Unions as Insurance: Workplace Unionization and Workers' Outcomes During COVID-19
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society,
Abstract We investigate to what extent workplace unionization protects workers from external shocks by preventing involuntary job separations. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a plausibly exogenous shock hitting the whole economy, we compare workers who worked in unionized and non-unionized workplaces directly before the pandemic in a difference-in-differences framework. We find that unionized workers were substantially more likely to remain working for their pre-COVID employer and to be in employment. This greater employment stability was not traded off against lower working hours or labor income.
Surges and Instability: The Maturity Shortening Channel
Journal of International Economics,
Capital inflow surges destabilize the economy through a maturity shortening mechanism. The underlying reason is that firms have incentives to redeem their debt on demand to accommodate the potential liquidity needs of global investors, which makes international borrowing endogenously fragile. Based on a theoretical model and empirical evidence at both the firm and macro levels, our main findings are twofold. First, a significant association exists between surges and shortened corporate debt maturity, especially for firms with foreign bank relationships and higher redeployability. Second, the probability of a crisis following surges with a flattened yield curve is significantly higher than that following surges without one. Our study suggests that debt maturity is the key to understand the financial instability consequences of capital inflow bonanzas.
Tracking Weekly State-Level Economic Conditions
Review of Economics and Statistics,
This paper develops a novel dataset of weekly economic conditions indices for the 50 U.S. states going back to 1987 based on mixed-frequency dynamic factor models with weekly, monthly, and quarterly variables that cover multiple dimensions of state economies. We find considerable cross-state heterogeneity in the length, depth, and timing of business cycles. We illustrate the usefulness of these state-level indices for quantifying the main contributors to the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for evaluating the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program. We also propose an aggregate indicator that gauges the overall weakness of the U.S. economy.
The Importance of Credit Demand for Business Cycle Dynamics
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper contributes to a better understanding of the important role that credit demand plays for credit markets and aggregate macroeconomic developments as both a source and transmitter of economic shocks. I am the first to identify a structural credit demand equation together with credit supply, aggregate supply, demand and monetary policy in a Bayesian structural VAR. The model combines informative priors on structural coefficients and multiple external instruments to achieve identification. In order to improve identification of the credit demand shocks, I construct a new granular instrument from regional mortgage origination.
I find that credit demand is quite elastic with respect to contemporaneous macroeconomic conditions, while credit supply is relatively inelastic. I show that credit supply and demand shocks matter for aggregate fluctuations, albeit at different times: credit demand shocks mostly drove the boom prior to the financial crisis, while credit supply shocks were responsible during and after the crisis itself. In an out-of-sample exercise, I find that the Covid pandemic induced a large expansion of credit demand in 2020Q2, which pushed the US economy towards a sustained recovery and helped to avoid a stagflationary scenario in 2022.
14.12.2023 • 30/2023
Exports and private consumption weak ‒ Germany is waiting for an economic upturn
In the winter of 2023/2024, the German economy is still in a downturn. Parts of industry have lost competitiveness, real incomes have fallen in 2023 due to inflation, and there is uncertainty about the course of fiscal policy. However, rising real incomes and a slight increase in exports should cause a pickup from spring onwards. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to fall by 0.3% in 2023 and to expand by 0.5% in 2024 (East Germany: +0.5% and +0.7%). In September, the IWH forecast had assumed a decline of 0.5% for Germany in 2023 and expected growth of 0.9% for the coming year.
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Konjunktur aktuell: Export und privater Konsum schwach – Deutschland wartet auf den Aufschwung
Die Weltwirtschaft verliert zum Ende des Jahres 2023 weiter an Schwung. Der durch den weltweiten Inflationsschub ausgelöste restriktive Schwenk der Geldpolitik drückt über höhere Finanzierungskosten vielerorts die Güternachfrage. Im nächsten Jahr dürfte die Weltwirtschaft wieder etwas anziehen. Die deutsche Wirtschaft ist nach Ende der Pandemie nicht wieder auf ihren alten Wachstumspfad zurückgekehrt. Das Verarbeitenden Gewerbe hat an Wettbewerbsfähigkeit eingebüßt, und die Weltnachfrage nach Industriegütern ist zurzeit schwach. Zudem ist die Inflation immer noch hoch, und die Realeinkommen sind längere Zeit über zurückgegangen. Die geldpolitische Straffung hat die Finanzierungsbedingungen verschlechtert, was besonders die Bauwirtschaft belastet. Das Bruttoinlandsprodukt wird 2023 wohl um 0,3% sinken und im kommenden Jahr um 0,5% expandieren.
28.09.2023 • 25/2023
The downturn in 2023 is milder in East Germany than in Germany as a whole – Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2023 and of Länder data from recent publications of the Statistical Offices
The German economy has been in a downturn for more than a year. In East Germany, however, the economy has been somewhat stronger in the past four quarters: According to the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), East German gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase by 0.5% in 2023, while production in Germany as a whole will fall by 0.6%. Next year, expansion rates of 1.3% are forecast in both the east and the west. For 2025, East German gross domestic product is expected to grow by 1.2%, which is slightly slower than in Germany as a whole (1.5%).
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28.09.2023 • 24/2023
Joint Economic Forecast 2/2023: Purchasing power returns ‒ political uncertainty high
According to the Joint Economic Forecast, Germany's gross domestic product declines by 0.6% in 2023. This is a strong downward revision of 0.9 percentage points from the forecast made in spring 2023. "The most important reason for this revision is that industry and private consumption are recovering more slowly than we expected in spring," says Oliver Holtemöller, Vice President and Head of the Macroeconomics Department at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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07.09.2023 • 23/2023
The German economy continues its downturn
High inflation, increased interest rates, weak foreign demand and uncertainty among private households and firms are currently weighing on the German economy. In its autumn forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 0.5% in 2023 and to increase by 0.9% in 2024.
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