Economic Transition in Unified Germany and Implications for Korea
H.-G. Jeong and G. Heimpold (eds.): Economic Transition in Unified Germany and Implications for Korea. Policy References 17-13. Sejong: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy,
The reunification of Germany, which marked the end of the Cold War in the 20th century, is regarded as one of the most exemplary cases of social integration in human history. Nearly three decades after the German reunification, the economic and social shocks that occurred at the beginning of the reunification process have largely been resolved. Moreover, the unified Germany has grown into one of the most advanced economies in the world.
The unification process that Germany underwent may not necessarily be the way that the Republic of Korea would choose. However, the economic and social exchanges between East and West Germany prior to unification, and the cooperation in a myriad of policies based on these exchanges, served as the crucial foundation for unification. The case of Germany will surely help us find a better way for the re-unification of the Korean Peninsula.
In this context, this is the first edition of a joint research which provides diverse insights on social and economic issues during the process of unification. It consists of nine chapters whose main topics include policies on macroeconomic stabilization, the privatization of state-owned enterprises in East Germany, labor policies and the migration of labor, integration of the social safety nets of the North and South, and securing finances for reunification. To start with, the first part covers macroeconomic stabilization measures, which include policies implemented by the federal government of Germany to overcome macroeconomic shocks directly after the reunification. There was a temporary setback in the economy at the initial phase of reunification as the investment per GDP went down and the level of fiscal debt escalated, reverting to its original trend prior to the reunification. While it appears the momentum for growth was compromised by reunification from the perspective of growth rate of real GDP, this state did not last long and benefits have outpaced the costs since 2000.
In the section which examines the privatization of state-owned enterprises in East Germany, an analysis was conducted on the modernization of industrial infrastructure of East German firms. There was a surge in investment in East German area at the beginning stages but this was focused on a specific group of firms. Most of the firms were privatized through unofficial channels, with a third of these conducted in a management buy-out (MBO) process that was highly effective. Further analysis of a firm called Jenoptik, which was successfully bailed out, is incorporated as to draw implications of its accomplishments.
In the section on migration, we examine how the gap between the unemployment rates in the West and East have narrowed as the population flow shifted from the West to East. Consequently, there was no significant deviation in terms of the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) per capita in each state of East Germany. However, as the labor market stabilized in East Germany and population flows have weakened, the deviation will become larger. Meanwhile, if we make a prediction about the movement of population between the North and the South, which show a remarkable difference in their economic circumstances, a radical reunification process such as Germany’s case would force 7% of the population of the North to move towards the South. Upon reunification, the estimated unemployment rate in North Korea would remain at least 30% for the time being. In order to reduce the initial unemployment rate, it is crucial to design a program that trains the unemployed and to build a system that predicts changes in labor demand.
It seems nearly impossible to apply the social safety nets of the South to the North, as there is a systemic difference in ideologies. Taking steps toward integration would be the most suitable option in the case of the Koreas. We propose to build a sound groundwork for stabilizing the interest rates and exchange rates, maintain stable fiscal policies, raise momentum for economic growth and make sure people understand the means required to financially support the North in order to reduce the gap between the two.
This book was jointly organized and edited by Dr. Hyung-gon Jeong of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) and Dr. Gerhard Heimpold of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). We believe that this report, which examines numerous social and economic agendas that emerged during the reunification of Germany, will provide truly important reference for both Koreas. It is also our view that it will serve as a stepping-stone to establish policies in regard to South-North exchanges across numerous sectors prior to discussions of reunification. KIEP will continue to work with IWH and contribute its expertise to the establishment of grounds for unification policies.
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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The Impacts of Intellectual Property Rights Protection on Cross-Border M&As
Quarterly Journal of Finance,
We investigate the impacts of improved intellectual property rights (IPR) protection on cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions performance. Using multiple measures of IPR protection and based on generalized difference-in-differences estimates, we find that countries with better IPR protection attract significantly more hi-tech cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions activity, particularly in developing economies. Moreover, acquirers pay higher premiums for companies in countries with better IPR protection, and there is a significantly higher acquirer announcement effect associated with these hi-tech transactions.
How Do Political Factors Shape the Bank Risk-Sovereign Risk Nexus in Emerging Markets?
Review of Development Economics,
This paper studies the role of political factors for determining the impact of banking sector distress on sovereign bond yield spreads for a sample of 19 emerging market economies in the period 1994–2013. Using interaction models, I find that the adverse impact of banking sector distress on sovereign solvency is less pronounced for countries with a high degree of political stability, a high level of power sharing within the government coalition, a low level of political constraint within the political system, and for countries run by powerful and effective governments. The electoral cycle pronounces the bank risk–sovereign risk transfer.
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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Do Local Banking Market Structures Matter for SME Financing and Performance? New Evidence from an Emerging Economy
Journal of Banking and Finance,
This paper investigates the relationship between local banking structures and SMEs’ access to debt and performance. Using a unique dataset on bank branch locations in Poland and firm-, county-, and bank-level data, we conclude that a strong position for local cooperative banks facilitates access to bank financing, lowers financial costs, boosts investments, and favours growth for SMEs. Moreover, counties in which cooperative banks hold a strong position are characterized by a more rapid pace of new firm creation. The opposite effects appear in the majority of cases for local banking markets dominated by foreign-owned banks. Consequently, our findings are important from a policy perspective because they show that foreign bank entry and industry consolidation may raise valid concerns for SME prospects in emerging economies.
Taking the Leap: The Determinants of Entrepreneurs Hiring Their First Employee
Journal of Economics and Management Strategy,
Job creation is one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship, but we know relatively little about the hiring patterns and decisions of start‐ups. Longitudinal data from the Integrated Longitudinal Business Database (iLBD), Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS), and the Growing America through Entrepreneurship (GATE) experiment are used to provide some of the first evidence in the literature on the determinants of taking the leap from a nonemployer to employer firm among start‐ups. Several interesting patterns emerge regarding the dynamics of nonemployer start‐ups hiring their first employee. Hiring rates among the universe of nonemployer start‐ups are very low, but increase when the population of nonemployers is focused on more growth‐oriented businesses such as incorporated and employer identification number businesses. If nonemployer start‐ups hire, the bulk of hiring occurs in the first few years of existence. After this point in time, relatively few nonemployer start‐ups hire an employee. Focusing on more growth‐ and employment‐oriented start‐ups in the KFS, we find that Asian‐owned and Hispanic‐owned start‐ups have higher rates of hiring their first employee than white‐owned start‐ups. Female‐owned start‐ups are roughly 10 percentage points less likely to hire their first employee by the first, second, and seventh years after start‐up. The education level of the owner, however, is not found to be associated with the probability of hiring an employee. Among business characteristics, we find evidence that business assets and intellectual property are associated with hiring the first employee. Using data from the largest random experiment providing entrepreneurship training in the United States ever conducted, we do not find evidence that entrepreneurship training increases the likelihood that nonemployers hire their first employee.
18.10.2016 • 46/2016
No Sign of Price Distortions – Lack of Evidence for Effects of US Bank Bailouts
There has been much political and public controversy surrounding the very large rescue packages offered to the banking sector in the course of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009. The aim of the packages was to stabilise the financial sector and, therefore, the development of the real economy. The downsides of these bailouts were the enormous financial cost to the taxpayer, increased assumption of risk by the government and possible distortive effects on competition in the banking market – since not all banks were given financial support. Researchers at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association led by Professor Felix Noth have now studied the long-term, indirect and possible market-distorting effects of the US rescue packages.
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