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The East-West-German Productivity Gap: Lessons from Firm-level Data?
Konferenzband "30 Jahre Deutsche Einheit", März
According to national accounts, the East German economy is at only 80 % of West German labour productivity even 30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain. This difference in aggregate labour productivity goes hand in hand with many of the economic and societal problems East Germany faces today. To understand the sources of the aggregate productivity gap, this study discusses recent literature on the East-West gap that applies granular firm and product level data. The evidence clearly shows the relevance of firm-level productivity differences for the aggregate gap and challenges common hypotheses derived from aggregate data.
Transferability of Skills across Sectors and Heterogeneous Displacement Costs
American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings,
We use rich German administrative data to estimate new measures of skill transferability between manufacturing and other sectors. These measures capture the value of workers' human capital when applied in different sectors and are directly related to workers' displacement costs. We estimate these transferability measures using a selection correction model, which addresses workers' endogenous mobility, and a novel selection instrument based on the social network of workers. Our results indicate substantial heterogeneity in how workers can transfer their skills when they move across sectors, which implies heterogeneous displacement costs that depend on the sector to which workers reallocate.
The Determinants of Inward Foreign Direct Investment in Business Services Across European Regions
Finanza e Statistica 104/2012,
The paper accounts for the determinants of inward foreign direct investment in business services across the EU-27 regions. Together with the traditional variables considered in the literature (market size, market quality, agglomeration economies, labour cost, technology, human capital), we focus on the role of forward linkages with manufacturing sectors and other service sectors as
attractors of business services FDI at the regional level. This hypothesis is based on the evidence that the growth of business services is mostly due to increasing intermediate demand by other services industries and by manufacturing industries and on the importance of geographical proximity for forward linkages in services.
To our knowledge, there are no studies investigating the role of forward linkages for the location of FDI. This paper aims therefore to fill this gap and add to the FDI literature by providing a picture of the specificities of the determinants of FDI in business services at the regional level. The empirical analysis draws upon the database fDi Markets, from which we selected projects having as a destination NUTS 2 European regions in the sectors of Business services over the period 2003-2008. Data on FDI have been matched with data drawn from the Eurostat Regio
database. Forward linkages have been constructed using the OECD Input/Output database. By estimating a negative binomial model, we find that regions specialised in those (manufacturing) sectors that are high potential users of business services attract more FDI than other regions. This confirms the role of forward linkages for the localisation of business service FDI, particularly in the case of manufacturing.
Old Age Poverty and Satisfaction with Living Conditions in East and West Germany, 1995 and 2009
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The current contribution presents poverty indicators for West and East Germany for the years 1995 and 2009. The analysis is based on the two corresponding waves of the GSOEP. We only consider households with at least one senior citizen aged 65 or above. Furthermore, we distinguish between male and female pensioners. In the first part the weighted equivalized household income is calculated as well as various statistical measures such as the 20%- and 80%-percentile, the 80/20-ratio and the 90/10-ratio of the income distribution of senior citizen households. In an additional step we also present and discuss the main sources of income such households have. In the second part of the contribution we focus on social indicators with respect to the satisfaction with income and the current living conditions as well as the expected situation in five years. As the results show, old age poverty has increased in both parts in Germany with East German women being an exception. With respect to the future, most elder people look optimistically into the future.