Evaluating the German (New Keynesian) Phillips Curve
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper evaluates the New Keynesian Phillips Curve (NKPC) and its hybrid
variant within a limited information framework for Germany. The main interest rests on the average frequency of price re-optimization of ﬁrms. We use the labor income share as the driving variable and consider a source of real rigidity by allowing for a ﬁxed ﬁrm-speciﬁc capital stock. A GMM estimation strategy is employed as well as an identiﬁcation robust method that is based upon the Anderson-Rubin statistic. We ﬁnd out that the German Phillips Curve is purely forward looking. Moreover, our point estimates are consistent with the view that ﬁrms re-optimize prices every two to three quarters. While these estimates seem plausible from an economic point of view, the uncertainties around these estimates are very large and also consistent with perfect nominal price rigidity where ﬁrms never re-optimize prices. This analysis also oﬀers some explanations why previous results for the German NKPC based on GMM diﬀer considerably. First, standard GMM results are very sensitive to the way how orthogonality conditions are formulated. Additionally, model misspeciﬁcations may be left undetected by conventional J tests. Taken together, this analysis points out
the need for identiﬁcation robust methods to get reliable estimates for the NKPC.
The Transition to Post-industrial BMI Values Among US Children
NBER Working Paper No. 13898,
In our opinion, the trend in the BMI values of US children has not been estimated accurately. We use five models to estimate the BMI trends of non-Hispanic US-born black and white children and adolescents ages 2-19 born 1941-2006 on the basis of all NHES and NHANES data sets. We also use some historical BMI values for comparison. The increase in BMIZ values during the period considered was on average 1.3σ (95% CI: 1.16σ; 1.44σ) among black girls, 0.8σ for black boys, 0.7σ for white boys, and 0.6σ for white girls. This translates into an increase in BMI values of some 5.6, 3.3, 2.4, and 1.5 units respectively. While the increase in BMI values started among the birth cohorts of the 1940s among black females, the rate of increase tended to accelerate among all four groups born in the mid-1950s to early-1960s with the contemporaneous spread of TV viewing. The rate of increase levelled off somewhat thereafter. There is some indication that among black boys and white girls born after c. 1990 adiposity has remained unchanged or perhaps even declined. The affects of the IT revolution of the last two decades of the century is less evident. Some regional evidence leads to the speculation that the spread of automobiles and radios affected the BMI values of boys already in the interwar period. We infer that the incremental weight increases are associated with the labor-saving technological developments of the 20th century which brought about many faceted cultural and nutritional revolutions.
Does Qualification Drive Innovation? A Microeconometric Analysis Using Linked-employer-employee Data
IWH Discussion Papers,
Degree-level science and engineering skills as well as management and leadership skills are often referred to as a source of innovative activities within companies. Broken down by sectoral innovation patterns, this article examines the role of formal education and actual occupation for product innovation performance in manufacturing firms within a probit model. It uses unique micro data for Germany (LIAB) that contain detailed information about innovative activities and the qualification of employees. We find significant differences of the human capital endowment between sectors differentiated according to the Pavitt classification. Sectors with a high share of highly skilled employees engage in product innovation above average (specialized suppliers and science based industries). According to our hitherto estimation results, within these sectors the share of highly skilled employees does not, however, substantially increase the probability to be an innovative firm.
Determinants of employment - the macroeconomic view
Schriften des IWH,
The weak performance of the German labour market over the past years has led to a significant unemployment problem. Currently, on average 4.5 mio. people are without a job contract, and a large part of them are long-term unemployed. A longer period of unemployment reduces their employability and aggravates the problem of social exclusion.
The factors driving the evolution of employment have been recently discussed on the workshop Determinanten der Beschäftigung – die makroökonomische Sicht organized jointly by the IAB, Nuremberg, and the IWH, Halle. The present volume contains the papers and proceedings to the policy oriented workshop held in November 2004, 15-16th. The main focus of the contributions is twofold. First, macroeconomic conditions to stimulate output and employment are considered. Second, the impacts of the increasing tax wedge between labour costs and the take home pay are emphasized. In particular, the role of the contributions to the social security system is investigated.
In his introductory address, Ulrich Walwei (IAB) links the unemployment experience to the modest path of economic growth in Germany. In addition, the low employment intensity of GDP growth and the temporary standstill of the convergence process of the East German economy have contributed to the weak labour market performance. In his analysis, Gebhard Flaig (ifo Institute, München) stresses the importance of relative factor price developments. A higher rate of wage growth leads to a decrease of the employment intensity of production, and correspondingly to an increase of the threshold of employment. Christian Dreger (IWH) discusses the relevance of labour market institutions like employment protection legislation and the structure of the wage bargaining process on the labour market outcome. Compared to the current setting, policies should try to introduce more flexibility in labour markets to improve the employment record. The impact of interest rate shocks on production is examined by the paper of Boris Hofmann (Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt). According to the empirical evidence, monetary policy cannot explain the modest economic performance in Germany. György Barabas and Roland Döhrn (RWI Essen) have simulated the effects of a world trade shock on output and employment. The relationships have been fairly stable over the past years, even in light of the increasing globalization. Income and employment effects of the German tax reform in 2000 are discussed by Peter Haan and Viktor Steiner (DIW Berlin). On the base of a microsimulation model, household gains are determined. Also, a positive relationship between wages and labour supply can be established. Michael Feil und Gerd Zika (IAB) have examined the employment effects of a reduction of the contribution rates to the social security system. To obtain robust results, the analysis is done under alternative financing scenarios and with different macroeconometric models. The impacts of allowances of social security contributions on the incentives to work are discussed by Wolfgang Meister and Wolfgang Ochel (ifo München). According to their study, willingness to work is expected to increase especially at the lower end of the income distribution. The implied loss of contributions could be financed by higher taxes.
Bank Relationships and Firm Profitability
This paper examines how bank relationships affect firm performance. An empirical implication of recent theoretical models is that firms maintaining multiple bank relationships are less profitable than their single-bank peers. We investigate this empirical implication using a data set containing virtually all Norwegian publicly listed firms for the period 1979-1995. We find that profitability is substantially higher if firms maintain only a single bank relationship. We also find that firms replacing a single bank relationship are on average smaller and younger than firms not replacing a single bank relationship.