03.05.2016 • 20/2016
Are Lacking Structural Reforms in the Financial Sector the Underlying Reason for the German Criticism of the ECB?
The major reason for the intense criticism of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) low-interest-rate policy may be the lack of structural reforms in the German banking system. The resulting persistent fragmentation increases the banking sector’s vulnerability to the low-interest-rate environment. Hence, parts of the banking sector, due to their strong ties to politicians, appear to have successfully influenced public opinion against the ECB.
Reint E. Gropp
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Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Institutional and Cultural Determinants
Stefan Eichler, N. Lucke
Using panel data for 29 source and 65 host countries in the period 1995–2009, we examine the determinants of bilateral FDI stocks, focusing on institutional and cultural factors. The results reveal that institutional and cultural distance is important and that FDI has a predominantly regional aspect. FDI to developing countries is positively affected by better institutions in the host country, while foreign investors prefer to invest in developed countries that are more corrupt and politically unstable compared to home. The results indicate that foreign investors prefer to invest in countries with less diverse societies than their own.
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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Cross-border Interbank Networks, Banking Risk and Contagion
Journal of Financial Stability,
Recent events have highlighted the role of cross-border linkages between banking systems in transmitting local developments across national borders. This paper analyzes whether international linkages in interbank markets affect the stability of interconnected banking systems and channel financial distress within a network consisting of banking systems of the main advanced countries for the period 1994–2012. Methodologically, I use a spatial modeling approach to test for spillovers in cross-border interbank markets. The results suggest that foreign exposures in banking play a significant role in channeling banking risk: I find that countries that are linked through foreign borrowing or lending positions to more stable banking systems abroad are significantly affected by positive spillover effects. From a policy point of view, this implies that in stable times, linkages in the banking system can be beneficial, while they have to be taken with caution in times of financial turmoil affecting the whole system.
Risk and Return - Is there an Unholy Cycle of Ratings and Yields?
Makram El-Shagi, Gregor von Schweinitz
After every major financial crisis, the question about the responsibility of the rating agencies resurfaces. Regarding government bonds, the most frequently voiced concern targeted “unreasonably” bad ratings that might trigger capital flights and increasing risk premia which sanction further rating downgrades. In this paper we develop a multivariate, nonparametric version of the Pesaran type cointegration model that allows for nonlinearities, to show that a unique equilibrium between ratings and sovereign yields exists. Therefore, we have to reject the concern that there is an unholy cycle leading to certain default in the long run.
Coordination between Municipalities and Local Non-Municipal Public Units (NMPUs) for Supporting Urban Economic Development: Theoretical Analysis and Empirical Evidence for the Example of Universities in Germany
Martin T. W. Rosenfeld, J. Hinz
Koordination raumwirksamer Politik: Mehr Effizienz und Wirksamkeit von Politik durch abgestimmte Arbeitsteilung,
In many European cities, policymakers are trying to change the local paths of economic development to head in new directions, e.g. by trying to become a location for Non-Municipal Public Units (NMPUs), like federal special agencies, state museums, military bases, universities or publicly funded research institutes. But as the competencies for such local NMPUs are allocated to higher levels of government, the municipal level has no direct formal institutional responsibilities for influencing their location. Once a NMPU has chosen a certain location, support from the municipality may, however, stabilize the NMPU. There are some categories of NMPUs that should have considerable interest in local conditions, as determined by the municipal level. This paper first theoretically categorizes NMPUs with regard to their importance for the urban economy, with regard to the importance of local conditions for the performance of NMPUs and with regard to their degree of fiscal autonomy. It is shown that universities are one example of NMPUs where the relevance of coordinating activities with the municipalities is fairly high. The benefits of universities for local economic development have often been discussed. From the point of view of universities, their capacity to attract human capital depends on factors which may be influenced by the municipalities. This means that there is a reciprocal relationship between municipalities and universities; coordination by cooperation between the partners could be useful for both – but in practice there is often a lack of cooperation. Information policy is one relevant field for coordination: the city should highlight publicly the advantages of local universities; the universities should highlight the advantages of their city. As information policy is a field for which empirical data is available, the empirical part of the paper presents results from an analysis based on the internet presentations of selected cities and universities. It is shown that in most cities the level of coordination in this field is so far quite low. One possible way to achieve a higher degree of coordination could be to introduce fiscal incentives for cities.
Do We Need New Modelling Approaches in Macroeconomics?
Claudia M. Buch, Oliver Holtemöller
Financial Cycles and the Real Economy: Lessons for CESEE Countries,
The economic and financial crisis that emerged in 2008 also initiated an intense discussion on macroeconomic research and the role of economists in society. The debate focuses on three main issues. Firstly, it is argued that economists failed to predict the crisis and to design early warning systems. Secondly, it is claimed that economists use models of the macroeconomy which fail to integrate financial markets and which are inadequate to model large economic crises. Thirdly, the issue has been raised that economists invoke unrealistic assumptions concerning human behaviour by assuming that all agents are self-centred, rationally optimizing individuals. In this paper, we focus on the first two issues. Overall, our thrust is that the above statements are a caricature of modern economic theory and empirics. A rich field of research developed already before the crisis and picked up shortcomings of previous models.
The Dynamics of Bank Spreads and Financial Structure
Reint E. Gropp, Christoffer Kok, J.-D. Lichtenberger
Quarterly Journal of Finance,
This paper investigates the effect of within banking sector competition and competition from financial markets on the dynamics of the transmission from monetary policy rates to retail bank interest rates in the euro area. We use a new dataset that permits analysis for disaggregated bank products. Using a difference-in-difference approach, we test whether development of financial markets and financial innovation speed up the pass through. We find that more developed markets for equity and corporate bonds result in a faster pass-through for those retail bank products directly competing with these markets. More developed markets for securitized assets and for interest rate derivatives also speed up the transmission. Further, we find relatively strong effects of competition within the banking sector across two different measures of competition. Overall, the evidence supports the idea that developed financial markets and competitive banking systems increase the effectiveness of monetary policy.
Executive Compensation Structure and Credit Spreads
Stefano Colonnello, Giuliano Curatola, Ngoc Giang Hoang
We develop a model of managerial compensation structure and asset risk choice. The model provides predictions about how inside debt features affect the relation between credit spreads and compensation components. First, inside debt reduces credit spreads only if it is unsecured. Second, inside debt exerts important indirect effects on the role of equity incentives: When inside debt is large and unsecured, equity incentives increase credit spreads; When inside debt is small or secured, this effect is weakened or reversed. We test our model on a sample of U.S. public firms with traded CDS contracts, finding evidence supportive of our predictions. To alleviate endogeneity concerns, we also show that our results are robust to using an instrumental variable approach.
Labor Market Volatility, Skills, and Financial Globalization
Claudia M. Buch, C. Pierdzioch
We analyze the impact of financial globalization on volatilities of hours worked and wages of high-skilled and low-skilled workers. Using cross-country, industry-level data for the years 1970–2004, we establish stylized facts that document how volatilities of hours worked and wages of workers with different skill levels have changed over time. We then document that the volatility of hours worked by low-skilled workers has increased the most in response to the increase in financial globalization. We develop a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of a small open economy that is consistent with the empirical results. The model predicts that greater financial globalization increases the volatility of hours worked, and this effect is strongest for low-skilled workers.