73 research outputs found

    Why did Czech Banks Switch From Loans in 1995?

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    The Czech banking system is seen by many observers to be the most successful of all former socialist economies’. But have Czech banks successfully provided worthy enterprises with sufficient credit from the funds made available to them? Using data from the Czech National Bank and data on individual Czech banks, I find evidence that in 1995 banks are provided with more deposits, but do not transform them into enterprise loans. I investigate the possible causes of this great portfolio switch and find that the central bank instituted a monetary tightening during a regime of fixed exchange rates and mobile capital. The central bank sterilized the continuing capital inflows. The resulting higher interbank interest rates and competition from foreign funds made the loan interest margin too narrow for Czech banks to profitably lend. The tight money strategy likely contributed to the bank failures in the following year and may have lead to greater concentration in the Czech banking system.Banking, Capital Flows, Capital Mobility, Central Banking, Economy in Transition, Fixed Exchange Rates, Monetary Policy

    Modering Financial Fragility In Transition Economies

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    Capital inflows have an enormous importance in the financing of investment in emerging and transition economies. However short-term inflows, intermediated by the banking sector of the emerging economy, may be subject to early withdrawals. We model a situation where such withdrawals are motivated by a change in either the domestic or the foreign fundamentals. We show that, for a given change in fundamentals, a reversal in the capital flows (and hence a currency crisis) is more likely the more risk averse are the foreign investors into the emerging economy. We also show that a policy to tax early withdrawals may discourage capital inflows which are more likely to give rise to fundamental runs, by helping to select relatively less risk averse investors. However, such a policy would have to be fine tuned in order not to discourage all capital inflows.Short-term capital inflows, Currency crisis, Financial Fragility, Chilean tax.

    Trade Credit and the Bank Lending Channel

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    The bank lending channel theory posits that during monetary contractions banks restrict some firms’ loans, thus reducing their desired investment independently of interest rates. Previous research finds small firms reduce, while large firms accelerate, loan growth. We find that small firms increase trade credit, a substitute credit, indicating a strong loan demand. It supports the bank lending channel: they do not voluntarily cut bank loans since they increase a less-desirable alternative. Using trade credit is propitious since unlike commercial paper (investigated by previous researchers), it is widely used by the small firms suffering the loan decline. Surprisingly, we also find large firms increase trade credit, a puzzle since they are typically assumed to have wide access to other credit. Using individual firm data, we find the reasons large firms use trade credit are financial in nature: those without a bond rating increase trade credit (i.e. without access to open market credit). As relatively few firms have this mark of quality, it implies that more firms are affected by credit constraints than previously believed.Bank Lending Channel, Credit Channel, Manufacturing Firms, Monetary Policy, Trade Credit

    Twin's Birth-Order Differences in Height and Body Mass Index From Birth to Old Age : A Pooled Study of 26 Twin Cohorts Participating in the CODATwins Project

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    We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first-and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.Peer reviewe

    Association between birthweight and later body mass index : an individual-based pooled analysis of 27 twin cohorts participating in the CODATwins project

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    Background: There is evidence that birthweight is positively associated with body mass index (BMI) in later life, but it remains unclear whether this is explained by genetic factors or the intrauterine environment. We analysed the association between birthweight and BMI from infancy to adulthood within twin pairs, which provides insights into the role of genetic and environmental individual-specific factors. Methods: This study is based on the data from 27 twin cohorts in 17 countries. The pooled data included 78 642 twin individuals (20 635 monozygotic and 18 686 same-sex dizygotic twin pairs) with information on birthweight and a total of 214 930 BMI measurements at ages ranging from 1 to 49 years. The association between birthweight and BMI was analysed at both the individual and within-pair levels using linear regression analyses. Results: At the individual level, a 1-kg increase in birthweight was linearly associated with up to 0.9 kg/m(2) higher BMI (P <0.001). Within twin pairs, regression coefficients were generally greater (up to 1.2 kg/m(2) per kg birthweight, P <0.001) than those from the individual-level analyses. Intra-pair associations between birthweight and later BMI were similar in both zygosity groups and sexes and were lower in adulthood. Conclusions: These findings indicate that environmental factors unique to each individual have an important role in the positive association between birthweight and later BMI, at least until young adulthood.Peer reviewe

    Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search

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    Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translated into practice. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established the RElevant LIterature SearcH consortium consisting of more than 1500 scientists from 84 countries, who have collectively annotated the relevance of over 180 000 PubMed-listed articles with regard to their respective seed (input) article/s. The majority of annotations were contributed by highly experienced, original authors of the seed articles. The collected data cover 76% of all unique PubMed Medical Subject Headings descriptors. No systematic biases were observed across different experience levels, research fields or time spent on annotations. More importantly, annotations of the same document pairs contributed by different scientists were highly concordant. We further show that the three representative baseline methods used to generate recommended articles for evaluation (Okapi Best Matching 25, Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency and PubMed Related Articles) had similar overall performances. Additionally, we found that these methods each tend to produce distinct collections of recommended articles, suggesting that a hybrid method may be required to completely capture all relevant articles. The established database server located at https://relishdb.ict.griffith.edu.au is freely available for the downloading of annotation data and the blind testing of new methods. We expect that this benchmark will be useful for stimulating the development of new powerful techniques for title and title/abstract-based search engines for relevant articles in biomedical research.Peer reviewe

    Genetic and environmental factors affecting birth size variation : a pooled individual-based analysis of secular trends and global geographical differences using 26 twin cohorts

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    Background: The genetic architecture of birth size may differ geographically and over time. We examined differences in the genetic and environmental contributions to birthweight, length and ponderal index (PI) across geographical-cultural regions (Europe, North America and Australia, and East Asia) and across birth cohorts, and how gestational age modifies these effects. Methods: Data from 26 twin cohorts in 16 countries including 57 613 monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs were pooled. Genetic and environmental variations of birth size were estimated using genetic structural equation modelling. Results: The variance of birthweight and length was predominantly explained by shared environmental factors, whereas the variance of PI was explained both by shared and unique environmental factors. Genetic variance contributing to birth size was small. Adjusting for gestational age decreased the proportions of shared environmental variance and increased the propositions of unique environmental variance. Genetic variance was similar in the geographical-cultural regions, but shared environmental variance was smaller in East Asia than in Europe and North America and Australia. The total variance and shared environmental variance of birth length and PI were greater from the birth cohort 1990-99 onwards compared with the birth cohorts from 1970-79 to 1980-89. Conclusions: The contribution of genetic factors to birth size is smaller than that of shared environmental factors, which is partly explained by gestational age. Shared environmental variances of birth length and PI were greater in the latest birth cohorts and differed also across geographical-cultural regions. Shared environmental factors are important when explaining differences in the variation of birth size globally and over time.Peer reviewe
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