Economic Sentiment: Disentangling Private Information from Public Knowledge
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper addresses a general problem with the use of surveys as source of information about the state of an economy: Answers to surveys are highly dependent on information that is publicly available, while only additional information that is not already publicly known has the potential to improve a professional forecast. We propose a simple procedure to disentangle the private information of agents from knowledge that is already publicly known for surveys that ask for general as well as for private prospects. Our results reveal the potential of our proposed technique for the usage of European Commissions‘ consumer surveys for economic forecasting for Germany.
06.05.2021 • 13/2021
IWH Bankruptcy Update: Upward Trend in Bankruptcies Stopped; Reintroduction of Filing Requirement Unlikely to Generate Bankruptcy Wave
Following a rising trend in recent months, the number of corporate bankruptcies fell significantly in April. The number of impacted jobs also remained at modest levels. After a recent sharp rise in the bankruptcy statistics for microbusinesses (which has drawn little press attention), the upward trend for this subcategory loses steam. These are the key findings of the IWH Bankruptcy Update, which provides monthly statistics on corporate bankruptcies in Germany.
Read press release
Consumer Defaults and Social Capital
Journal of Financial Stability,
Using account level data from a credit bureau, we study the role that social capital plays in consumer default decisions. We find that borrowers in communities with greater social capital are significantly less likely to default on loans, even after adjusting for different levels of income and other characteristics such as credit scores. The results are strongest for potentially strategic defaults on mortgages; a one standard deviation increase in social capital reduces such defaults by 12.4 %. These results can be generalized to any mortgage default. Our results also indicate that the effect of social capital is most prominent among more creditworthy borrowers, suggesting that when given a choice, the social cost of defaulting is an important factor affecting default decisions. We find a similar impact of social capital on consumer defaults in other datasets with more detailed information on borrowers as well. Our results are robust to modeling and methodology choices, as well as controlling for other drivers of default such as wealth, income and amenities from homeownership. Our results suggest that increasing social capital via measures to build community cohesion such as promotion of owner-occupied home ownership may be one avenue to deter consumer default.
04.03.2021 • 7/2021
IWH Bankruptcy Update: German Bankruptcy Rates Remain Low in February
Bankruptcies statistics trended sideways at a low level in February 2021. Furthermore, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) does not anticipate higher bankruptcy rates in the coming months, despite Germany’s prolonged lockdown. These are the key findings of the IWH Bankruptcy Update, which provides monthly statistics on corporate bankruptcies in Germany.
Read press release
01.02.2021 • 4/2021
During Corona, households are saving more – not for fear of unemployment but for lack of spending opportunities
During the Corona crisis, European households increased their savings dramatically. According to an analysis carried out by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the increase in savings is largely due to the inability of households to consume in the face of government lockdown measures, rather than other factors such as economic uncertainty. IWH President Reint Gropp therefore sees potential for a significant catch-up effect in consumption as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
Read press release
German Economy not yet Immune to COVID 19 ‒ Outlook Clouded Again The current pandemic wave and supply bottlenecks cause...
IWH Bankruptcy Research
IWH Bankruptcy Research The Bankruptcy Research Unit of the Halle Institute for...
Corona The pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to society and the economy. What is...
Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice
Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice (IWH-CEP) ...
IWH Alumni The IWH would like to stay in contact with its former employees. We...