09.07.2019 • 17/2019
IWH rated "very good" and recommended for further funding
The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association has been providing remarkable research and policy advice services for many years and should therefore continue to receive joint basic funding by Federal government and the Länder in future. This was the conclusion of today's meeting of the Senate of the Leibniz Association. At the end of the evaluation, the Institute was rated "very good" in all areas.
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04.03.2019 • 6/2019
New IWH publication takes stock: “United country – three decades after the Wall came down”
How is Germany’s economy faring 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall? A new publication by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) uses illustrative maps and graphs to show how the Federal Republic has developed compared to other countries and how economic unification has progressed. The publication presents many new findings, including on productivity differences between east and west, urban and rural development, as well as the availability of skilled labour.
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IWH FDI Micro Database
IWH FDI Micro Database The IWH FDI Micro Database (FDI = Foreign Direct...
Private Benefits of Control and Bank Loan Contracts
Journal of Corporate Finance,
This paper investigates whether or not private benefits of control by managers and large shareholders influence the financing cost of firms. Evidence shows that lending banks demand a significantly higher loan spread, higher fees, shorter loan maturity, smaller loan size, stricter covenants, and greater collateral on firms with greater private benefits of control. Results are stronger for firms with weak corporate governance quality, supporting the agency cost viewpoint. Such evidence implies that banks consider higher private benefits of control as a type of agency problem when they make lending decisions.
26.11.2015 • 43/2015
Political lendings of German Savings Banks
A recent paper of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) suggests that German local politicians take advantage of their influence on the credit decisions of German savings banks. “German savings banks on average increase the supply of commercial loans by €7.6 million in the year of a local election”, says IWH president Reint E. Gropp. Loans that the savings banks generate during election years also perform worse and lead to lower interest income. The results suggest that local politicians take advantage of savings banks to further their chances of re-election.
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The Political Determinants of Sovereign Bond Yield Spreads
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This paper analyzes the political determinants of sovereign bond yield spreads using data for 27 emerging markets in the period 1996 to 2009. I find strong evidence that countries with parliamentary systems (as opposed to presidential regimes) and a low quality of governance face higher sovereign yield spreads, while the degree of democracy and elections play no significant role. A higher degree of political stability and the power to implement austerity measures significantly reduce sovereign yield spreads particularly in autocratic regimes, while no significant effect is detected for democratic countries. Overall, political determinants have a more pronounced impact on sovereign bond yield spreads in autocratic and closed regimes than in democratic and open countries.
Flight Patterns and Yields of European Government Bonds
IWH Discussion Papers,
The current European Debt Crisis has led to a reinforced effort to identify the sources of risk and their influence on yields of European Government Bonds. Until now, the potentially nonlinear influence and the theoretical need for interactions reflecting flight-to-quality and flight-to-liquidity has been widely disregarded. I estimate government bond yields of the Euro-12 countries without Luxembourg from May 2003 until December 2011. Using penalized spline regression, I find that the effect of most explanatory variables is highly nonlinear. These nonlinearities, together with flight patterns of flight-to-quality and flight-to-liquidity, can explain the co-movement of bond yields until September 2008 and the huge amount of differentiation during the financial and the European debt crisis without the unnecessary assumption of a structural break. The main effects are credit risk and flight-to-liquidity, while the evidence for the existence of flight-to-quality and liquidity risk (the latter measured by the bid-ask spread and total turnover of bonds) is comparably weak.
Do Government Owned Banks Trade Market Power for Slack?
The ‘Quiet Life Hypothesis (QLH)’ posits that banks with market power have less incentives to maximize revenues and minimize cost. Especially government owned banks with a public mandate precluding profit maximization might succumb to a quiet life. We use a unified approach that simultaneously measures market power and efficiency to test the quiet life hypothesis of German savings banks. We find that average local market power declined between 1996 and 2006. Cost and profit efficiency remained constant. Nonparametric correlations are consistent with a quiet life regarding cost efficiency but not regarding profit efficiency. The quiet life on the cost side is negatively correlated with bank size, quality of loan portfolio and local per capita income. The last result indicates that the quiet cost life is therefore potentially due to benevolent excess consumption of local input factors by public savings banks.