23.05.2023 • 14/2023
Analysis of earnings calls: Blathering managers harm their company
If a senior executive refuses to give information to professional investors, the company's stock market value drops afterwards. This is shown in a study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) after evaluating
1.2 million answers from tele-phone conferences.
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14.02.2023 • 4/2023
Study on Europe's top bankers: Risky business despite bonus cap
Ten years ago, the EU Parliament decided to cap the flexible remuneration of bank managers. But the cap on bonuses misses its target: Managers of systemically important European banks take high risks without changes, shows a study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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Brown Bag Seminar
Brown Bag Seminar Financial Markets Department The seminar series "Brown...
Bank Accounting Regulations, Enforcement Mechanisms, and Financial Statement Informativeness: Cross-country Evidence
Accounting and Business Research,
We construct measures of accounting regulations and enforcement mechanisms that are specific to a country's banking industry. Using a sample of major banks in 37 economies, we find that the informativeness of banks’ financial statements, measured by the value relevance of earnings and common equity, is higher in countries with stricter bank accounting regulations and countries with stronger enforcement. These findings suggest that superior bank accounting and enforcement mechanisms enhance the informativeness of banks’ financial statements. In addition, we find that the effects of bank accounting regulations are more pronounced in countries with stronger enforcement in the banking industry, suggesting that enforcement is complementary to bank accounting regulations in achieving higher value relevance of financial statements. Our study has important policy implications for bank regulators.
Comparing Financial Transparency between For-profit and Nonprofit Suppliers of Public Goods: Evidence from Microfinance
Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money,
Previous research finds market financing is favored over relationship financing in environments of better governance, since the transaction costs to investors of vetting asymmetric information are thereby reduced. For industries supplying public goods, for-profits rely on market financing, while nonprofits rely on relationships with donors. This suggests that for-profits will be more inclined than nonprofits to improve financial transparency. We examine the impact of for-profit versus nonprofit status on the financial transparency of firms engaged with supplying public goods. There are relatively few industries that have large number of both for-profit and nonprofit firms across countries. However, the microfinance industry provides the opportunity of a large number of both for-profit and nonprofit firms in relatively equal numbers, across a wide array of countries. Consistent with our prediction, we find that financial transparency is positively associated with a for-profit status. Results will be of broad interest both to scholars interested in the roles of transparency and transaction costs on market versus relational financing; as well as to policy makers interested in the impact of for-profit on the supply of public goods, and on the microfinance industry in particular.
On DSGE Models
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
The outcome of any important macroeconomic policy change is the net effect of forces operating on different parts of the economy. A central challenge facing policymakers is how to assess the relative strength of those forces. Economists have a range of tools that can be used to make such assessments. Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models are the leading tool for making such assessments in an open and transparent manner. We review the state of mainstream DSGE models before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. We then describe how DSGE models are estimated and evaluated. We address the question of why DSGE modelers—like most other economists and policymakers—failed to predict the financial crisis and the Great Recession, and how DSGE modelers responded to the financial crisis and its aftermath. We discuss how current DSGE models are actually used by policymakers. We then provide a brief response to some criticisms of DSGE models, with special emphasis on criticism by Joseph Stiglitz, and offer some concluding remarks.
06.07.2017 • 28/2017
Politicians share responsibility for the risk of their state defaulting
Investors assume higher risks of default when a country is politically unstable or governed by a party at the left or right end of the political spectrum. However, according to findings obtained by Stefan Eichler from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the more democratic the country is and the more it is integrated into the global economy, the lower is the impact that such political factors have.
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Enabling the Wisdom of the Crowd: Transparency in Peer-to-Peer Finance
G20 Insights Policy Brief, Policy Area "Financial Resilience",
The rapid growth exhibited by peer-to-peer finance markets raises hopes that especially young ventures might obtain better access to funding. Yet, consumer protection concerns are looming as borrowers and projects requesting finance from the crowd are inherently opaque. We suggest clear rules to enable peer-to-peer lenders and investors to more effectively screen projects. We plea for strengthening self-responsibility of the investor crowd by clearly assigning, and limiting the responsibilities of regulatory authorities and recognizing the regulatory difference between new peer-to-peer, and traditional financial markets. As a result the peer-to-peer market can develop to more effectively complement traditional sources of finance, instead of turning into a funding source for bad investment projects looking to exploit uninformed lenders and investors.
On the Nonexclusivity of Loan Contracts: An Empirical Investigation
We study how a bank's willingness to lend to a previously exclusive firm changes once the firm obtains a loan from another bank ("outside loan") and breaks an exclusive relationship. Using a difference-in-difference analysis and a setting where outside loans are observable, we document that an outside loan triggers a decrease in the initial bank's willingness to lend to the firm, i.e., outside loans are strategic substitutes. Consistent with concerns about coordination problems and higher indebtedness, we find that this reaction is more pronounced the larger the outside loan and it is muted if the initial bank's existing and future loans retain seniority and are protected with valuable collateral. Our results give a benevolent role to transparency enabling banks to mitigate adverse effects from outside loans. The resulting substitute behavior may also act as a stabilizing force in credit markets limiting positive comovements between lenders, decreasing the possibility of credit freezes and financial crises.
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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