Economic analysis and research

Research features

Our “Research Features” are designed to give general readers an accessible snapshot of the most recent research projects published by Bank of Spain staff economists.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • Dual returns to experience (202 KB) Jose Garcia-Louzao, Laura Hospido, and Alessandro Ruggieri

    The paper studies how labor market duality affects human capital accumulation and the wage trajectories of young workers in Spain. Using rich administrative data, we follow workers from their entry into the labor market to measure the experience accumulated under different contractual arrangements and we estimate their wage returns. We document lower returns on experience accumulated under fixed-term contracts (FTCs) compared with open-ended contracts and show that this gap in returns is due to lower human capital accumulation while working under FTCs. This gap widens with worker skill, suggesting that experience and skill-learning are complementary. The widespread use of FTCs holds back wage growth by up to 16 percentage points after 15 years since labor market entry. 

  • Roots and Recourse Mortgages: Handing back the keys (202 KB) Jorge E. Galán, Matías Lamas and Raquel Vegas

    In this study we disentangle the effect of roots from other confounding factors, including discrimination, to explain differences in immigrants’ outcomes in the mortgage market. Using loan-level data from the Spanish Credit Register complemented with data on securitized mortgages over a complete financial cycle, we identify that foreign-born borrowers with feeble roots to the host country pay higher mortgage rates at origination than similar debtors that are better-settled. We also find that weak roots are associated with higher default rates and with greater incentives to go into default in negative equity situations. Overall, we show that rootedness explains differential loan conditions at origination and default behavior in mortgages. From a policy perspective, our results have important implications for the identification of discriminatory lending practices, for understanding the potential consequences of moving away from recourse mortgage regimes, and for the effectiveness of macroprudential policy.

  • Brexit: Trade diversion due to trade policy uncertainty (164 KB)

    The negotiation period following the 2016 Brexit referendum was characterized by high uncertainty regarding the new framework for bilateral relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. In this context, an important fraction of Spanish trade with the United Kingdom was diverted to alternative markets after the referendum, in the case of those firms with a high exposure to the UK (above 10 % of foreign sales and purchases). Trade diversion was higher for exports (than for imports) and to/from EU countries.

  • Firm Heterogeneity, Capital Misallocation and Optimal Monetary Policy (181 KB) Beatriz González, Galo Nuño, Dominik Thaler and Silvia Albrizio

    Does expansionary monetary policy foster capital misallocation? In a recent study we tackle this question both theoretically and empirically. We show how unexpected monetary policy expansions increase the investment of high-productivity firms relatively more than that of low-productivity ones, decreasing capital misallocation and increasing aggregate productivity. This has profound implications for the optimal design of monetary policy.

  • The impact of heterogeneous unconventional monetary policies on the expectations of markets crashes (286 KB)
    Irma Alonso, Pedro Serrano y Antoni Vaello-Sebastià

    Unconventional Monetary Policies gained momentum since the global financial crisis and were used extensively throughout the pandemic. An extensive literature has studied their effects on growth, prices and financial variables, but much less is known about their impact on ex-ante tail risk perceptions. Our paper analyses the impact of the unconventional monetary policies of four major central banks (the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan) on the probability of future market crashes. We exploit the heterogeneity of different unconventional actions to disentangle their influence on reducing the ex-ante perception of extreme events (tail risks) using the information contained in risk-neutral densities from the most liquid stock index options. We empirically show that the announcement of unconventional policies reduces the risk-neutral probability of extreme events across various horizons and thresholds, supporting the hypothesis of the risk-taking channel. Finally, the dynamics of the UMPs are captured by a structural model that confirms a transitory impact of UMPs on market tail risk perceptions and a positive effect on the real economy.

  • Asset Encumbrance and Bank Risk: Theory and First Evidence from Public Disclosures in Europe (159 KB) Albert Banal-Estañol, Enrique Benito, Dmitry Khametshin, Jianxing Wei

    We document that overcollateralisation of banks' secured liabilities is positively associated with the risk premium on their unsecured funding. We rationalize this finding in a theoretical model in which costs of asset encumbrance increase collateral haircuts and the endogenous risk of a liquidity-driven bank run. We then test the model's predictions using a novel dataset on asset encumbrance of the European banks. Our empirical analysis demonstrates that banks with more costly asset encumbrance have higher rates of overcollateralisation and rely less on secured debt. Consistent with theory, the effects are stronger for banks that are likely to face higher fire-sales discounts. This evidence acts in favour of the hypothesis that asset encumbrance increases bank risk, although this relationship is rather heterogeneous.