Germany’s “Bazaar-economy” After the Financial and Economic Crisis
Klaus Voy (Ed.): Außenhandel und Globalisierung in gesamtwirtschaftlicher Sicht. Marburg: Metropolis,
Because of its huge dependence on the world markets, Germany’s economy was strongly hit by the financal and economic crisis in 2008/2009. Applying the input-output model, the paper deals with the net-impact of the export shock on value added and employment in Germany.
Produktivitätsunterschiede zwischen West- und Ostdeutschland und mögliche Erklärungsfaktoren. Ergebnisse aus dem IAB-Betriebspanel 2016
After several years of prosperity, the economic situation of German establishments improved further in 2016. Though the productivity in East German establishments converged slightly to the West German level, a significant productivity gap between both parts of Germany still remains. Differences in the economic structure can only explain a small part of this persistent gap: a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition suggests that the different sector composition, lower exports and lower capital intensity of East German establishments explain only about one-fifth of the backlog. The observed positive economic development is associated with a further increase in firm profitability and total employment in the establishments in both parts of Germany. It is reflected also in a further increase in the demand for skilled personnel. Even though the majority of the demand could be met in 2016, one-third of all offered jobs remained vacant. As in the past, especially establishments in construction and business services as well as very small establishments, particularly in East Germany, faced considerable recruitment problems. The occupational skill requirements increased slightly over time. The proportion of jobs for skilled workers is on average higher in East German establishments than in West Germany, suggesting a higher formal qualification level of employees in East Germany. Looking at the personnel structure, a significant increase in the share of atypical employment, particularly part-time jobs and marginal employment, over the last years become visible. The participation of establishments in vocational training remains relatively stable: about half of the enterprises that are authorized to provide vocational training do actually train apprentices. However, the corresponding fraction in East Germany is significantly lower since the economic crisis. In contrast, the share of vacant apprenticeship positions there is much higher than in West German establishments, pointing to major problems in finding suitable applicants. The share of employees participating in further training is about one third for several years. As in the past workers in low-skilled occupations participate only about half as often in training as employees in qualified jobs.
14.12.2017 • 39/2017
Cyclical upswing in Germany and in the world
At the turn of the year, the cyclical upswing in Germany continues. Gross domestic product is expected to increase by 2.2% in 2017, and because this year has seen significantly fewer working days than before, the rate of change amounts, adjusted for calendar effects, to even 2.5%. “The upswing is broad-based”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president. “For quite a long time now, significant increases in employment have been driving private incomes, consumption and housing construction. The latter was, in addition, stimulated by low interest rates.” Currently, German exports are benefiting from the vivid international economy. Not least since monetary policy in the euro area remains expansionary for the time being, we expect the upturn to continue in 2018 and production to increase again by 2.2%. Consumer price inflation is, with 1.7%, still moderate in both 2017 and 2018. Although domestic price pressures are on the rise, the effects of the energy price increase in 2017 expire in 2018, and the appreciation of the euro in the summer of 2017 will dampen price dynamics.
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09.08.2017 • 29/2017
Networked and protected
During the financial crisis, billions were spent to rescue banks that were according to their governments too big to be allowed to fail. But a study by Michael Koetter from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) and co-authors shows that besides the size of the banks, the centrality within the global financial network was also pivotal for financial institutions to receive a bail-out.
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06.07.2017 • 28/2017
Politicians share responsibility for the risk of their state defaulting
Investors assume higher risks of default when a country is politically unstable or governed by a party at the left or right end of the political spectrum. However, according to findings obtained by Stefan Eichler from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the more democratic the country is and the more it is integrated into the global economy, the lower is the impact that such political factors have.
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Expertise in the Political Process — Benefits, Limits and Risks
Since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis, confidence in politicians as well as the economists in their advisory expert panels seems to be at an all-time low. Why do politicians reject science-based advice unless it fits into their political agenda? Are economists misunderstood by politicians and vice versa? The tension between the ideal of evidence-based policy-making and the reality of policy-based evidence-making is hardly a new phenomenon. Therefore, the expectation that Donald Trump, the Brexiteers and European populists will necessarily disappoint their voters because they simply cannot deliver what they have promised is misleading. Experts would be well advised to use the debate on the post-factual era as an impetus to reflect critically on their profession. One opinion expressed in this Zeitgespräch is that the contested societal and political impact of modern economics is due to its restricted scientific self-concept. A more open, pluralistic and transdisciplinary self-definition of economics would strengthen its societal influence. Another contributor ponders the proper incentives to persuade academic economists to provide economic policy advice. Key is the independence of advisory institutions like the German Council of Economic Experts. The selection of people with the best scientific qualifications will ensure the reputation of such institutions.
24.04.2017 • 22/2017
Higher capital requirements: It’s the firms that end up suffering
61 European banks were scheduled to increase their capital cover by 2012 to provide a sufficient buffer for future crises. As the study by the research group chaired by Reint E. Gropp at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows, the banks did implement these requirements – not by raising their levels of equity, but by reducing their credit supply. This resulted in lower firm, investment, and sales growth for firms which obtained a larger share of their bank credit from these banks.
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