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.
Bank-specific Shocks and House Price Growth in the U.S.
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2017
This paper investigates the link between mortgage supply shocks at the banklevel and regional house price growth in the U.S. using micro-level data on mortgage markets from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for the 1990-2014 period. Our results suggest that bank-specific mortgage supply shocks indeed affect house price growth at the regional level. The larger the idiosyncratic shocks to newly issued mortgages, the stronger is house price growth. We show that the positive link between idiosyncratic mortgage shocks and regional house price growth is very robust and economically meaningful, however not very persistent since it fades out after two years.
How Effective is Macroprudential Policy during Financial Downturns? Evidence from Caps on Banks' Leverage
in: Working Papers of Eesti Pank, No. 7, 2015
This paper investigates the effect of a macroprudential policy instrument, caps on banks' leverage, on domestic credit to the private sector since the Global Financial Crisis. Applying a difference-in-differences approach to a panel of 69 advanced and emerging economies over 2002–2014, we show that real credit grew after the crisis at considerably higher rates in countries which had implemented the leverage cap prior to the crisis. This stabilising effect is more pronounced for countries in which banks had a higher pre-crisis capital ratio, which suggests that after the crisis, banks were able to draw on buffers built up prior to the crisis due to the regulation. The results are robust to different choices of subsamples as well as to competing explanations such as standard adjustment to the pre-crisis credit boom.
Monetary Policy under the Microscope: Intra-bank Transmission of Asset Purchase Programs of the ECB
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 9, 2015
With a unique loan portfolio maintained by a top-20 universal bank in Germany, this study tests whether unconventional monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB) reduced corporate borrowing costs. We decompose corporate lending rates into refinancing costs, as determined by money markets, and markups that the bank is able to charge its customers in regional markets. This decomposition reveals how banks transmit monetary policy within their organizations. To identify policy effects on loan rate components, we exploit the co-existence of eurozone-wide security purchase programs and regional fiscal policies at the district level. ECB purchase programs reduced refinancing costs significantly, even in an economy not specifically targeted for sovereign debt stress relief, but not loan rates themselves. However, asset purchases mitigated those loan price hikes due to additional credit demand stimulated by regional tax policy and enabled the bank to realize larger economic margins.
Corporate Governance Structures and Financial Constraints in Multinational Enterprises – An Analysis in Selected European Transition Economies on the Basis of the IWH FDI Micro Database 2013 –
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2015
In our analysis, we consider the distribution of decision power over financing and investment between MNEs’ headquarters and foreign subsidiaries and its influence on the foreign affiliates’ financial restrictions. Our research results show that headquarters of multinational enterprises have not (yet) moved much decision power to their foreign subsidiaries at all. We use data from the IWH FDI Micro Database which contains information on corporate governance structures and financial restrictions of 609 enterprises with a foreign investor in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and East Germany. We match data from Bureau van Dijk’s AMADEUS database on financial characteristics. We find that a high concentration of decision power within the MNE’s headquarter implicates high financial restrictions within the subsidiary. Square term results show, however, that the effect of financial constraints within the subsidiary decreases and finally turns insignificant when decision power moves from headquarter to subsidiary. Thus, economic policy should encourage foreign investors in the case of foreign acquisition of local enterprises to leave decision power within the enterprise and in the case of Greenfield investment to provide the newly established subsidiaries with as much power over corporate governance structures as possible.