The Ex Ante versus Ex Post Effect of Public Guarantees
H. Evren Damar, Reint E. Gropp, Adi Mordel
D. Evanoff, C. Holthausen, G. Kaufman and M. Kremer (eds), The Role of Central Banks in Financial Stability: How has it Changed? World Scientific Studies in International Economics 30,
In October 2006, Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) introduced new ratings for banks that account for the potential of government support. The rating changes are not a reflection of any changes in the respective banks’ credit fundamentals. We use this natural experiment to evaluate the consequences of bail out expectations for bank behavior using a difference in differences approach. The results suggest a striking difference between the effects of bail out probabilities during calm times (“ex ante”) versus during crisis times (“ex post”). During calm times, higher bail-out probabilities result in higher risk taking, consistent with the moral hazard view and much of the empirical literature. However, in crisis times, we find that banks with higher bail out probabilities tend to increase their risk taking less compared to banks that were ex ante unlikely to be bailed-out. Charter values are one part of the explanation: Supported banks may have a funding advantage relative to non-supported banks during the crisis. However, we cannot rule out that other factors also may be playing a role, including tighter supervision of supported banks in crisis times.
Sovereign Default Risk and Decentralization: Evidence for Emerging Markets
Stefan Eichler, M. Hofmann
European Journal of Political Economy,
We study the impact of decentralization on sovereign default risk. Theory predicts that decentralization deteriorates fiscal discipline since subnational governments undertax/overspend, anticipating that, in the case of overindebtedness, the federal government will bail them out. We analyze whether investors account for this common pool problem by attaching higher sovereign yield spreads to more decentralized countries. Using panel data on up to 30 emerging markets in the period 1993–2008 we confirm this hypothesis. Higher levels of fiscal and political decentralization increase sovereign default risk. Moreover, higher levels of intergovernmental transfers and a larger number of veto players aggravate the common pool problem.
Bank-specific Shocks and the Real Economy
Claudia M. Buch, Katja Neugebauer
Journal of Banking and Finance,
Governments often justify interventions into the financial system in the form of bail outs or liquidity assistance with the systemic importance of large banks for the real economy. In this paper, we analyze whether idiosyncratic shocks to loan growth at large banks have effects on real GDP growth. We employ a measure of idiosyncratic shocks which follows Gabaix (forthcoming). He shows that idiosyncratic shocks to large firms have an impact on US GDP growth. In an application to the banking sector, we find evidence that changes in lending by large banks have a significant short-run impact on GDP growth. Episodes of negative loan growth rates and the Eastern European countries in our sample drive these results.
Competition, Risk-shifting, and Public Bail-out Policies
Reint E. Gropp, H. Hakenes, Isabel Schnabel
Review of Financial Studies,
This article empirically investigates the competitive effects of government bail-out policies. We construct a measure of bail-out perceptions by using rating information. From there, we construct the market shares of insured competitor banks for any given bank, and analyze the impact of this variable on banks' risk-taking behavior, using a large sample of banks from OECD countries. Our results suggest that government guarantees strongly increase the risk-taking of competitor banks. In contrast, there is no evidence that public guarantees increase the protected banks' risk-taking, except for banks that have outright public ownership. These results have important implications for the effects of the recent wave of bank bail-outs on banks' risk-taking behavior.