25.01.2021 • 2/2021
High public deficits not only due to the pandemic – Medium-term options for fiscal policy
According to the IWH’s medium-term projection, Germany's gross domestic product will grow more slowly between 2020 and 2025 than before, not only because of the pandemic crisis, but also because the work force will decline. The resulting structural public deficits are, if the legal framework remains unchanged, likely to be higher than the debt brake allows. Consolidation measures, especially if they relate to government revenues, entail economic losses in the short term. “There is much to be said, also from a theoretical point of view, for not abolishing the debt brake, but for relaxing it to some extent,” says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department of Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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High public deficit not only because of Corona - Medium-term options for action for the state
According to the IWH's medium-term projection, Germany's gross domestic product will grow by an average of ½% in price-adjusted terms in the years to 2025, which is 1 percentage point slower than in the period from 2013 to 2019. This is due not only to the sharp slump in 2020, but also to the fact that the labour force will decline noticeably. Government revenues will be expanding much more slowly than in previous years. Even after the pandemic crisis is overcome, the state budget is likely to have a structural deficit of about 2% relative to GDP if the legal framework remains unchanged, and the debt brake will continue to be violated. Consolidation measures to reduce this deficit ratio to ½ % would push production in Germany below the normal rate of capacity utilization. Simulations with the IWH fiscal policy model show that consolidation on the expenditure side would reduce production by less than consolidation on the revenue side. There is much to be said, also from a theoretical point of view, for not abolishing the debt brake, but for relaxing it to some extent.
To Securitise or to Price Credit Default Risk?
IWH Discussion Papers,
We evaluate if lenders price or securitise mortgages to mitigate credit risk. Exploiting exogenous variation in regional credit risk created by differences in foreclosure law along US state borders, we find that financial institutions respond to the law in heterogeneous ways. In the agency market where Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) provide implicit loan guarantees, lenders transfer credit risk using securitisation and do not price credit risk into mortgage contracts. In the non-agency market, where there is no such guarantee, lenders increase interest rates as they are unable to shift credit risk to loan purchasers. The results inform the debate about the design of loan guarantees, the common interest rate policy, and show that underpricing regional credit risk leads to an increase in the GSEs‘ debt holdings by $79.5 billion per annum, exposing taxpayers to preventable losses in the housing market.
16.06.2020 • 9/2020
The economy adapts to the pandemic
In the first half of 2020, the pandemic has exacted a heavy toll on the German economy, causing a slump in production that will not be fully recovered within the next year. According to IWH summer economic forecast, gross domestic product is expected to contract by 5.1% in 2020 and to increase by 3.2% in 2021. The decline in production in Eastern Germany is likely to be less pronounced compared to Germany as a whole and estimated at 3.2% in 2020.
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08.04.2020 • 5/2020
Economy in Shock – Fiscal Policy to Counteract
The coronavirus pandemic is triggering a severe recession in Germany. Economic output will shrink by 4.2% this year. This is what the leading economics research institutes expect in their spring report. For next year, they are forecasting a recovery and growth of 5.8%.
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High Public Deficits not only due to the Pandemic – Options for Fiscal Policy According to the IWH’s medium-term...
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Private Debt, Public Debt, and Capital Misallocation
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
Does finance facilitate efficient allocation of resources? Our aim in this paper is to find out whether increases in private and public indebtedness affect capital misallocation, which is measured as the dispersion in the return to capital across firms in different industries. For this, we use a novel dataset containing industrylevel data for 18 European countries and control for different macroeconomic indicators as potential determinants of capital misallocation. We exploit the within-country variation across industries in such indicators as external finance dependence, technological intensity, credit constraints and competitive structure, and find that private debt accumulation disproportionately increases capital misallocation in industries with higher financial dependence, higher R&D intensity, a larger share of credit-constrained firms and a lower level of competition. On the other hand, we fail to find any significant and robust effect of public debt on capital misallocation within our country-sector pairs. We believe the distortionary effects of private debt found in our analysis needs a deeper theoretical investigation.