New paper in JEEA

Our paper ” Holes in the Dike: The Global Savings Glut, U.S. House Prices and the Long Shadow of Banking Deregulation” (with Iryna Stewen) has now been accepted for publication in the Journal of the European Economic Association. In the paper, we argue that capital inflows into the U.S. greatly contributed to the housing boom in the years prior to the financial crisis. States that liberalized their banking markets earlier saw bigger run-ups in house prices (and larger busts). The reason for this was the treacherous assumption, that geographically diversified banks should be allowed higher leverage (as would be implied by Value-at-risk models of bank risk management). States that liberalized their banking markets earlier had a stronger presence of geographically diversified banks by the time the savings glut started to hit the U.S. from the mid-1990s onwards. As we show, […]

Installing Linux Mint (or Ubuntu) on a Dell Precision 5530

I firmly believe that using open source software is an important prerequisite for reproducible and accessible research. We cannot expect others (think e.g. students or researchers in developing countries) to buy super-expensive software to reproduce research. We should also make sure that the code we use, including the applications we run the code on, are free and transparent. Equally, I believe that we as academics have a special responsibility to teach our students to become free and independent digital citizens. That entails keeping a healthy distance to the closed eco-systems of commercial operating systems such as Windows or MacOS (not to speak of Android or iOS) which collect ever more data about everything we do on our computers and online. GNU/Linux operating systems are an open-source alternative where we can actually decide freely how much information about ourselves we share […]

VoxEU column on Banking Integration in the EMU

In a new column on VoxEU entitled Banking integration in the EMU — let’s get real Mathias Hoffmann, Egor Masolv, Bent Sorensen and Iryna Stewen argue  that dependence on domestic banks reduces risk-sharing in a crisis, reducing GDP growth in affected country-sectors. Benefits from banking integration are only robust to global shocks if banking integration takes the form of cross-border lending to firms and households.

Globalization of Real Estate Network

Mathias Hoffmann is the Scientific Director of a new research network “Globalization of Real Estate Markets” (GREN) at the UZH Center for Urban and Real Estate Management. The objective of the network is to provide an international forum for economic research that examines how the forces of globalization shape housing markets around the world.   To this end, the network collects and aggregates data on international real estate markets and organizes academic conferences,  summer schools and policy events.

China’s role in the global financial crisis

On Nov 29th, I gave a public lecture on China’s role in the origins and the handling of the financial crisis as part of a lecture series commemorating the 10th anniversary of the global financial crisis. Building on my research with Iryna Stewen and Yi Huang, I argue that global imbalances were an important factor in the run-up of the crisis. But the crisis was ultimately caused by U.S.specific factors (lax supervision, political pressure to increase home ownership, weak incentives for proper screening). During the crisis, China reacted with a massive fiscal expansion. This contributed to stabilizing global demand but it also exacerbated the misallocation of capital within China. The lecture slides are available here (password protected — send me an e-mail for access)