Political Influence and Financial Flexibility: Evidence from China
Journal of Banking & Finance,
This paper investigates how political influence affects firms’ financial flexibility and speed of adjustment toward target leverage ratios. We find that at the macro level, firms in environments with high political advantages, proxied by provincial affiliations with heads of state as well as political status and party rank of provincial leaders, adjust faster. At the micro level, firms that are state-owned, have CPC members as executives, or bear low exposure to changes in political uncertainty adjust faster. When interacted, the micro-level political factors have more significant impact.
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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International Bank Portfolios: Short- and Long-Run Responses to Macroeconomic Conditions
Review of International Economics,
International bank portfolios constitute a large component of international country portfolios. Yet, banks’ response to international macroeconomic conditions remains largely unexplored.We use a novel dataset on banks’ international portfolios to answer three questions. First, what are the long-run determinants of banks’ international portfolios? Second, how do banks’ international portfolios adjust to short-run macroeconomic developments? Third, does the speed of adjustment change with the degree of financial integration?We find that, in the long-run, market size has a positive impact on foreign assets and liabilities. An increase in the interest differential between the home and the foreign economy lowers foreign assets and increases foreign liabilities. Foreign trade has a positive impact on international bank portfolios, which is independent from the effect of other macroeconomic variables. Short-run dynamics show heterogeneity across countries, but these dynamics can partly be explained with gravity-type variables.
EU Eastern Enlargement and Structural Change: Specialization Patterns in Accession Countries and Economic Dynamics in the Single Market
Diskussionsbeiträge des Europäischen Instituts für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW), Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Nr. 106,
This paper analyses key issues of structural change and specialization patterns in the economies of an enlarged European Union. In all transition countries we observe a shift from the agricultural and industrial sector towards the service sector in terms of employment and productivity; however, in some countries a reindustrialisation drives is observed in a late transition stage. While some countries namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Estonia and Slovenia, have improved their productivity especially in medium-technology-intensive industries and may advance on the technological ladder, others remain unchanged and seem to get locked in labour-intensive industrial sectors. In the context of EU-enlargement, we expect trade creation – going along with a rise of intra-industry trade – and higher FDI-activities. Countries will have to adjust along the logic of comparative advantage, however, technological upgrading and human capital formation are fields in which government can stimulate the direction of comparative advantage. According to the Gerschenkron-hypothesis the accession countries have an “advantage of backwardness. Since accession countries have a low R&D-GDP ratio in the early transition stage rising government expenditures on research and development plus higher education is crucial. We expect the EU-15 countries in general to benefit from enlargement but gains will be asymmetric across countries: economic geography matters. Austria, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Italy and France are likely to profit more than the other members of EU-15. Germany and Austria additionally play a particularly crucial role as origins of FDI. Future research should focus on the speed and the scope of structural adjustment.