Monetary Policy through Exchange Rate Pegs: The Removal of the Swiss Franc‐Euro Floor and Stock Price Reactions
International Review of Finance,
The Swiss National Bank abolished the exchange rate floor versus the Euro in January 2015. Using a synthetic matching framework, we analyze the impact of this unexpected (and therefore exogenous) policy change on the stock market. The results reveal a significant level shift (decline) in asset prices following the discontinuation of the minimum exchange rate. As a novel finding in the literature, we document that the exchange‐rate elasticity of Swiss asset prices is around −0.75. Differentiating between sectors of the Swiss economy, we find that the industrial, financial and consumer goods sectors are most strongly affected by the abolition of the minimum exchange rate.
Bank Concentration and Product Market Competition
Review of Financial Studies,
This paper documents a link between bank concentration and markups in nonfinancial sectors. We exploit concentration-increasing bank mergers and variation in banks’ market shares across industries and show that higher credit concentration is associated with higher markups and that high-market-share lenders charge lower loan rates. We argue that this is due to the greater incidence of competing firms sharing common lenders that induce less aggressive product market behavior among their borrowers, thereby internalizing potential adverse effects of higher rates. Consistent with our conjecture, the effect is stronger in industries with competition in strategic substitutes where negative product market externalities are greatest.
08.06.2021 • 14/2021
IWH Bankruptcy Update: Still No Bankruptcy Wave in Sight; Number of Impacted Jobs Reaches New Low
In May the number of corporate bankruptcies once again fell significantly. A jump in June is also unlikely, according to early indicators assessed by IWH. The number of jobs impacted by bankruptcy has fallen to the lowest level witnessed since the Corona outbreak. The IWH Bankruptcy Report, published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), provides a monthly update on German bankruptcy statistics.
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01.02.2021 • 4/2021
During Corona, households are saving more – not for fear of unemployment but for lack of spending opportunities
During the Corona crisis, European households increased their savings dramatically. According to an analysis carried out by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the increase in savings is largely due to the inability of households to consume in the face of government lockdown measures, rather than other factors such as economic uncertainty. IWH President Reint Gropp therefore sees potential for a significant catch-up effect in consumption as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
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Public Bank Guarantees and Allocative Efficiency
Journal of Monetary Economics,
A natural experiment and matched bank/firm data are used to identify the effects of bank guarantees on allocative efficiency. We find that with guarantees in place unproductive firms receive larger loans, invest more, and maintain higher rates of sales and wage growth. Moreover, firms produce less productively. Firms also survive longer in banks’ portfolios and those that enter guaranteed banks’ portfolios are less profitable and productive. Finally, we observe fewer economy-wide firm exits and bankruptcy filings in the presence of guarantees. Overall, the results are consistent with the idea that guaranteed banks keep unproductive firms in business for too long.
Marginal Returns to Talent for Material Risk Takers in Banking
IWH Discussion Papers,
Economies of scale can explain compensation differentials over time, across firms of different size, different hierarchy-levels, and different industries. Consequently, the most talented individuals tend to match with the largest firms in industries where marginal returns to their talent are greatest. We explore a new dimension of this size-pay nexus by showing that marginal returns also differ across activities within firms and industries. Using hand-collected data on managers in European banks well below the level of executive directors, we find that the size-pay nexus is strongest for investment banking business units and for banks with a market-based business model. Thus, managerial compensation is most sensitive to size increases for activities that can easily be scaled up.
Capital Misallocation and Innovation
SSRN Solutions Research Paper Series,
This paper documents that "zombie" lending by undercapitalized banks distorts competition and impedes corporate innovation. This misallocation of capital prevents both the exit of zombie and entry of healthy firms in affected industries adversely impacting output and competition. Worse, capital misallocation depresses patent applications, particularly in high technology- and R&D-intensive sectors, and industries with neck- and-neck competition. We strengthen our results using an IV approach to address reverse causality and innovation survey data from the European Commission. Overall, our results are consistent with externalities imposed on healthy firms through the misallocation of capital.
Crisis is Gradually being Overcome – Align Actions to Lower Growth In their autumn report, the leading German economic...