Price-cost Margin and Bargaining Power in the European Union
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
Using firm-level data between 2004 and 2012 for eleven countries of the European Union (EU), we document the size of product and labour market imperfections within narrowly defined sectors including services which are virtually undocumented. Our findings suggest that perfect competition in both product and labour markets is widely rejected. Levels of the price-cost margin and union bargaining power tend to be higher in some service sectors depicting however substantial heterogeneity. Dispersion within sector and across countries tends to be higher in some services sectors assuming a less tradable nature which suggests that the Single Market integration is partial particularly relaxing the assumption of perfect competition in the labour market. We report also figures for the aggregate economy and show that Eastern countries tend to depict lower product and labour market imperfections compared to other countries in the EU. Also, we provide evidence in favour of a very limited adjustment of both product and labour market imperfections following the international and financial crisis.
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Bank Market Power and Loan Contracts: Empirical Evidence
Using a sample of syndicated loan facilities granted to US corporate borrowers from 1987 to 2013, we directly gauge the lead banks’ market power, and test its effects on both price and non‐price terms in loan contracts. We find that bank market power is positively correlated with loan spreads, and the positive relation holds for both non‐relationship loans and relationship loans. In particular, we report that, for relationship loans, lending banks charge lower loan price for borrowing firms with lower switching cost. We further employ a framework accommodating the joint determination of loan contractual terms, and document that the lead banks’ market power is positively correlated with collateral and negatively correlated with loan maturity. In addition, we report a significant and negative relationship between banking power and the number of covenants in loan contracts, and the negative relationship is stronger for relationship loans.
Real Effects of Bank Capital Regulations: Global Evidence
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We examine the effect of the full set of bank capital regulations (capital stringency) on loan growth, using bank-level data for a maximum of 125 countries over the period 1998–2011. Contrary to standard theoretical considerations, we find that overall capital stringency only has a weak negative effect on loan growth. In fact, this effect is completely offset if banks hold moderately high levels of capital. Interestingly, the components of capital stringency that have the strongest negative effect on loan growth are those related to the prevention of banks to use as capital borrowed funds and assets other than cash or government securities. In contrast, compliance with Basel guidelines in using Basel- and credit-risk weights has a much less potent effect on loan growth.
TV and Entrepreneurship
IWH Discussion Papers,
We empirically analyse whether television (TV) can influence entrepreneurial identity and incidence. To identify causal effects, we utilise a quasi-natural experiment setting. During the division of Germany after WWII into West Germany with a free-market economy and the socialistic East Germany with centrally-planned economy, some East German regions had access to West German public TV that – differently from the East German TV – transmitted images, values, attitudes and view of life compatible with the free-market economy principles and supportive of entrepreneurship. We show that during the 40 years of socialistic regime in East Germany entrepreneurship was highly regulated and virtually impossible and that the prevalent formal and informal institutions broke the traditional ties linking entrepreneurship to the characteristics of individuals so that there were hardly any differences in the levels and development of entrepreneurship between East German regions with and without West German TV signal. Using both, regional and individual level data, we show then that, for the period after the Unification in 1990 which made starting an own business in East Germany, possible again, entrepreneurship incidence is higher among the residents of East German regions that had access to West German public TV, indicating that TV can, while transmitting specific images, values, attitudes and view of life, directly impact on the entrepreneurial mindset of individuals. Moreover, we find that young individuals born after 1980 in East German households that had access to West German TV are also more entrepreneurial. These findings point to second-order effects due to inter-personal and inter-generational transmission, a mechanism that can cause persistent differences in the entrepreneurship incidence across (geographically defined) population groups.
(De-)Centralization and Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence from German Municipalities
A vast academic literature illustrates that voter turnout is affected by the institutional design of elections (e.g., compulsory voting, electoral system, postal or Sunday voting). In this article, we exploit a simple Downsian theoretical framework to argue that the institutional framework of public good provision – and, in particular, the distribution of political and administrative competences across government levels – likewise affects voters’ turnout decisions by influencing the expected net benefit of voting. Empirically, we exploit the institutional variation across German municipalities to test this proposition, and find supportive evidence.
Preventing Innovative Cooperations: The Legal Exemptions Unintended Side Effect
European Journal of Law and Economics,
In 2004, European competition law had been considerable changed by the introduction of the new Council Regulation No. 1/2003. One of the major renewals was the replacement of the centralized notification system for inter-company cooperations in favor of a so-called legal exemption system. We analyze the implications of this reform and its arising uncertainty on the agreements firms implement, especially on innovative agreements like vertical R&D agreements. By means of a decision theoretic approach, we show that the law’s intention to reduce the incentive to establish illegal cartels will be reached but innovating cooperations might be prevented. To avoid this unintended side effect, fines but not the monitoring activities should be increased.
Sharing Competences: The Impact of Local Institutional Settings on Voter Turnout
IWH Discussion Papers,
Institutions are common predictors of voter turnout. Most research in this field focuses on cross-country comparisons of voting systems, like the impact of compulsory voting or registration systems. Fewer efforts have been devoted to understand the role of local institutions and their impact on political participation. Especially the impact of divided competences in relation to public good provision and its impact on voter turnout has been widely ignored. In the present paper, we analyze the effects of different institutional settings for inter-municipal cooperation on voter turnout. We use data from local elections in Germany, held in 2003 and 2004. Overall, we analyze aggregate voter turnout of 1661 municipalities and find strong evidence for our hypothesis that local institutional settings are influential in this context. Further, our results indicate that the better competences correspond to the spatial dimension of local public goods, the higher should be the voter turnout.