05.09.2019 • 18/2019
Downturn in Germany continues
Trade disputes are causing international trade in goods to decline this year. The manufacturing industry in Germany is particularly affected by this. However, a robust labour market is supporting the economy. According to IWH autumn economic forecast, German gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 0.5% in 2019. At 1%, output growth in East Germany is likely to be significantly higher than in West Germany.
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Pricing Sin Stocks: Ethical Preference vs. Risk Aversion
European Economic Review,
We develop an ethical preference-based model that reproduces the average return and volatility spread between sin and non-sin stocks. Our investors do not necessarily boycott sin companies. Rather, they are open to invest in any company while trading off dividends against ethicalness. When dividends and ethicalness are complementary goods and investors are sufficiently risk averse, the model predicts that the dividend share of sin companies exhibits a positive relation with the future return and volatility spreads. An empirical analysis supports the model’s predictions. Taken together, our results point to the importance of ethical preferences for investors’ portfolio choices and asset prices.
A Capital Structure Channel of Monetary Policy
Journal of Financial Economics,
We study the transmission channels from central banks’ quantitative easing programs via the banking sector when central banks start purchasing corporate bonds. We find evidence consistent with a “capital structure channel” of monetary policy. The announcement of central bank purchases reduces the bond yields of firms whose bonds are eligible for central bank purchases. These firms substitute bank term loans with bond debt, thereby relaxing banks’ lending constraints: banks with low tier-1 ratios and high nonperforming loans increase lending to private (and profitable) firms, which experience a growth in investment. The credit reallocation increases banks’ risk-taking in corporate credit.
CEO Investment of Deferred Compensation Plans and Firm Performance
Journal of Business Finance & Accounting,
We study how US chief executive officers (CEOs) invest their deferred compensation plans depending on the firm's profitability. By looking at the correlation between the CEO's return on these plans and the firm's stock return, we show that deferred compensation is to a large extent invested in the company equity in good times and divested from it in bad times. The divestment from company equity in bad times arguably reflects CEOs' incentive to abandon the firm and to invest in alternative instruments to preserve the value of their deferred compensation plans. This result suggests that the incentive alignment effects of deferred compensation crucially depend on the firm's health status.
Kommentar: Die Krise von 2008/2009 ist noch nicht vorbei
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Kurzfristig war die Finanzkrise, ursprünglich ausgelöst durch exzessive Vergabe von Hypotheken an weniger kreditwürdige Haushalte, verbunden mit der weitverbreiteten Verbriefung dieser Hypotheken, mit schweren realwirtschaftlichen Konsequenzen verbunden. Die Volkswirtschaften aller Industrieländer schrumpften stark, die Arbeitslosigkeit stieg kräftig an. Firmen waren nicht in der Lage, neue Investitionen zu finanzieren, da es für Banken in vielen Ländern nicht möglich war, Kredite zu vergeben. Gleichzeitig führten die Rettungsaktionen der Regierungen zu einer starken Erhöhung der Schuldenstände und zu einer Nullzinspolitik, verbunden mit Anleihekäufen, der wichtigsten Zentralbanken.
Wo stehen wir heute, über zehn Jahre nach der Pleite von Lehman, die symbolisch noch immer eng mit der Krise verbunden ist? Und gibt es langfristige Auswirkungen auf die Wirtschaft – Auswirkungen, die wir noch heute spüren und möglicherweise noch viele Jahre spüren werden?
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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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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04.03.2019 • 6/2019
New IWH publication takes stock: “United country – three decades after the Wall came down”
How is Germany’s economy faring 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall? A new publication by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) uses illustrative maps and graphs to show how the Federal Republic has developed compared to other countries and how economic unification has progressed. The publication presents many new findings, including on productivity differences between east and west, urban and rural development, as well as the availability of skilled labour.
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IWH FDI Micro Database
IWH FDI Micro Database The IWH FDI Micro Database (FDI = Foreign Direct...