In der Abteilung Makroökonomik werden kurz- und mittelfristige Schwankungen gesamtwirtschaftlicher Variablen (zum Beispiel des Bruttoinlandsprodukts, der Beschäftigung, der Preise und der Zinsen), die Wirkungen wirtschaftspolitischer Maßnahmen auf diese Größen und die institutionellen Rahmenbedingungen für Konjunktur und langfristiges Wirtschaftswachstum erforscht. Auf Basis dieser Forschung bietet die Abteilung wissenschaftlich fundierte und evidenzbasierte wirtschaftspolitische Beratung an.
Mit ihren etwa 20 Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern kann die Abteilung ein breites Spektrum makroökonomischer Fragestellungen abdecken. Die Forschungsschwerpunkte liegen in der Entwicklung, Implementierung und Anwendung quantitativer makroökonomischer Modelle sowie in der Analyse der Interaktion von Finanzsystem und realwirtschaftlicher Entwicklung.
Bottom-up or Direct? Forecasting German GDP in a Data-rich Environment
in: Empirical Economics , im Erscheinen
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.
The European Refugee Crisis and the Natural Rate of Output
in: Applied Economics Letters , Nr. 16, 2017
The European Commission follows a harmonized approach for calculating structural (potential) output for EU member states that takes into account labour as an important ingredient. This article shows how the recent huge migrants’ inflow to Europe affects trend output. Due to the fact that the immigrants immediately increase the working population but effectively do not enter the labour market, we illustrate that the potential output is potentially upward biased without any corrections. Taking Germany as an example, we find that the average medium-term potential growth rate is lower if the migration flow is modelled adequately compared to results based on the unadjusted European Commission procedure.
Multidimensional Well-being and Regional Disparities in Europe
in: Journal of Common Market Studies , Nr. 5, 2017
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.
Mapping Potentials for Input-Output Based Innovation Flows in Industrial Clusters – An Application to Germany
in: Economic Systems Research , Nr. 4, 2016
Our paper pursues two aims: first, it presents an approach based on input–output innovation flow matrices to study intersectoral innovation flows within industrial clusters. Second, we apply this approach to the identification of structural weaknesses in East Germany relative to the western part of the country. The case of East Germany forms an interesting subject because while its convergence process after unification began promisingly in the first half of the 1990s, convergence has since slowed down. The existing gap can now be traced mainly to structural weaknesses in the East German economy, such as the absence of strong industrial cluster structures. With this in mind, we investigate whether East Germany does in fact reveal the abovementioned structural weaknesses. Does East Germany possess fewer industrial clusters? Are they less connected? Does East Germany lack specific clusters that are also important for the non-clustered part of the economy?
Alternatives to GDP - Measuring the Impact of Natural Disasters using Panel Data
in: Journal of Economic and Social Measurement , Nr. 3, 2016
A frequent criticism of GDP states that events that obviously reduce welfare of people can nevertheless increase GDP per capita. We use data of natural disasters as quasi experiments to examine whether alternatives to GDP (Human Development Index, Progress Index, Index of Economic Well-Being and a Happiness Index) lead to more plausible responses to disasters. Applying a Differences-in-Differences approach and estimates from various panels of countries we find no noteworthy differences between the response of real GDP per capita and the responses of suggested alternative welfare measures to a natural disaster except for the Human Development Index.
Progressive Tax-like Effects of Inflation: Fact or Myth? The U.S. Post-war Experience
in: IWH-Diskussionspapiere , Nr. 33, 2017
Inflation and earnings growth can push some tax payers into higher brackets in the absence of inflation-indexed schedules. Moreover, inflation may affect the composition of individuals’ income sources. As a result, depending on the relative tax burden of labour and capital, inflation may decrease or increase the difference between before-tax and after-tax income. However, whether some and if so which percentiles of the income distribution net benefit from inflation via taxation is a widely unexplored question. We make use of a novel dataset on U.S. pre-tax and post-tax income distribution series provided by Pike ty et al. (2018) for the years 1962 to 2014 to answer this question. To this end, we estimate local projections to quantify dynamic effects. We find that inflation shocks increase progressivity of taxation not only contemporaneously but also with some repercussion of several years after the shock. While particularly the bottom two quintiles gain in share, it is not the top but the fourth quintile that lastingly loses.
The Minimum Wage Effects on Skilled Crafts Sector in Saxony-Anhalt
in: IWH-Diskussionspapiere , Nr. 31, 2017
This paper examines the effects of the minimum wage introduction in Germany in 2015 on the skilled crafts sector in Saxony-Anhalt. Using novel survey data on the skilled crafts sector in Saxony-Anhalt, we examine three questions: (1) How many employees are affected by the minimum wage introduction in the skilled crafts sector in Saxony- Anhalt? (2) What are the effects of the minimum wage introduction? (3) How have firms reacted to wage increase? We find that about 8% of all employees in the skilled crafts sector in Saxony-Anhalt are directly affected by the minimum wage introduction. A difference-in-difference estimation reveals no significant employment effects of the minimum wage introduction. We test for alternative adjustment strategies and observe a significant increase of output prices.
Endogenous Institution Formation in Public Good Games: The Effect of Economic Education
in: IWH-Diskussionspapiere , Nr. 29, 2017
In a public good experiment, the paper analyses to which extent individuals with economic education behave differently in a second-order dilemma. Second-order dilemmas may arise, when individuals endogenously build up costly institutions that help to overcome a public good problem (first-order dilemma). The specific institution used in the experiment is a communication platform allowing for group communication before the first-order public good game takes place. The experimental results confirm the finding of the literature that economists tend to free ride more intensively in public good games than non-economists. The difference is the strongest in the end-game phase, yielding in the conclusion that the magnitude of the end-game effect depends on the share of economists in the pool of participants. When it comes to the building-up of institutions, the individual efficiency gain of the institution and its inherent cost function constitute the driving forces for the contribution behaviour. Providing an investment friendly environment yields in economists contributing more to the institution than non-economists. Therefore, we make clear that first-order results of a simple public good game cannot be simply applied for second-order incentive problems.
U.S. Monetary-Fiscal Regime Changes in the Presence of Endogenous Feedback in Policy Rules
in: IWH-Diskussionspapiere , Nr. 15, 2017
We investigate U.S. monetary and fiscal policy regime interactions in a model, where regimes are determined by latent autoregressive policy factors with endogenous feedback. Policy regimes interact strongly: Shocks that switch one policy from active to passive tend to induce the other policy to switch from passive to active, consistently with existence of a unique equilibrium, though both policies are active and government debt grows rapidly in some periods. We observe relatively strong interactions between monetary and fiscal policy regimes after the recent financial crisis. Finally, latent policy regime factors exhibit patterns of correlation with macroeconomic time series, suggesting that policy regime change is endogenous.
Monetary Policy in an Oil-dependent Economy in the Presence of Multiple Shocks
in: IWH-Diskussionspapiere , Nr. 14, 2017
Russian monetary policy has been challenged by large and continuous private capital outflows and a sharp drop in oil prices during 2014, with both ongoings having put a significant depreciation pressure on the ruble and having led the central bank to eventually give up its exchange rate management strategy. Against this background, this paper estimates a small open economy model for Russia, featuring an oil price sector and extended by a specification of the foreign exchange market to correctly account for systematic central bank interventions. We find that shocks to the oil price and private capital flows substantially affect domestic variables such as inflation, output and the exchange rate. Simulations of the model for the estimated actual strategy and five alternative regimes suggest that the vulnerability of the Russian economy to external shocks can substantially be lowered by adopting some form of an inflation targeting strategy. Foreign exchange intervention-based policy strategies to target the nominal exchange rate or the ruble price of oil, on the other hand, prove inferior to the policy in place.