21.03.2018 • 5/2018
What is holding back the banking union?
The European Commission wants to better regulate and monitor the European banking sector. In many EU Member States, however, the necessary directives are being implemented extremely slowly. Surprisingly, the reasons for this do not lie in politics and banking structures, but in the institutional framework conditions and existing regulations in the Member States, as argued by Michael Koetter, Thomas Krause and Lena Tonzer from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
Read press release
19.03.2018 • 4/2018
Economists – and the others
People with a background in economics react more strongly to financial incentives – both positively and negatively, as Dmitri Bershadskyy of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association – found out. At the beginning of his laboratory experiment, economists were prepared to spend more money on a public good and keep to this social behaviour for a longer period than non-economists. However, towards the end of the experiment they were also the greatest free-riders.
Read press release
Economic Transition in Unified Germany and Implications for Korea
H.-G. Jeong and G. Heimpold (eds.): Economic Transition in Unified Germany and Implications for Korea. Policy References 17-13. Sejong: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy,
The reunification of Germany, which marked the end of the Cold War in the 20th century, is regarded as one of the most exemplary cases of social integration in human history. Nearly three decades after the German reunification, the economic and social shocks that occurred at the beginning of the reunification process have largely been resolved. Moreover, the unified Germany has grown into one of the most advanced economies in the world.
The unification process that Germany underwent may not necessarily be the way that the Republic of Korea would choose. However, the economic and social exchanges between East and West Germany prior to unification, and the cooperation in a myriad of policies based on these exchanges, served as the crucial foundation for unification. The case of Germany will surely help us find a better way for the re-unification of the Korean Peninsula.
In this context, this is the first edition of a joint research which provides diverse insights on social and economic issues during the process of unification. It consists of nine chapters whose main topics include policies on macroeconomic stabilization, the privatization of state-owned enterprises in East Germany, labor policies and the migration of labor, integration of the social safety nets of the North and South, and securing finances for reunification. To start with, the first part covers macroeconomic stabilization measures, which include policies implemented by the federal government of Germany to overcome macroeconomic shocks directly after the reunification. There was a temporary setback in the economy at the initial phase of reunification as the investment per GDP went down and the level of fiscal debt escalated, reverting to its original trend prior to the reunification. While it appears the momentum for growth was compromised by reunification from the perspective of growth rate of real GDP, this state did not last long and benefits have outpaced the costs since 2000.
In the section which examines the privatization of state-owned enterprises in East Germany, an analysis was conducted on the modernization of industrial infrastructure of East German firms. There was a surge in investment in East German area at the beginning stages but this was focused on a specific group of firms. Most of the firms were privatized through unofficial channels, with a third of these conducted in a management buy-out (MBO) process that was highly effective. Further analysis of a firm called Jenoptik, which was successfully bailed out, is incorporated as to draw implications of its accomplishments.
In the section on migration, we examine how the gap between the unemployment rates in the West and East have narrowed as the population flow shifted from the West to East. Consequently, there was no significant deviation in terms of the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) per capita in each state of East Germany. However, as the labor market stabilized in East Germany and population flows have weakened, the deviation will become larger. Meanwhile, if we make a prediction about the movement of population between the North and the South, which show a remarkable difference in their economic circumstances, a radical reunification process such as Germany’s case would force 7% of the population of the North to move towards the South. Upon reunification, the estimated unemployment rate in North Korea would remain at least 30% for the time being. In order to reduce the initial unemployment rate, it is crucial to design a program that trains the unemployed and to build a system that predicts changes in labor demand.
It seems nearly impossible to apply the social safety nets of the South to the North, as there is a systemic difference in ideologies. Taking steps toward integration would be the most suitable option in the case of the Koreas. We propose to build a sound groundwork for stabilizing the interest rates and exchange rates, maintain stable fiscal policies, raise momentum for economic growth and make sure people understand the means required to financially support the North in order to reduce the gap between the two.
This book was jointly organized and edited by Dr. Hyung-gon Jeong of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) and Dr. Gerhard Heimpold of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). We believe that this report, which examines numerous social and economic agendas that emerged during the reunification of Germany, will provide truly important reference for both Koreas. It is also our view that it will serve as a stepping-stone to establish policies in regard to South-North exchanges across numerous sectors prior to discussions of reunification. KIEP will continue to work with IWH and contribute its expertise to the establishment of grounds for unification policies.
Too connected to fail? Wie die Vernetzung der Banken staatliche
Rettungsmaßnahmen vorhersagen kann
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Seit der globalen Finanzkrise 2007/2008 liegt aufgrund ihrer Schlüsselrolle für ein funktionierendes Finanzsystem ein besonderer Fokus auf den so genannten systemrelevanten Finanzinstitutionen (systemically important financial institutions, SIFIs). Neben der Größe von Finanzinstitutionen ist auch das Ausmaß ihrer Vernetzung im internationalen Finanzsystem entscheidend für die Klassifikation als systemrelevant. Obwohl die Vernetzung von Banken untereinander in der Regel schwer zu messen ist, kann sie aus der Entwicklung von Prämien von Kreditausfallversicherungen (den so genannten Credit Default Swap (CDS) Spreads) und Aktienrenditen abgeleitet werden. Dieser Beitrag untersucht, inwieweit sich mit Hilfe der sich daraus ergebenden Co-Crash-Probability vor der Finanzkrise vorhersagen lässt, welche Finanzinstitutionen während der Krise Teil von staatlichen Rettungsprogrammen (bailout programmes) wurden.
19.12.2017 • 40/2017
The medium-term economic development in Germany from 2017 to 2022 and opportunities for fiscal policies of a new federal government
Due to the cyclical upswing in Germany, in case of unaltered legislation, the general government would achieve considerable budget surpluses in the years ahead. As a consequence, there is large fiscal scope for a new federal government. With the fiscal policy simulation model of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association, the macroeconomic effects of various fiscal policy measures are analysed. The results show that additional government expenditures, like the expansion of social benefits, do have a stronger effect on GDP than revenue cuts, like for instance tax reliefs. „Due to the already high capacity utilisation, revenue cuts seem to be advantageous from a business cycle perspective. Moreover, a reduction of the high taxes and charges on labour would, in contrast to an expansion of social benefits, have a positive effect on potential output“, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department of Macroeconomics and IWH vice president.
Read press release
Bank Financing, Institutions and Regional Entrepreneurial Activities: Evidence from China
International Review of Economics & Finance,
We investigate the effects of bank financing on regional entrepreneurial activities in China. We present contrasting findings on the role of quantity vs. quality of bank financing on small business formation in China: while we document a consistent, significantly positive relationship between the quality of bank financing and new venture formation, we find that the quantity of supplied credit is insignificant. We report that formal institutions are positively correlated to regional entrepreneurial activities, and informal institutions substitute formal institutions. Our findings also reveal that the institutional environment tends to supplement bank financing in promoting regional entrepreneurial activities.
01.11.2017 • 38/2017
IWH Policy Talk „Risk Sharing and Risk Reduction – The Challenges that Lie Ahead“
The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association is pleased to inform about its next upcoming IWH Policy Talk „Risk Sharing and Risk Reduction – The Challenges that Lie Ahead“ with Andrea Enria, first Chairperson of the European Banking Authority (EBA). The talk will take place on Tuesday, No¬vember 7, 2017, 5:00 p.m., in the IWH conference room. You are hereby cordially invited to attend.
Read press release
28.09.2017 • 35/2017
Joint Economic Forecast—Autumn 2017: Upturn Remains Robust—Amid Mounting Tensions
The German economic upturn has gained both in terms of strength and breadth. In addition to consumer spending, external trade and investments are now also contributing to economic expansion. These are the conclusions drawn by the economic research institutes in their autumn report for the German federal government. Whereas the very high economic momentum in the first half of the current year will slow slightly, expansion of economic output this year and next will exceed production capacity growth. As a result, overall capacity utilization will increase, with economic output exceeding potential output. Gross Domestic Product is likely to grow by 1.9 percent this year and by 2 percent in 2018 (calendar-adjusted: 2.2 and 2.1 percent, respectively).
Read press release
09.08.2017 • 29/2017
Networked and protected
During the financial crisis, billions were spent to rescue banks that were according to their governments too big to be allowed to fail. But a study by Michael Koetter from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) and co-authors shows that besides the size of the banks, the centrality within the global financial network was also pivotal for financial institutions to receive a bail-out.
Read press release