Die Abteilung „Finanzmärkte“ am IWH befasst sich mit dem institutionellen Wandel von Finanzsystemen in Europa. Die Forschung der Abteilung beschäftigt sich mit den Ursachen und Wirkungen der internationalen Tätigkeit von Banken und anderen Finanzintermediären, dem Zusammenhang zwischen Marktstrukturen im Bankensektor und gesamtwirtschaftlicher Stabilität, Ansteckungseffekten auf internationalen Finanzmärkten sowie der Rolle des Finanzsektors für die Realwirtschaft.
Hierbei spielen insbesondere Wechselwirkungen zwischen dem Finanzsektor und Wachstums- und Innovationsprozessen in der Realwirtschaft eine Rolle. Methodisch zielt die Forschung der Abteilung auf die integrierte Betrachtung von Anpassungen auf der Mikro- und Makroebene sowie die Evaluation wirtschaftspolitischer Maßnahmen zur Regulierung von Finanzmärkten.
Do Banks Value Borrowers' Environmental Record? Evidence from Financial Contracts
in: Journal of Business Ethics, im Erscheinen
Banks play a unique role in society. They not only maximize profits but also consider the interests of stakeholders. We investigate whether banks consider firms’ pollution records in their lending decisions. The evidence shows that banks offer significantly higher loan spreads, higher total borrowing costs, shorter loan maturities, and greater collateral to firms with higher levels of chemical pollution. The costly effects are stronger for borrowers with greater risk and weaker corporate governance. Further, the results show that banks with higher social responsibility account for their borrowers’ environmental performance and charge higher loan spreads to those with poor performance. These results support the idea that banks with higher social responsibility can promote the practice of business ethics in firms.
Do Activist Hedge Funds Target Female CEOs? The Role of CEO Gender in Hedge Fund Activism
in: Journal of Financial Economics, im Erscheinen
Using a comprehensive US hedge fund activism dataset from 2003 to 2018, we find that activist hedge funds are about 52% more likely to target firms with female CEOs compared to firms with male CEOs. We find that firm fundamentals, the existence of a “glass cliff,” gender discrimination bias, and hedge fund activists’ inherent characteristics do not explain the observed gender effect. We also find that the transformational leadership style of female CEOs is a plausible explanation for this gender effect: instead of being self-defensive, female CEOs are more likely to communicate and cooperate with hedge fund activists to achieve intervention goals. Finally, we find that female-led targets experience greater increases in market and operational performance subsequent to hedge fund targeting.
Political uncertainty and Bank Loan Contracts: Does government quality matter?
in: Journal of Financial Services Research, im Erscheinen
We investigate the relation between political uncertainty and bank loan spreads using a sample of loan contracts for the G20 firms during the period from 1982 to 2015. We find that banks charge firms higher loan spreads and require more covenants during election years when domestic political risks are elevated. Greater differences in the support ratios of opinion polls on candidates lead to the lower cost of bank loans. This political effect also lessens when the government quality of the borrower’s country is better than that of the lender’s country. Better quality government can lower the political risk component of bank loan spreads.
Political Cycles in Bank Lending to the Government
in: Review of Financial Studies, im Erscheinen
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.
Monetary Policy through Exchange Rate Pegs: The Removal of the Swiss Franc‐Euro Floor and Stock Price Reactions
in: International Review of Finance, im Erscheinen
The Swiss National Bank abolished the exchange rate floor versus the Euro in January 2015. Using a synthetic matching framework, we analyze the impact of this unexpected (and therefore exogenous) policy change on the stock market. The results reveal a significant level shift (decline) in asset prices following the discontinuation of the minimum exchange rate. As a novel finding in the literature, we document that the exchange‐rate elasticity of Swiss asset prices is around −0.75. Differentiating between sectors of the Swiss economy, we find that the industrial, financial and consumer goods sectors are most strongly affected by the abolition of the minimum exchange rate.
Deposit Competition and the Securitisation Boom
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 6, 2021
We provide novel evidence that regulatory-induced deposit market competition provoked banks to enter the securitisation market. Exploiting the state-specific removal of interstate bank branching restrictions across U.S states between 1994 and 2006 as an exogenous source of deposit competition, we document four key results. First, the interstate branching deregulation leads to an intensification of deposit market competition. Second, this rise in the cost of deposits increases the probability that a bank operates an ‘originate-to-distribute’ model by 6%. Third, the securitisation effect holds across bank asset classes but is most pronounced for mortgages. Finally, the results are strongest among small and single state banks owing to their reliance on deposit funding. The evidence is consistent with theories where increasing the cost of deposits creates incentives for banks to use securitisation as a cheaper loan funding model. The findings highlight a hitherto neglected supply-side explanation for the rapid expansion in securitisation before the financial crisis and speak to the debate about banking competition policy.
Completing the European Banking Union: Capital Cost Consequences for Credit Providers and Corporate Borrowers
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 4, 2021
The bank recovery and resolution directive (BRRD) regulates the bail-in hierarchy to resolve distressed banks without burdening tax payers. We exploit the staggered implementation of the BRRD across 15 European Union (EU) member states to identify banks’ capital cost and capital structure responses. In a first stage, we show that average capital costs of banks increased. WACC hikes are lowest in the core countries of the European Monetary Union (EMU) compared to formerly stressed EMU and non-EMU countries. This pattern is driven by changes in the relative WACC weight of equity in response to the BRRD, which indicates enhanced financial system resilience. In a second stage, we document asymmetric transmission patterns of banks’ capital cost changes on to corporates’ borrowing terms. Only EMU banks located in core countries that exhibit higher WACC are those that also increase firms’ borrowing cost and contract credit supply. Hence, the BRRD had unintended consequences for selected segments of the real economy.
Lender-specific Mortgage Supply Shocks and Macroeconomic Performance in the United States
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 3, 2021
This paper provides evidence for the propagation of idiosyncratic mortgage supply shocks to the macroeconomy. Based on micro-level data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for the 1990-2016 period, our results suggest that lender-specific mortgage supply shocks affect aggregate mortgage, house price, and employment dynamics at the regional level. The larger the idiosyncratic shocks to newly issued mortgages, the stronger are mortgage, house price, and employment growth. While shocks at the level of shadow banks significantly affect mortgage and house price dynamics, too, they do not matter much for employment.
To Rent or not to Rent: A Household Finance Perspective on Berlin's Short-term Rental Regulation
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 1, 2021
With the increasing concerns that accompany the rising trends of house sharing economies, regulators impose new laws to counteract housing supply scarcity. In this paper, I investigate whether the ban on short-term entire house listings activated in Berlin in May 2016 had any adverse effects from a household finance perspective. More specifically, I derive short-term rental income and counter-factually compare it with long-term rental income to find that the ban, by decreasing the supply of short-term housing, accelerated short-term rental income but did not have any direct effect on long-term rental income. Commercial home-owners therefore would find renting on the short-term market to be financially advantageous.
Cultural Norms and Corporate Fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen Scandal
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 24, 2020
We investigate whether cultural norms shaped by religion drive consumer decisions after a corporate scandal. We exploit the notice of violation by the US Environmental Protection Agency in September 2015 accusing Volkswagen (VW) of using software to manipulate car emission values during test phases. We show that new registrations of VW cars decline significantly in German counties with a high share of Protestants following the VW scandal. Our findings document that the enforcement culture in Protestantism facilitates penalising corporate fraud. We corroborate this channel with a survey documenting that Protestants respond significantly different to fraud but not to environmental issues.