National Culture and Housing Credit
Journal of Empirical Finance,
Using a sample of around 30 countries over the period 2001–2015, this study provides evidence that deeply rooted cultural differences are significantly associated with the use of mortgage debt. More detailed, we find that power distance and uncertainty avoidance have a negative impact on the value of the total outstanding residential loans to GDP. This finding is robust across various specifications and the use of alternative measures of mortgage debt. In contrast, trust has a positive and robust impact on all the measures of mortgage debt. Other dimensions of national culture like long-term orientation, individualism, and indulgence, also appear to matter; however, their impact depends on the control variables and the employed measure of mortgage debt.
Gender Equality & Anti-Discrimination
Equal Opportunities at IWH ...
Trust in Banks
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Trust in banks is considered essential for an effective financial system, yet little is known about what determines trust in banks. Only a handful of single-country studies discuss the topic, so this paper aims to fill the gap by providing a cross-country analysis on the level and determinants of trust in banks. Using World Values Survey data covering 52 countries during the period 2010–2014, we observe large cross-country differences in trust in banks and confirm the influence of several sociodemographic indicators. Our main findings include: women tend to trust banks more than men; trust in banks tends to increase with income, but decrease with age and education; and access to television enhances trust, while internet access erodes trust. Additionally, religious, political, and economic values affect trust in banks. Notably, religious individuals tend to put greater trust in banks, but differences are observed across denominations. The holding of pro-market economic views is also associated with greater trust in banks.
09.08.2017 • 29/2017
Networked and protected
During the financial crisis, billions were spent to rescue banks that were according to their governments too big to be allowed to fail. But a study by Michael Koetter from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) and co-authors shows that besides the size of the banks, the centrality within the global financial network was also pivotal for financial institutions to receive a bail-out.
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06.07.2017 • 28/2017
Politicians share responsibility for the risk of their state defaulting
Investors assume higher risks of default when a country is politically unstable or governed by a party at the left or right end of the political spectrum. However, according to findings obtained by Stefan Eichler from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the more democratic the country is and the more it is integrated into the global economy, the lower is the impact that such political factors have.
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When the Meaning of Work Has Disappeared: Experimental Evidence on Employees’ Performance and Emotions
This experiment tests for a causal relationship between the meaning of work and employees’ motivation to perform well. The study builds on an existing employer–employee relationship, adding realism to the ongoing research of task meaning. Owing to an unexpected project cancelation, we are able to study how varying the information provided about the meaning of previously conducted work — without the use of deception, but still maintaining a high level of control — affects subsequent performance. We observe a strong decline in exerted effort when we inform workers about the meaninglessness of a job already done. Our data also suggests that providing a supplemental alternative meaning perfectly compensates for this negative performance effect. Individual characteristics such as reciprocal inclinations and trust prompt different reactions. The data also show that the meaning of work affects workers’ emotions, but we cannot establish a clear relationship between emotional responses and performance.
21.10.2010 • 60/2010
Kerstenetzky Award 2010 für Young Economists
Dipl.-Volkswirtin Katja Drechsel und Dipl.-Volkswirt Rolf Scheufele wurden bei der 30. CIRET-Konferenz vom 13. bis 16. Oktober 2010 in New York für ihre Arbeit zum Thema “Should we trust in Leading Indicators? – Evidence from the Recent Recession” mit dem Isaac Kerstenetzky Award 2010 für Young Economists (Honourable Mention) geehrt. Sie erhalten diese Aus-zeichnung auf Grundlage ihrer Arbeit zur Untersuchung der Prognosegüte von konjunkturellen Frühindikatoren in Deutschland in der Rezession 2008/2009.
Mutual Perception of Science and Industry in Innovation Networks – Evidence from East Germany
D. Dyker (ed.), Network Dynamics in Emerging Regions of Europe, Imperial College Press,
The paper examines how science and industry perceive each other. Cooperation in the field of innovation and research and development has increased in recent years. But comprehensive empirical research on the mutual perception of science and industry is lacking so far. The article presents the results of explorative research based on a number of qualitative interviews with representatives from science and industry on that topic. The interviews were carried out in the Central German Region which is a centre of manufacturing industry especially of chemicals. So the two selected industries are chemical industry (high-tech based) and food processing (low-tech based). The paper provides remarks on the German innovation system. The empirical section summarizes the interview reports. We found only little evidence of conflict of interests between market-oriented industry and science organisations. Cooperation exists and works. The key issue is trust.
Should We Trust in Leading Indicators? Evidence from the Recent Recession
IWH Discussion Papers,
The paper analyzes leading indicators for GDP and industrial production in Germany. We focus on the performance of single and pooled leading indicators during the pre-crisis and crisis period using various weighting schemes. Pairwise and joint significant tests are used to evaluate single indicator as well as forecast combination methods. In addition, we use an end-of-sample instability test to investigate the stability of forecasting models during the recent financial crisis. We find in general that only a small number of single indicator models were performing well before the crisis. Pooling can substantially increase the reliability of leading indicator forecasts. During the crisis the relative performance of many leading indicator models increased. At short horizons, survey indicators perform best, while at longer horizons financial indicators, such as term spreads and risk spreads, improve relative to the benchmark.
Cross-border Diversification in Bank Asset Portfolios
We compute optimally diversified international asset portfolios for banks located in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States using the mean–variance portfolio model with currency hedging. We compare these benchmark portfolios with the actual cross-border asset positions of banks from 1995 to 2003 and ask whether the differences are best explained by regulations, institutions, cultural conditions or other financial frictions. Our results suggest that both culture and regulations affect the probability of a country's being overweighted in banks' portfolios: countries whose residents score higher on a survey measure of trust are more likely to be overweighted, while countries that have tighter capital controls are less likely to be overweighted. From a policy standpoint, the importance of culture suggests a limit to the degree of financial integration that may be achievable by the removal of formal economic barriers.