: German Economic Review, No. 4, 2013
Changes in labor market institutions and the increasing integration of the world economy may affect the volatility of capital and labor incomes. This article documents and analyzes changes in income volatility using data for 11 industrialized countries, 22 industries and 35 years (1970–2004). The article has four main findings. First, the unconditional volatility of labor income has declined in parallel to the decline in macroeconomic volatility. Second, the industry-specific, idiosyncratic component of labor income volatility has hardly changed. Third, cross-sectional heterogeneity is substantial. If anything, the labor incomes of high- and low-skilled workers have become more volatile relative to the volatility of capital incomes. Fourth, the volatility of labor income relative to the volatility of capital income declines in the labor share. Trade openness has no clear-cut impact.
Default Options and Social Welfare: Opt In versus Opt Out
in: Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics JITE, No. 3, 2013
We offer a social-welfare comparison of the two most prominent default options – opt in and opt out – using a two-period model of localized competition. We demonstrate that when consumers stick to the default option, the prevailing default policy shapes firms' ability to collect and use customer information, and affects their pricing strategy and entry decision differently. The free-entry analysis reveals that fewer firms enter under opt out as competition becomes harsher, and that opt out is the socially preferred default option.
Financial Constraints of Private Firms and Bank Lending Behavior
in: Journal of Banking & Finance, No. 9, 2013
We investigate whether and how financial constraints of private firms depend on bank lending behavior. Bank lending behavior, especially its scale, scope and timing, is largely driven by bank business models which differ between privately owned and state-owned banks. Using a unique dataset on private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) we find that an increase in relative borrowings from local state-owned banks significantly reduces firms’ financial constraints, while there is no such effect for privately owned banks. Improved credit availability and private information production are the main channels that explain our result. We also show that the lending behavior of local state-owned banks can be sustainable because it is less cyclical and neither leads to more risk taking nor underperformance.
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.
Basel III Capital Requirements and Heterogeneous Banks
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.
Banks Fearing the Drought? Liquidity Hoarding as a Response to Idiosyncratic Interbank Funding Dry-ups
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.
Flooded Through the Back Door: Firm-level Effects of Banks‘ Lending Shifts
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.