28.09.2017 • 35/2017
Joint Economic Forecast—Autumn 2017: Upturn Remains Robust—Amid Mounting Tensions
The German economic upturn has gained both in terms of strength and breadth. In addition to consumer spending, external trade and investments are now also contributing to economic expansion. These are the conclusions drawn by the economic research institutes in their autumn report for the German federal government. Whereas the very high economic momentum in the first half of the current year will slow slightly, expansion of economic output this year and next will exceed production capacity growth. As a result, overall capacity utilization will increase, with economic output exceeding potential output. Gross Domestic Product is likely to grow by 1.9 percent this year and by 2 percent in 2018 (calendar-adjusted: 2.2 and 2.1 percent, respectively).
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A Federal Long-run Projection Model for Germany ...
09.09.2016 • 38/2016
The Perception of Financial Inferiority Nurtures Negative Attitudes Towards Foreigners
When people feel that their own economic status is inferior to the economic status of a relevant peer group, it becomes more likely that they develop negative attitudes towards foreigners. This link was found in a new study of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association. The effect is particularly strong with respect to foreigners from low-wage countries.
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FDI Micro Database
IWH FDI Micro Database The IWH FDI Micro Database (FDI = Foreign Direct...
Social Distress and Economic Integration
IWH Discussion Papers,
We analyze whether social distress from income comparisons affects attitudes towards the integration of economies. Using Germany’s division as natural experiment, we find that East Germans’ feelings of relative deprivation with respect to better-off West Germans led to significantly more support for the upcoming German re-unification.
Social Comparisons and Attitudes towards Foreigners. Evidence from the ‘Fall of the Iron Curtain’
IWH Discussion Papers,
We exploit the natural experiment of German re-unification to address the question whether distress from social (income) comparisons results in negative attitudes towards foreigners. Our empirical approach rests upon East German individuals who have West German peers. We use the exogenous variation of wealth of West German peers shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall as an instrument to identify the effect of distress from social comparisons on East Germans’ attitudes. We find robust evidence that East Germans expose strong negative attitudes towards foreigners, particularly from low-wage countries, if they worry about their economic status compared to better-off peers.
The Social Capital Legacy of Communism-results from the Berlin Wall Experiment
European Journal of Political Economy,
In this paper we establish a direct link between the communist history, the resulting structure of social capital, and attitudes toward spatial mobility. We argue that the communist regime induced a specific social capital mix that discouraged geographic mobility even after its demise. Theoretically, we integrate two branches of the social capital literature into one more comprehensive framework distinguishing an open type and a closed type of social capital. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) we take advantage of the natural experiment that separated Germany into two parts after the WWII to identify the causal effect of social capital on mobility. We estimate a three equation ordered probit model and provide strong empirical evidence for our theoretical propositions.
Default Options and Social Welfare: Opt In versus Opt Out
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics JITE,
We offer a social-welfare comparison of the two most prominent default options – opt in and opt out – using a two-period model of localized competition. We demonstrate that when consumers stick to the default option, the prevailing default policy shapes firms' ability to collect and use customer information, and affects their pricing strategy and entry decision differently. The free-entry analysis reveals that fewer firms enter under opt out as competition becomes harsher, and that opt out is the socially preferred default option.
The Internationalization of Science and Its Influence on Academic Entrepreneurship
The Journal of Technology Transfer,
We examine whether scientists employed in foreign countries and foreign-educated native researchers are more “entrepreneurial” than their “domestic” counterparts. We conjecture that foreign-born and foreign-educated scientists possess broader scientific skills and social capital, which increases their likelihood that they will start their own companies. To test this hypothesis we analyze comprehensive data from researchers at the Max Planck Society in Germany. Our findings provide strong support for the conjecture that academic entrepreneurship can be stimulated by facilitating the mobility of scientists across countries.
On the Economic Architecture of the Workplace: Repercussions of Social Comparisons among Heterogeneous Workers
Journal of Labor Economics,
We analyze the impact on a firm’s profits and optimal wage rates, and on the distribution of workers’ earnings, when workers compare their earnings with those of co-workers. We consider a low-productivity worker who receives lower wage earnings than a high-productivity worker. When the low-productivity worker derives (dis)utility not only from his own effort but also from comparing his earnings with those of the high-productivity worker, his response to the sensing of relative deprivation is to increase the optimal level of effort. Consequently, the firm’s profits are higher, its wage rates remain unchanged, and the distribution of earnings is compressed.