02.10.2019 • 21/2019
Thanks to robust domestic demand, the impact of the manufacturing sector on East Germany is less severe than in the west – Implications of the Autumn 2019 Joint Economic Forecast and official regional data for the eastern German economy
In its autumn report, the Joint Economic Forecast Project Group states that the German economy has cooled further in the current year. The manufacturing sector is the main reason for the economic weakness. This affects the economy in East Germany as well.
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02.10.2019 • 20/2019
Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2019: Economy Cools Further – Industry in Recession
Berlin, October 2, 2019 – Germany’s leading economics research institutes have revised their economic forecast for Germany significantly downward. Whereas in the spring they still expected gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 0.8% in 2019, they now expect GDP growth to be only 0.5%. Reasons for the poor performance are the falling worldwide demand for capital goods – in the exporting of which the Germany economy is specialised – as well as political uncertainty and structural changes in the automotive industry. By contrast, monetary policy is shoring up macroeconomic expansion. For the coming year, the economic researchers have also reduced their forecast of GDP growth to 1.1%, having predicted 1.8% in the spring.
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Fehlende Fachkräfte in Deutschland – Unterschiede in den Betrieben und mögliche Erklärungsfaktoren: Ergebnisse aus dem IAB-Betriebspanel 2018
In the years after the economic crisis, the economic situation of establishments in West and East Germany has improved steadily. At the same time, increased labor market dynamics and a positive trend in total employment can be observed. Also the demand for skilled employees reached a new high of 2.7 million in 2018. Only about 60 percent of the demand could be covered, which is also reflected in a further increase of the so-called non-occupancy quota. With regard to the distribution of this indicator for skilled labor shortages, we observe clear sector- and size-specific differences as well as regional heterogeneity. The quota is particularly high in the construction industry and in agriculture and forestry, with more than half the positions left vacant. A positive correlation between shortages of skilled labor and the use of temporary work, flexible working hours and investments in vocational training and further education is assessed in a multivariate analysis. The structure of formal occupational skill requirements did not change very much over recent years. However, a clear trend towards more flexible work organization can be observed. For example, about one quarter of the establishments offer teleworking. The share of part-time employment is also increasing nationwide, especially in sectors with a higher proportion of women, such as the service industries or the public sector. The share of marginal employment is particularly high in sectors that are characterized by cyclical and/or seasonal demand fluctuations or comparatively unspecific skill requirements – and above-average shortages of skilled labor. In 2018, the proportion of establishments authorized to provide in-house vocational training rose for the first time since 2010 – to 54 percent in Germany. In Eastern Germany, the share is significantly lower at 49 percent. The proportion of authorized establishments that actually train apprentices has been relatively stable at around 50 percent for several years. Both successfully occupied and vacant apprenticeships are distributed very heterogeneously across sectors. The recruitment rate of successful graduates is about three quarters. In establishments with skilled labor shortages, both the training rate and the graduate hiring rate are higher, suggesting that vocational training is already used here as an alternative strategy for recruiting skilled employees. The share of establishments supporting further education of their employees remains stable at about fifty percent for several years, and the proportion of employees participating in training is still about one third. A comparatively higher rate of further education among unskilled employees in establishments with skilled labor shortages indicates that internal resources are being increasingly used here to meet the demand for skilled employees.
19.09.2019 • 19/2019
Long-term effects of privatisation in eastern Germany: award-winning US economist begins large-scale research project at the IWH
It is one of the most prestigious awards in the German scientific community: the Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award 2019 endowed with €1.5 million goes to Ufuk Akcigit, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. At the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), Akcigit aims to use innovative methods to investigate why the economy in eastern Germany is still lagging behind that in western Germany – and what role the privatisation process 30 years ago played in this.
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05.09.2019 • 18/2019
Downturn in Germany continues
Trade disputes are causing international trade in goods to decline this year. The manufacturing industry in Germany is particularly affected by this. However, a robust labour market is supporting the economy. According to IWH autumn economic forecast, German gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 0.5% in 2019. At 1%, output growth in East Germany is likely to be significantly higher than in West Germany.
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The Internet Effects on Sex Crime Offenses – Evidence from the Broadband Internet Expansion in Germany
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
This paper studies the effects of the introduction of a new mass medium on sex crime in Germany. I use unique data on criminal offenses and broadband internet measured at the municipal level to shed light on this issue. In order to address endogeneity in broadband internet availability, I exploit technical peculiarities at the regional level that determine the roll-out of high-speed internet. Results provide evidence of a substitution effect of internet exposure on sex crime. The substitution effect is neither driven by differences in reporting behavior, nor by matching processes at the victim and offender side. This suggests that the consumption of extreme media plays an important role in explaining the documented high-speed internet effect.
IWH-Flash-Indikator III. Quartal und IV. Quartal 2019
Die deutsche Wirtschaft schrumpfte im zweiten Quartal 2019 um 0,1%, nachdem das Bruttoinlandsprodukt zu Jahresbeginn noch um 0,4% zugelegt hatte. Der aktuelle IWH-Flash-Indikator deutet darauf hin, dass die Konjunktur auch in den kommenden beiden Quartalen schwach bleiben wird. So dürfte die Wirtschaft im dritten Quartal 2019 stagnieren, für das vierte Quartal kann ein kleines Plus von 0,2% erwartet werden.
Power Generation and Structural Change: Quantifying Economic Effects of the Coal Phase-out in Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
In the fight against global warming, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a major objective. In particular, a decrease in electricity generation by coal could contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. Using a multi-region dynamic general equilibrium model, this paper studies potential economic consequences of a coal phase-out in Germany. Different regional phase-out scenarios are simulated with varying timing structures. We find that a politically induced coal phase-out would lead to an increase in the national unemployment rate by about 0.10 percentage points from 2020 to 2040, depending on the specific scenario. The effect on regional unemployment rates varies between 0.18 to 1.07 percentage points in the lignite regions. However, a faster coal phase-out can lead to a faster recovery. The coal phase-out leads to migration from German lignite regions to German non-lignite regions and reduces the labour force in the lignite regions by 10,000 people by 2040.
East Germany Three Decades After the Wall Came Down: What has Been Achieved and What Should Economic Policy Do?
The persistent difference in productivity between East and West Germany not only results from the relative absence of large firms based in the East as many believe. Companies of all sizes exhibit an East-West productivity gap. The gap is larger in urban regions. Scarcity of skilled labour has emerged as the new barrier to business development. In order to boost productivity, economic policy should avoid additional subsidies that are conditional on creating jobs. Additionally, the potential of East German urban areas should be better explored. Mitigating the shortage in qualified workers requires in-migration of skilled labour from abroad, supported by an open mindset and environment.
09.07.2019 • 17/2019
IWH rated "very good" and recommended for further funding
The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association has been providing remarkable research and policy advice services for many years and should therefore continue to receive joint basic funding by Federal government and the Länder in future. This was the conclusion of today's meeting of the Senate of the Leibniz Association. At the end of the evaluation, the Institute was rated "very good" in all areas.
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