Political Cycles in Bank Lending to the Government
Review of Financial Studies,
We study how political party turnover after German state elections affects banks’ lending to the regional government. We find that between 1992 and 2018, party turnover at the state level leads to a sharp and substantial increase in lending by local savings banks to their home-state government. This effect is accompanied by an equivalent reduction in private lending. A statistical association between political party turnover and government lending is absent for comparable cooperative banks that exhibit a similar regional organization and business model. Our results suggest that political frictions may interfere with government-owned banks’ local development objectives.
The Impact of Social Capital on Economic Attitudes and Outcomes
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This article traces the extant literature on the impact of social capital on economic attitudes and outcomes. Special attention is paid to clarify conceptual ambiguities, measurement techniques, channels of influence, and identification strategies. Insights derived from the literature are then used to analyze the marketplace lending industry in China, where the size of the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market is larger than that of the rest of the world combined. Ironically, approximately two-thirds of these online P2P lending platforms have failed. Empirical evidence from the monthly operating data of 735 lending platforms and transaction level data from one prominent platform (Renrendai) shows that platforms in provinces with high social capital have low risk of failure, and borrowers in provinces with high social capital can borrow at low interest rate and are less likely to default. We also provide observations to guide future economic research on social capital.
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Democracy and Credit
Journal of Financial Economics,
Does democratization reduce the cost of credit? Using global syndicated loan data from 1984 to 2014, we find that democratization has a sizable negative effect on loan spreads: a 1-point increase in the zero-to-ten Polity IV index of democracy shaves at least 19 basis points off spreads, but likely more. Reversals to autocracy hike spreads more strongly. Our findings are robust to the comprehensive inclusion of relevant controls, to the instrumentation with regional waves of democratization, and to a battery of other sensitivity tests. We thus highlight the lower cost of loans as one relevant mechanism through which democratization can affect economic development.
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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IWH FDI Micro Database
IWH FDI Micro Database The IWH FDI Micro Database (FDI = Foreign Direct...
Political Influence and Financial Flexibility: Evidence from China
Journal of Banking & Finance,
This paper investigates how political influence affects firms’ financial flexibility and speed of adjustment toward target leverage ratios. We find that at the macro level, firms in environments with high political advantages, proxied by provincial affiliations with heads of state as well as political status and party rank of provincial leaders, adjust faster. At the micro level, firms that are state-owned, have CPC members as executives, or bear low exposure to changes in political uncertainty adjust faster. When interacted, the micro-level political factors have more significant impact.
Politics, Banks, and Sub-sovereign Debt: Unholy Trinity or Divine Coincidence?
Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper,
We exploit election-driven turnover in State and local governments in Germany to study how banks adjust their securities portfolios in response to the loss of political connections. We find that local savings banks, which are owned by their host county and supervised by local politicians, increase significantly their holdings of home-State sovereign bonds when the local government and the State government are dominated by different political parties. Banks' holdings of other securities, like federal bonds, bonds issued by other States, or stocks, are not affected by election outcomes. We argue that banks use sub-sovereign bond purchases to gain access to politically distant government authorities.
CEO Political Preference and Corporate Tax Sheltering
Journal of Corporate Finance,
We show that firms led by politically partisan CEOs are associated with a higher level of corporate tax sheltering than firms led by nonpartisan CEOs. Specifically, Republican CEOs are associated with more corporate tax sheltering even when their wealth is not tied with that of shareholders and when corporate governance is weak, suggesting that their tax sheltering decisions could be driven by idiosyncratic factors such as their political ideology. We also show that Democratic CEOs are associated with more corporate tax sheltering only when their stock-based incentives are high, suggesting that their tax sheltering decisions are more likely to be driven by economic incentives. In sum, our results support the political connection hypothesis in general but highlight that the specific factors driving partisan CEOs' tax sheltering behaviors differ. Our results imply that it may cost firms more to motivate Democratic CEOs to engage in more tax sheltering activities because such decisions go against their political beliefs regarding tax policies.
Zur Wirtschaftspolitik: Ökonomische Überlegungen zur Verteilung von Flüchtlingen und zur Finanzierung der Kosten der Flüchtlingsmigration in der EU
Die aktuelle Fluchtmigration kann nur durch engere internationale Kooperation auf dem Gebiet der Asylpolitik effizient bewältigt werden. Aus ökonomischer Perspektive wäre es sinnvoll, die ankommenden Flüchtlinge nach einem Verteilungsschlüssel auf alle EU-Länder zu verteilen. Dieser Verteilungsschlüssel sollte widerspiegeln, dass die Integrationskosten in den einzelnen Ländern unterschiedlich ausfallen. Effizient ist eine Verteilung, die die Kosten für die Integration zusätzlicher Flüchtlinge – auch unter Berücksichtigung positiver Effekte etwa auf das Erwerbspersonenpotenzial in alternden und schrumpfenden Gesellschaften – nivelliert. Die Kosten zusätzlicher Integration dürften allerdings nicht automatisch dort am niedrigsten sein, wo die ökonomische Leistungsfähigkeit am höchsten ist. Ferner sind die einzelnen Länder gegenwärtig sehr unterschiedlich betroffen. Um eine politische Einigung zu erzielen, ist neben einem Verteilungsschlüssel für die Personen auch ein Verteilungsschlüssel für die Kosten erforderlich, der sich an der Leistungsfähigkeit der Länder und an dem Umfang der positiven externen Effekte orientiert, von denen Länder profitieren, die vergleichsweise wenige Flüchtlinge aufnehmen. Der von der EU-Kommission vorgelegte Verteilungsschlüssel greift prinzipiell die richtigen Faktoren auf, ist jedoch im Detail intransparent und könnte verbessert werden. Die Kompensationszahlungen an Länder, die aus Gründen der Kosteneffizienz relativ viele Flüchtlinge gemäß dem Verteilungsschlüssel aufnehmen, sollten durch Umschichtungen innerhalb des EU-Haushalts finanziert werden.