26.06.2019 • 14/2019
Study: How financial crises lower life satisfaction and how to prevent this
Financial crises not only result in severe disruptions to the economic system, they also affect people’s life satisfaction. A new study by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) shows that weaker members of society are more affected by increased uncertainty during crisis times, even if they may not be speculating on the stock market themselves. This could potentially also lower their propensity to consume, thereby intensifying the impact of a financial crisis. The study was recently published in “The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy”.
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13.06.2019 • 12/2019
Weak foreign demand – economic downturn in Germany
In the summer of 2019, uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes weighs on the global economy. The export-oriented German economy is particularly affected. According to IWH summer economic forecast, gross domestic product is expected to increase by only 0.5% in 2019; the forecast for East Germany is 0.8%. The German labour market remains largely robust despite the economic downturn.
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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.
01.04.2019 • 8/2019
Bank profitability increases after eliminating consolidation barriers
When two banks merge because political consolidation barriers are abolished, the combined entity is considerably more profitable and useful to the real economy. This is the headline result of an analysis of compulsory savings banks mergers carried out by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). The study yields important insights for the German and the European banking market.
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Elevated Uncertainty during the Financial Crisis: Do Effects on Subjective Well-being Differ across European Countries?
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
This paper focuses on the effect of uncertainty as reflected by financial market variables on subjective well-being. The analysis is based on Eurobarometer surveys, covering 18 countries over the period 2000–2013. Individuals report lower levels of life satisfaction in times of higher uncertainty approximated by stock market volatility. This effect is heterogeneous across respondents: the probability of being unsatisfied is higher for respondents who are older, unemployed, less educated, and live in one of the GIIPS countries of the Euro area. Furthermore, higher uncertainty in combination with a financial crisis increases the probability of reporting low values of life satisfaction.
Monetary Policy Communication: Frameworks and Market Impact
A. Schipke, M. Rodlauer, L. Zhang (eds.), The Future of China's Bond Market. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund,
Bond markets are an important conduit of monetary policy signals to the economy. Reforms that improve the functioning of bond markets will hence facilitate macroeconomic management effectiveness. Here communication plays an increasingly important role. Good monetary policy communication is not only important to improve the effectiveness of monetary policy in the first place, but by reducing uncertainty it makes bond markets more attractive for investors, further improving monetary transmission.
Benign Neglect of Covenant Violations: Blissful Banking or Ignorant Monitoring?
IWH Discussion Papers,
Theoretically, bank‘s loan monitoring activity hinges critically on its capitalisation. To proxy for monitoring intensity, we use changes in borrowers‘ investment following loan covenant violations, when creditors can intervene in the governance of the firm. Exploiting granular bank-firm relationships observed in the syndicated loan market, we document substantial heterogeneity in monitoring across banks and through time. Better capitalised banks are more lenient monitors that intervene less with covenant violators. Importantly, this hands-off approach is associated with improved borrowers‘ performance. Beyond enhancing financial resilience, regulation that requires banks to hold more capital may thus also mitigate the tightening of credit terms when firms experience shocks.
IWH-DPE Call for Applications – Fall 2020 Intake
Vacancy IWH-DPE Call for Applications – Fall 2020 Intake ...