Klaus Liebscher Award conferred for the 13th time


Young economists receive highest OeNB award for outstanding research on European integration

At the 44th Economics Conference of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), OeNB President Claus J. Raidl announced the winners of the Klaus Liebscher Award, which the OeNB conferred for the 13th time. This year’s two prize-winning papers, which were selected from numerous excellent submissions, address particularly topical economic policy issues and display outstanding academic quality: “Regulatory Integration of International Capital Markets” by Jean-Marie A. Meier, London Business School, and “Bank Lending and the European Sovereign Debt Crisis” by Filippo De Marco from Milan-based Bocconi University.

In his empirical study, Jean-Marie A. Meier investigates the implications a common European approach to financial market regulation may have for the financial system and the real economy. With the European Union (EU) planning to create a common European market for financial services and capital, Meier exploits data gleaned from the various laws passed at the European level to implement regulatory integration. He examines in particular the effects of the EU policy plan on publicly listed firms’ access to external financing and on investment activity and employment. The author identifies significant quantitative effects: regulatory integration not only more than doubles external financing, but also considerably boosts both investment and employment.

Filippo De Marco empirically studies the effects of the relationship between sovereign debt and the banking system on the real economy. Using data on the European sovereign debt crisis of 2010–2012, he analyzes how this crisis affected bank financing for firms. During a sovereign debt crisis, banks tighten their credit supply to companies not primarily because they incur losses on government bonds but because they are not able to roll over unsecured short-term funding from U.S. money market funds. In the absence of such funding sources, banks have to either reduce equity or tighten lending.

The Klaus Liebscher Award was established in 2005 on the occasion of the 65th birthday of former OeNB Governor Klaus Liebscher in recognition of his commitment to Austria’s participation in Economic and Monetary Union and to the cause of European integration. Every year, up to two papers by young economists from EU Member States or candidate countries receive the award worth EUR 10,000. Papers must be deemed excellent in scientifically discussing topics of European integration and Economic and Monetary Union. The Klaus Liebscher Award is the highest academic award the OeNB bestows.