The Joint Dynamics of Sovereign Ratings and Government Bond Yields
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Can a negative shock to sovereign ratings invoke a vicious cycle of increasing government bond yields and further downgrades, ultimately pushing a country toward default? The narratives of public and political discussions, as well as of some widely cited papers, suggest this possibility. In this paper, we will investigate the possible existence of such a vicious cycle. We find no evidence of a bad long-run equilibrium and cannot confirm a feedback loop leading into default as a transitory state for all but the very worst ratings. We use a bivariate semiparametric dynamic panel model to reproduce the joint dynamics of sovereign ratings and government bond yields. The individual equations resemble Pesaran-type cointegration models, which allow for valid interference regardless of whether the employed variables display unit-root behavior. To incorporate most of the empirical features previously documented (separately) in the literature, we allow for different long-run relationships in both equations, nonlinearities in the level effects of ratings, and asymmetric effects in changes of ratings and yields. Our finding of a single good equilibrium implies the slow convergence of ratings and yields toward this equilibrium. However, the persistence of ratings is sufficiently high that a rating shock can have substantial costs if it occurs at a highly speculative rating or lower. Rating shocks that drive the rating below this threshold can increase the interest rate sharply, and for a long time. Yet, simulation studies based on our estimations show that it is highly improbable that rating agencies can be made responsible for the most dramatic spikes in interest rates.
A Market-based Measure for Currency Risk in Managed Exchange Rate Regimes
Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money,
We introduce a novel currency risk measure based on American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Using an augmented ADR pricing model, we exploit investors’ exposure to potential devaluation losses to derive an indicator of currency risk. Using weekly data for a sample of 807 ADRs located in 21 emerging markets over the 1994–2014 period, we find that a deterioration in the fiscal balance and higher inflation increase currency risk. Interaction models reveal that the fiscal balance and inflation drive the determination of currency risk for countries with poor sovereign rating, low foreign reserves, low capital account openness and managed float regimes.
Taken by Storm: Business Financing and Survival in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Journal of Economic Geography,
We use Hurricane Katrina’s damage to the Mississippi coast in 2005 as a natural experiment to study business survival in the aftermath of a capital-destruction shock. We find very low survival rates for businesses that incurred physical damage, particularly for small firms and less-productive establishments. Conditional on survival, larger and more-productive businesses that rebuilt their operations hired more workers than their smaller and less-productive counterparts. Auxiliary evidence from the Survey of Business Owners suggests that the differential size effect is tied to the presence of financial constraints, pointing to a socially inefficient level of exits and to distortions of allocative efficiency in response to this negative shock. Over time, the size advantage disappeared and market mechanisms seem to prevail.
27.09.2018 • 18/2018
Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2018: Upturn Loses Momentum
Berlin, 27 September – Germany’s leading economics research institutes have downwardly revised their forecasts for 2018 and 2019. They now expect economic output to increase by 1.7 percent in 2018, and not 2.2 percent as forecast in spring. They also scaled back their 2019 forecast slightly from 2.0 to 1.9 percent. These are the results of the Joint Economic Forecast for autumn 2018 that will be presented in Berlin on Thursday.
Read press release
06.09.2018 • 17/2018
The Cyclical upswing in Germany continues, in spite of foreign demand losing momentum
In autumn 2018, the global economy continues to expand quite strongly. Whereas the cyclical upswing in the USA has gained even more strength, the economy in the Euro area has weakened somewhat. To a lesser extent, this also applies to the German economy. “According to this forecast, the growth rate of German real gross domestic product will be 1.8% in 2018 and 1.7% in 2019. The East German economy will expand by 1.5% this year and by 1.4% in 2019”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at IWH.
Read press release
14.06.2018 • 14/2018
Current economic outlook: German upswing is slowing down
In summer 2018, the world economy is still rather strong. Dynamics in the euro area, however, have declined markedly, and the cyclical upswing in Germany has almost stalled, due to weaker exports. “Gross domestic product will, according to this forecast, expand by 1.7% in 2018 and by 1.6% in 2019. Growth in East Germany will be about as strong as in Germany as a whole”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at IWH.
Read press release
Effectiveness and (In)Efficiencies of Compensation Regulation: Evidence from the EU Banker Bonus Cap
IWH Discussion Papers,
We investigate the (unintended) effects of bank executive compensation regulation. Capping the share of variable compensation spurred average turnover rates driven by CEOs at poorly performing banks. Other than that, banks‘ responses to raise fixed compensation sufficed to retain the vast majority of non-CEO executives and those at well performing banks. We fail to find evidence that banks with executives that are more affected by the bonus cap became less risky. In fact, numerous results indicate an increase of risk, even in its systemic dimension according to selected measures. The return component of bank performance appears to be unaffected by the bonus cap. Risk hikes are consistent with an insurance effect associated with raised the increase in fixed compensation of executives. The ability of the policy to enhance financial stability is therefore doubtful.