The Income Elasticity of Mortgage Loan Demand
Financial Markets, Institutions & Instruments,
Special Issue: 2016 Portsmouth – Fordham Conferenc
One explanation for the emergence of the housing market bubble and the subprime crisis is that increases in individuals’ income led to higher increases in the amount of mortgage loans demanded, especially for the middle class. This hypothesis translates to an increase in the income elasticity of mortgage loan demand before 2007. Using applicant‐level data, we test this hypothesis and find that the income elasticity of mortgage loan demand in fact declines in the years before 2007, especially for the mid‐ and lower‐middle income groups. Our finding implies that increases in house prices were not matched by increases in loan applicants’ income.
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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.
02.09.2016 • 35/2016
The German Economy: Still Robust Despite Sliding Sentiment
The prospects for the German economy are still quite favorable. While sentiment indicators suggest that growth will slow at the end of the year, domestic demand will continue on an upward trend. The German GDP should increase by 1.9% in 2016. For 2017 we expect a lower growth rate of 1.2%“Weaker export volumes and higher growth of imports are the relevant factors for the slowdown”, says Prof Oliver Holtemöller, IWH Vice president. Unemployment will rise a bit as more refugees enter the labor market. Consumer price inflation remains moderate. The general government balance (cyclically ad¬justed as well as unadjusted) will be in surplus in both 2016 and 2017.
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03.05.2016 • 20/2016
Are Lacking Structural Reforms in the Financial Sector the Underlying Reason for the German Criticism of the ECB?
The major reason for the intense criticism of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) low-interest-rate policy may be the lack of structural reforms in the German banking system. The resulting persistent fragmentation increases the banking sector’s vulnerability to the low-interest-rate environment. Hence, parts of the banking sector, due to their strong ties to politicians, appear to have successfully influenced public opinion against the ECB.
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Financial Constraints on Growth: Comparing the Balkans to Other Transition Economies
Eastern European Economics,
This article applies an adjusted growth diagnostic approach to identify the currently most binding constraint on financing growth in the West Balkan countries. Since this group of economies faces both structural and systemic transformation problems, the original supply-side approach might not be sufficient to detect the most binding constraint. The results of the analysis indicate that the binding constraint on credit and investment growth in the region is the high and increasing share of nonperforming loans, primarily in the household sector, due to policy failures. This article compares the Balkan countries to a group of advanced transition economies. Single-country and panel regressions indicate that demand-side factors do not play a constraining role on growth in the West Balkan countries, but they do in the advanced transition economies.
10.08.2015 • 30/2015
Germany Benefited Substantially from the Greek Crisis
The balanced budget in Germany is largely the result of lower interest payments due to the European debt crisis. Research from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows that the debt crisis resulted in a reduction in German bund rates of about 300 basis points (BP), yielding interest savings of more than EUR 100 billion (or more than 3% of gross domestic product, GDP) during the period 2010 to 2015. A significant part of this reduction is directly attributable to the Greek crisis. When discussing the costs to the German tax payer of saving Greece, these benefits should not be overlooked, as they tend to be larger than the expenses, even in a scenario where Greece does not repay any of its debts.
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Monetary Policy under the Microscope: Intra-bank Transmission of Asset Purchase Programs of the ECB
IWH Discussion Papers,
With a unique loan portfolio maintained by a top-20 universal bank in Germany, this study tests whether unconventional monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB) reduced corporate borrowing costs. We decompose corporate lending rates into refinancing costs, as determined by money markets, and markups that the bank is able to charge its customers in regional markets. This decomposition reveals how banks transmit monetary policy within their organizations. To identify policy effects on loan rate components, we exploit the co-existence of eurozone-wide security purchase programs and regional fiscal policies at the district level. ECB purchase programs reduced refinancing costs significantly, even in an economy not specifically targeted for sovereign debt stress relief, but not loan rates themselves. However, asset purchases mitigated those loan price hikes due to additional credit demand stimulated by regional tax policy and enabled the bank to realize larger economic margins.
Bank Credit Standards, Demand, Pro-cyclicality and the Business Cycle: A Comment
Moneda y crédito,
We analyze the determinants fo standards and demand for loans to firms and house-holds over the last business cycle using the comprehensive and confidential Bank Lending Survery from the Euro area. There is significant variation of standards and demand over the cycle. Standards for business loans vary more during the business cycle than the lending standards for households, whereas credit demand from households varies more than demand from firms. Lending standards vary mainly due to charges in perception of borrower risk, bank balance sheet positions and competitive pressures. In particular, we find that higher GDP growth softens lending standards for all loans, i. e. lending standards are pro-cyclical. However, we also find pro-cyclicality in credit demand.