Expertise in the Political Process — Benefits, Limits and Risks
Since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis, confidence in politicians as well as the economists in their advisory expert panels seems to be at an all-time low. Why do politicians reject science-based advice unless it fits into their political agenda? Are economists misunderstood by politicians and vice versa? The tension between the ideal of evidence-based policy-making and the reality of policy-based evidence-making is hardly a new phenomenon. Therefore, the expectation that Donald Trump, the Brexiteers and European populists will necessarily disappoint their voters because they simply cannot deliver what they have promised is misleading. Experts would be well advised to use the debate on the post-factual era as an impetus to reflect critically on their profession. One opinion expressed in this Zeitgespräch is that the contested societal and political impact of modern economics is due to its restricted scientific self-concept. A more open, pluralistic and transdisciplinary self-definition of economics would strengthen its societal influence. Another contributor ponders the proper incentives to persuade academic economists to provide economic policy advice. Key is the independence of advisory institutions like the German Council of Economic Experts. The selection of people with the best scientific qualifications will ensure the reputation of such institutions.
24.04.2017 • 22/2017
Higher capital requirements: It’s the firms that end up suffering
61 European banks were scheduled to increase their capital cover by 2012 to provide a sufficient buffer for future crises. As the study by the research group chaired by Reint E. Gropp at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows, the banks did implement these requirements – not by raising their levels of equity, but by reducing their credit supply. This resulted in lower firm, investment, and sales growth for firms which obtained a larger share of their bank credit from these banks.
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15.03.2017 • 13/2017
The German Economy: Employment Boom in Germany, but no Overheating of the Economy
Employment in Germany continues to increase healthily, and private consumption expands due to rising real incomes. Investment in equipment, however, remains modest. Overall, economic demand is expanding at roughly the growth rate of potential Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the output gap is nearly closed. “In 2017, GDP will increase by 1.3% and thus at a lower rate than in the previous year, but this is only due to fewer working days and not to sliding demand,” says Oliver Holtemoeller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president.
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The Risk‐Taking Channel of Monetary Policy in the U.S.: Evidence from Corporate Loan Data
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
To study the presence of a risk-taking channel in the U.S., we build a comprehensive data set from the syndicated corporate loan market and measure monetary policy using different measures, most notably Taylor (1993) and Romer and Romer (2004) residuals. We identify a negative relation between monetary policy rates and bank risk-taking, especially in the run up to the 2007 financial crisis. However, this effect is purely supply-side driven only when using Taylor residuals and an ex ante measure of bank risk-taking. Our results highlight the sensitivity of the potency of the risk-taking channel to the measures of monetary policy innovations.
04.01.2017 • 2/2017
Worse ratings by U.S. rating agencies for European sovereigns no argument for European rating agency
A new study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows that the major U.S. rating agencies rated European sovereigns significantly worse than Fitch, which is more “Europe oriented”. Although the findings in part support the claim of some European politicians during the recent debt crisis that there was an “anti-Europe” bias of the U.S. agencies, the study shows that a new European agency would not address this problem. The reason: Market participants would not listen to the new agency.
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Aktuelle Trends: Ungewöhnliche Zeiten in der Geldpolitik: Niedriges Zinsniveau begleitet von hohen Zentralbankreserven
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Mit dem Ausbruch der Finanzkrise 20072008 und der sich anschließenden Staatsschuldenkrise kam es zu zahlreichen Veränderungen in der Implementierung der Geldpolitik im Euroraum. Oberstes Ziel der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB) ist dabei die Wahrung der Preisstabilität und ein funktionierender Geldtransmissionsmechanismus.
14.12.2016 • 50/2016
The German Economy: Economic Activity Spurred by Private Consumption and Construction
German economic activity remains robust due to strong domestic demand. IWH forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 1.3% in 2017. The growth rate is half a percentage point lower than in 2016 due to calendar effects and a negative contribution of external trade. Consumer price inflation also remains modest (1.3%). “Unemployment is expected to increase slightly due to a protracted integration of refugees into the labor market”, says Oliver Holtemöller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president
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State Aid and Guarantees in Europe
T. Beck, B. Casu (eds): The Palgrave Handbook of European Banking, London,
During the recent financial crisis, governments massively intervened in the banking sector by providing liquidity assistance and capital support to banks in distress. This helped stabilize the financial system in the short run. However, public bailouts also bear the risk of longer-term distortions, for example, by affecting bailout expectations of banks. In this chapter, the authors first provide an overview of state aid interventions during the recent crisis episode. The third section then analyzes the effects of state aid on financial stability from a theoretical view. This is followed by the description of results obtained from empirical studies. The link between the provision of state aid and politics is discussed in the section “Institutional Design and Policy Implications”. Finally, in the section “The European Banking Union” the authors describe the elements of the European Banking Union meant to resolve and restructure banks in distress and to lower the need for public intervention. Based on the preceding analysis, conclusions are drawn regarding the new design.