Media Response Archive ...
Nowcasting East German GDP Growth: a MIDAS Approach
Economic forecasts are an important element of rational economic policy both on the federal and on the local or regional level. Solid budgetary plans for government expenditures and revenues rely on efficient macroeconomic projections. However, official data on quarterly regional GDP in Germany are not available, and hence, regional GDP forecasts do not play an important role in public budget planning. We provide a new quarterly time series for East German GDP and develop a forecasting approach for East German GDP that takes data availability in real time and regional economic indicators into account. Overall, we find that mixed-data sampling model forecasts for East German GDP in combination with model averaging outperform regional forecast models that only rely on aggregate national information.
Innovation, Reallocation, and Growth
American Economic Review,
We build a model of firm-level innovation, productivity growth, and reallocation featuring endogenous entry and exit. A new and central economic force is the selection between high- and low-type firms, which differ in terms of their innovative capacity. We estimate the parameters of the model using US Census microdata on firm-level output, R&D, and patenting. The model provides a good fit to the dynamics of firm entry and exit, output, and R&D. Taxing the continued operation of incumbents can lead to sizable gains (of the order of 1.4 percent improvement in welfare) by encouraging exit of less productive firms and freeing up skilled labor to be used for R&D by high-type incumbents. Subsidies to the R&D of incumbents do not achieve this objective because they encourage the survival and expansion of low-type firms.
Understanding the Great Recession
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity during the Great Recession were due to financial frictions. We reach this conclusion by looking through the lens of an estimated New Keynesian model in which firms face moderate degrees of price rigidities, no nominal rigidities in wages, and a binding zero lower bound constraint on the nominal interest rate. Our model does a good job of accounting for the joint behavior of labor and goods markets, as well as inflation, during the Great Recession. According to the model the observed fall in total factor productivity and the rise in the cost of working capital played critical roles in accounting for the small drop in inflation that occurred during the Great Recession.
R&D Offshoring and the Productivity Growth of European Regions
CIRCLE Working Papers, No. 20,
The recent increase in R&D offshoring have raised fears that knowledge and competitiveness in advanced countries may be at risk of 'hollowing out'. At the same time, economic research has stressed that this process is also likely to allow some reverse technology transfer and foster growth at home. This paper addresses this issue by investigating the extent to which R&D offshoring is associated with productivity dynamics of European regions. We find that offshoring regions have higher productivity growth, but this positive effect fades down with the number of investment projects carried out abroad. A large and positive correlation emerge between the extent of R&D offshoring and the home region productivity growth, supporting the idea that carrying out R&D abroad strengthen European competitiveness.
Verordnet und gleich umgesetzt? Was die energetische Regulierung von Immobilien bisher tatsächlich gebracht hat - Ergebnisse auf Grundlage des ista-IWH-Energieeffizienzindex -
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Der Beitrag untersucht den Effekt staatlich vorgegebener Obergrenzen des Energieverbrauches von Immobilien auf den tatsächlichen Energieverbrauch der Gebäude. Bauliche Richtlinien, so die These, wirken auf zweierlei Weise: Nach Inkrafttreten senken sie zunächst das Niveau des Energieverbrauches, dynamisch führen sie zu einem abnehmenden Energiebedarf, da sich unter dem Druck strengerer Energierichtlinien der technische Fortschritt im Bausektor beschleunigt. Für beide Aspekte finden sich empirische Belege. Basierend auf einem einzigartigen Datensatz deutscher Energiezertifikate befasst sich die vorliegende Untersuchung als erste empirisch mit den Wirkungen rechtlicher Regelungen zur Energieeffizienz und bezieht explizit verschiedene Regulierungsstufen ein. Im Ergebnis können beide Effekte nachgewiesen werden. Jüngere Gebäude weisen ausnahmslos geringere Energiekennwerte auf als ältere, was als fortlaufender technischer Fortschritt im Bausektor interpretiert wird. Der Niveaueffekt nach Einführung einer neuen Regulierung zeigt sich allerdings lediglich in einem Fall: der Fortschreibung der Wärmeschutzverordnung im Jahr 1995.
Finance and Growth in a Bank-Based Economy: Is It Quantity or Quality that Matters?
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Most finance–growth studies approximate the size of financial systems rather than the quality of intermediation to explain economic growth differentials. Furthermore, the neglect of systematic differences in cross-country studies could drive the result that finance matters. We suggest a measure of bank’s intermediation quality using bank-specific efficiency estimates and focus on the regions of one economy only: Germany. This quality measure has a significantly positive effect on growth. This result is robust to the exclusion of banks operating in multiple regions, controlling for the proximity of financial markets, when distinguishing different banking sectors active in Germany, and when excluding the structurally weaker East from the sample.
Effects of the promotion of investment in East Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
Investment in East Germany is heavily subsidized. Econometric estimates based on a treatment approach show that the level of investment is significantly higher in firms being supported by state aid. Nevertheless, capital productivity is lower in East Germany, indicating a misallocation of capital. Additionally, there are negative effects in West Germany due to negative crowding-out effects. Therefore state aid in East Germany should be reduced in the medium run.
A Study of the Competitiveness of Regions based on a Cluster Analysis: The Example of East Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper examines whether some East German regions have already achieved the same economic capability as the regions in West Germany, so that they are on a competitive basis with the West German regions and are able to reach the same economic level in the long run. If this is not the case, it is important to know more about the reasons for the economic weakness of the East German regions twelve years after unification.
The study is based on a cluster analysis. Criteria for the cluster formation are several economic indicators, which provide information about the economic capability of regions. The choice of the indicators is based on a review of results of the theoretical and empirical literature on the new growth theory and new economic geography.
The results show that most of the East German regions have not yet reached the economic capability and competitiveness of their West German counterparts so that they - from the viewpoint of the new growth theory and the new economic geography - are not in the position to reach the same economic level. According to these theories economic disadvantages are most notably the consequences of less technical progress, a lack of entrepreneurship and fewer business concentration. Under these points it is especially noteworthy that young well educated people leave these East German regions so that human capital might will turn into a bottle-neck in the near future. Only a few regions in East Germany - those with important agglomerations - are comparable to West German regions that are characterised by average capability and competitiveness, but not to those with above average economic capability and competitiveness. Even those more advanced East German regions still suffer from a slower technical progress.
There are important policy implications based on these results: regional policy in East Germany was not able to assist raising all regions to a sufficient level of competitiveness. It may be more effective to concentrate the regional policy efforts on a selection of important agglomerations. This has also strong implications for the EU regional policy assuming that the accession countries will have similar problems in catching up to the economic level of the EU as have the East German regions.