Die Kosten von Wahlversprechen: Wie lokale Sparkassen eine neue Landesregierung finanzieren
Michael Koetter, Shasha Li, Paulina Scheit
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Staatliche Banken in Deutschland verfolgen einen lokalen Entwicklungsauftrag in ihrer jeweiligen Gemeinde. Da sie dem Staat gehören, sind sie jedoch politischem Einfluss ausgesetzt. Dies birgt das Risiko, dass eine politisierte Mittelvergabe den Entwicklungsauftrag beeinträchtigt. Dennoch ist erstaunlich wenig darüber bekannt, ob die Kreditvergabe durch Banken in staatlichem Besitz in erster Linie dem Ziel der Entwicklung der Region oder einem politischen Ziel dient. In diesem Beitrag wird untersucht, wie sich ein Wechsel der Regierungspartei auf Landesebene auf die Kreditvergabe durch Sparkassen an die Landesregierung in Deutschland zwischen 1992 und 2018 ausgewirkt hat. Die Schätzergebnisse bestätigen: Lokale Sparkassen erhöhen nach einem wahlbedingten Wechsel der Regierungspartei die Kreditvergabe an die Landesregierung – auf Kosten der Kreditvergabe an lokale Haushalte. Ein Regierungswechsel kann also die Indienstnahme der Sparkassen für landespolitische Ziele aktivieren und möglicherweise ihren öffentlichen Auftrag zur lokalen Entwicklung beeinträchtigen.
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The Role of State-owned Banks in Crises: Evidence from German Banks During COVID-19
IWH Discussion Papers,
By adopting a difference-in-differences specification combined with propensity score matching, I provide evidence using the microdata of German banks that stateowned savings banks have lent less than credit cooperatives during the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, the weaker lending effects of state-owned banks are pronounced for long-term and nonrevolving loans but insignificant for short-term and revolving loans. Moreover, the negative impact of government ownership is larger for borrowers who are more exposed to the COVID-19 shock and in regions where the ruling parties are longer in office and more positioned on the right side of the political spectrum.
The Impact of Political Uncertainty on Institutional Ownership
Bill Francis, Iftekhar Hasan, Yun Zhu
Journal of Financial Stability,
This paper provides original evidence from institutional investors that political uncertainty greatly affects investment behavior. Using institutional holdings of common stock, we find that institutions significantly reduce their holdings by 0.8–2.3% points during presidential election years. Such effect holds for gubernatorial elections with cross-state-border difference-in-difference analysis and for tests using a political uncertainty index. The effect is the opposite for American Depository Receipts (ADRs). In addition, we find that institutions benefit financially from the observed strategy, and such strategy is in line with predicted outcomes of presidential election polls.
Political Cycles in Bank Lending to the Government
Michael Koetter, Alexander Popov
Review of Financial Studies,
We study how political party turnover after German state elections affects banks’ lending to the regional government. We find that between 1992 and 2018, party turnover at the state level leads to a sharp and substantial increase in lending by local savings banks to their home-state government. This effect is accompanied by an equivalent reduction in private lending. A statistical association between political party turnover and government lending is absent for comparable cooperative banks that exhibit a similar regional organization and business model. Our results suggest that political frictions may interfere with government-owned banks’ local development objectives.
The Impact of Social Capital on Economic Attitudes and Outcomes
Iftekhar Hasan, Qing He, Haitian Lu
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This article traces the extant literature on the impact of social capital on economic attitudes and outcomes. Special attention is paid to clarify conceptual ambiguities, measurement techniques, channels of influence, and identification strategies. Insights derived from the literature are then used to analyze the marketplace lending industry in China, where the size of the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market is larger than that of the rest of the world combined. Ironically, approximately two-thirds of these online P2P lending platforms have failed. Empirical evidence from the monthly operating data of 735 lending platforms and transaction level data from one prominent platform (Renrendai) shows that platforms in provinces with high social capital have low risk of failure, and borrowers in provinces with high social capital can borrow at low interest rate and are less likely to default. We also provide observations to guide future economic research on social capital.
Democracy and Credit
Manthos D. Delis, Iftekhar Hasan, Steven Ongena
Journal of Financial Economics,
Does democratization reduce the cost of credit? Using global syndicated loan data from 1984 to 2014, we find that democratization has a sizable negative effect on loan spreads: a 1-point increase in the zero-to-ten Polity IV index of democracy shaves at least 19 basis points off spreads, but likely more. Reversals to autocracy hike spreads more strongly. Our findings are robust to the comprehensive inclusion of relevant controls, to the instrumentation with regional waves of democratization, and to a battery of other sensitivity tests. We thus highlight the lower cost of loans as one relevant mechanism through which democratization can affect economic development.
Political Influence and Financial Flexibility: Evidence from China
Xian Gu, Iftekhar Hasan, Yun Zhu
Journal of Banking and Finance,
This paper investigates how political influence affects firms’ financial flexibility and speed of adjustment toward target leverage ratios. We find that at the macro level, firms in environments with high political advantages, proxied by provincial affiliations with heads of state as well as political status and party rank of provincial leaders, adjust faster. At the micro level, firms that are state-owned, have CPC members as executives, or bear low exposure to changes in political uncertainty adjust faster. When interacted, the micro-level political factors have more significant impact.
Politics, Banks, and Sub-sovereign Debt: Unholy Trinity or Divine Coincidence?
Michael Koetter, Alexander Popov
Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper,
We exploit election-driven turnover in State and local governments in Germany to study how banks adjust their securities portfolios in response to the loss of political connections. We find that local savings banks, which are owned by their host county and supervised by local politicians, increase significantly their holdings of home-State sovereign bonds when the local government and the State government are dominated by different political parties. Banks' holdings of other securities, like federal bonds, bonds issued by other States, or stocks, are not affected by election outcomes. We argue that banks use sub-sovereign bond purchases to gain access to politically distant government authorities.