Growth, Volatility, and Credit Market Imperfections: Evidence from German Firms
Journal of Economic Studies,
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, it studies whether output volatility and growth are linked at the firm-level, using data for German firms. Second, it explores whether the link between volatility and growth depends on the degree of credit market imperfections.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors use a novel firm-level dataset provided by the Deutsche Bundesbank, the so-called Financial Statements Data Pool. The dataset has time series observations for German firms for the period 1997-2004, and the authors use information on the debt-to-assets or leverage ratio of firms to proxy for credit-constraints at the firm-level. As additional proxies for the importance of credit market imperfections, we use information on the size and on the legal status of firms.
Findings – The authors find that higher volatility has a negative impact on growth for small and a positive impact for larger firms. Higher leverage is associated with higher growth. At the same time, there is heterogeneity in the determinants of growth across firms from different sectors and across firms with a different legal status.
Practical implications – While most traditional macroeconomic models assume that growth and volatility are uncorrelated, a number of microeconomic models suggest that the two may be linked. However, it is unclear whether the link is positive or negative. The paper presents additional evidence regarding this question. Moreover, understanding whether credit market conditions affect the link between volatility and growth is of importance for policy makers since it suggests a channel through which the credit market can have long-run welfare implications. The results stress the importance of firm-level heterogeneity for the effects and effectiveness of economic policy measures.
Originality/value – The paper has two main novel features. First, it uses a novel firm-level dataset to analyze the determinants of firm-level growth. Second, it analyzes the growth-volatility nexus using firm-level data. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first paper, which addresses the link between volatility, growth, and credit market imperfections using firm-level data.
Regional origins of employment volatility: evidence from German states
CES IFO Working Paper No. 2296,
Greater openness for trade can have positive welfare effects in terms of higher growth. But increased openness may also increase uncertainty through a higher volatility of employment. We use regional data from Germany to test whether openness for trade has an impact on volatility. We find a downward trend in the unconditional volatility of employment, paralleling patterns for output volatility. The conditional volatility of employment, measuring idiosyncratic developments across states, in contrast, has remained fairly unchanged. In contrast to evidence for the US, we do not find a significant link between employment volatility and trade openness.
The Euro and Cross-Border Banking: Evidence from Bilateral Data
Comparative Economic Studies,
Has the introduction of the Euro fostered financial integration in Europe? We answer this question using a data set of banks’ bilateral foreign assets and liabilities provided by the Bank for International Settlements. The data cover the pre-Euro period (1995–1998) and the post-Euro period (1999–2005). We use information from 10 OECD reporting countries and all OECD recipient countries. Gravity regressions show a positive and significant impact of the Euro on bilateral financial linkages. This effect is stronger and more robust for banks’ foreign assets than for their foreign liabilities.
The integration of imperfect financial markets: Implications for business cycle volatility
Journal of Policy Modeling,
During the last two decades, the degree of openness of national financial systems has increased substantially. At the same time, asymmetries in information and other financial market frictions have remained prevalent. We study the implications of the opening up of national financial systems in the presence of financial market frictions for business cycle volatility. In our empirical analysis, we show that countries with more developed financial systems have lower business cycle volatility. Financial openness has no strong impact on business cycle volatility, in contrast. In our theoretical analysis, we study the implications of the opening up of national financial markets and of financial market frictions for business cycle volatility using a dynamic macroeconomic model of an open economy. We find that the implications of opening up national financial markets for business cycle volatility are largely unaffected by the presence of financial market frictions.
Financial Openness and Business Cycle Volatility
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This paper discusses whether the integration of international financial markets affects business cycle volatility. In the framework of a new open economy macro-model, we show that the link between financial openness and business cycle volatility depends on the nature of the underlying shock. Empirical evidence supports this conclusion. Our results also show that the link between business cycle volatility and financial openness has not been stable over time.