24.06.2016 • 26/2016
UK’s “No” to EU will be costly for both sides
On Thursday 23rd, the British people have decided to leave the European Union (EU) Their vote not to remain in the European community was surprisingly clear. UK’s exit will have both political and economic consequences which are far-reaching for the country itself as well as the rest of Europe. “The reactions of the remaining member states are the crucial key now, especially France’s and Germany’s” says Reint E. Gropp, President of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association.
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How Selective Are Real Wage Cuts? A Micro-analysis Using Linked Employer–Employee Data
LABOUR: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations,
Using linked employer–employee panel data for Germany, we investigate whether firms implement real wage reductions in a selective manner. In line with insider–outsider and several strands of efficiency wage theory, we find strong evidence for selective wage cuts with high-productivity workers being spared even when controlling for permanent differences in firms' wage policies. In contrast to some recent contributions stressing fairness considerations, we also find that wage cuts increase wage dispersion among peers rather than narrowing it. Notably, the same selectivity pattern shows up when restricting our analysis to firms covered by collective agreements or having a works council.
The Levelling Effect of Product Market Competition on Gender Wage Discrimination
IZA Journal of Labor Economics,
Using linked employer–employee panel data for West Germany that include direct information on the competition faced by plants, we investigate the effect of product market competition on the gender pay gap. Controlling for match fixed effects, we find that intensified competition significantly lowers the unexplained gap in plants with neither collective agreements nor a works council. Conversely, there is no effect in plants with these types of worker codetermination, which are unlikely to have enough discretion to adjust wages in the short run. We also document a larger competition effect in plants with few females in their workforces. Our findings are in line with Beckerian taste-based employer wage discrimination that is limited by competitive forces.
Labor Demand During the Crisis: What Happened in Germany?
IZA. Discussion Paper No. 6074,
In Germany, the employment response to the post-2007 crisis has been muted compared to other industrialized countries. Despite a large drop in output, employment has hardly changed. In this paper, we analyze the determinants of German firms’ labor demand during the crisis using a firm-level panel dataset. Our analysis proceeds in two steps. First, we estimate a dynamic labor demand function for the years 2000-2009 accounting for the degree of working time flexibility and the presence of works councils. Second, on the basis of these
estimates, we use the difference between predicted and actual employment as a measure of labor hoarding as the dependent variable in a cross-sectional regression for 2009. Apart from total labor hoarding, we also look at the determinants of subsidized labor hoarding through short-time work. The structural characteristics of firms using these channels of adjustment differ. Product market competition has a negative impact on total labor hoarding but a positive effect on the use of short-time work. Firm covered by collective agreements hoard less labor overall; firms without financial frictions use short-time work less intensively.
The (never) ending story of the truck toll system – a contract theory view
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
After long-lasting negotiations, representatives of the Federal Government and the consortium Toll Collect signed a 17,000 pages contract on 20 September, 2002. It was fixed that Toll Collect had to develop and afterwards operate a system for the automatic collection of a satellite-supported distance-based truck toll until the end of August 2003. However, technical difficulties in the development of the new system led to delays to an unexpected extent. In this article, it is examined whether the results of the renegotiations that followed were consistent to the economics of contract theory. It can be shown that both contracting parties were bound to the contractual relation, so that the preliminary termination of the contract by the Federal Minister of Transport on 17 February, 2004 became void by an agreement only few days later. Additionally, it could be identified that the contract set correct incentives for both parties, Federal Government and Toll Collect, and covered the possibility of efficient renegotiation.