17.08.2022 • 19/2022
Labour mobility is part of structural change
The coal phase-out will also change the affected regions in that part of the workforce will migrate. Politicians should take this process into account in structural policy, because it cannot be completely prevented. A study published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) illustrates this with a historical example.
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Political Uncertainty and Bank Loan Contracts: Does Government Quality Matter?
Journal of Financial Services Research,
We investigate the relation between political uncertainty and bank loan spreads using a sample of loan contracts for the G20 firms during the period from 1982 to 2015. We find that banks charge firms higher loan spreads and require more covenants during election years when domestic political risks are elevated. Greater differences in the support ratios of opinion polls on candidates lead to the lower cost of bank loans. This political effect also lessens when the government quality of the borrower’s country is better than that of the lender’s country. Better quality government can lower the political risk component of bank loan spreads.
The Impact of Political Uncertainty on Institutional Ownership
Journal of Financial Stability,
This paper provides original evidence from institutional investors that political uncertainty greatly affects investment behavior. Using institutional holdings of common stock, we find that institutions significantly reduce their holdings by 0.8–2.3% points during presidential election years. Such effect holds for gubernatorial elections with cross-state-border difference-in-difference analysis and for tests using a political uncertainty index. The effect is the opposite for American Depository Receipts (ADRs). In addition, we find that institutions benefit financially from the observed strategy, and such strategy is in line with predicted outcomes of presidential election polls.
Trade Shocks, Labour Markets and Elections in the First Globalisation
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This paper studies the economic and political effects of a large trade shock in agriculture – the grain invasion from the Americas – in Prussia during the first globalisation (1871-1913). We show that this shock accelerated the structural change in the Prussian economy through migration of workers to booming cities. In contrast to studies using today’s data, we do not observe declining per capita income and political polarisation in counties affected by foreign competition. Our results suggest that the negative and persistent effects of trade shocks we see today are not a universal feature of globalisation, but depend on labour mobility. For our analysis, we digitise data from Prussian industrial and agricultural censuses on the county level and combine it with national trade data at the product level. We exploit the cross-regional variation in cultivated crops within Prussia and instrument with Italian trade data to isolate exogenous variation.
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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 Economic Record of the Government and Sovereign Bond and Stock Returns Around National Elections
Journal of Banking and Finance,
This paper investigates the role of the fiscal and economic record of the incumbent government in shaping the price response of sovereign bonds and stocks to the election outcome in emerging markets and developed countries. For sovereign bonds in emerging markets, we find robust evidence for higher cumulative abnormal returns (CARs) if a government associated with a relatively low primary fiscal balance is voted out of office compared to elections where the fiscal balance was relatively high. This effect of the incumbent government's fiscal record is significantly more pronounced in the presence of high sovereign default risk and strong political veto players, whereas the quality of institutions does not explain differences in effects for different events. We do not find robust effects of the government's fiscal record for developed countries and stocks.
12.02.2020 • 2/2020
Causes of populism: IWH begins international research project
Is the increasing strength of populist parties due to economic causes? The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) is set to play a leading role in scrutinising this controversial question with immediate effect, together with researchers from England, Scotland and the Czech Republic. The Volkswagen Foundation is funding this interdisciplinary project to the tune of almost one million euro for four years.
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