Entry into Self-employment and Individuals’ Risk-taking Propensities
Small Business Economics,
Most of the existing empirical literature on self-employment decisions assumes that individuals’ risk-taking propensities are stable over time. We allow for endogeneity on both sides when examining the relationship between individual risk-taking propensities and entry into self-employment. We confirm that a greater risk-taking propensity is associated with a higher probability of entering self-employment. However, we also find evidence that entering self-employment is associated with a significant and substantial increase in an individual’s propensity to take risks. Our findings add to the growing evidence that risk-taking propensities are not only inborn, but also determined by environmental factors.
Labor Market Power and the Distorting Effects of International Trade
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
This article examines how final product trade with China shapes and interacts with labor market imperfections that create market power in labor markets and prevent an efficient market outcome. I develop a framework for measuring such labor market power distortions in monetary terms and document large degrees of these distortions in Germany's manufacturing sector. Import competition only exerts labor market disciplining effects if firms, rather than employees, possess labor market power. Otherwise, increasing export demand and import competition both fortify existing distortions, which decreases labor market efficiency. This widens the gap between potential and realized output and thus diminishes classical gains from trade.
IWH Bankruptcy Research
IWH Bankruptcy Research The Bankruptcy Research Unit of the Halle Institute for...
On DSGE Models
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
The outcome of any important macroeconomic policy change is the net effect of forces operating on different parts of the economy. A central challenge facing policymakers is how to assess the relative strength of those forces. Economists have a range of tools that can be used to make such assessments. Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models are the leading tool for making such assessments in an open and transparent manner. We review the state of mainstream DSGE models before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. We then describe how DSGE models are estimated and evaluated. We address the question of why DSGE modelers—like most other economists and policymakers—failed to predict the financial crisis and the Great Recession, and how DSGE modelers responded to the financial crisis and its aftermath. We discuss how current DSGE models are actually used by policymakers. We then provide a brief response to some criticisms of DSGE models, with special emphasis on criticism by Joseph Stiglitz, and offer some concluding remarks.
TV and Entrepreneurship
IWH Discussion Papers,
We empirically analyse whether television (TV) can influence entrepreneurial identity and incidence. To identify causal effects, we utilise a quasi-natural experiment setting. During the division of Germany after WWII into West Germany with a free-market economy and the socialistic East Germany with centrally-planned economy, some East German regions had access to West German public TV that – differently from the East German TV – transmitted images, values, attitudes and view of life compatible with the free-market economy principles and supportive of entrepreneurship. We show that during the 40 years of socialistic regime in East Germany entrepreneurship was highly regulated and virtually impossible and that the prevalent formal and informal institutions broke the traditional ties linking entrepreneurship to the characteristics of individuals so that there were hardly any differences in the levels and development of entrepreneurship between East German regions with and without West German TV signal. Using both, regional and individual level data, we show then that, for the period after the Unification in 1990 which made starting an own business in East Germany, possible again, entrepreneurship incidence is higher among the residents of East German regions that had access to West German public TV, indicating that TV can, while transmitting specific images, values, attitudes and view of life, directly impact on the entrepreneurial mindset of individuals. Moreover, we find that young individuals born after 1980 in East German households that had access to West German TV are also more entrepreneurial. These findings point to second-order effects due to inter-personal and inter-generational transmission, a mechanism that can cause persistent differences in the entrepreneurship incidence across (geographically defined) population groups.
On the Simultaneity Bias in the Relationship Between Risk Attitudes, Entry into Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Survival
Applied Economics Letters,
We consider the simultaneity bias when examining the effect of individual risk attitudes on entrepreneurship. We demonstrate that entry into self-employment is related to changes in risk attitudes. We further show that these changes are correlated with the probability to remain in entrepreneurship.
Television Role Models and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
SOEPpapers, Nr. 752,
In this paper we study the effect of television exposure on fertility. We exploit a natural experiment that took place in Germany after WWII. For topographical reasons, Western TV programs, which promoted one/no child families, could not be received in certain parts of East Germany. Using an IV approach, we find robust evidence that watching West German TV results in lower fertility. This conclusion is robust to alternative model specifications and data sets. Our results imply that individual fertility decisions are affected by role models or information about other ways of life promoted by media.
Grundschulschließungen als Katalysator von Wanderungsbewegungen?
Demographischer Wandel als Querschnittsaufgabe. Fallstudien der Expertenplattform „Demographischer Wandel“,
Grundschulschließungen werden kritisiert und gefürchtet. Besonders in peripheren Regionen verbindet sich mit der Aufgabe einer Schule vielfach die Sorge des demographischen Unterganges der Gemeinde infolge einer Abwanderung junger Eltern und ausbleibender Zuwanderung junger Familien. Sind Grundschul-schließungen aber tatsächlich Ursache einer Verschlechterung der Wanderungsbilanz?
Im vorliegenden Beitrag wird diese Fragestellung für die Familienwanderung zwischen Gemeinden Sachsen-Anhalts im Zeitraum von 1991 bis 2008 beantwortet. Die Untersuchung vergleicht im ersten Schritt die Wanderungsraten von Gemeinden mit unterschiedlicher Grundschulausstattung. Im zweiten Schritt wird die Querschnittsbetrachtung um eine Längsschnittanalyse ergänzt: Hier interessiert die Frage, ob sich das Wanderungsverhalten ändert, wenn die letzte Schule einer Gemeinde geschlossen wird. Der Analyse zufolge übt die schulische Infrastruktur von Gemeinden in Sachsen-Anhalt einen signifikanten Einfluss auf das Wanderungsverhalten der Familien mit jüngeren Kindern aus. So zeigt sich, dass nach der Schließung der letzten Grundschule die Zuzüge zurückgehen; überraschenderweise reduzieren sich jedoch auch die Fortzüge. Da sich beide Effekte gegenseitig gerade aufheben, ist eine Wirkung der Schließung per saldo jedoch nicht mehr erkennbar. Damit ist das Problem eines sich selbst verstärkenden Schrumpfungsprozesses zumindest mit Blick auf junge Familien empirisch nicht ersichtlich.
Effects of Entrepreneurship Education at Universities
Jena Economic Research Papers, Nr. 2012-025,
This study analyzes the impact of entrepreneurship education at universities on the intentions of students to become entrepreneurs or self-employed in the short-term (immediately after graduation) and in the long-term (five years after graduation). A difference-in-differences approach is applied that relates changes in entrepreneurial intentions to changes in the attendance of entrepreneurship classes in the same period. To account for a potential bias due to self-selection into entrepreneurship classes, only individuals having no prior entrepreneurial intentions are analyzed. Our results indicate a stimulating effect of entrepreneurship education on students’ intentions to become entrepreneurs or self-employed in the long-term but a discouraging effect on their intentions in the short-term. These results support the conjecture that entrepreneurship education provides more realistic perspectives on what it takes to be an entrepreneur, resulting in ‘sorting’. Overall, the results indicate that entrepreneurship education may improve the quality of labor market matches, the allocation of resources and talent, and increase social welfare. Not distinguishing between short- and long-term intentions may lead to misleading conclusions regarding the economic and social impact of entrepreneurship education.
Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
The paper subjects seven structural DSGE models, all used heavily by policymaking institutions, to discretionary fiscal stimulus shocks using seven different fiscal instruments, and compares the results to those of two prominent academic DSGE models. There is considerable agreement across models on both the absolute and relative sizes of different types of fiscal multipliers. The size of many multipliers is large, particularly for spending and targeted transfers. Fiscal policy is most effective if it has moderate persistence and if monetary policy is accommodative. Permanently higher spending or deficits imply significantly lower initial multipliers.