The Social Capital Legacy of Communism-results from the Berlin Wall Experiment
European Journal of Political Economy,
In this paper we establish a direct link between the communist history, the resulting structure of social capital, and attitudes toward spatial mobility. We argue that the communist regime induced a specific social capital mix that discouraged geographic mobility even after its demise. Theoretically, we integrate two branches of the social capital literature into one more comprehensive framework distinguishing an open type and a closed type of social capital. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) we take advantage of the natural experiment that separated Germany into two parts after the WWII to identify the causal effect of social capital on mobility. We estimate a three equation ordered probit model and provide strong empirical evidence for our theoretical propositions.
Towards a Europeanization of Wage Bargaining? Evidence from the Metal Sector
European Journal of Industrial Relations,
European trade unions have attempted to coordinate their bargaining strategies transnationally in order to counter downward pressures on wages. Such coordination is most feasible in broadly integrated and exposed sectors that have to face common competitive constraints on wages. This article investigates collectively negotiated wage increases in the metal sector in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. We assume a specific logic of transnational pattern bargaining, with Germany as the ‘anchor’ country. We investigate the emergence of a transnational wage coordination effect before and after institutions for the coordination of wage bargaining were established. Finally, we draw conclusions on prospects for wage bargaining coordination with further integration of Economic and Monetary Union.
Financial Factors in Macroeconometric Models
The important role of credit has long been identified as a key factor for economic development (see e.g. Wicksell (1898), Keynes (1931), Fisher (1933) and Minsky (1957, 1964)). Even before the financial crisis most researchers and policy makers agreed that financial frictions play an important role for business cycles and that financial turmoils can result in severe economic downturns (see e.g. Mishkin (1978), Bernanke (1981, 1983), Diamond (1984), Calomiris (1993) and Bernanke and Gertler (1995)). However, in practice researchers and policy makers mostly used simplified models for forecasting and simulation purposes. They often neglected the impact of financial frictions and emphasized other non financial market frictions when analyzing business cycle fluctuations (prominent exceptions include Kiyotaki and Moore (1997), Bernanke, Gertler, and Gilchrist (1999) and Christiano, Motto, and Rostagno (2010)). This has been due to the fact that most economic downturns did not seem to be closely related to financial market failures (see Eichenbaum (2011)). The outbreak of the subprime crises ― which caused panic in financial markets and led to the default of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 ― then led to a reconsideration of such macroeconomic frameworks (see Caballero (2010) and Trichet (2011)). To address the economic debate from a new perspective, it is therefore necessary to integrate the relevant frictions which help to explain what we have experienced during recent years.
In this thesis, I analyze different ways to incorporate relevant frictions and financial variables in macroeconometric models. I discuss the potential consequences for standard statistical inference and macroeconomic policy. I cover three different aspects in this work. Each aspect presents an idea in a self-contained unit. The following paragraphs present more detail on the main topics covered.
FDI Micro Database – Methodological Note – Survey 2012 in East Germany
With the integration of post-communist countries into the European and global economy
after 1990, there was strong research interest into the role of multinational enterprises
(MNEs) for economic restructuring and technological catching-up. Most of the existing
empirical studies on locational determinants of FDI and host country effects did not take
account of East Germany. This might be for different reasons: Firstly, theoretical and
empirical difficulties derive from the fact that East Germany followed a distinct transition
pattern as it became a region subsumed in a larger and more mature economy. Secondly,
East Germany received private investment from foreign as well as West German firms. Only
the first can be considered as a foreign direct investment (FDI). Finally, there had long been
a lack of micro data to adequately analyse the activities of corresponding firms from a
production as well as technological perspective.
Internationalisation Theory and Technological Accumulation - An Investigation of Multinational Affiliates in East Germany
Studies in Economic Transition,
The integration of post-communist countries into the European and global economy after 1990 has led to a renewed interest in the role of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in economic restructuring and technological development. This book explains the expansion of MNEs into a transition economy from the technology accumulation perspective. Key assumptions of the technological accumulation approach towards firms' internationalisation are tested, using the examples of foreign and West German MNEs in East Germany. The effects of technological externalities on MNE location choice are analysed, in addition to an exploration of the factors driving the location of foreign affiliates' research and development (R&D) and innovation activities. The book provides a novel and comprehensive empirical approach to assess the developmental role of MNEs, deriving significant economic policy implications for transition and emerging economies.
Can Korea Learn from German Unification?
IWH Discussion Papers,
We first analyze pre-unification similarities and differences between the two Germanys and the two Koreas in terms of demographic, social, political and economic status. An important issue is the degree of international openness. “Stone-age” type communism of North Korea and the seclusion of the population prevented inner-Korean contacts and contacts with rest of the world. This may create enormous adjustment costs if institutions, especially informal institutions, change. We go on by showing how transition and integration interact in a potential unification process based on the World Bank Revised Minimum Standard Model (RMSM) and on the Salter-Swan-Meade model. In doing so, we relate the macro and external impacts on an open economy to its macro-sectoral structural dynamics. The findings suggest that it is of utmost importance to relate microeconomic policies to the macroeconomic ties and side conditions for both parts of the country. Evidence from Germany suggests that the biggest general error in unification was neglecting these limits, especially limitations to policy instruments. Econometric analysis supports these findings. In the empirical part, we consider unification as an “investment” and track down the (by-and-large immediate to medium-term) costs and the (by-and-large long-term) benefits of retooling a retarded communist economy. We conclude that, from a South-Korean
perspective, the Korean unification will become relatively much more expensive than the German unification and, thus, not only economic, but to a much larger degree political considerations must include the tying of neighboring countries into the convergence process. We finally provide, 62 years after Germany’s division and 20 years after unification, an outlook on the strength of economic inertia in order to show that it may take much more than a generation to compensate the damage inflicted by the communist system.