Labor Market Power and the Distorting Effects of International Trade
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
This article examines how final product trade with China shapes and interacts with labor market imperfections that create market power in labor markets and prevent an efficient market outcome. I develop a framework for measuring such labor market power distortions in monetary terms and document large degrees of these distortions in Germany's manufacturing sector. Import competition only exerts labor market disciplining effects if firms, rather than employees, possess labor market power. Otherwise, increasing export demand and import competition both fortify existing distortions, which decreases labor market efficiency. This widens the gap between potential and realized output and thus diminishes classical gains from trade.
The CompNet Competitiveness Database The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet)...
May the Force Be with You: Exit Barriers, Governance Shocks, and Profitability Sclerosis in Banking
Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper,
We test whether limited market discipline imposes exit barriers and poor profitability in banking. We exploit an exogenous shock to the governance of government-owned banks: the unification of counties. County mergers lead to enforced government-owned bank mergers. We compare forced to voluntary bank exits and show that the former cause better bank profitability and efficiency at the expense of riskier financial profiles. Regarding real effects, firms exposed to forced bank mergers borrow more at lower cost, increase investment, and exhibit higher employment. Thus, reduced exit frictions in banking seem to unleash the economic potential of both banks and firms.
Senior Debt and Market Discipline: Evidence from Bank-to-bank Loans
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We empirically investigate whether taking senior bank loans would enhance market discipline and control risk-taking among borrowing banks. Controlling for endogeneity concern arising from borrowing bank self-select into taking senior bank debt, we document that both the spreads and covenants in loan contracts are sensitive to bank risk variables. Our analysis also reveals that borrowing banks reduce their risk exposure after their first issuance of senior bank debt. We also find that lending banks significantly increase their collaboration with borrowing banks and increase their presence in the home markets of borrowing banks.
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers The IWH-CompNet Discussion Paper series presents research...
Sovereign Default Risk and Decentralization: Evidence for Emerging Markets
European Journal of Political Economy,
We study the impact of decentralization on sovereign default risk. Theory predicts that decentralization deteriorates fiscal discipline since subnational governments undertax/overspend, anticipating that, in the case of overindebtedness, the federal government will bail them out. We analyze whether investors account for this common pool problem by attaching higher sovereign yield spreads to more decentralized countries. Using panel data on up to 30 emerging markets in the period 1993–2008 we confirm this hypothesis. Higher levels of fiscal and political decentralization increase sovereign default risk. Moreover, higher levels of intergovernmental transfers and a larger number of veto players aggravate the common pool problem.
New Limits of Municipal Economic Activity: Expansion versus Reduction?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
On October 11th and 12th 2007, the department of urban economics of the Halle Institute for Economic Research organized a conference on local governments’ entrepreneurial activities. The main target of this second conference after the first one in 2005 was to analyze the spatial and functional boundaries of municipal economic activities. The participants came from various fields of science, local public administrations, municipal enterprises, associations and included politicians and others interested in the topic. The presentations covered a broad variety of subjects. On the first conference day, the speakers dealt with the partly controversial attitude of different disciplines such as law, economics, public business administration or sociology towards the local public economy. Other presenters focused on selected municipal services (public transportation, housing).
The second day was dedicated to the topics restrictions on municipal economic activities in Southern Europe, regional effects of municipal enterprises and employee protection in case of privatization. The conference was closed by a panel discussion with distinguished representatives from politics, science and management about the future role of municipal enterprises.
The presentations and discussions showed that the times are changing for the local public sector. In addition, the participants rejected an unrestricted extension of markets or business fields of municipal enterprises as well as the complete privatization of municipal services.
Equity and Bond Market Signals as Leading Indicators of Bank Fragility
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
We analyse the ability of the distance to default and subordinated bond spreads to signal bank fragility in a sample of EU banks. We find leading properties for both indicators. The distance to default exhibits lead times of 6-18 months. Spreads have signal value close to problems only. We also find that implicit safety nets weaken the predictive power of spreads. Further, the results suggest complementarity between both indicators. We also examine the interaction of the indicators with other information and find that their additional information content may be small but not insignificant. The results suggest that market indicators reduce type II errors relative to predictions based on accounting information only.