Committing to Grow: Privatizations and Firm Dynamics in East Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper investigates a unique policy designed to maintain employment during the privatization of East German firms after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The policy required new owners of the firms to commit to employment targets, with penalties for non-compliance. Using a dynamic model, we highlight three channels through which employment targets impact firms: distorted employment decisions, increased productivity, and higher exit rates. Our empirical analysis, using a novel dataset and instrumental variable approach, confirms these findings. We estimate a 22% points higher annual employment growth rate, a 14% points higher annual productivity growth, and a 3.6% points higher probability of exit for firms with binding employment targets. Our calibrated model further demonstrates that without these targets, aggregate employment would have been 15% lower after 10 years. Additionally, an alternative policy of productivity investment subsidies proved costly and less effective in the short term.
28.02.2023 • 5/2023
Presseeinladung zur Konferenz: „Steigende Energiepreise – Wie kann der Umbau der deutschen Wirtschaft gelingen?“ am 9. März 2023 am IWH
Die Folgen von Krieg und Klimakrise fordern Deutschlands Unternehmen heraus. Wie der Wandel inmitten einer Energiekrise erfolgreich gestaltet werden kann, diskutiert eine Konferenz am Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH) mit Gästen aus Wissenschaft, Politik und Industrie. Es sprechen unter anderem die Wirtschaftsweise Veronika Grimm und Sachsen-Anhalts Vize-Ministerpräsident Armin Willingmann.
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Oxytocin, Empathy, Altruism and Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from Blood Donations
IWH Discussion Papers,
We conducted a field experiment in the natural setting of blood donations to test how oxytocin relates to empathy and altruism. We randomly assigned blood donors in the Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine to three groups with the aim to induce different levels of empathy by showing a neutral video to the donors from the control group and an emotional to the donors from the first and second treatment groups. In addition to watching the emotional video, donors from the second treatment group are given a gift which relates to the emotional story from the video. We find no effect of our treatment on induced levels of oxytocin. Null effects of our treatments could be explained by the above average baseline levels of oxytocin and inability of our treatments to provoke emotional stimuli in blood donors. Nonetheless, for our empathy measures we find the effect of gift exchange on empathic concerns, but not on perspective taking. After our experimental treatments, we followed the return of our blood donors for a whole year. We find that only variable which consistently predicts return for blood donation in stated period is the number of previous donations. From policy perspective it is an important finding. Especially for hospitals and other blood providers when faced with time and resource constraints.
Early Child Care and Labor Supply of Lower-SES Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial
CESifo Working Paper,
We present experimental evidence that enabling access to universal early child care for families with lower socioeconomic status (SES) increases maternal labor supply. Our intervention provides families with customized help for child care applications, resulting in a large increase in enrollment among lower-SES families. The treatment increases lower-SES mothers' full-time employment rates by 9 percentage points (+160%), household income by 10%, and mothers' earnings by 22%. The effect on full-time employment is largely driven by increased care hours provided by child care centers and fathers. Overall, the treatment substantially improves intra-household gender equality in terms of child care duties and earnings.
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