The Impact of Risk-based Capital Rules for International Lending on Income Inequality: Global Evidence
This paper investigates the impact of international bank flows from G10 lender countries on income inequality in 74 borrower countries over 1999–2013. Specifically, we examine the role of international bank flows contingent upon the Basel 2 capital regulation and the level of financial market development in the borrower countries. First, we find that improvements in the borrower country risk weights due to rating upgrades under the Basel 2 framework significantly increase bank flows, leading to improvements in income inequality. Second, we find that the level of financial market development is also important. We report that a well-functioning financial market helps the poor access credit and thereby reduces inequality. Moreover, we employ threshold estimations to identify the thresholds for each of the financial development measures that borrower countries need to reach before realizing the potential reductions in income inequality from international bank financing.
What Drives the Commodity-Sovereign Risk Dependence in Emerging Market Economies?
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Using daily data for 34 emerging markets in the period 1994–2016, we find robust evidence that higher export commodity prices are associated with lower sovereign default risk, as measured by lower EMBI spreads. The economic effect is especially pronounced for heavy commodity exporters. Examining the drivers, we find that, first, commodity dependence is higher for countries that export large volumes of commodities, whereas other portfolio characteristics like volatility or concentration are less important. Second, commodity-sovereign risk dependence increases in times of recessions and expansionary U.S. monetary policy. Third, the importance of raw material prices for sovereign financing can likely be mitigated if a country improves institutions and tax systems, attracts FDI inflows, invests in manufacturing, machinery and infrastructure, builds up reserve assets and opens capital and trade accounts. Fourth, the country’s government indebtedness or amount of received development assistance appear to be only of secondary importance for commodity dependence.
Foreign Bank Ownership and Income Inequality: Empirical Evidence
Using country-level panel data over 1995–2013 on within-country income inequality and foreign bank presence, this paper establishes a positive relation between the two, running from higher foreign bank presence to income inequality. Given that foreign bank participation increased by 62% over the period 1995 to 2013, our baseline results imply a 5.8% increase in the Gini coefficient on average over this period, ceteris paribus. These results are robust to the inclusion of country and year fixed effects and to the use of restrictions on foreign bank entry in the host countries as an instrumental variable. We show that this positive effect is channelled through the lack of greenfield entry and the associated lower levels of competition.
When Arm’s Length is too Far: Relationship Banking over the Credit Cycle
Journal of Financial Economics,
We conduct face-to-face interviews with bank CEOs to classify 397 banks across 21 countries as either relationship or transaction lenders. We then use the geographic coordinates of these banks’ branches and of 14,100 businesses to analyze how the lending techniques of banks in the vicinity of firms are related to credit constraints at two contrasting points of the credit cycle. We find that while relationship lending is not associated with credit constraints during a credit boom, it alleviates such constraints during a downturn. This positive role of relationship lending is stronger for small and opaque firms and in regions with a more severe economic downturn. Moreover, our evidence suggests that relationship lending mitigates the impact of a downturn on firm growth and does not constitute evergreening of loans.
Foreign Funding Shocks and the Lending Channel: Do Foreign Banks Adjust Differently?
Finance Research Letters,
We document for a set of Latin American emerging countries that the different nature of foreign funding accessed by foreign and local banks affected their lending performance after September 2008. We show that lending growth was weaker for shock-affected foreign banks compared to shock-affected local banks. This evidence represents valuable policy information for regulators concerned with the stability and well-functioning of banking sectors.
International Banking and Liquidity Risk Transmission: Evidence from Canada
IMF Economic Review,
This paper investigates how liquidity conditions in Canada may affect domestic and/or foreign lending of globally active Canadian banks, and whether this transmission is influenced by individual bank characteristics. It finds that Canadian banks expanded their foreign lending during the recent financial crisis, often through acquisitions of foreign banks. It also finds evidence that internal capital markets play a role in the lending activities of globally active Canadian banks during times of heightened liquidity risk.
Fiscal Policy and the Great Recession in the Euro Area
American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings,
How much did fiscal policy contribute to euro area real GDP growth during the Great Recession? We estimate that discretionary fiscal measures have increased annualized quarterly real GDP growth during the crisis by up to 1.6 percentage points. We obtain our result by using an extended version of the European Central Bank's New Area-Wide Model with a rich specification of the fiscal sector. A detailed modeling of the fiscal sector and the incorporation of as many as eight fiscal time series appear pivotal for our result.
Optimum Currency Areas in Emerging Market Regions: Evidence Based on the Symmetry of Economic Shocks
Open Economies Review,
This paper examines which emerging market regions form optimum currency areas (OCAs) by assessing the symmetry of macroeconomic shocks. We extend the output-prices-VAR framework by adding net exports and the real effective exchange rate as endogenous variables. Based on theoretical considerations, we derive which shocks affect these variables in the long run: shocks to labor productivity, foreign trade, labor supply, and money supply. The considered economies of Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, East and Southeast Asia, and South Asia, exhibit large enough shock symmetry to form a currency union; the economies of Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East do not.