Professor Dr Oliver Holtemöller

Professor Dr Oliver Holtemöller
Current Position

since 3/14

Vice President

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 8/09

Head of the Department of Macroeconomics

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 8/09

Professor of Economics

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Research Interests

  • quantitative macroeconomics, business cycles, and forecasting
  • applied econometrics and time series analysis
  • monetary economics
  • macroeconomic policy

Oliver Holtemöller is Professor of Economics at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and head of the Department of Macroeconomics at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) since August 2009. Since March 2014, he is also a member of the executive board of the IWH.

Oliver Holtemöller has studied economics, applied mathematics and practical computer science at the Justus-Liebig University in Gießen. He participated in the doctoral programme Applied Microeconomics at the Freie Universität Berlin and at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin from 1998-2001 and obtained his doctoral degree from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2001.

From 2001 to 2003, he was a collaborator in the National Research Center Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes (SFB 373) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. From 2003 to 2009, he was an Assistant Professor in Economics at RWTH Aachen University.

Your contact

Professor Dr Oliver Holtemöller
Professor Dr Oliver Holtemöller
Leiter - Department Macroeconomics
Send Message +49 345 7753-800 Personal page


Recent Publications


Corona Shutdown and Bankruptcy Risk

Oliver Holtemöller Yaz Gulnur Muradoglu

in: IWH Online, No. 3, 2020


This paper investigates the consequences of shutdowns during the Corona crisis on the risk of bankruptcy for firms in Germany and United Kingdom. We use financial statements from the period 2014 to 2018 to predict how pervasive risk of bankruptcy becomes for micro, small, medium, and large firms due to shutdown measures. We estimate distress for firms using their capacity to service their debt. Our results indicate that under three months of shutdown almost all firms in shutdown industries face high risk of bankruptcy. In Germany, about 99% of firms in shutdown industries and in the UK about 98% of firms in shutdown industries are predicted to be under distress. The furlough schemes reduce the risk of bankruptcy only marginally to 97% of firms in shutdown industries in Germany and 95% of firms in shutdown industries in the United Kingdom in case of a three-month shutdown. In sectors that are not shutdown under conservative estimates of contagion of sales losses, our results indicate considerable risk of widespread bankruptcies ranging from 76% of firms in Germany to 69% of firms in the United Kingdom. These early findings suggest that the impact of corona crisis on corporate sector via shutdowns can be severe and subsequent policy should be designed accordingly.

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Employment Effects of Introducing a Minimum Wage: The Case of Germany

Oliver Holtemöller Felix Pohle

in: Economic Modelling, No. 7, 2020


Income inequality has been a major concern of economic policy makers for several years. Can minimum wages help to mitigate inequality? In 2015, the German government introduced a nationwide statutory minimum wage to reduce income inequality by improving the labour income of low-wage employees. However, the employment effects of wage increases depend on time and region specific conditions and, hence, they cannot be known in advance. Because negative employment effects may offset the income gains for low-wage employees, it is important to evaluate minimum-wage policies empirically. We estimate the employment effects of the German minimum-wage introduction using panel regressions on the state-industry-level. We find a robust negative effect of the minimum wage on marginal and a robust positive effect on regular employment. In terms of the number of jobs, our results imply a negative overall effect. Hence, low-wage employees who are still employed are better off at the expense of those who have lost their jobs due to the minimum wage.

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IWH-Flash-Indikator II. Quartal und III. Quartal 2020

Katja Heinisch Oliver Holtemöller Axel Lindner Birgit Schultz

in: One-off Publications, No. 2, 2020


Die Corona-Pandemie hat dazu geführt, dass das deutsche Bruttoinlandsprodukt im ersten Quartal 2020 um 2,2% im Vergleich zum Vorquartal gesunken ist. Dieser starke Rückgang ist vor allem auf die im Laufe des Monats März in Deutschland und in anderen Ländern eingeführten Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung des Virus zurückzuführen. Bereits aus anderen Gründen war das Bruttoinlandsprodukt schon im vierten Quartal 2019 leicht zurückgegangen. Die Rezession wird sich im laufenden Quartal noch weiter vertiefen und das Bruttoinlandsprodukt um 7,2% zurückgehen, weil bis Mitte Mai die Restriktionen zur Eindämmung der Pandemie noch gravierend waren, aber auch weil private Haushalte und Unternehmen eine Vielzahl von wirtschaftlichen Aktivitäten individuell eingeschränkt haben. Im dritten Quartal 2020 dürfte die Produktion dann wieder zulegen, sofern die Eindämmungsmaßnahmen weiter gelockert werden können (vgl. Abbildung 1).

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Refereed Publications


Nowcasting East German GDP Growth: a MIDAS Approach

João Carlos Claudio Katja Heinisch Oliver Holtemöller

in: Empirical Economics, forthcoming


Economic forecasts are an important element of rational economic policy both on the federal and on the local or regional level. Solid budgetary plans for government expenditures and revenues rely on efficient macroeconomic projections. However, official data on quarterly regional GDP in Germany are not available, and hence, regional GDP forecasts do not play an important role in public budget planning. We provide a new quarterly time series for East German GDP and develop a forecasting approach for East German GDP that takes data availability in real time and regional economic indicators into account. Overall, we find that mixed-data sampling model forecasts for East German GDP in combination with model averaging outperform regional forecast models that only rely on aggregate national information.

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On the Risk of a Sovereign Debt Crisis in Italy

Oliver Holtemöller Tobias Knedlik Axel Lindner

in: Intereconomics, forthcoming


The intention for the Italian government to stimulate business activity via large increases in government spending is not in line with the stabilisation of the public debt ratio. Instead, if such policy were implemented, the risk of a sovereign debt crisis would be high. In this article, we analyse the capacity of the Italian economy to shoulder sovereign debt under different scenarios. We conclude that focusing on growth enhancing structural reforms, would allow for moderate increases in public expenditure.

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The Effects of Fiscal Policy in an Estimated DSGE Model – The Case of the German Stimulus Packages During the Great Recession

Andrej Drygalla Oliver Holtemöller Konstantin Kiesel

in: Macroeconomic Dynamics, forthcoming


In this paper, we analyze the effects of the stimulus packages adopted by the German government during the Great Recession. We employ a standard medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model extended by non-optimizing households and a detailed fiscal sector. In particular, the dynamics of spending and revenue variables are modeled as feedback rules with respect to the cyclical components of output, hours worked and private investment. Based on the estimated rules, fiscal shocks are identified. According to the results, fiscal policy, in particular public consumption, investment, and transfers prevented a sharper and prolonged decline of German output at the beginning of the Great Recession, suggesting a timely response of fiscal policy. The overall effects, however, are small when compared to other domestic and international shocks that contributed to the economic downturn. Our overall findings are not sensitive to considering fiscal foresight.

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Working Papers


Integrated Assessment of Epidemic and Economic Dynamics

Oliver Holtemöller

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2020


In this paper, a simple integrated model for the joint assessment of epidemic and economic dynamics is developed. The model can be used to discuss mitigation policies like shutdown and testing. Since epidemics cause output losses due to a reduced labor force, temporarily reducing economic activity in order to prevent future losses can be welfare enhancing. Mitigation policies help to keep the number of people requiring intensive medical care below the capacity of the health system. The optimal policy is a mixture of temporary partial shutdown and intensive testing and isolation of infectious persons for an extended period of time.

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Power Generation and Structural Change: Quantifying Economic Effects of the Coal Phase-out in Germany

Christoph Schult Katja Heinisch Oliver Holtemöller

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 16, 2019


In the fight against global warming, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a major objective. In particular, a decrease in electricity generation by coal could contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. Using a multi-region dynamic general equilibrium model, this paper studies potential economic consequences of a coal phase-out in Germany. Different regional phase-out scenarios are simulated with varying timing structures. We find that a politically induced coal phase-out would lead to an increase in the national unemployment rate by about 0.10 percentage points from 2020 to 2040, depending on the specific scenario. The effect on regional unemployment rates varies between 0.18 to 1.07 percentage points in the lignite regions. However, a faster coal phase-out can lead to a faster recovery. The coal phase-out leads to migration from German lignite regions to German non-lignite regions and reduces the labour force in the lignite regions by 10,000 people by 2040.

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(Since When) Are East and West German Business Cycles Synchronised?

Stefan Gießler Katja Heinisch Oliver Holtemöller

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 7, 2019


This paper analyses whether and since when East and West German business cycles are synchronised. We investigate real GDP, unemployment rates and survey data as business cycle indicators and employ several empirical methods. Overall, we find that the regional business cycles have synchronised over time. GDP-based indicators and survey data show a higher degree of synchronisation than the indicators based on unemployment rates. However, recently synchronisation among East and West German business cycles seems to become weaker, in line with international evidence.

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