To Securitise or to Price Credit Default Risk?
IWH Discussion Papers,
We evaluate if lenders price or securitise mortgages to mitigate credit risk. Exploiting exogenous variation in regional credit risk created by differences in foreclosure law along US state borders, we find that financial institutions respond to the law in heterogeneous ways. In the agency market where Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) provide implicit loan guarantees, lenders transfer credit risk using securitisation and do not price credit risk into mortgage contracts. In the non-agency market, where there is no such guarantee, lenders increase interest rates as they are unable to shift credit risk to loan purchasers. The results inform the debate about the design of loan guarantees, the common interest rate policy, and show that underpricing regional credit risk leads to an increase in the GSEs‘ debt holdings by $79.5 billion per annum, exposing taxpayers to preventable losses in the housing market.
Employment Effects of Introducing a Minimum Wage: The Case of Germany
Income inequality has been a major concern of economic policy makers for several years. Can minimum wages help to mitigate inequality? In 2015, the German government introduced a nationwide statutory minimum wage to reduce income inequality by improving the labour income of low-wage employees. However, the employment effects of wage increases depend on time and region specific conditions and, hence, they cannot be known in advance. Because negative employment effects may offset the income gains for low-wage employees, it is important to evaluate minimum-wage policies empirically. We estimate the employment effects of the German minimum-wage introduction using panel regressions on the state-industry-level. We find a robust negative effect of the minimum wage on marginal and a robust positive effect on regular employment. In terms of the number of jobs, our results imply a negative overall effect. Hence, low-wage employees who are still employed are better off at the expense of those who have lost their jobs due to the minimum wage.
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