Browsing BOFIT Discussion Papers (1999- ) by Publication Year

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  • Funke, Michael; Loermann, Julius; Tsang, Andrew (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 22/2020
    Online First Review of International Economics
    We analyse volatility spillovers between the on- and offshore (CNY and CNH) Renminbi exchange rates towards the US dollar (USD). The volatility impulse response (VIRF) methodology introduced by Hafner and Herwatz (2006) is applied to several shocks between January 2012 and December 2019. Furthermore, we propose a novel way of estimating VIRFs based on Bayesian estimation of the MV-GARCH BEKK model. A simple Independence Chain Metropolis-Hastings algorithm allows drawing VIRFs in an efficient manner, allowing to analyse the significance and persistence of volatility shocks and associated volatility spillovers. The VIRF results show that the CNH exchange rate promptly reflects the global market demand and supply, while the CNY exchange rate reacts with a time lag. The VIRF results also show the existence of spillovers between the two markets as the co-volatility increases in response to shocks.
  • He, Qing; Li, Xiaoyang (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 27/2020
    We investigate the influence of financial and political factors on peer-to-peer (P2P) platform failures in China’s online lending market. Using a competing risk model for platform survival, we show that large platforms, platforms with listed firms as large shareholders, and platforms with better information disclosure were less likely to go bankrupt or run off (platform owners abscond with investor funds). More importantly, failing platforms were much less likely to run off in advance of major political events, but more likely to declare bankruptcy or run off after such events. These effects are more pronounced for politically connected platforms, platforms operating in provinces where local officials have close ties with central government, and in provinces with better local financial conditions. Our study highlights the role of political incentives on government regulatory intervention in platform failures.
  • Wang, Hao; Fidrmuc, Jan; Luo, Qi (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 18/2020
    Grandparenting duties can affect the well-being of the elderly both positively and negatively. This paper disentangles the interactions between grandparenting, quality of life, and life satisfaction in China. Using a panel dataset of 3,205 respondents in three waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) in 2011, 2013, and 2015, we find that grandparents who look after grandchildren are less at risk of depression, receive more financial and in-kind transfers from their children, and report greater life satisfaction than grandparents who do not look after grandchildren. These benefits vary across gender and rural-urban status, however. The positive effect of grandparenting is driven mainly by the direct effect with negligible mediating effect attributable to better quality of life.
  • Herrala, Risto; Orlandi, Fabrice (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 4/2020
    Published in Asia and the Global Economy, Volume 1, Issue 1, January 2021
    We study the global impact of the Chinese economy based on a novel indirect approach where the spillover effect is quantified from a forecast error model under relatively favorable identifying conditions. Findings from the real-time World Economic Outlook data over the period 2004 - 2015 indicate that an increase in economic growth in China had a negative impact on most other economies one to two years ahead. The estimations furthermore uncover evidence at the global level that spillover propagated by influencing prices, including global commodity prices, which tend to increase in reaction to accelerating economic growth in China.
  • Hake, Mariya; Poyntner, Philipp (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 3/2020
    This paper constitutes an initial attempt to shed light on the role of income distribution in household debt and financial market access in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE). Using household-level data from the OeNB’s Euro Survey for the period 2009-2018, we address the question whether interpersonal comparisons (“keeping up with the CESEE Joneses" i.e. "the Novaks”) affect the probability of having and planning a loan. Applying multilevel probit modeling to take into account the hierarchical structure of the data, our results support the notion that higher income inequality is negatively correlated with the probability of having a loan at the bottom of the distribution, and positively at the top. We show this impact for almost all components of household debt, but evidence is strongest for mortgage, car and foreign currency loans. Interpersonal comparisons turn out to drive loan intentions, however, mainly on the very top of the income distribution.
  • Fei, Xuan (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 23/2020
    This paper proposes a spatial equilibrium model to quantify welfare losses from land market distortions in China. In the model, heterogeneous firms in a variety of sectors choose their locations across regions with costly trade, frictional labor migration, and land market distortions. We match land transaction and firm-level survey data to estimate land market distortions for firms. Misallocation arises when similar firms are faced with land prices that effectively prevent productive firms from establishing in large cities where they can benefit from agglomeration forces and access to higher productivity. Our framework incorporating land market distortions also helps clarify the mystery of China’s undersized cities, a phenomenon noted by Au and Henderson (2006) and Chauvin et al. (2017). Our estimates suggest large negative effects of land policies on the economic welfare in China. We end with a counterfactual exercise that suggests that a coordinated land and labor migration reform would generate welfare gains and reduce regional inequality.
  • Ru, Hong; Yang, Endong; Zou, Kunru (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 15/2020
    This paper documents a strong delayed response to COVID-19, which is caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus in countries that did not encounter the SARS disease in 2003. The SARS outbreak was caused by a similar virus, SARS-CoV-1. Individuals in countries that developed SARS infections in 2003 search more intensively for COVID-19-related information on Google during the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, in late January 2020. Governments in countries that have not experienced SARS respond significantly slower in implementing containment measures to combat COVID-19 than countries that have experienced SARS. Furthermore, the timely responses of individuals and governments are more pronounced in countries that reported deaths caused by SARS, which left deeper imprints. Consequently, COVID-19 case numbers and mortalities have been substantially higher in countries that did not experience SARS deaths. Our findings suggest that the imprint of the early experience of similar viruses is a fundamental mechanism underlying timely responses to COVID-19.
  • Banerjee, Ryan; Hofmann, Boris; Mehrotra, Aaron (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 6/2020
    Using firm-level data for 18 major global economies, we find that the exchange rate affects corporate investment through a financial channel: exchange rate depreciation dampens corporate investment through firm leverage and FX debt. These findings are consistent with the predictions of a stylised model of credit risk in which exchange rates can affect investment through FX debt or borrowing in local currency from foreign lenders. Empirically, the channel is more pronounced in emerging market economies (EMEs), reflecting their greater dependence on foreign funding and their less developed financial systems. Moreover, we find that exchange rate depreciation induces highly leveraged firms to increase their cash holdings, supporting from a different angle the notion of a financial channel of the exchange rate. Overall, these findings suggest that the large depreciation of EME currencies since 2011 was probably a significant amplifying factor in the recent investment slowdown in these economies.
  • Gregg, Amanda; Nafziger, Steven (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2020
    This paper explores the dynamics of corporate finance during the early stages of industrial growth by examining a newly constructed panel database of Imperial Russian industrial corporations’ balance sheets. We document large differences in financial strategies and outcomes across industries, over time, over firms’ life cycles, and between two Russian corporation types. Russian corporations’ profits and dividend payouts followed the Russian business cycle. Russian corporate debt ratios mostly follow modern capital structure theories, but tangible assets were not associated with higher debt levels, suggesting that Russian corporate debt was short-term, that collateral was irrelevant, or that agency problems dominated. We also find evidence that investors needed to be compensated for poor protections, since dividends were valued and widely-held corporations enjoyed greater returns. While the evidence suggests the presence of these and other frictions, our findings are consistent with the Imperial Russian financial system functioning well enough to enable early industrial development.
  • Li, Weijia; Roland, Gérard; Xie, Yang (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 5/2020
    How do corruption and the state apparatus interact, and how are they connected to the political and economic dimensions of state capacity? Motivated by historians' analysis of powerful empires, we build a model that emphasizes the corrosive effect of corruption on state power. Under general assumptions about fat-tailed risk, we show that, if fiscal capacity is strong, then the optimal response for the head of the state apparatus will be an endogenous lexicographic rule whereby local corruption is maintained at such a level that no erosion of state power is tolerated. Comparative statics shows the impacts of additional risk of crisis on corruption tolerance as well as the complementarity between personalistic rule and corruption. Implications of corruption at the head of the state apparatus are also analyzed. If fiscal capacity is not sufficiently strong, however, the state will have to over-tolerate corruption to retain its affiliates, risking its control in crises. Our model predicts that the correlation between state's political stability and corruption is non-monotonic across different levels of fiscal capacity, and this prediction is robustly consistent with recent cross-country panel-data.
  • Osei-Tutu, Francis; Weill, Laurent (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 9/2020
    Online First Economics of Transition
    Reference to gender in language can lead individuals to draw distinctions between genders and reinforce traditional views of gender roles. To test our hypothesis that language gender-marking exerts an influence on the gender gap in financial inclusion, we draw on data for 117 countries in the World Bank’s Global Findex database and perform logit estimations at the individual level. We find the gender gap in the probability of owning a formal account, having access to a formal credit, as well as having savings in a formal financial institution is higher for countries with gendered languages than for countries with genderless languages. These findings are confirmed in robustness checks that control for alternative measures of culture and estimations at the country level.
  • Brada, Josef C.; Chen, Chunda; Jia, Jingyi; Kutan, Ali M. (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 10/2020
    Using event study methodology, we investigate whether bilateral investment protection treaties afford protection to foreign investors. Examining arbitral decisions for firms from six countries shows that firms that received awards from arbitrators gained in market value by as much as 3%. Per dollar awarded, firms gained over $20 in market value. Thus, we conclude that the system of arbitration does afford significant benefits to firms that can demonstrate that they have been injured by host governments who violated the terms of the relevant investor protection treaty. We also find some evidence that arbitral decisions are anticipated by stock markets.
  • Fungáčová, Zuzana; Schoors, Koen; Solanko, Laura; Weill, Laurent (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 8/2020
    State-owned banks tend to increase lending before elections for the purpose of boosting the reelection odds of incumbent politicians. We employ monthly data on individual banks to study whether Russian banks increased their lending before presidential elections during 2004–2019, a period covering four presidential elections. In contrast to the literature, we find that both state-owned and private banks increased their lending before presidential elections. This result stands for all loans, as well as separately for firm and household loans. The pre-election lending surge is followed by a deterioration of loan quality the following year, indicating the lending increase was not driven by higher growth prospects or some positive economic shock. The effect is substantially greater for large banks and banks more involved in lending activities. Our main finding that all types of banks in Russia increase their lending before presidential elections supports the view that the authorities in an electoral autocracy like Russia can influence lending of both private and state-owned banks for political reasons.
  • Lonsky, Jakub (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 24/2020
    This paper studies the origins and consequences of the Russian mafia (vory-v-zakone). I web scraped a unique dataset that contains detailed biographies of more than 5,000 mafia leaders operating in 15 countries of the (former) Soviet Union at some point between 1916 and 2017. Using this data, I first show that the Russian mafia originated in the Gulag – the Soviet system of forced labor camps which housed around 18 million prisoners in the 1920s - 1950s period. Second, I document that the distance to the nearest camp is a strong negative predictor of mafia presence in Russia’s communities in the early post-Soviet period. Finally, using an instrumental variable approach which exploits the spatial distribution of the gulags, I examine the effects of mafia presence on local crime and elite violence in mid-1990s Russia. In particular, I show that the communities with mafia presence experienced a dramatic rise in crime driven by turf wars which erupted among rival clans around 1993 and persisted for much of the 1990. Further heterogeneity analysis reveals that mafia presence led to a spike in attacks against businessmen, fellow criminals, as well as law enforcement officers and judges, while politically-motivated violence remained unaffected.
  • Gregg, Amanda; Nafziger, Steven (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 26/2020
    Enterprise creation, destruction, and evolution support the transition to modern economic growth, yet these processes are poorly understood in industrializing contexts. We investigate Imperial Russia’s industrial development at the firm-level by examining entry, exit, and persistence of corporations. Relying on newly developed balance sheet panel data from every active Russian corporation (N > 2500) between 1899 and 1914, we examine the characteristics of entering and exiting corporations, how new entrants evolved, and the impact of founder identity on subsequent outcomes. Russian corporations operated flexibly and competitively, conditional on overcoming distortionary institutional barriers to entry that slowed the emergence of these leading firms in the Imperial economy.
  • Fidrmuc, Jarko; Moroz, Serhiy; Reck, Fabian (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 25/2020
    Published in Empirica 48, 645-660 (2021)
    This paper analyzes the impact of ethnic heterogeneity and military conflict on the degree of regional consumption risk-sharing in Ukraine. Ethnicity and violent conflicts can influence risk-sharing e.g. through social capital, ethnic fractionalization, migration, and remittances. The sample consists of 25 Ukrainian oblasts and covers the highly volatile period from 2003 to 2016. Our results suggest that the degree of consumption risk-sharing is comparably high; between 70 and 80 percent on average. Moreover, consumption risk-sharing is significantly higher in the regions with a large Russian minority, which are enjoying special treatment by Russia. By contrast, the degree of financial development, as proxied by deposit and loan share in GRP, does not significantly affect the regional degree of consumption risk-sharing. Furthermore, we apply spatial models to control for spatial dependence across regions. Results are confirmed and it is shown that spatial correlation is important. Finally, we show that the recent geopolitical conflict in east Ukraine changed the regional degree of consumption risk-sharing.
  • Andrieș, Alin Marius; Podpiera, Anca Maria; Sprincean, Nicu (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 13/2020
    We investigate the relationship of central bank independence and banks’ systemic risk measures. Our results support the case for central bank independence, revealing that central bank independence has a robust, negative, and significant impact on the contribution and exposure of a bank to systemic risk. Moreover, the impact of central bank independence is similar for the stand-alone risk of individual banks. Secondarily, we study how the central bank independence affects the impact of selected country and banking system indicators on these systemic measures. The results show that central bank independence may exacerbate the effect of a crisis on the contribution of banks to systemic risk. However, central bank independence seems to mitigate the harmful effect of a bank’s high market power on its systemic risk contribution.
  • Funke, Michael; Tsang, Andrew (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2020
    Published in Economic Modelling 2020 ; 93 ; December ; pp. 465-473
    The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has taken numerous measures to cushion the impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis on the Chinese economy. As the current monetary policy framework features a multi-instrument mix of liquidity tools and pricing signals, we employ a dynamic-factor modeling approach to derive an indicator of China’s monetary policy stance. Our approach assumes that comovements of several monetary policy instruments share a common element that can be captured by an underlying unobserved component. We use the derived indicator to trace the response of the PBoC to the coronavirus pandemic. The estimates reveal that the PBoC has implement novel policy measures to ensure that commercial banks maintain liquidity access and credit provision during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Perugini, Cristiano (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 11/2020
    The microeconomic drivers of medium- and short-term income mobility in Russia over the period 1996–2016 are investigated using data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS). Focusing on the role of access to credit in triggering household income growth, the descriptive analysis suggests that high levels of mobility materialising in pro-poor patterns of growth may accompany Russia’s notoriously high levels of inequality. Controlling for other personal and household characteristics, the econometric model for drivers of income mobility indicates that access to credit boosts income mobility. Complementary empirical evidence suggests that this effect may unfold through channels related to the labour market and non-labour sources of income.
  • Hao, Liang; Rong, Wang; Haikun, Zhu (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 20/2020
    Economic activities have always been organized around certain ideologies, yet little is known about how ideology shapes corporate behavior and how it is different from other political forces. We investigate the impact of politicians’ ideology on corporate policies by exploring a unique setting of ideological change in China from Mao’s ideology to Deng’s around 1978. Using textual analysis based on keywords in People’s Daily, we find a discontinuity in ideological exposure among people who later became city mayors. Those who were at least 18 years old in 1978 and had joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are more likely to have adopted Mao’s ideology, and those who did not join by 1978, due to age limit, but joined soon thereafter were more likely to have adopted Deng’s ideology. This ideological difference has had an enduring effect on contemporary firm and city policies. Firms in cities governed by mayors with Mao’s ideology have made more social contributions, lowered within-firm pay inequality, and pursued less internationalization than those with Deng’s. These effects are stronger in firms with political connections, less state ownership, and more government subsidies as well as in regions that are more market-oriented and not “revolutionary bases.” Our results are robust to OLS regressions with various pair fixed effects besides regression discontinuity. We further find that corporate policies promoted by Mao’s ideology are associated with slower firm growth but greater stakeholder engagement.