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16.12.2015 • 45/2015
German Economy: Strong domestic demand compensates for weak exports
The upturn of the German economy is expected to gain further momentum as a consequence of strong domestic demand. Real gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.6% in 2016. Consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.9%. Unemployment is expected to rise slightly because it will take time to integrate refugees into the labour market.
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Bank Market Power, Factor Reallocation, and Aggregate Growth
Journal of Financial Stability,
Using a unique firm-level sample of approximately 700,000 firm-year observations of German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this study seeks to identify the effect of bank market power on aggregate growth components. We test for a pre-crisis sample whether bank market power spurs or hinders the reallocation of resources across informationally opaque firms. Identification relies on the dependence on external finance in each industry and the regional demarcation of regional banking markets in Germany. The results show that bank markups spur aggregate SME growth, primarily through technical change and the reallocation of resources. Banks seem to need sufficient markups to generate the necessary private information to allocate financial funds efficiently.
Stress Testing and Bank Efficiency: Evidence from Europe
International Journal of Corporate Finance and Accounting,
This study examines whether and how the stress testing of European banks in 2010, 2011, and 2014 is related to their technical, allocative, and cost efficiency. Using a sample of large commercial banks operating in 20 European countries, and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), the authors perform comparisons between banks that were included in one of the three European stress tests and untested banks operating in the same countries. They estimate various specifications as for the inputs and outputs, cross-section and pooled estimations, and they also examine alternative samples as for the ownership of banks. In general, the authors conclude that banks included in the stress-test exercises are more efficient that their counterparties. The differences tend to be statistically significant in the case of allocative efficiency and cost efficiency, but not in the case of technical efficiency. With regards to the latter form of efficiency, the results depend upon the specification and the stress test in question.
Public Bank Guarantees and Allocative Efficiency
IWH Discussion Papers,
In the wake of the recent financial crisis, many governments extended public guarantees to banks. We take advantage of a natural experiment, in which long-standing public guarantees were removed for a set of German banks following a lawsuit, to identify the real effects of these guarantees on the allocation of credit (“allocative efficiency”). Using matched bank/firm data, we find that public guarantees reduce allocative efficiency. With guarantees in place, poorly performing firms invest more and maintain higher rates of sales growth. Moreover, firms produce less efficiently in the presence of public guarantees. Consistently, we show that guarantees reduce the likelihood that firms exit the market. These findings suggest that public guarantees hinder restructuring activities and prevent resources to flow to the most productive uses.
Efficiency in the UK Commercial Property Market: A Long-run Perspective
IWH Discussion Papers,
Informationally efficient prices are a necessary requirement for optimal resource allocation in the real estate market. Prices are informationally efficient if they reflect buildings’ benefit to marginal buyers, thereby taking account of all available information on future market development. Prices that do not reflect available information may lead to over- or undersupply if developers react to these inefficient prices. In this study, we examine the efficiency of the UK commercial property market and the interaction between prices, construction costs, and new supply. We collated a unique data set covering the years 1920 onwards, which we employ in our study. First, we assess if real estate prices were in accordance with present values, thereby testing for informational efficiency. By comparing prices and estimated present values, we can measure informational inefficiency. Second, we assess if developers reacted correctly to price signals. Development (or the lack thereof) should be triggered by deviations between present values and cost; if prices do not reflect present values, then they should have no impact on development decisions.
Foreign Bank Entry, Credit Allocation and Lending Rates in Emerging Markets: Empirical Evidence from Poland
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Earlier studies have documented that foreign banks charge lower lending rates and interest spreads than domestic banks. We hypothesize that this may stem from the superior efficiency of foreign entrants that they decide to pass onto borrowers (“performance hypothesis”), but could also reflect a different loan allocation with respect to borrower transparency, loan maturity and currency (“portfolio composition hypothesis”). We are able to differentiate between the above hypotheses thanks to a novel dataset containing detailed bank-specific information for the Polish banking industry. Our findings demonstrate that banks differ significantly in terms of portfolio composition and we attest to the “portfolio composition hypothesis” by showing that, having controlled for portfolio composition, there are no differences in lending rates between banks.