The Impact of Institutions on the Employment Performance in European Labour Markets
Discussion Paper No. 1732,
The paper investigates the role of institutions for labor market performance across European countries. As participation rates have been rather stable over the past, the unemployment problem is mainly caused by shortages in labor demand. Labor demand is expressed by its structural parameters, such as the elasticities of employment to output and factor prices. Institutional variables include employment protection legislation, the structure of wage bargaining, measures describing the tax and transfer system and active labor market policies. As cointegration between employment, output and factor prices is detected, labor demand equations are fitted in levels by efficient estimation techniques. Then, labor demand elasticities are explained by institutions using panel fixed effects regressions. The results suggest that higher flexibility and incentives of households to work appear to be appropriate strategies to improve the employment record. The employment response to economic conditions is stronger in a more deregulated environment, and the absorption of shocks can be relieved.
Monetary Policy and Bank Lending in Japan: An Agency-based Approach
Incentives and Economic Behaviour,
This paper studies the incentive effects on Japanese banks of a low interest rate policy by the Bank of Japan. It utilizes a simplified version of an overlapping principal-agent-style model of corporate finance originally developed in Dietrich (2003). This model is dedicated to study the monetary policy transmission mechanism by combining arguments of the broad credit channel and the bank lending channel taking into account that banks need to be provided with incentives to monitor entrepreneurs. We argue that stipulating banks to possess some amount of own capital generate these incentives. We denote this capital requirement to be market based and show that this requirement depends crucially on interest rates. After revealing some shortcomings of the credit crunch hypothesis, we apply this approach to the Japanese economy. As a result, a policy of very low interest rates may not only be inefficient but counterproductive to reactivate a stumbled economy via the usual credit channel.
Cross-border bank mergers: What lures the rare animal?
Journal of Banking and Finance,
Although domestic mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the financial services industry have increased steadily over the past two decades, international M&As were until recently relatively rare. Moreover, the share of cross-border mergers in the banking industry is low compared with other industries. This paper uses a novel dataset of over 3000 mergers that took place between 1985 and 2001 to analyze the determinants of international bank mergers. We test the extent to which information costs and regulations hold back merger activity. Our results suggest that information costs significantly impede cross-border bank mergers. Regulations also influence cross-border bank merger activity. Hence, policy makers can create environments that encourage cross-border activity, but information cost barriers must be overcome even in (legally) integrated markets.
Why do we have an interbank money market?
IWH Discussion Papers,
The interbank money market plays a key role in the execution of monetary policy. Hence, it is important to know the functioning of this market and the determinants of the interbank money market rate. In this paper, we develop an interbank money market model with a heterogeneous banking sector. We show that besides for balancing daily liquidity fluctuations banks participate in the interbank market because they have different marginal costs of obtaining funds from the central bank. In the euro area, which we refer to, these cost differences occur because banks have different marginal cost of collateral which they need to hold to obtain funds from the central bank. Banks with relatively low marginal costs act as intermediaries between the central bank and banks with relatively high marginal costs. The necessary positive spread between the interbank market rate and the central bank rate is determined by transaction costs and credit risk in the interbank market, total liquidity needs of the banking sector, costs of obtaining funds from the central bank, and the distribution of the latter across banks.
Economic Development 2002 and 2003: Investments – The Achilles Heel of the Economy
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The Article analyses and forecasts the economic developments for the World and German in 2002 and 2003. During the winter 2001/2002 the World Economy was able to pull out of its trough. Nonetheless, the upswing did not reach investments and was mainly driven by consumption and exports in the USA and the remaining major economies, respectively. In the course of this and next year Investors will gradually regain their trust in the economy. The same will be the case for consumers in Germany and Europe. As a result a modest recovery on a wide front will develop. In the course of next year this recovery will start to weaken. In Germany, Wage Policy has retracted from its former moderate stance. Hence, although due to the improving economic conditions and the resulting slowed employment cuts by the end of 2002 as well as employment increases in 2003, the upswing on the labour market will not reach the dynamics of the 1999/2000 recovery. Fiscal Policy, caused by the need to consolidate the public budget, will be restrictive. Despite the low inflation risks, by the end of this year the ECB will have raised its major interest rate by 1/2 percentage point. Nonetheless, as interest rates in real terms will remain at relatively low levels a restrictive impact from the Monetary Policy in Germany and the Euro Area will is not expected. The most important Data for the World Economy and Germany are being stated in detailed tables.
Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand
Quarterly Journal of Economics,
This paper examines how personal bankruptcy and bankruptcy exemptions affect the supply and demand for credit. While generous state-level bankruptcy exemptions are probably viewed by most policy-makers as benefiting less-well-off borrowers, our results using data from the 1983 Survey of Consumer Finances suggest that they increase the amount of credit held by high-asset households and reduce the availability and amount of credit to low-asset households, conditioning on observable characteristics. Thus, bankruptcy exemptions redistribute credit toward borrowers with high assets. Interest rates on automobile loans for low-asset households also appear to be higher in high exemption states.