Bank Concentration and Product Market Competition
Review of Financial Studies,
This paper documents a link between bank concentration and markups in nonfinancial sectors. We exploit concentration-increasing bank mergers and variation in banks’ market shares across industries and show that higher credit concentration is associated with higher markups and that high-market-share lenders charge lower loan rates. We argue that this is due to the greater incidence of competing firms sharing common lenders that induce less aggressive product market behavior among their borrowers, thereby internalizing potential adverse effects of higher rates. Consistent with our conjecture, the effect is stronger in industries with competition in strategic substitutes where negative product market externalities are greatest.
Energy Markets and Global Economic Conditions
Review of Economics and Statistics,
We evaluate alternative indicators of global economic activity and other market funda-mentals in terms of their usefulness for forecasting real oil prices and global petroleum consumption. World industrial production is one of the most useful indicators. However, by combining measures from several different sources we can do even better. Our analysis results in a new index of global economic conditions and measures for assessing future energy demand and oil price pressures. We illustrate their usefulness for quantifying the main factors behind the severe contraction of the global economy and the price risks faced by shale oil producers in early 2020.
Monetary Policy through Exchange Rate Pegs: The Removal of the Swiss Franc‐Euro Floor and Stock Price Reactions
International Review of Finance,
The Swiss National Bank abolished the exchange rate floor versus the Euro in January 2015. Using a synthetic matching framework, we analyze the impact of this unexpected (and therefore exogenous) policy change on the stock market. The results reveal a significant level shift (decline) in asset prices following the discontinuation of the minimum exchange rate. As a novel finding in the literature, we document that the exchange‐rate elasticity of Swiss asset prices is around −0.75. Differentiating between sectors of the Swiss economy, we find that the industrial, financial and consumer goods sectors are most strongly affected by the abolition of the minimum exchange rate.
14.10.2021 • 26/2021
East German economy less affected by supply bottlenecks than German economy as a whole, but lower vaccination rates pose risks – Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2021 and of Länder data from recent publications of the Federal Statisti
Supply bottlenecks affect production in the manufacturing sector in East Germany somewhat less than in Germany as a whole. With 1.8%, the increase in Gross Domestic Product in eastern Germany in 2021 therefore is likely to be lower than in Germany as a whole (2.4%); this gap is likely to enlarge in 2022, when supply bottlenecks hamper less (East Germany: 3.6%, Germany 4.8%).
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14.10.2021 • 25/2021
Crisis is gradually being overcome – align actions to lower growth
The Corona pandemic still shapes the economic situation in Germany. A complete normalisation of contact-intensive activities is not to be expected in the short term. In addition, supply bottlenecks are hampering manufacturing for the time being. The German economy will reach normal capacity utilisation in the course of 2022. In their autumn report, the leading economic research institutes forecast that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will rise by 2.4% in 2021 and by 4.8% in 2022.
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Trade Shocks, Labour Markets and Elections in the First Globalisation
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This paper studies the economic and political effects of a large trade shock in agriculture – the grain invasion from the Americas – in Prussia during the first globalisation (1871-1913). We show that this shock accelerated the structural change in the Prussian economy through migration of workers to booming cities. In contrast to studies using today’s data, we do not observe declining per capita income and political polarisation in counties affected by foreign competition. Our results suggest that the negative and persistent effects of trade shocks we see today are not a universal feature of globalisation, but depend on labour mobility. For our analysis, we digitise data from Prussian industrial and agricultural censuses on the county level and combine it with national trade data at the product level. We exploit the cross-regional variation in cultivated crops within Prussia and instrument with Italian trade data to isolate exogenous variation.
06.10.2021 • 24/2021
IWH Bankruptcy Update: Bankruptcy Figures Remain Low; More Manufacturing Jobs Impacted
The number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany remained near to a historic low in September. However, there was a considerable increase in the share of manufacturing jobs impacted by bankruptcy. These are the key findings of the IWH Bankruptcy Update, published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), which provides monthly statistics on corporate bankruptcies in Germany.
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29.07.2021 • 20/2021
Communication instead of conflict – why are female CEOs so interesting for hedge funds
The value of female-led firms is enhanced more by the intervention of activist investors than that of firms with male CEOs. This is the result of a recent paper by Iftekhar Hasan (Fordham University and IWH) and Qiang Wu (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, RPI) at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). "The results show that female CEOs particularly benefit from the intervention of hedge fund activists due to their strong communication and interpersonal skills," explains Iftekhar Hasan. This is because, on average, the intervention of an activist hedge fund increases the value of the firm ex post. To achieve this, activist hedge funds such as Carl Icahn, Trian Fundmanagement or Elliott prefer to rely on communication and cooperation with the management.
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International Trade Barriers and Regional Employment: The Case of a No-Deal Brexit
Journal of Economic Structures,
We use the World Input–Output Database (WIOD) combined with regional sectoral employment data to estimate the potential regional employment effects of international trade barriers. We study the case of a no-deal Brexit in which imports to the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) would be subject to tariffs and non-tariff trade costs. First, we derive the decline in UK final goods imports from the EU from industry-specific international trade elasticities, tariffs and non-tariff trade costs. Using input–output analysis, we estimate the potential output and employment effects for 56 industries and 43 countries on the national level. The absolute effects would be largest in big EU countries which have close trade relationships with the UK, such as Germany and France. However, there would also be large countries outside the EU which would be heavily affected via global value chains, such as China, for example. The relative effects (in percent of total employment) would be largest in Ireland followed by Belgium. In a second step, we split up the national effects on the NUTS-2 level for EU member states and additionally on the county (NUTS-3) level for Germany. The share of affected workers varies between 0.03% and 3.4% among European NUTS-2 regions and between 0.15% and 0.4% among German counties. A general result is that indirect effects via global value chains, i.e., trade in intermediate inputs, are more important than direct effects via final demand.
15.06.2021 • 16/2021
Increase in personal contacts spurs economic activity
This summer the economic outlook in Germany is bright. As the pandemic is in retreat, the restrictions that have hampered many service activities are likely to be gradually lifted, and a strong boost in private purchases can be expected. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that gross domestic product will increase by 3.9% in 2021 and by 4.0% in 2022. Production in East Germany is expected to increase by 3% in both years, respectively.
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