Multidimensional Well-being and Regional Disparities in Europe
Journal of Common Market Studies,
Using data from the OECD Regional Well-Being Index – a set of quality-of-life indicators measured at the sub-national level – we construct a set of composite well-being indices. We analyze the extent to which the choice of five alternative aggregation methods affects the well-being ranking of regions. We find that regional inequality in these composite measures is lower than regional inequality in real GDP per capita. For most aggregation methods, the rank correlation across regions appears to be quite high. It is also shown that using alternative indices instead of GDP per capita would only have a small effect on the set of regions eligible for aid from EU Structural Funds. The exception appears to be an aggregation based on how individual dimensions relate to average life satisfaction across regions, which would substantially change both the ranking of regions and which regions would be eligible for EU funds.
Bottom-up or Direct? Forecasting German GDP in a Data-rich Environment
In this paper, we investigate whether there are benefits in disaggregating GDP into its components when nowcasting GDP. To answer this question, we conduct a realistic out-of-sample experiment that deals with the most prominent problems in short-term forecasting: mixed frequencies, ragged-edge data, asynchronous data releases and a large set of potential information. We compare a direct leading indicator-based GDP forecast with two bottom-up procedures—that is, forecasting GDP components from the production side or from the demand side. Generally, we find that the direct forecast performs relatively well. Among the disaggregated procedures, the production side seems to be better suited than the demand side to form a disaggregated GDP nowcast.
14.12.2017 • 39/2017
Cyclical upswing in Germany and in the world
At the turn of the year, the cyclical upswing in Germany continues. Gross domestic product is expected to increase by 2.2% in 2017, and because this year has seen significantly fewer working days than before, the rate of change amounts, adjusted for calendar effects, to even 2.5%. “The upswing is broad-based”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president. “For quite a long time now, significant increases in employment have been driving private incomes, consumption and housing construction. The latter was, in addition, stimulated by low interest rates.” Currently, German exports are benefiting from the vivid international economy. Not least since monetary policy in the euro area remains expansionary for the time being, we expect the upturn to continue in 2018 and production to increase again by 2.2%. Consumer price inflation is, with 1.7%, still moderate in both 2017 and 2018. Although domestic price pressures are on the rise, the effects of the energy price increase in 2017 expire in 2018, and the appreciation of the euro in the summer of 2017 will dampen price dynamics.
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Why is there Resistance to Works Councils in Germany? An Economic Perspective
IWH Discussion Papers,
Recent empirical research generally finds evidence of positive economic effects of works councils, for example with regard to productivity and – with some limitations – to profits. This makes it necessary to explain why employers’ associations have reservations against works councils. On the basis of an in-depth literature analysis, we show that beyond the generally positive findings, there are important heterogeneities in the impact of works councils. We argue that those groups of employers that tend to benefit little from employee participation in terms of productivity and profits may well be important enough to shape the agenda of their employers’ organisation and even gained in importance within their organisations in recent years. We also discuss the role of deviations from profit-maximising behaviour like risk aversion, short-term profit maximisation, and other non-pecuniary motives, as possible reasons for employer resistance.
26.09.2017 • 34/2017
Meaningless Work Threatens Employees’ Job Performance
Employees show a significant decline in exerted effort when they are informed about the futility of a task already done. As the results of an experiment conducted by Sabrina Jeworrek from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) and co-authors show, meaningless work causes anger and disappointment, and can negatively affect employees' later motivation. However, employees seem to “forgive” their employer for cancelling a project if another and still valid purpose is credibly communicated.
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07.09.2017 • 32/2017
The German economy: Growing strongly
In the summer of 2017, the upswing in Germany continues. „For this year, we forecast gross domestic product to expand by 1.9%, as it did in 2016, and for 2018 by 2.0%” says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president.
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The Restructuring of the East German Economy
Schneider, Jürgen (Hrsg.): Einigkeit, Recht und Freiheit. 25 Jahre deutsche Wiedervereinigung (1990-2015). Eine ordnungs-theoretische Analyse, Beiträge zur Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte. Band 132.3, Stuttgart,
The paper investigates the institutional tasks and the real economic results of the restructuring of the former centrally planned East German economy from 1990 until 2015. The focus is put on the privatization of the factories, the modernization of the production capacities and the development of competitive enterprises. It shows the reasons for unbalances between production and demand as well as between resources and use of public finance. Moreover structural deficiencies of catching up are discussed.
The Macroeconomic Development of the GDR until 1989
Schneider, Jürgen (Hrsg.): Die Ursachen für den Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion und der DDR (1945-1990). Eine ordnungstheoretische Analyse, Beiträge zur Wirtschafts- u. Sozialgeschichte. Band 132.2. Stuttgart,
The paper analyzes the crucial events and political strategies driving the economic history of the former GDR. Applying the growth accounting model I estimate the impact of labor and capital inputs as wells as of the technological progress on GDP growth in different time periods. The main finding is the dominant role of total factor productivity in economic growth only during the economic reforms in the second halve of the 60ies.
09.08.2017 • 29/2017
Networked and protected
During the financial crisis, billions were spent to rescue banks that were according to their governments too big to be allowed to fail. But a study by Michael Koetter from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) and co-authors shows that besides the size of the banks, the centrality within the global financial network was also pivotal for financial institutions to receive a bail-out.
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15.06.2017 • 26/2017
Ailing banks increase leverage of ailing firms
Euro area countries such as Greece and Spain continue to struggle not only with their banks, but also with highly indebted domestic firms. Michael Koetter from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) and co-authors show the failure to resolve banks’ financial difficulties also prevents debt reduction of over-leveraged firms – and sometimes even contributes to increasing leverage of the weakest firms.
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