14.09.2021 • 23/2021
Production bottlenecks delay recovery
The German recovery made good progress over the summer 2021. However, bottlenecks in sea transport and the production of intermediate goods are weighing on world trade. The rise in raw material prices has prompted inflation rates to spike, and an increase in new infections is clouding the outlook again. A weak final quarter is therefore to be expected. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that German gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 2.2% in 2021 and 3.6% in 2022 (East Germany: 1.8% and 2.8%).
Read press release
15.06.2021 • 16/2021
Increase in personal contacts spurs economic activity
This summer the economic outlook in Germany is bright. As the pandemic is in retreat, the restrictions that have hampered many service activities are likely to be gradually lifted, and a strong boost in private purchases can be expected. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that gross domestic product will increase by 3.9% in 2021 and by 4.0% in 2022. Production in East Germany is expected to increase by 3% in both years, respectively.
Read press release
The Impact of Risk-based Capital Rules for International Lending on Income Inequality: Global Evidence
This paper investigates the impact of international bank flows from G10 lender countries on income inequality in 74 borrower countries over 1999–2013. Specifically, we examine the role of international bank flows contingent upon the Basel 2 capital regulation and the level of financial market development in the borrower countries. First, we find that improvements in the borrower country risk weights due to rating upgrades under the Basel 2 framework significantly increase bank flows, leading to improvements in income inequality. Second, we find that the level of financial market development is also important. We report that a well-functioning financial market helps the poor access credit and thereby reduces inequality. Moreover, we employ threshold estimations to identify the thresholds for each of the financial development measures that borrower countries need to reach before realizing the potential reductions in income inequality from international bank financing.
Does Capital Account Liberalization Affect Income Inequality?
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics,
By adopting an identification strategy of difference‐in‐difference estimation combined with propensity score matching between liberalized and closed countries, this paper provides robust evidence that opening the capital account is associated with an increase in income inequality in developing countries. Specifically, capital account liberalization, in the long run, is associated with a reduction in the income share of the poorest half by 2.66–3.79% points and an increase in that of the richest 10% by 5.19–8.76% points. Moreover, directions and categories of capital account liberalization matter. The relationship is more pronounced when liberalizing inward and equity capital flows.
What Drives the Commodity-Sovereign Risk Dependence in Emerging Market Economies?
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Using daily data for 34 emerging markets in the period 1994–2016, we find robust evidence that higher export commodity prices are associated with lower sovereign default risk, as measured by lower EMBI spreads. The economic effect is especially pronounced for heavy commodity exporters. Examining the drivers, we find that, first, commodity dependence is higher for countries that export large volumes of commodities, whereas other portfolio characteristics like volatility or concentration are less important. Second, commodity-sovereign risk dependence increases in times of recessions and expansionary U.S. monetary policy. Third, the importance of raw material prices for sovereign financing can likely be mitigated if a country improves institutions and tax systems, attracts FDI inflows, invests in manufacturing, machinery and infrastructure, builds up reserve assets and opens capital and trade accounts. Fourth, the country’s government indebtedness or amount of received development assistance appear to be only of secondary importance for commodity dependence.
Lack of Selection and Limits to Delegation: Firm Dynamics in Developing Countries
American Economic Review,
Delegating managerial tasks is essential for firm growth. Most firms in developing countries, however, do not hire outside managers but instead rely on family members. In this paper, we ask if this lack of managerial delegation can explain why firms in poor countries are small and whether it has important aggregate consequences. We construct a model of firm growth where entrepreneurs have a fixed time endowment to run their daily operations. As firms grow large, the need to hire outside managers increases. Firms’ willingness to expand therefore depends on the ease with which delegation can take place. We calibrate the model to plant-level data from the U.S. and India. We identify the key parameters of our theory by targeting the experimental evidence on the effect of managerial practices on firm performance from Bloom et al. (2013). We find that inefficiencies in the delegation environment account for 11% of the income per capita difference between the U.S. and India. They also contribute to the small size of Indian producers, but would cause substantially more harm for U.S. firms. The reason is that U.S. firms are larger on average and managerial delegation is especially valuable for large firms, thus making delegation efficiency and other factors affecting firm growth complements.
16.12.2020 • 26/2020
New wave of infections delays economic recovery in Germany
The lockdown is causing production in Germany to decline at the end of the year. When restrictions will be relaxed again, the recovery is likely to pick up pace only slowly, partly because the temporary reduction in value-added taxes is expiring. In spring, milder temperatures and an increasing portion of the population being vaccinated are likely to support the German economy to expand more strongly. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that gross domestic product will increase by 4.4% in 2021, following a 5% decline in 2020. In East Germany, both the decline and the recovery will be significantly less pronounced.
Read press release
Decentralisation of Collective Bargaining: A Path to Productivity?
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
Productivity developments have been rather divergent across EU countries and particularly between Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and elsewhere in the continent (non-CEE). How is such phenomenon related to wage bargaining institutions? Starting from the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) shock, we analyse whether the specific set-up of wage bargaining prevailing in non-CEE may have helped their respective firms to sustain productivity in the aftermath of the crisis. To tackle the issue, we merge the CompNet dataset – of firm-level based productivity indicators – with the Wage Dynamics Network (WDN) survey on wage bargaining institutions. We show that there is a substantial difference in the institutional set-up between the two above groups of countries. First, in CEE countries the bulk of the wage bargaining (some 60%) takes place outside collective bargaining schemes. Second, when a collective bargaining system is adopted in CEE countries, it is prevalently in the form of firm-level bargaining (i. e. the strongest form of decentralisation), while in non-CEE countries is mostly subject to multi-level bargaining (i. e. an intermediate regime, only moderately decentralised). On productivity impacts, we show that firms’ TFP in the non-CEE region appears to have benefitted from the chosen form of decentralisation, while no such effects are detectable in CEE countries. On the channels of transmission, we show that decentralisation in non-CEE countries is also negatively correlated with dismissals and with unit labour costs, suggesting that such collective bargaining structure may have helped to better match workers with firms’ needs.
Crisis is Gradually being Overcome – Align Actions to Lower Growth In their autumn report, the leading German economic...