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.
On DSGE Models
in: Journal of Economic Perspectives , im Erscheinen
Macroeconomic policy questions involve trade-offs between competing forces in the economy. The problem is how to assess the strength of those forces for the particular policy question at hand. DSGE models are the leading framework that macroeconomists have for dealing with this problem in an open and transparent manner. This paper reviews the state of DSGE models before the nancial crisis and how DSGE modelers have responded to the crisis and its aftermath. In addition, we discuss the role of DSGE models in the policy process.
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.
Should We Use Linearized Models To Calculate Fiscal Multipliers?
in: Journal of Applied Econometrics , im Erscheinen
We calculate the magnitude of the government consumption multiplier in linearized and nonlinear solutions of a New Keynesian model at the zero lower bound. Importantly, the model is amended with real rigidities to simultaneously account for the macroeconomic evidence of a low Phillips curve slope and the microeconomic evidence of frequent price changes. We show that the nonlinear solution is associated with a much smaller multiplier than the linearized solution in long-lived liquidity traps, and pin down the key features in the model which account for the di¤erence. Our results caution against the common practice of using linearized models to calculate scal multipliers in long-lived liquidity traps.
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.
Sovereign Stress, Banking Stress, and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism in the Euro Area
in: IWH-Diskussionspapiere , Nr. 3, 2018
In this paper, we investigate to what extend sovereign stress and banking stress have contributed to this increase in the level and in the heterogeneity of nonfinancial firms’ refinancing costs in the Euro area during the European debt crisis and how they did affect the monetary transmission mechanism. Employing a large firm-level data set containing two million observations, we are able to identify the increasing effect of government bond yield spreads (sovereign stress) and the share of non-performing loans (banking stress) on firms’ financing costs in a panel model by assuming that idiosyncratic shocks to individual firms are uncorrelated with country-specific variables. Moreover, we estimate both sources of stress to have significantly impaired the monetary transmission mechanism between 2005 and 2013. This finding suggests that the ECB’s asset purchase programmes during that period have helped to improve firms’ financing conditions in stressed countries but that monetary policy transmission was still impaired due to the elevated level of banking stress in these countries.
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.
Employment Effects of Introducing a Minimum Wage: The Case of Germany
in: IWH-Diskussionspapiere , Nr. 28, 2017
This paper contributes to the empirical literature on the employment effects of minimum wages. We analysed the introduction of a statutory minimum wage in Germany in 2015 exploiting cross-sectional variation of the minimum wage affectedness. We construct two variables that measure the affectedness for approximately 300 state-industry combinations based on aggregate monthly income data. The estimation strategy consists of two steps. We test for (unidentified) structural breaks in a model with cross-section specific trends to control for state-industry specific developments prior to 2015. In a second step, we test whether the trend deviations are correlated with the minimum wage affectedness. To identify the minimum wage effect on employment, we assume that the minimum wage introduction is exogenous. Our results point towards a negative effect on marginal employment and a positive effect on socially insured employment. Furthermore, we analyse if the increase in socially insured employment is systematically related to the reduction of marginal employment but do not detect evidence.