Sign Restrictions, Structural Vector Autoregressions, and Useful Prior Information
This paper makes the following original contributions to the literature. (i) We develop a simpler analytical characterization and numerical algorithm for Bayesian inference in structural vector autoregressions (VARs) that can be used for models that are overidentified, just‐identified, or underidentified. (ii) We analyze the asymptotic properties of Bayesian inference and show that in the underidentified case, the asymptotic posterior distribution of contemporaneous coefficients in an n‐variable VAR is confined to the set of values that orthogonalize the population variance–covariance matrix of ordinary least squares residuals, with the height of the posterior proportional to the height of the prior at any point within that set. For example, in a bivariate VAR for supply and demand identified solely by sign restrictions, if the population correlation between the VAR residuals is positive, then even if one has available an infinite sample of data, any inference about the demand elasticity is coming exclusively from the prior distribution. (iii) We provide analytical characterizations of the informative prior distributions for impulse‐response functions that are implicit in the traditional sign‐restriction approach to VARs, and we note, as a special case of result (ii), that the influence of these priors does not vanish asymptotically. (iv) We illustrate how Bayesian inference with informative priors can be both a strict generalization and an unambiguous improvement over frequentist inference in just‐identified models. (v) We propose that researchers need to explicitly acknowledge and defend the role of prior beliefs in influencing structural conclusions and we illustrate how this could be done using a simple model of the U.S. labor market.
Bank Bailouts and Moral Hazard: Evidence from Germany
Review of Financial Studies,
We use a structural econometric model to provide empirical evidence that safety nets in the banking industry lead to additional risk taking. To identify the moral hazard effect of bailout expectations on bank risk, we exploit the fact that regional political factors explain bank bailouts but not bank risk. The sample includes all observed capital preservation measures and distressed exits in the German banking industry during 1995–2006. A change of bailout expectations by two standard deviations increases the probability of official distress from 6.6% to 9.4%, which is economically significant.
Incubation Time, Incubator Age, and Firm Survival after Graduation
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management,
On the basis of a sample of 149 graduate firms from five German business incubators, this article contributes to incubator/incubation literature by investigating the effects of the age of the incubators and the firms´ incubation time in securing long-term survival of the firms after leaving the incubator facilities. The empirical findings from Cox proportional hazards regression and parametric accelerated failure time models reveal a statistically significant negative impact for both variables incubator age and incubation time on post-graduation firm survival. One important implication that follows from the empirical results for policy makers and managers of those initiatives is that, when incubator managers become increasingly involved in various regional development activities, this may reduce the effectiveness of incubator support. Also, our finding speaks in favour of a strict limitation of incubation times and reinforces arguments of the supporters of maximum tenancy.
Human Capital and Fertility in Germany after 1990: Evidence from a Multi-Spell Model
IWH Discussion Papers,
We analyze the timing of birth of the first three children based on German panel
data (GSOEP) within a hazard rate framework. A random effects estimator is
used to accommodate correlation across spells. We consider the role of human
capital – approximated by a Mincer-type regression – and its gender-specific
effects on postponement of parenthood and possible recuperation at higherorder
births. An advantage of the use of panel data in this context consists in
its prospective nature, so that determinants of fertility can be measured when
at risk rather than ex-post, thus helping to reduce the risk of reverse causality.
The analysis finds evidence for strong recuperation effects, i.e., women with
greater human capital endowments follow, on average, a different birth history
trajectory, but with negligible curtailment of completed fertility.
Incubator Age and Incubation Time: Determinants of Firm Survival after Graduation?
IWH Discussion Papers,
On the basis of a sample of 149 graduate firms from five German technology oriented business incubators, this article contributes to incubator/incubation literature by investigating the effects of the age of the business incubators and the firms’ incubation time in securing long-term survival of the firms after leaving the incubator facilities. The empirical findings from Cox-proportional hazards regression and parametric accelerated failure time models reveal a statistically negative impact for both variables incubator age and incubation time on post-graduation firm survival. One possible explanation for these results is that, when incubator managers become increasingly involved in various regional development activities (e.g. coaching of regional network initiatives), this may reduce the effectiveness of incubator support and therefore the survival chances of firms.
Monetary Policy and Financial (In)stability: An Integrated Micro–Macro Approach
Journal of Financial Stability,
Evidence on central banks’ twin objective, monetary and financial stability, is scarce. We suggest an integrated micro–macro approach with two core virtues. First, we measure financial stability directly at the bank level as the probability of distress. Second, we integrate a microeconomic hazard model for bank distress and a standard macroeconomic model. The advantage of this approach is to incorporate micro information, to allow for non-linearities and to permit general feedback effects between financial distress and the real economy. We base the analysis on German bank and macro data between 1995 and 2004. Our results confirm the existence of a trade-off between monetary and financial stability. An unexpected tightening of monetary policy increases the probability of distress. This effect disappears when neglecting microeffects and non-linearities, underlining their importance. Distress responses are largest for small cooperative banks, weak distress events, and at times when capitalization is low. An important policy implication is that the separation of financial supervision and monetary policy requires close collaboration among members in the European System of Central Banks and national bank supervisors.
Slippery Slopes of Stress: Ordered Failure Events in German Banking
Journal of Financial Stability,
Outright bank failures without prior indication of financial instability are very rare. In fact, banks can be regarded as troubled to varying degrees before outright closure. But failure studies usually neglect the ordinal nature of bank distress. We distinguish four different kinds of increasingly severe events on the basis of the distress database of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Only the worst distress event entails a bank to exit the market. Since the four categories of hazard functions are not proportional, we specify a generalized ordered logit model to estimate respective probabilities of distress simultaneously. We find that the likelihood of ordered distress events changes differently in response to given changes in the financial profiles of banks. Consequently, bank failure studies should account more explicitly for the different shades of distress. This allows an assessment of the relative importance of financial profile components for different degrees of bank distress.
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.
Health care expenditures in OECD countries. A panel unit root and cointegration analysis
Im Papier wird der Zusammenhang zwischen Gesundheitsausgaben und Bruttoinlandsprodukt mit panelökonometrischen Verfahren für 21 OECD Länder untersucht. Im Gegensatz zu anderen Studien werden alternative Indikatoren des medizinisch-technischen Fortschritts einbezogen (Lebenserwartung, Kindersterblichkeit, Anteil älterer Menschen). Durch die Erweiterung des Modells mit diesen Indikatoren ergibt sich eine Einkommenselastizität der Gesundheitsausgaben von 1. Gesundheit kann daher nicht als Luxusgut angesehen werden: nachdem für den medizoinisch-technischen Fortschritt kontrolliert wird, entwickeln sich die Gesundheitsausgaben proportional zum Einkommen.
Deposit Insurance, Moral Hazard and Market Monitoring
Review of Finance,
The paper analyses the relationship between deposit insurance, debt-holder monitoring, and risk taking. In a stylised banking model we show that deposit insurance may reduce moral hazard, if deposit insurance credibly leaves out non-deposit creditors. Testing the model using EU bank level data yields evidence consistent with the model, suggesting that explicit deposit insurance may serve as a commitment device to limit the safety net and permit monitoring by uninsured subordinated debt holders. We further find that credible limits to the safety net reduce risk taking of smaller banks with low charter values and sizeable subordinated debt shares only. However, we also find that the introduction of explicit deposit insurance tends to increase the share of insured deposits in banks' liabilities.