14.12.2016 • 50/2016
The German Economy: Economic Activity Spurred by Private Consumption and Construction
German economic activity remains robust due to strong domestic demand. IWH forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 1.3% in 2017. The growth rate is half a percentage point lower than in 2016 due to calendar effects and a negative contribution of external trade. Consumer price inflation also remains modest (1.3%). “Unemployment is expected to increase slightly due to a protracted integration of refugees into the labor market”, says Oliver Holtemöller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president
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29.09.2016 • 40/2016
Joint Economic Forecast: German Economy on Track – Economic Policy needs to be Realigned
Thanks to a stable job market and solid consumption, the German economy is experiencing a moderate upswing. The GDP is expected to increase by 1.9 percent this year, 1.4 percent in 2017, and 1.6 percent in 2018, according to the Gemeinschaftsdiagnose (GD, joint economic forecast) that was prepared by five of Europe’s leading economic research institutes on behalf of the Federal Government. The most recent GD, which was released in April, predicted a GDP growth rate of 1.6 percent for 2016 and 1.5 percent for 2017.
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22.09.2016 • 39/2016
Strong Financial Literacy could Lead to More Self-employment
The probability that a person is self-employed also depends on how much financial literacy they have. A new study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association recently confirmed this correlation.
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CEO Political Preference and Corporate Tax Sheltering
Bill Francis, Iftekhar Hasan, Xian Sun, Qiang Wu
Journal of Corporate Finance,
We show that firms led by politically partisan CEOs are associated with a higher level of corporate tax sheltering than firms led by nonpartisan CEOs. Specifically, Republican CEOs are associated with more corporate tax sheltering even when their wealth is not tied with that of shareholders and when corporate governance is weak, suggesting that their tax sheltering decisions could be driven by idiosyncratic factors such as their political ideology. We also show that Democratic CEOs are associated with more corporate tax sheltering only when their stock-based incentives are high, suggesting that their tax sheltering decisions are more likely to be driven by economic incentives. In sum, our results support the political connection hypothesis in general but highlight that the specific factors driving partisan CEOs' tax sheltering behaviors differ. Our results imply that it may cost firms more to motivate Democratic CEOs to engage in more tax sheltering activities because such decisions go against their political beliefs regarding tax policies.
Consequences of China’s Opening to Foreign Banks
Ran Li, Xiang Li, Wen Lei, Yiping Huang
L. Song, R. Garnaut, C. Fang, L. Johnston (eds.), China's Domestic Transformation in a Global Context. Acton: ANU Press,
China’s government has recently implemented additional reforms to relax the regulatory environment for foreign banks. Specifically, State Council Order No. 657, signed by Premier Li Keqiang, announced a decision to revise the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Administration of Foreign-Funded Banks, effective from 1 January 2015. Implications of the revised regulations include removal of the requirement that a minimum of RMB100 million operating capital be transferred unconditionally from the overseas parent bank to the newly opened Chinese branch. In addition, in terms of the conditions attached to the right to carry out RMB-denominated activity, foreign banks are now eligible to apply to undertake local currency business after operating in China for one year—down from the previous three years. The requirement for two consecutive years of profit will be scrapped as well.
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Bank Productivity and Internationalization Decisions
Claudia M. Buch, C. T. Koch, Michael Koetter
Journal of Banking and Finance,
Differences in firm-level productivity explain international activities of non-financial firms quite well. We test whether differences in bank productivity determine international activities of banks. Based on a dataset that allows tracking banks across countries and across different modes of foreign entry, we model the ordered probability of maintaining a commercial presence abroad and the volume of banks’ international assets empirically. Our research has three main findings. First, more productive banks are more likely to enter foreign markets in increasingly complex modes. Second, more productive banks also hold larger volumes of foreign assets. Third, higher risk aversion renders entry less likely, but it increases the volume of foreign activities conditional upon entry.
The Regional Distribution of Foreign Investment in Russia: Are Russians more Appealing to Multinationals as Consumers or as Natural Resource Holders?
K. Gonchar, Philipp Marek
Economics of Transition and Institutional Change,
This article conducts a plant-level study of the factors affecting foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to a large opening economy endowed with specific factor advantages. We conclude that the distribution of FDI in Russian regions depends on market access and can be most notably described by the knowledge-capital framework. Factor endowments built by natural resources are more successful in explaining the location decisions of export–platform affiliates. The impact of natural resources depends on how the availability of these resources is measured. The results reject the crowding out effects of resource FDI and prove co-location mode, when service investments are attracted to resource-rich regions. Labour cost advantages better explain the preferences of non-trading service affiliates.
Disentangling Barriers to Internationalization
C. Arndt, Claudia M. Buch, A. Mattes
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Recent literature on multinational firms has focused on low productivity as a barrier to the internationalization of firms. But labour market frictions or financial constraints may also hamper internationalization. In order to assess the importance of these barriers, we present new empirical evidence on the extensive and intensive margin of exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) based on micro-level data of German firms. First, we find a positive impact of firm size and productivity on firms’ international activities. Second, labour market frictions can constitute barriers to foreign activities. Third, self-reported financial constraints have no impact on firms’ internationalization decisions.
Agglomeration and FDI in East German Knowledge-intensive Business Services
The focus of this article is the empirical identification of factors influencing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) sector on the regional level of «Raumordnungsregionen» in East Germany. The analysis focuses on the impact of regional agglomeration and technological capability on the location decision of foreign investors and West German MNEs. It shows that localisation, patent activity and the share of employees with an R&D occupation affect significantly the location decision of FDI. This result provides an explanation for the strong concentration of KIBS in urban areas in a post-transition economy.
A Federal Long-run Projection Model for Germany
Oliver Holtemöller, Maike Irrek, Birgit Schultz
IWH Discussion Papers,
Many economic decisions implicitly or explicitly rely on a projection of the medium- or long-term economic development of a country or region. In this paper, we provide a federal long-run projection model for Germany and the German states. The model fea-tures a top-down approach and, as major contribution, uses error correction models to estimate the regional economic development dependent on the national projection. For the medium- and long-term projection of economic activity, we apply a production function approach. We provide a detailed robustness analysis by systematically varying assumptions of the model. Additionally, we explore the effects of different demographic trends on economic development.