Should I Stay or Should I Go? Bank Productivity and Internationalization Decisions
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Differences in firm-level productivity explain international activities of non-financial firms quite well. We test whether differences in bank productivity determine international activities of banks. Based on a dataset that allows tracking banks across countries and across different modes of foreign entry, we model the ordered probability of maintaining a commercial presence abroad and the volume of banks’ international assets empirically. Our research has three main findings. First, more productive banks are more likely to enter foreign markets in increasingly complex modes. Second, more productive banks also hold larger volumes of foreign assets. Third, higher risk aversion renders entry less likely, but it increases the volume of foreign activities conditional upon entry.
Forecast Dispersion, Dissenting Votes, and Monetary Policy Preferences of FOMC Members: The Role of Individual Career Characteristics and Political Aspects
Using data from 1992 to 2001, we study the impact of members’ economic forecasts on the probability of casting dissenting votes in the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Employing standard ordered probit techniques, we find that higher individual inflation and real GDP growth forecasts (relative to the committee’s median) significantly increase the probability of dissenting in favor of tighter monetary policy, whereas higher individual unemployment rate forecasts significantly decrease it. Using interaction models, we find that FOMC members with longer careers in government, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or on the staff of the Board of Governors are more focused on output stabilization, while FOMC members with longer careers in the financial sector or on the staffs of regional Federal Reserve Banks are more focused on inflation stabilization. We also find evidence that politics matters, with Republican appointees being much more focused on inflation stabilization than Democratic appointees. Moreover, during the entire Clinton administration ‘natural’ monetary policy preferences of Bank presidents and Board members for inflation and output stabilization were more pronounced than under periods covering the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, respectively.
Regional House Price Dynamics and Voting Behavior in the FOMC
This paper examines the impact of house price gaps in Federal Reserve districts on the voting behavior in the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) from 1978 to 2010. Applying a random effects ordered probit model, we find that a higher regional house price gap significantly increases (decreases) the probability that this district's representative in the FOMC casts interest rate votes in favor of tighter (easier) monetary policy. In addition, our results suggest that Bank presidents react more sensitively to regional house price developments than Board members do.
The Social Capital Legacy of Communism-results from the Berlin Wall Experiment
European Journal of Political Economy,
In this paper we establish a direct link between the communist history, the resulting structure of social capital, and attitudes toward spatial mobility. We argue that the communist regime induced a specific social capital mix that discouraged geographic mobility even after its demise. Theoretically, we integrate two branches of the social capital literature into one more comprehensive framework distinguishing an open type and a closed type of social capital. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) we take advantage of the natural experiment that separated Germany into two parts after the WWII to identify the causal effect of social capital on mobility. We estimate a three equation ordered probit model and provide strong empirical evidence for our theoretical propositions.
Informal Social Networks and Spatial Mobility
Die Präferenzen von Individuen in Transformationsregionen sind immer noch durch Prägungen des früheren sozialistischen Systems bestimmt. Diese These der sozialistischen Prägung wird im Beitrag getestet, indem untersucht wird, ob sich ein Einfluss der Sozialisation in einem solchen System auf die Akkumulation von Sozialkapital und, als Konsequenz, auf die Präferenzen für räumliche Mobilität nachweisen lässt. Gegenstand der Analyse ist der paradigmatische Fall Ostdeutschlands, wo die Mobilitätsneigung deutlich geringer zu sein scheint als im westlichen Teil. Auf Grundlage einer IV ordered probit Schätzung wird erstens belegt, dass Ostdeutsche, sofern sie im Sozialismus aufgewachsen sind, stärker in lokal gebundenes informelles Sozialkapital investiert sind. Zweitens bestätigt sich die These, dass eine Partizipation in derartigen Netzwerken die Mobilitätspräferenz verringert. Drittens zeigt sich, dass sich nach Kontrolle dieses Netzwerkeffektes der Mobilitätsrückstand der Ostdeutschen substantiell verringert. Die eher geringe räumliche Mobilität der ostdeutschen Bevölkerung erscheint daher zu einem erheblichen Teil den typischen Sozialkapitalmustern post-sozialistischer Gesellschaften geschuldet zu sein.
Margins of international banking: Is there a productivity pecking order in banking, too?
Bundesbank Discussion Paper 12/2009,
Modern trade theory emphasizes firm-level productivity differentials to explain
the cross-border activities of non-financial firms. This study tests whether a
productivity pecking order also determines international banking activities. Using
a novel dataset that contains all German banks’ international activities, we
estimate the ordered probability of a presence abroad (extensive margin) and the
volume of international assets (intensive margin). Methodologically, we enrich the
conventional Heckman selection model to account for the self-selection of banks
into different modes of foreign activities using an ordered probit. Four main
findings emerge. First, similar to results for non-financial firms, a productivity
pecking order drives bank internationalization. Second, only a few non-financial
firms engage in international trade, but many banks hold international assets, and
only a few large banks engage in foreign direct investment. Third, in addition to
productivity, risk factors matter for international banking. Fourth, gravity-type
variables have an important impact on international banking activities.
Who Invests in Training if Contracts are Temporary? - Empirical Evidence for Germany Using Selection Correction
This study deals with the effect of fixed-term contracts on work-related training. Though previous studies found a negative effect of fixed-term contracts on the participation in training, from the theoretical point of view it is not clear whether workers with fixed-term contracts receive less or more training, compared to workers with permanent contracts. In addition to the existing strand of literature, we especially distinguish between employer- and employee-financed training in order to allow for diverging investment patterns of worker and firm. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), we estimate a bivariate probit model to control for selection effects that may arise from unobservable factors, affecting both participation in training and holding fixed-term contracts. Finding negative effects for employer-sponsored, as well as for employee-sponsored training, leads us to conclude that workers with fixed-term contracts do not compensate for lower firm investments.