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  • 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.
  • Saka, Orkun; Ji, Yuemei; De Grauwe, Paul (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 10/2021
    We first present a simple model of post-crisis policymaking driven by both public and private interests. Using a novel dataset covering 94 countries between 1973 and 2015, we then establish that financial crises can lead to government interventions in financial markets. Consistent with a public interest channel, we find post-crisis interventions occur only in democratic countries. However, by using a plausibly exogenous setting -i.e., term limits- muting political accountability, we show that democratic leaders who do not have re-election concerns are substantially more likely to intervene in financial markets after crises, in ways that may promote (obstruct) private (public) interests.
  • Borisova, Ekaterina; Ivanov, Denis (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 09/2021
    In this study, we use random assignment of vignettes that feature optimistic and pessimistic scenarios with respect to vaccine safety and efficacy on a sample of roughly 1,600 Russians in order to gauge public support for anti-pandemic measures under various scenarios. Negative information on vaccine safety and efficacy reduces support for the anti-pandemic measures among individuals who fear Covid-19 and were initially supportive of government restrictions. These individuals tend to be old, and therefore vulnerable to Covid-19, and politically active. This loss of support is strongest for economically costly measures such as banning of large gatherings and the shuttering of non-essential businesses. Mask-wearing, which involves only minor costs, finds broad acceptance. We interpret the reactions in light of adaptation, fatigue over Covid-19 restrictions, and fatalism. The political consequences of non-pharmaceutical measures to deal with a pandemic include loss of public support over time, erosion of trust in government, and political backlash.
  • Mäkinen, Mikko (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 8/2021
    Can a major financial crisis trigger changes in a bank’s risk-taking behavior? Using the 2008 Global Financial Crisis as a quasi-natural experiment and a difference-in-differences approach, I examine whether the worst crisis-hit Russian banks – the banks that have strong incentives to behavior-altering changes – can decrease their post-crisis exposure to risk. A shift in risk-taking behavior by these banks indicates the learning hypothesis. The findings are mixed. The evidence concerning credit risk is inconsistent with the learning hypothesis. On the other hand, the evidence concerning solvency risk is consistent with the learning hypothesis and corroborates evidence from the Nordic countries (Berglund and Mäkinen, 2019). As such, bank learning from a financial crisis may not depend on the institutional context and the level of development of national financial market. Several robustness checks with alternative regression specifications are provided.
  • Yu, Haiyue; Cao, Jin; Kang, Shulong (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2021
    Female post-childbirth labor market participation and labor intensity are extraordinarily high in China, given that public childcare subsidies are limited and supportive policies for childbearing female employees are largely absent. Establishing a panel dataset that tracks female employment and childbirth, we find that such a paradox is well-explained by the intra-family childcare support provided by grandparents. Correcting the selection bias that stems from women’s fertility choices using the propensity score matching difference-in-difference model, we find that women without grandparental support suffer a substantial drop in post-childbirth employment, while women with grandparental support even experience a rise in employment after childbirth. It takes women without grandparental support twice as long to recover their employment after childbirth. Finally, we find that childbirth does not decrease women's labor intensity due to a lack of labor market flexibility, and that women face a stay-or-quit dilemma when grandparental childcare support is absent.
  • De Haas, Ralph; Martin, Ralf; Muûls, Mirabelle; Schweiger, Helena (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 6/2021
    We use data on 11,233 firms across 22 emerging markets to analyze how credit constraints and low-quality firm management inhibit corporate investment in green technologies. For identification we exploit quasi-exogenous variation in local credit conditions and in exposure to weather shocks. Our results suggest that both financial frictions and managerial constraints slow down firm investment in more energy efficient and less polluting technologies. Complementary analysis of data from the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) corroborates some of this evidence by revealing that in areas where banks deleveraged more after the global financial crisis, industrial facilities reduced their carbon emissions by less. On aggregate this kept local emissions 15% above the level they would have been in the absence of financial frictions.
  • Davydov, Denis; Sihvonen, Jukka; Solanko, Laura (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 5/2021
    This paper uses textual analysis to examine how European corporations assess sanctions in their annual reports. Using observations from a panel of almost 11,500 corporate annual reports from 2014–2017, we document significant cross-country variation in how firms perceive Russia-related sanctions. Even after controlling for firm-level characteristics, cross-country differences remain for sentiments about sanctions and contexts in which sanctions are mentioned. We also examine the role of macroeconomic linkages in explaining these differences. We show that the Russia’s inward and outward FDI stocks and high levels of imports and exports with Russia only partially explain the cross-country variation, leaving a nontrivial share of variation unexplained.
  • Kang, Shulong; Dong, Jianfeng; Yu, Haiyue; Cao, Jin; Dinger, Valeriya (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 4/2021
    This paper investigates how government-led banking liberalization affects credit allocation by banks using as a quasi-natural experiment the establishment of city commercial banks (CCBs) in China. Based on more than three million corporate financial statements spanning over 16 years, we find that the establishment of CCBs led to a 6–14 % drop in debt funding for private firms, as well as a 1–2 % rise in their funding costs. At the same time, private infrastructure firms enjoyed a nearly 6 % increase in debt funding and more than 100-basis-point drop in interest costs despite their inferior credit quality. The debt financing of private firm appears most severely affected in municipalities where officials face high promotional pressures or fiscal constraints.
  • Fungáčová, Zuzana; Kerola, Eeva; Weill, Laurent (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 3/2021
    This work examines the impact of bank efficiency on the bank lending channel in China. Using a sample of 175 Chinese banks over the period 2006–2017, we investigate how the reaction of the loan supply to monetary policy actions depends on a bank’s efficiency. While bank efficiency does not exert an impact on the effectiveness of monetary policy transmission overall, it does favor the transmission of monetary policy for banks with low loan-to-deposit ratios. In addition, the expansion of shadow banking activities has been associated with a positive impact of bank efficiency on monetary policy transmission. These results suggest that bank efficiency may influence the bank lending channel in certain cases.
  • Paustyan, Ekaterina (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 2/2021
    This paper studies the distribution of politically motivated intergovernmental transfers in Russia focusing on the case of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It investigates what factors have accounted for the selection of the 2018 FIFA World Cup venues. Qualitative Comparative Analysis of 14 cases reveals that well-connected political elites were able to secure the right for their regions to host the championship and, as a result, to extract additional funds from the center. These findings are in line with the argument that the regional governments in Russia play an important role in the distribution of politically sensitive transfers. Taking into account that these transfers have been increasing over the past years, there is no surprise that the regional elites have developed various lobbying strategies and mechanisms for attracting them.
  • Kerola, Eeva; Mojon, Benoît (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 1/2021
    Data available at
    It is important to understand the growth process under way in China. However, analyses of Chinese growth became increasingly more difficult after the real GDP doubling target was announced in 2012 and the official real GDP statistics lost their fluctuations. With a dataset covering 31 Chinese provinces from two decades, we have substantially more variation to work with. We find robust evidence that the richness of the provincial data provides information relevant to understand and project Chinese aggregates. Using this provincial data, we build an alternative indicator for Chinese growth that is able to reveal fluctuations not present in the official statistical series. Additionally, we concentrate on the determinants of Chinese growth and show how the drivers have gone through a substantial change over time both across economic variables and provinces. We introduce a method to understand the changing nature of Chinese growth that can be updated regularly using principal components derived from the provincial data.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Funke, Michael; Loermann, Julius; Tsang, Andrew (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 22/2020
    Forthcoming 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.
  • Ru, Hong; Zou, Kunru (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 21/2020
    This paper investigates how politicians’ patronage connections affect privatizations in China. The connections to top political leaders (i.e., Central Committee of the Communist Party of China) make local politicians engage more in rent-seeking by selling state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at substantial discounts. These connected local politicians are also more protected in anti-corruption investigations, thus extracting more rents by selling SOE assets at substantial discounts. Consequently, the privatizations conducted by the local politicians with patronage connections achieve significantly lower gains in efficiency and performance. To identify the role of patronage connection in privatization, we use the mandatory retirement age cut-offs of Central Committee members in the regression discontinuity design. We find drops in price discounts of privatization deals and jumps in efficiency for privatized SOEs when local politicians lose connections to Central Committee members around the retirement age cut-offs.
  • 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.
  • Funke, Michael; Zhong, Doudou (2020)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 19/2020
    The political hyperglobalisation trilemma asserts that a government cannot simultaneously opt for deep international integration, national sovereignty and democratic politics, but rather is constrained to choosing two of the three at most. This paper presents a new and comprehensive cross-country panel dataset operationalising the multifaceted three vertices of the trilemma. After an explorative data analysis, we employ panel error-correction techniques to uncover the mutual interdependencies among the variables in the system. The econometric evidence supports the existence of a long‐run relationship between economic integration, national sovereignty and democratic politics as postulated in the political globalisation trilemma.