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The Real Effects of Universal Banking: Does Access to the Public Debt Market Matter?
Journal of Financial Services Research,
I analyze the impact of the formation of universal banks on corporate investment by looking at the gradual dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act’s separation between commercial and investment banking. Using a sample of US firms and their relationship banks, I show that firms curtail debt issuance and investment after positive shocks to the underwriting capacity of their main bank. This result is driven by unrated firms and is strongest immediately after a shock. These findings suggest that universal banks may pay more attention to large firms providing more underwriting opportunities while exacerbating financial constraints of opaque firms, in line with a shift to a banking model based on transactional lending.
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.
Firm Subsidies, Financial Intermediation, and Bank Risk
Aleksandr Kazakov, Michael Koetter, Mirko Titze, Lena Tonzer
We study whether government subsidies can stimulate bank funding of marginal investment projects and the associated effect on financial stability. We do so by exploiting granular project-level information for the largest regional economic development programme in Germany since 1997: the Improvement of Regional Economic Structures programme (GRW). By combining the universe of subsidised firms to virtually all German local banks over the period 1998-2019, we test whether this large-scale transfer programme destabilised regional credit markets. Because GRW subsidies to firms are destabilised at the EU level, we can use it as an exogenous shock to identify bank responses. On average, firm subsidies do not affect bank lending, but reduce banks’ distance to default. Average effects conflate important bank-level heterogeneity though. Conditional on various bank traits, we show that well capitalised banks with more industry experience expand lending when being exposed to subsidised firms without exhibiting more risky financial profiles. Our results thus indicate that stable banks can act as an important facilitator of regional economic development policies. Against the backdrop of pervasive transfer payments to mitigate Covid-19 losses and in light of far-reaching transformation policies required to green the economy, our study bears important implications as to whether and which banks to incorporate into the design of transfer Programmes.