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Monetary Policy under the Microscope: Intra-bank Transmission of Asset Purchase Programs of the ECB
IWH Discussion Papers,
With a unique loan portfolio maintained by a top-20 universal bank in Germany, this study tests whether unconventional monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB) reduced corporate borrowing costs. We decompose corporate lending rates into refinancing costs, as determined by money markets, and markups that the bank is able to charge its customers in regional markets. This decomposition reveals how banks transmit monetary policy within their organizations. To identify policy effects on loan rate components, we exploit the co-existence of eurozone-wide security purchase programs and regional fiscal policies at the district level. ECB purchase programs reduced refinancing costs significantly, even in an economy not specifically targeted for sovereign debt stress relief, but not loan rates themselves. However, asset purchases mitigated those loan price hikes due to additional credit demand stimulated by regional tax policy and enabled the bank to realize larger economic margins.
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 Local Public Investment into Infrastructure for Tourism: The Example of Saxony
Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft,
The mass of investments into infrastructure for tourism in the so-called “New States” (Neue Länder) of the Federal Republic of Germany after 1990 was huge. They were aimed to the maintenance and recovery, respectively of competitiveness of traditional destinations, as well as to promote service-oriented structural change in industrial wastelands. A big part of these investments was supported by funds of the so called “Joint Task for Improving the Regional Economic Structure”. We analyse the effects of local public investment into infrastructure for tourism supported by investment grants on the local employment in accommodation and food service activities in the state of Saxony. The results provide evidence for correlations between special types of investment in the time period 2000–2007 and the development of employment in hospitality industry. However, this is subject to some requirements, such as the existence of complementary factors, or an existing regional touristic tradition as well.
Network Investment and the Threat of Regulation – Preventing Monopoly Exploitation or Infrastructure Construction?
IWH Discussion Papers,
In summer 2005, the German telecommunication incumbent Deutsche Telekom announced its plans to build a new broadband fibre optics network. Deutsche Telekom decided as precondition for this new network not to be regulated with respect to pricing and third party access. To develop a regulator's strategy that allows investments and prevents monopolistic prices at the same time, we model an incumbent's decision problem under a threat of regulation in a game-theoretical context. The decision whether to invest or not depends on the probability of regulation and its assumed impact on investment returns. Depending on the incumbent's expectation on these parameters, he will decide if the investment is favourable, and which price to best set. This price is below a non-regulated profit maximising price, since the incumbent tries to circumvent regulation. Thus, we show that the mere threat of a regulator's intervention might prevent supernormal profits without actual price regulation. The regulator, on the other hand, can influence both investment decision and the incumbent's price via his signals on regulation probability and price. These signals an be considered optimal, if they simultaneously allow investment and minimize the incumbent's price.
Economies of Scope in European Railways: An Efficiency Analysis
IWH Discussion Papers,
In the course of railway reforms in the end of the last century, national European governments, as well the EU Commission, decided to open markets and to separate railway networks from train operations. Vertically integrated railway companies – companies owning a network and providing transport services – argue that such a separation of infrastructure and operations would diminish the advantages of vertical integration and would therefore not be suitable to raise economic welfare. In this paper, we conduct a pan-European analysis to investigate the performance of European railways with a particular focus on economies of vertical integration. We test the hypothesis that integrated railways realise economies of joint production and, thus, produce railway services on a higher level of efficiency. To determine whether joint or separate production is more efficient we apply a Data Envelopment Analysis super-efficiency bootstrapping model which relates the efficiency for integrated production to a virtual reference set consisting of the separated production technology. Our findings are that in a majority of European Railway companies exist economies of scope.
Liberalization of Electricity Markets in Selected European Countries
Diskussionsbeiträge des Europäischen Instituts für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW), Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Nr. 124,
We look into liberalization issues in the context of the EU Electricity Liberalization. Taking a look at principal issues reveals that the Community Directive 96/92/EC does not really take into account the interdependencies of energy markets. Moreover, third party access is not effectively enforced, particularly not in Germany, where mergers between a major electricity company and the dominant gas company have raised particular issues. Electricity liberalization in Scandinavia is working relatively well. EU accession countries are considered potential electricity exporters in the long run as full restructuring will drive down both energy intensities and electricity intensities. Russia would be wise to quickly become a member country of WTO, not in the least to gain access to Western Europe’s electricity market; the role of Russia so far has been neglected in the discussion of electricity liberalization. Excess capacities in EU-27 can be expected in the medium term. There is considerable doubt that politicians – often with ambitious goals in the field of environmental policy – will allow for a pan-European liberalization of electricity. We also take a closer look at regulatory policy issues.
On the Incentives to Provide Fuel-Efficient Automobiles
Journal of Economics,
We argue that the provision of more fuel-efficient cars necessitates specific aerodynamic shapes. We show that the presence of this technological constraint may reduce the incentives to provide fuel efficiency. In equilibrium, cars become more similar and aerodynamic as fuel prices increase. However, the provided level of fuel efficiency falls short of the social optimal one such that a fuel-economy standard is welfare-enhancing.
Price Competition between an Expert and a Non-Expert
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
This paper characterizes price competition between an expert and a non-expert. In contrast with the expert, the non-expert's repair technology is not always successful. Consumers visit the expert after experiencing an unsuccessful match at the non-expert. This re-entry affects the behavior of both sellers. For low enough probability of successful repair at the non-expert, all consumers first visit the non-expert, and a 'timid-pricing' equilibrium results. If the non-expert's repair technology performs well enough, it pays for some consumers to disregard the non-expert a visit. They directly go to the expert's shop, and an 'aggressive-pricing' equilibrium pops up. For intermediate values of the non-expert's successful repair a 'mixed-pricing' equilibrium emerges where the expert randomizes over the monopoly price and some lower price.