BOFIT Discussion Papers (1999- )


BOFIT Discussion Papers is a series devoted to academic studies by BOFIT economists and guest researchers. The focus is on works relevant for economic policy and economic developments in emerging economies. More information.

Recent Submissions

  • Li, Xiaoming; Liu, Zheng; Peng, Yuchao; Xu, Zhiwei (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 15/2021
    We study the impact of China’s 2013 implementation of Basel III on bank risk-taking and its responses to monetary policy shocks using confidential loan-level data from a large Chinese bank. Guided by theory, we use a difference-in-difference identification, exploiting cross-sectional differences in lending behaviors between high-risk and low-risk bank branches before and after the new regulations. We find that, through a risk-weighting channel, changes in regulations significantly reduced bank risk-taking, both on average and conditional on monetary policy easing. However, banks reduce risk-taking by increasing lending to ostensibly low-risk state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under government guarantees, despite their low average productivity.
  • Hong, Claire Yurong; Lu, Xiaomeng; Pan, Jun (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 14/2021
    Using a unique FinTech data containing monthly individual-level consumption, investments, and payments, we examine how FinTech can lower investment barriers and improve risk-taking. Seizing on the rapid expansion of offline usages of Alipay in China, we measure individuals’ FinTech adoption by the speed and intensity with which they adopt the new technology. Our hypothesis is that individuals with high FinTech adoption, through repeated usages of the Alipay app, would build familiarity and trust, reducing the psychological barriers against investing in risky assets. Measuring risk-taking by individuals’ mutual-fund investments on the FinTech platform, we find that higher FinTech adoption results in higher participation and more risk-taking. Using the distance to Hangzhou as an instrument variable to capture the exogenous variation in FinTech adoption yields results of similar economic and statistical significance. Focusing on the welfare-improving aspect of FinTech inclusion, we find that individuals with high risk tolerance, hence more risk-taking capacity, and those living in under-banked cities stand to benefit more from the advent of FinTech.
  • Saka, Orkun; Eichengreen, Barry; Aksoy, Cevat Giray (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 13/2021
    We ask whether epidemic exposure leads to a shift in financial technology usage and who participates in this shift. We exploit a dataset combining Gallup World Polls and Global Findex surveys for some 250,000 individuals in 140 countries, merging them with information on the incidence of epidemics and local 3G internet infrastructure. Epidemic exposure is associated with an increase in remote-access (online/mobile) banking and substitution from bank branch-based to ATM activity. Heterogeneity in response centers on the age, income and employment of respondents. Young, high-income earners in full-time employment have the greatest tendency to shift to online/mobile transactions in response to epidemics. These effects are larger for individuals with better ex ante 3G signal coverage, highlighting the role of the digital divide in adaption to new technologies necessitated by adverse external shocks.
  • Simola, Heli (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2021
    We examine the role of demand composition in explaining the trade collapse and recovery during the ongoing covid-19 crisis. We apply an import-intensity-adjusted measure of demand to examineimport trends in 40 advanced and emerging economies over the period 1Q95 to 4Q20. We focus on the crisis periods related to covid-19 and the global financial crisis in 2008–2009. As during the global financial crisis, we find that import-intensity-adjusted demand is a key factor contributing to trade developments during the covid-19 crisis. The analysis also reveals substantial differences between the current crisis and the global financial crisis. Trade decline during the global financial crisis was heavily investment-led. In the current crisis, consumption and import demand from the service sector have had much larger roles. The recovery of trade has been notably faster during the covid-19 crisis and led by exports as opposed to the much more important role played by domestic demand during the global financial crisis.
  • Beckmann, Joscha; Comunale, Mariarosaria (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 11/2021
    This paper assesses the financial channel of exchange rate fluctuations for emerging countries and the link to the conventional trade channel. We analyze whether the effective exchange rate affects GDP growth, the domestic credit and the global liquidity measure as the credit in foreign currencies, and how global liquidity affects GDP growth. We make use of local projections in order to look at the shocks’ transmission covering 11 emerging market countries for the period 2000Q1–2016Q3. We find that foreign denominated credit plays an important macroeconomic role, operating through various transmission channels. The direction of effects depends on country characteristics and is also related to the policy stance among countries. We find that domestic appreciations increase demand regarding foreign credit, implying positive effects on investment and GDP growth. However, this is valid only in the short-run; in the medium-long run, an increase of credit denominated in foreign currency (for instance, due to apeiation) decreases GDP. The financial channel works mostly in the short run except for Brazil, Malaysia, and Mexico, where the trade channel always dominates. Possibly there is a substitution effect between domestic and foreign credit in the case of shocks in exchange rate.