Successfull FiRe Lecture with Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi


 As part of the FiRe Lecture series, Prof. Dr Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi gave a lecture on June 5th, 2024 on the topic of gender differences in investments. Prof Dr Niessen-Ruenzi highlighted the differences in the capital market participation of women and men based on a comparison between Germany and Austria. She addressed the main causes of this problem and explained that women tend to choose lower-paid professions than men and that there is a wage gap as soon as women enter the labor market. This wage gap widens when women become their first child, which is known as the "child penalty". Even when women return to work, they do not earn as much as they would without children. In addition, women stay away from the capital markets or pursue less risky financial strategies. This puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to building up assets for retirment, especially as women statistically live longer than men.

The relevance of the topic was confirmed by the interest shown by over 100 people of different ages. The participants of the FiRe Lecture listened intently to Prof Niessen-Ruenzi's presentation on gender-specific differences in the capital market. 

The Institute of Banking and Finance would like to thank Prof Niessen-Ruenzi for her insightful lecture, General Director DI Cisar-Leibetseder (Volksbank Steiermark) for her introductory remarks and for sponsoring the event, and the SoWi graduate association and the Finance Club Graz for supporting the event.

FiRe Seminar with Nanny Dewi


Nanny Dewi (University of Padjadjaran) visited the University of Graz for a week as part of the Erasmus International Teaching Mobility program. We seized the opportunity and invited her to give a joint FiRe research seminar and teaching talk. Prof. Dewi reported about research conducted by her bachelor students, studying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market reaction to corporate earnings announcements. Her talk was followed by a lively discussion both in the seminar room and with the platform members who joined us online.

Erik Theissen joins Commission of Exchange Experts


Erik Theissen was appointed to the Commission of Exchange Experts of the German Federal Ministry of Finance. This commission advises the Federal Ministry of Finance in questions of capital market policy. Its members include high-ranking representatives of significant German firms such as Siemens AG, DZ Bank AG, Deutsche Post AG, and Deutsche Bundesbank. Erik Theissen will provide his scientific expertise to the commission for the next three years, starting on April 15th, 2024.

Portrait photo of Erik Theissen, a short-haired man with glasses.

Paper on sustainable investments


Together with researchers from Vienna, Stavanger and Brussels, Stefan Palan recently published a paper titled "Can information provision and preference elicitation promote ESG investments? Evidence from a large, incentivized online experiment" in the Journal of Banking and Finance. They study the role that providing information about financial returns and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts plays in influencing investors' decisions towards sustainable investments.

The paper reveals that both financial return information and ESG impact information stimulate investors towards ESG investments. Interestingly, combining these two types of information does not enhance the effect beyond presenting either one alone. This insight is crucial for financial advisors and institutions looking to promote ESG investments among their clients, as it suggests a targeted approach to information provision can be effective.

Link to the paper (open access)