Bericht über den IWH/INFER-Workshop on Applied Economics and Economic Policy
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Am 14. und 15. Februar 2011 fand am IWH erstmalig in Zusammenarbeit mit dem International Network for Economic Research (INFER) der Workshop „Applied Economics and Economic Policy“ statt. Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler europäischer Universitäten und internationaler Organisationen stellten einem breiten Publikum neueste Forschungsergebnisse zu aktuellen ökonomischen Fragen und Problemen vor. Der Workshop richtete sich neben einem wissenschaftlichen Publikum vor allem auch an Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter internationaler Organisationen, wie beispielsweise der Europäischen Kommission und der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB), sowie der verschiedenen Ministerien, wie z. B. der Wirtschaftsministerien. Ziel der Veranstaltung war es somit, nicht nur aktuelle Forschungsergebnisse vorzustellen, sondern auch mit Vertretern aus Wissenschaft und Praxis über aktuelle Wirtschaftspolitik und über das Spezialthema „The Empirics of Imbalances and Disequilibria“
zu diskutieren. Mit Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Mitglied des Direktoriums der EZB, und Martin Hallet aus der Generaldirektion Wirtschaft und Finanzen der Europäischen Kommission konnten zwei hochrangige Vertreter aus den politischen Institutionen als Keynote-Speaker gewonnen werden.
Midterm Projection: Economic Development and the Public Budget in the Years 2011 - 2015
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In 2010 economic activity in Germany improved steadily. While global trade increased in the first half of the year – and, thus, German exports – domestic demand became increasingly important. Private Investment recovered and – even more important – consumption contributed to economic growth. Moreover, employment reached an all-time high and unemployment decreased further during the year.
Until 2015 economic growth will keep to be relatively high. German external trade will still gain momentum by the development of global trade. However, economic development will be driven more and more by domestic demand. Interest rates will remain relatively low and stimulate investment activity. Moreover, unemployment will continually shrink, partly reflecting demographic developments, but partly mirrored in increasing employment. Due to a higher degree of employment security and rising wages consumption will gain momentum. Real GDP will increase by 2.3% in 2011 and by 1.7% in 2012. From 2013 – 2015 it will rise by 1½% on average.
While the German economy will gain strength, public budgets will clearly improve. In 2010 the deficit ratio exceeds the Maastricht threshold only slightly; in relation to nominal GDP the German budget deficit was about 3.2%. Concerning the high fiscal stimulus, mainly given in the years 2009 and 2010, the deficit ratio is surprisingly low. While income and wage taxes as well as the receipts from social security contributions already increased, unemployment benefits already declined substantially.
The midterm projection shows a favorable development of public budgets. While employment remains high and unemployment continually decreases, the wage tax and the social security contributions will boost revenue. On contrast the same development will lessen public expenditure, especially transfers.
This projection relies heavily on the assumption that fiscal policy will trace its consolidation plans. For instance, it is assumed that the federal level will implement their plans from summer/autumn 2010 and that there will be no additional measures. In this case, in 2015 the German public budget will show a surplus of ¼% in relation to GDP.
Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
Unemployment inflows fell from 4 percent of employment per month in the early 1980s to 2 percent by the mid 1990s. Using low frequency movements in industry-level data, we estimate that a 1 percentage point drop in the quarterly job destruction rate lowers the monthly unemployment inflow rate by 0.28 points. By our estimates, declines in job destruction intensity account for 28 (55) percent of the fall in unemployment inflows from 1982 (1990) to 2005. Slower job destruction accounts for similar fractions of long-term declines in the rate of unemployment.
Inflation Expectations: Does the Market Beat Professional Forecasts?
IWH Discussion Papers,
The present paper compares expected inflation to (econometric) inflation forecasts
based on a number of forecasting techniques from the literature using a panel of
ten industrialized countries during the period of 1988 to 2007. To capture expected
inflation we develop a recursive filtering algorithm which extracts unexpected inflation from real interest rate data, even in the presence of diverse risks and a potential Mundell-Tobin-effect.
The extracted unexpected inflation is compared to the forecasting errors of ten
econometric forecasts. Beside the standard AR(p) and ARMA(1,1) models, which
are known to perform best on average, we also employ several Phillips curve based approaches, VAR, dynamic factor models and two simple model avering approaches.
Great Moderation at the Firm Level? Unconditional vs. Conditional Output Volatility
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
We test whether there has been a “Great Moderation“ of output volatility at the firm level. The multifactor residual model proposed by Pesaran (2006) is used to isolate the idiosyncratic component of firms' sales growth from macroeconomic developments. This methodology is applied to a balanced panel of about 1,200 German firms covering a 35-year period (1971-2005). Our research has three main findings. First, unconditional firm-level volatility and aggregate output volatility have seen similar downward trends. Second, conditional, idiosyncratic firm-level volatility does not exhibit a downward trend. Third, there is a positive link between growth and volatility at the firm level.
FDI versus exports: Evidence from German banks
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We use a new bank-level dataset to study the FDI-versus-exports decision for German banks. We extend the literature on multinational firms in two directions. First, we simultaneously study FDI and the export of cross-border financial services. Second, we test recent theories on multinational firms which show the importance of firm heterogeneity [Helpman, E., Melitz, M.J., Yeaple, S.R., 2004. Export versus FDI. American Economic Review 94 (1), 300–316]. Our results show that FDI and cross-border services are complements rather than substitutes. Heterogeneity of banks has a significant impact on the internationalization decision. More profitable and larger banks are more likely to expand internationally than smaller banks. They have more extensive foreign activities, and they are more likely to engage in FDI in addition to cross-border financial services.
Signaling Currency Crises in South Africa
IWH Discussion Papers,
Currency crises episodes of 1996, 1998, and 2001 are used to identify common country specific causes of currency crises in South Africa. The paper identifies crises by the use of an Exchange Market Pressure (EMP) index as introduced by Eichengreen, Rose and Wyplosz (1996). It extends the Signals Approach introduced by Kaminsky and Reinhart (1996, 1998) by developing a composite indicator in order to measure the evolution of currency crisis risk in South Africa. The analysis considers the standard suspects from international currency crises and country specifics as identified by the Myburgh Commission (2002) and current literature as potentially relevant indicators.