Flooded through the Back Door: Firm-level Effects of Bank’s Lending Shifts

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September 2018
Paper author(s): 
Oliver Rehbein
Financial Economics

I show that natural disasters transmit to firms in non-disaster areas via their banks. This spillover of non-financial shocks through the banking system is stronger for banks with less regulatory capital. Firms connected to a disaster-exposed bank with below median capital, reduce their employment by 11% and their fixed assets by 20% compared to firms in the same region without such a bank during the 2013 flooding in Germany. Low bank capital thus carries a negative externality because it amplifies regional shock spillovers. I show that bank liquidity, and firm capital and liquidity are less relevant to prevent shock transmission.


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