Avoiding the Fall into the Loop: Isolating the Transmission of Bank-to-Sovereign Distress in the Euro Area
Journal of Financial Stability,
While the sovereign-bank loop literature has demonstrated the amplification between sovereign and bank risks in the Euro Area, its econometric identification is vulnerable to reverse causality and omitted variable biases. We address the loop's endogenous nature and isolate the direct bank-to-sovereign distress channel by exploiting the global, non-Eurozone related variation in banks’ stock prices. We instrument banking sector stock returns in the Eurozone with exposure-weighted stock market returns from non-Eurozone countries and take further precautions to remove Eurozone-related variation. We find that the transmission of instrumented bank distress to sovereign distress is around 50% smaller than the corresponding coefficient in the unadjusted OLS framework, confirming concerns on endogeneity. Despite the smaller relative magnitude, increasing instrumented bank distress is found to be an economically and statistically significant cause for rising sovereign fragility in the Eurozone.
Entry into Self-employment and Individuals’ Risk-taking Propensities
Small Business Economics,
Most of the existing empirical literature on self-employment decisions assumes that individuals’ risk-taking propensities are stable over time. We allow for endogeneity on both sides when examining the relationship between individual risk-taking propensities and entry into self-employment. We confirm that a greater risk-taking propensity is associated with a higher probability of entering self-employment. However, we also find evidence that entering self-employment is associated with a significant and substantial increase in an individual’s propensity to take risks. Our findings add to the growing evidence that risk-taking propensities are not only inborn, but also determined by environmental factors.
16.09.2020 • 18/2020
Economy recovers from the shutdown – but a quick return to pre-crisis normality is unlikely
The German economy has bounced back strongly over the summer, recovering a considerable part of the production slump caused by the shutdown in spring. Nevertheless, real gross domestic product in 2020 is likely to contract by 5.7%. In 2021, growth is expected to average 3.2% according to IWH autumn economic forecast. The decline in production in 2020 is likely to be less pronounced in East Germany com¬pared to Germany as a whole.
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Borrowers Under Water! Rare Disasters, Regional Banks, and Recovery Lending
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
We show that local banks provide corporate recovery lending to firms affected by adverse regional macro shocks. Banks that reside in counties unaffected by the natural disaster that we specify as macro shock increase lending to firms inside affected counties by 3%. Firms domiciled in flooded counties, in turn, increase corporate borrowing by 16% if they are connected to banks in unaffected counties. We find no indication that recovery lending entails excessive risk-taking or rent-seeking. However, within the group of shock-exposed banks, those without access to geographically more diversified interbank markets exhibit more credit risk and less equity capital.
12.03.2020 • 4/2020
Global economy under the spell of the coronavirus epidemic
The epidemic is obstructing the economic recovery in Germany. Foreign demand is falling, private households forgo domestic consumption if it comes with infection risk, and investments are postponed. Assuming that the spread of the disease can be contained in short time, GDP growth in 2020 is expected to be 0.6% according to IWH spring economic forecast. Growth in East Germany is expected to be 0.9% and thus higher than in West Germany. If the number of new infections cannot be decreased in short time, we expect a recession in Germany.
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A Capital Structure Channel of Monetary Policy
Journal of Financial Economics,
We study the transmission channels from central banks’ quantitative easing programs via the banking sector when central banks start purchasing corporate bonds. We find evidence consistent with a “capital structure channel” of monetary policy. The announcement of central bank purchases reduces the bond yields of firms whose bonds are eligible for central bank purchases. These firms substitute bank term loans with bond debt, thereby relaxing banks’ lending constraints: banks with low tier-1 ratios and high nonperforming loans increase lending to private (and profitable) firms, which experience a growth in investment. The credit reallocation increases banks’ risk-taking in corporate credit.
01.04.2019 • 8/2019
Bank profitability increases after eliminating consolidation barriers
When two banks merge because political consolidation barriers are abolished, the combined entity is considerably more profitable and useful to the real economy. This is the headline result of an analysis of compulsory savings banks mergers carried out by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). The study yields important insights for the German and the European banking market.
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