07.09.2021 • 22/2021
IWH Bankruptcy Update: Ongoing Decline in Bankruptcy Statistics
After hitting an all-time low in July, the number of firms declaring bankruptcy in Germany fell yet again in August. A new low was also registered in the number of impacted jobs. These are the headline findings of the IWH Bankruptcy Report, published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), which provides a monthly update on German bankruptcy statistics.
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Productivity: More with Less by Better Available resources are scarce. To sustain our...
Connecting to Power: Political Connections, Innovation, and Firm Dynamics
NBER Working Paper,
How do political connections affect firm dynamics, innovation, and creative destruction? To answer this question, we build a firm dynamics model, where we allow firms to invest in innovation and/or political connection to advance their productivity and to overcome certain market frictions. Our model generates a number of theoretical testable predictions and highlights a new interaction between static gains and dynamic losses from rent-seeking in aggregate productivity. We test the predictions of our model using a brand-new dataset on Italian firms and their workers, spanning the period from 1993 to 2014, where we merge: (i) firm-level balance sheet data; (ii) social security data on the universe of workers; (iii) patent data from the European Patent Office; (iv) the national registry of local politicians; and (v) detailed data on local elections in Italy. We find that firm-level political connections are widespread, especially among large firms, and that industries with a larger share of politically connected firms feature worse firm dynamics. We identify a leadership paradox: when compared to their competitors, market leaders are much more likely to be politically connected, but much less likely to innovate. In addition, political connections relate to a higher rate of survival, as well as growth in employment and revenue, but not in productivity – a result that we also confirm using a regression discontinuity design.
Creative Destruction and Subjective Well-being
American Economic Review,
In this paper we analyze the relationship between turnover-driven growth and subjective well-being. Our model of innovation-led growth and unemployment predicts that: (i) the effect of creative destruction on expected individual welfare should be unambiguously positive if we control for unemployment, less so if we do not; (ii) job creation has a positive and job destruction has a negative impact on well-being; (iii) job destruction has a less negative impact in areas with more generous unemployment insurance policies; and (iv) job creation has a more positive effect on individuals that are more forward-looking. The empirical analysis using cross sectional MSA (metropolitan statistical area)-level and individual-level data provide empirical support to these predictions.
The Schumpeterian Growth Paradigm
Annual Review of Economics,
In this review, we argue that the Schumpeterian growth paradigm, which models growth as resulting from innovations involving creative destruction, sheds light on several aspects of the growth process that cannot be properly addressed by alternative theories. We focus on three important aspects for which Schumpeterian growth theory delivers predictions that distinguish it from other growth models, namely, (a) the role of competition and market structure, (b) firm dynamics, and (c) the relationship between growth and development.
Lessons from Schumpeterian Growth Theory
American Economic Review,
By operationalizing the notion of creative destruction, Schumpeterian growth theory generates distinctive predictions on important microeconomic aspects of the growth process (competition, firm dynamics, firm size distribution, cross-firm and cross-sector reallocation) which can be confronted using rich micro data. In this process the theory helps reconcile growth with industrial organization and development economics.
What Do We Learn from Schumpeterian Growth Theory?
P. Aghion, S. N. Durlauf (eds.), Handbook of Economic Growth, Volume 2B, Amsterdam: North Holland,
Schumpeterian growth theory has operationalized Schumpeter’s notion of creative destruction by developing models based on this concept. These models shed light on several aspects of the growth process that could not be properly addressed by alternative theories. In this survey, we focus on four important aspects, namely: (i) the role of competition and market structure; (ii) firm dynamics; (iii) the relationship between growth and development with the notion of appropriate growth institutions; and (iv) the emergence and impact of long-term technological waves. In each case, Schumpeterian growth theory delivers predictions that distinguish it from other growth models and which can be tested using micro data.