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Oil Prices and International Trade: How Petrodollar Recycling Affects the Industrialised Countries

Since 2004, prices for crude oil nearly tripled at international commodity markets. In the wake of the oil crises of the 1970s and ‘80s, numerous empirical studies analysing the macroeconomic effects of sharp increases in commodity prices were carried out pointing at the risks of oil price rises for GDP growth in oil-importing countries. However, in most of these analyses, the impact of oil price increases on international trade of oil-importing countries, which gained in importance in the course of globalisation, is considered only marginally. This is especially the case for the additional revenues of oil-exporting countries spent in large parts for imports from and investment in the industrialised economies. The present article examines the impact of oil price increases on merchandise exports and imports of single oil-importing industrialised countries. The results show that the curbing effects on merchandise exports are lower than on imports. Whereas import demand responds disproportionally high on the decline in consumption and investment in consequence of oil price increases, the effects on merchandise exports are ambivalent. On the one hand, exports to oil-importing trading partner countries decline due to the local economic downturns, but on the other, exports to oil-exporting countries sharply increase. As a consequence, the negative impact of rising oil prices on macroeconomic activity in oil-importing countries is lowered by the external sector due to growing net exports.

23. April 2008

Authors Götz Zeddies

Also in this issue

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Aktuelle Trends: Ostdeutscher Maschinenbau: Rendite inzwischen auf Westniveau

Hans-Ulrich Brautzsch

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 4, 2008

Abstract

Der ostdeutsche Maschinenbau hat nach einem 15-jährigen Aufholprozess den Rückstand bei der Rendite aufgeholt.a In den Unternehmen mit 20 und mehr Beschäftigten lag sie im Jahr 2005 – aktuellere Daten stehen nicht zur Verfügung – in Ostdeutschland bei 3,9% (Westdeutschland: 3,8%). Bei den ostdeutschen Maschinenbauunternehmen mit 250 und mehr Beschäftigten war die Rendite mit 5,7% sogar deutlich höher als bei den westdeutschen Konkurrenten (3,4%), während bei den kleineren Unternehmen noch nicht der westdeutsche Vergleichswert erreicht wurde. Das ergab eine im Auftrag des IWH regelmäßig durchgeführte Sonderauswertung der Kostenstrukturen, die jährlich vom Statistischen Bundesamt bei einer repräsentativen Stichprobe von west- und ostdeutschen Unternehmen mit 20 und mehr Beschäftigten erhoben werden.

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Editorial

Ulrich Blum

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 4, 2008

Abstract

„Die Hoffnung ist“, so schreibt der Economist in seiner Ausgabe vom 12. April 2008 über die demographische Implosion in Ostdeutschland, „dass aus dem Tod der Städte neues Leben entsteht.“ Dabei läuft dieser Prozess räumlich sehr ungleichgewichtig ab: Trotz der Nettoverluste profitieren manche Ballungszentren vom Zuzug. Die Entwicklungsökonomik hat sich schon vor rund 50 Jahren die Frage gestellt, unter welchen Bedingungen die „Auswasch- und Auslaugeffekte“ dominieren, durch die eine arme Region – ein Entwicklungsland oder eine Umlandregion – durch ein reiches Zentrum – also das Industrieland oder die Metropole – ärmer wird, und unter welchen Bedingungen im Sinne einer Kaskade der Reichtum aus dem Zentrum den armen Landstrich begünstigt.

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High Technology Firms in Eastern Germany: Spatial Distribution and Growth Patterns

Michael Schwartz Christoph Hornych Matthias Brachert

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 4, 2008

Abstract

High technology firms are often considered to be one of the drivers of structural change in Eastern Germany. With regard to the possible benefits of high-tech firms, the focus is on employments effects in particular. In a first step, the article investigates the regional distribution of firms from high technology sectors in Eastern Germany. Furthermore, within the framework of a case study of firms from business incubators, it is investigated whether high-tech firms in fact show a high growth potential, as it is often postulated. Empirical results concerning the spatial pattern show a highly heterogeneous distribution, with a strong North-South divide. In particular, path dependency seems to be relevant in explaining the high-tech patterns/agglomerations identified. In addition, the case study results demonstrate the strong growth potential of high-tech firms compared to low-tech firms and firms from rather traditional sectors respectively, whereby a higher R&D intensity (within the sample of high-tech firms) is found to be associated with higher growth. However, the article warns against “high-tech euphoria”, since the total number of existing high-tech firms as well as the number of newly founded high technology ventures is modest, and therefore the overall employment effect is rather limited.

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In Focus: Migration Behaviour of East Germans

Alexander Kubis Lutz Schneider

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 4, 2008

Abstract

During the transition period, East Germany faced a strong out-migration towards the western part of Germany. Between 1989 and 2006, the net loss of internal migration in East Germany accumulated to 1.7 million people. Regarding the age distribution of these internal migration flows, it is shown that the net losses are primarily – over 50% – caused by young people aged 18 to 30 years. Besides the most important trend of East-West-migration, substantial regional differences can be observed. In the 1990s, the surrounding areas of large cities in East Germany benefited from suburbanisation. Afterwards, this trend has come to an end so that agglomerations in East Germany currently experience in-migration. However, peripheral regions faced strong negative net migration rates during the entire transition period.

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IWH-Industrieumfrage im März 2008: Geteilte Stimmung zwischen Investitions- und Konsumgüterproduzenten

Cornelia Lang

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 4, 2008

Abstract

Die leichte Eintrübung des Geschäftsklimas seit Ende des Jahres 2007 setzt sich im Verarbeitenden Gewerbe Ostdeutschlands fort. Das zeigen die Ergebnisse der IWH-Industrieumfrage vom März unter rund 300 ostdeutschen Unternehmen. Seit der Januar-Umfrage sank der Saldo der Geschäftslage um drei Punkte und der Saldo der Geschäftsaussichten um zwei. Während die Hersteller von Vorleistungsgütern und von Konsumgütern ihre aktuelle Lage seit der Umfrage im Januar nahezu unverändert sehen, hat sich der Anteil von Investitionsgüterproduzenten, die ihre Geschäftslage „eher schlecht“ oder „schlecht“ beurteilen, von 7% im Januar auf 12% nahezu verdoppelt.

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German Economic Growth in 2008: Temporary Slow Down

Arbeitskreis Konjunktur

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 4, 2008

Abstract

World economic growth has slowed in the first months of 2008. The main causes are the crisis in the US housing sector and the turmoil in the financial sector in general, the spreading expectation of a recession in the US, and sharply rising prices for energy and food. The German economy, though, is still expanding healthily, with strong investment and export activities. Private consumption, however, shrank at the end of 2007. In 2008, while favorable labor market conditions will improve job security and thus the propensity to consume, real incomes will not rise by much due to the risen inflation rate; consumption will again expand only modestly this year. A slower expansion of the world economy and the stronger euro will dampen exports and investment. All in all, growth will slow to (working-day adjusted) 1.2% in 2008. Chances are good that in the next year, after the negative shocks have faded out a bit, growth will be accelerating again. The East German Economy was on a lower growth path in 2006 and 2007 than the economy in the West, according to recently revised national accounts data. Industrial production, however, is more dynamic in the East. Unemployment rates will continue to decrease faster in the East: as in the rest of Germany, employment is growing, and, contrary to what happens in the West, the labor force is shrinking.

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Leaders and Laggards – An Analysis of Regional Growth Patterns in East Germany 1996 – 2005

Alexander Kubis Mirko Titze Matthias Brachert

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 4, 2008

Abstract

Since the half of the 1990s, a heterogeneous development of East Germany NUTS 3 regions has taken place. Some of these regions could increase their competitiveness and regional employment. Otherwise, some regions do exist with less positive economic developments. This article tries to contribute to this discussion. With the help of productivity and employment growth rates from 1996 to 2005, we create a regional classifications scheme for East Germany. Four types can be identified: Growth Regions, Weak Growth Regions, Regions in Transition, Stagnant Regions. Further, we demonstrate that each of these regions is undergoing specific patterns of structural change. Growth Regions (above average productivity growth and employment growth) benefit from positive developments both in the manufacturing and service sector. Additional research indicates that there is a need for an industrial base which contributes to a sound service sector. Thereby, spatial proximity of these sectors seems to be elementary for the above average development of this type of regions.

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