Bank Bailouts and Moral Hazard: Evidence from Germany
Review of Financial Studies,
We use a structural econometric model to provide empirical evidence that safety nets in the banking industry lead to additional risk taking. To identify the moral hazard effect of bailout expectations on bank risk, we exploit the fact that regional political factors explain bank bailouts but not bank risk. The sample includes all observed capital preservation measures and distressed exits in the German banking industry during 1995–2006. A change of bailout expectations by two standard deviations increases the probability of official distress from 6.6% to 9.4%, which is economically significant.
Regulation and Taxation: A Complementarity
Journal of Comparative Economics,
I show how quantity regulation can lower elasticities and thereby increase optimal tax rates. Such regulation imposes regulatory incentives for particular choice quantities. Their strength varies between zero (laissez faire) and infinite (command economy). In the latter case, regulation effectively eliminates any intensive behavioral responses to taxes; a previously distortionary tax becomes a lump sum. For intermediate regulation (where some deviation is feasible), intensive behavioral responses are still weaker than under zero regulation, and so quantity regulation reduces elasticities, thereby facilitating subsequent taxation. I apply this mechanism to labor supply and present correlational evidence for this complementarity: hours worked in high-regulation countries are compressed, and these countries tax labor at higher rates.
Measurement Matters — Alternative Input Price Proxies for Bank Efficiency Analyses
Journal of Financial Services Research,
Most bank efficiency studies that use stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) employ each bank’s own implicit input price when estimating efficient frontiers. But at the same time, most studies are based on cost and/or profit models that assume perfect input markets. Traditional input price proxies therefore contain at least substantial measurement error. We suggest here two alternative input market definitions to approximate exogenous input prices. We have access to Bundesbank data, which allows us to cover virtually all German universal banks between 1993 and 2003. The use of alternative input price proxies leads to mean cost efficiency that is significantly five percentage points lower compared to traditional input prices. Mean profit efficiency is hardly affected. Across models, small cooperative banks located in large western states perform best while large banks and those located in eastern states rank lowest.
Network Investment and the Threat of Regulation – Preventing Monopoly Exploitation or Infrastructure Construction?
IWH Discussion Papers,
In summer 2005, the German telecommunication incumbent Deutsche Telekom announced its plans to build a new broadband fibre optics network. Deutsche Telekom decided as precondition for this new network not to be regulated with respect to pricing and third party access. To develop a regulator's strategy that allows investments and prevents monopolistic prices at the same time, we model an incumbent's decision problem under a threat of regulation in a game-theoretical context. The decision whether to invest or not depends on the probability of regulation and its assumed impact on investment returns. Depending on the incumbent's expectation on these parameters, he will decide if the investment is favourable, and which price to best set. This price is below a non-regulated profit maximising price, since the incumbent tries to circumvent regulation. Thus, we show that the mere threat of a regulator's intervention might prevent supernormal profits without actual price regulation. The regulator, on the other hand, can influence both investment decision and the incumbent's price via his signals on regulation probability and price. These signals an be considered optimal, if they simultaneously allow investment and minimize the incumbent's price.
Quality of Service, Efficiency, and Scale in Network Industries: An Analysis of European Electricity Distribution
IWH Discussion Papers,
Quality of service is of major economic significance in natural monopoly infrastructure industries and is increasingly addressed in regulatory schemes. However, this important aspect is generally not reflected in efficiency analysis of these industries. In this paper we present an efficiency analysis of electricity distribution networks using a sample of about 500 electricity distribution utilities from seven European countries. We apply the stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) method on multi-output translog input distance function models to estimate cost and scale efficiency with and without incorporating quality of service. We show that introducing the quality dimension into the analysis affects estimated efficiency significantly. In contrast to previous research, smaller utilities seem to indicate lower technical efficiency when incorporating quality. We also show that incorporating quality of service does not alter scale economy measures. Our results emphasise that quality of service should be an integrated part of efficiency analysis and incentive regulation regimes, as well as in the economic review of market concentration in regulated natural monopolies.
Liberalization of Electricity Markets in Selected European Countries
Diskussionsbeiträge des Europäischen Instituts für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW), Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Nr. 124,
Der Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit Fragen der Liberalisierung der Elektrizitätsmärkte in der EU. Man kann feststellen, dass die Gemeinschaftsdirektive 96/92/EC die Wechselbeziehungen der Elektrizitätsmärkte nicht ausreichend behandelt. Außerdem wird vor allem in Deutschland der Zugang für Dritte nicht effektiv gefördert, wobei der Zusammenschluss eines großen Elektrizitätsunternehmens und einem dominanten Gasunternehmen neue spezielle Fragen aufgeworfen hat. Hingegen verläuft der Liberalisierungsprozess in Skandinavien konsequenter. Osteuropäische EU-Beitrittsländer sind langfristig potenzielle Elektrizitätsexporteure sobald Modernisierungen zu niedrigeren Energie- und Elektrizitätsverbrauch führen. Russland sollte rasch WTO-Mitglied werden, um Zugang zu den westeuropäischen Elektrizitätsmärkten zu bekommen, wobei Russland in den gesamten Liberalisierungsdiskussionen noch keine Rolle gespielt hat. Mittelfristig können Überschusskapazitäten in einer EU-27 erwartet werden. Zweifelhaft jedoch ist, ob Politiker, die ansonsten so ehrgeizige Ambitionen in der Umweltpolitik zeigen, einer gesamteuropäischen Liberalisierung der Elektrizitätsmärkte zustimmen werden. Außerdem werden regulierungspolitische Aspekte behandelt.