Regulation of International Financial Markets and International Banking
This research group analyses causes and consequences of banks' international activities and the regulatory framework they operate in.
Internationally active banks can facilitate an efficient international allocation of capital and provide channels for international risk sharing. But they can also be a source of financial instabilities themselves, thus contributing to international contagion and risk-shifting. This is one reason for the current re-regulation of international banking.
The research group contributes to the literature in three ways. First, the group empirically analyses the channels through which shocks are transmitted by internationally active banks. Second, the group analyses the build-up of aggregate imbalances in integrated banking markets and resulting consequences for the real economy. Third, the group analyses the impact of changes in banking supervision and regulation on (inter)national activities of banks, with a special focus on the European integration process.
IWH Data Project: International Banking Library
Research ClusterFinancial Stability and Regulation
07.2017 ‐ 12.2022
The Political Economy of the European Banking Union
European Social Fund (ESF)
Causes of national differences in the implementation of the Banking Union and the resulting impact on financial stability.
01.2015 ‐ 12.2017
Dynamic Interactions between Banks and the Real Economy
German Research Foundation (DFG)
The Distorting Impact of Capital Controls
in: German Economic Review, No. 1, 2012
This paper uses panel data to show that capital controls have a significant impact on international interest rate differentials. Various types of controls can be distinguished within the data. The analysis shows that the aforementioned effects of capital controls on interest rates are especially strong in the case of capital import controls on portfolio capital; the implementation of these controls has been suggested in the wake of the Asian Crisis to prevent further crises. The results presented herein contradict the hypothesis that capital controls can achieve a restructuring of the maturity of capital inflows without a distortion in international capital allocation.
Protect and Survive? Did Capital Controls Help Shield Emerging Markets from the Crisis?
in: Economics Bulletin, No. 1, 2012
Using a new dataset on capital market regulation, we analyze whether capital controls helped protect emerging markets from the real economic consequences of the 2009 financial and economic crisis. The impact of the crisis is measured by the 2009 forecast error of a panel state space model, which analyzes the business cycle dynamics of 63 middle-income countries. We find that neither capital controls in general nor controls that were specifically targeted to derivatives (that played a crucial role during the crisis) helped shield economies. However, banking regulation that limits the exposure of banks to global risks has been highly successful.
The Impact of Fixed Exchange Rates on Fiscal Discipline
in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy, No. 5, 2011
In this paper, it is shown that, contrary to standard arguments, fiscal discipline is not substantially enhanced by a fixed exchange rate regime. This study is based on data from 116 countries collected from 1975 to 2004 and uses various estimation techniques for dynamic panel data, in particular a GMM estimation in the tradition Arellano and Bover (1995) and Blundell and Bond (1998). Contrary to previous papers on this topic, the present paper takes into account that the consequences of a new exchange rate regime do not necessarily fully manifest immediately.
The Role of Rating Agencies in Financial Crises: Event Studies from the Asian Flu
in: Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2010
Based on case studies from countries that have been hit hardest by the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the present paper shows that the accusation that sovereign ratings led to a severe acceleration of the crisis is unconvincing and that the empirical method often used to support accusations against rating agencies is inappropriate for the problem under analysis. Rather, it must be emphasised that ratings were downgraded in most countries very shortly before the end of the crisis. In some countries, the ratings were even further downgraded after the end of the crisis as countries started to recover. This is not in line with the thesis that the crisis was accelerated by rating agencies.
Capital Controls and International Interest Rate Differentials
in: Applied Economics, 2010
Since the Asian crises it is often taken as granted that capital markets have significant functional deficits. Often these deficits are believed to be so very strong that the ability of free capital markets to guarantee a more or less correct international allocation of capital is denied. It is argued that speculation dominates capital markets so much that capital allocation is purely random. This is one of the major arguments backing the present trend to re-establish capital controls, which emerged after the capital market distortions observed during the Asian flu. In the present article it is shown that capital markets, while certainly prone to many distortions, are well capable of roughly guiding capital to the proper place. Though allocation is not model-like perfect, this steals the thunder from the idea, that closed or government-guided capital markets were able to perform better.
Firm Subsidies, Financial Intermediation, and Bank Stability
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 24, 2022
We use granular project-level information for the largest regional economic development program in German history to study whether government subsidies to firms affect the quantity and quality of bank lending. We combine the universe of recipient firms under the Improvement of Regional Economic Structures program (GRW) with their local banks during 1998-2019. The modalities of GRW subsidies to firms are determined at the EU level. Therefore, we use it to identify bank outcomes. Banks with relationships to more subsidized firms exhibit higher lending volumes without any significant differences in bank stability. Subsidized firms, in turn, borrow more indicating that banks facilitate regional economic development policies.
Climate Change-Related Regulatory Risks and Bank Lending
in: ECB Working Paper, No. 2670, 2022
We identify the effect of climate change-related regulatory risks on credit real-location. Our evidence suggests that effects depend borrower's region. Following an increase in salience of regulatory risks, banks reallocate credit to US firms that could be negatively impacted by regulatory interventions. Conversely, in Europe, banks lend more to firms that could benefit from environmental regulation. The effect is moderated by banks' own loan portfolio composition. Banks with a portfolio tilted towards firms that could be negatively a affected by environmental policies increasingly support these firms. Overall, our results indicate that financial implications of regulation associated with climate change appear to be the main drivers of banks' behavior.
Explaining Regional Disparities in Housing Prices Across German Districts
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 13, 2022
Over the last decade, German housing prices have increased unprecedentedly. Drawing on quality-adjusted housing price data at the district level, we document large and increasing regional disparities: Growth rates were higher in 1) the largest seven cities, 2) districts located in the south, and 3) districts with higher initial price levels. Indications of price bubbles are concentrated in the largest cities and in the purchasing market. Prices seem to be driven by the demand side: Increasing population density, higher shares of academically educated employees and increasing purchasing power explain our findings, while supply remained relatively constrained in the short term.
Stress-ridden Finance and Growth Losses: Does Financial Development Break the Link?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2022
Does financial development shield countries from the pass-through of financial shocks to real outcomes? We evaluate this question by characterising the probability density of expected GDP growth conditional on financial stability indicators in a panel of 28 countries. Our robust results unveil a non-linear nexus between financial stability and expected GDP growth, depending on countries’ degree of financial development. While both domestic and global financial factors affect expected growth, the effect of global factors is moderated by financial development. This result highlights a previously unexplored channel trough which financial development can break the link between financial (in)stability and GDP growth.
Do We Want These Two to Tango? On Zombie Firms and Stressed Banks in Europe
in: ECB Working Paper, 2017
We show that the speed and type of corporate deleveraging depends on the interaction between corporate and financial sector health. Based on granular bank-firm data pertaining to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) from five stressed and two non-stressed euro area economies, we show that “zombie” firms generally continued to lever up during the 2010–2014 period. Whereas relationships with stressed banks reduce SME leverage on average, we also show that zombie firms that are tied to weak banks in euro area periphery countries increase their indebtedness even further. Sustainable economic recovery therefore requires both: deleveraging of banks and firms.