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Emil Verner

22 March 2024
This paper studies the impact of voluntary climate commitments by banks on their lending activity. We use administrative data on the universe of bank lending from 19 European countries. There is strong selection into commitments, with increased participation by the largest banks and banks with the most pre-existing exposure to high-polluting industries. Setting a commitment leads to a boost in a lender’s ESG rating. Lenders reduce credit in sectors they have targeted as high priority for decarbonization. However, climate-aligned banks do not change their lending or loan pricing differentially compared to banks without climate commitments, suggesting they are not actively divesting. We can reject that climate-aligned lenders divest from firms in targeted sectors by more than 2.6%. Firm borrowers are no more likely to set climate targets after their lender sets a climate target, which casts doubt on active engagement by lenders. These results call into question the efficacy of voluntary commitments.
JEL Code
Q50 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→General
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
27 September 2022
How do households adjust to a large debt shock? This paper studies household responses to a revaluation of foreign currency household debt during a large depreciation in Hungary. Relative to similar local currency debtors, foreign currency debtors reduce consumption expenditures approximately one-for-one with increased debt service, suggesting binding liquidity constraints. Foreign currency debtors reduce both the quantity and quality of expenditures, consistent with nonhomothetic preferences and a “flight from quality.” Debt revaluation has no effect on labor market status, hours, or earnings, but there is a small adjustment toward foreign income streams and a substantial increase in home production.
JEL Code
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
G51 : Financial Economics
J20 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→General