26.11.2015 • 43/2015
Political lendings of German Savings Banks
A recent paper of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) suggests that German local politicians take advantage of their influence on the credit decisions of German savings banks. “German savings banks on average increase the supply of commercial loans by €7.6 million in the year of a local election”, says IWH president Reint E. Gropp. Loans that the savings banks generate during election years also perform worse and lead to lower interest income. The results suggest that local politicians take advantage of savings banks to further their chances of re-election.
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24.09.2015 • 38/2015
German Households Benefit from Low Interest Environment
Calculations of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association show that the average household in Germany has benefited from the low policy rate environment. The average return on their portfolio was higher than in the pre-crisis period while at the same time, they benefited from lower interest on new loans. Households in Germany had a total Euro benefit of more than 364 billion Euro over a five-year period relative to 2003 to 2007. Increases in stock prices and real estate prices over-compensate lower interest rates on savings accounts, despite their relatively low share in households’ portfolios. There are benefits across the income distribution. Households that do not own real estate lost though, but their losses are very small at on average about 100 Euro per year.
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Stochastic Income Statement Planning as a Basis for Risk Assessment in the Context of Emissions Trading
Greenhouse Gas Measurement and Management,
The introduction of the European emissions trading system means that those enterprises taking part have a new planning risk factor to consider – emissions allowance prices. In this article, we analyse how risk emerging from emissions trading can be considered in the stochastic income statement planning of corporations. Therefore, we explore which planned figures are affected by emissions trading. Moreover, we show an approach that models these positions in a planned profit and loss account, taking into account uncertainties and dependencies. Consequently, this model provides a basis for risk assessment and investment decisions in the uncertain environment of emissions trading.
Investment Grants: Which Requirements Should be Fulfilled?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Since the year 1969 the German government has applied investment grants to improve regional economic development of disadvantaged regions. The support of eligible firms shall enhance its investment activities. Such activities may force a sustainable development of the respective region. One requirement – amongst others – for the grant of this investment support scheme is the firm’s verification of supra-regional sales. The gains resulting from the firms’ export activities lead to additional income for that region, and this stimulates multiplicative (reinforcing) regional income processes. Since the German reunification this instrument has been applied in the new federal states, too. Due to the fact that structural deficits still exist in East Germany investment grants are adopted primarily in the new federal states. Today, some policy decision makers think that the catching-up process of disadvantaged regions is not fast enough. Against this background, the further application of investment grants is discussed controversially. Some criticism tends to the criterion of supra-regional sales. It has been argued that particularly small firms are excluded from this support scheme. However, small firms are considered as key players for regional economic activities. Moreover, firms which are highly integrated in international markets depend on world trade cycles and that might be risky for the respective region. Finally, critics believe that regional actors should be boosted in order to strengthen regional identities in terms of regional buyer-supplier-networks. This article shows that policy decision makers should maintain the criterion of supra-regional sales. Particularly, regions with a loss of inhabitants need gains from supra-regional sales to stabilise their local purchasing power. Otherwise, these regions are strongly dependent on transfer flows stemming from other regions. Beyond that, supra-regional sales indicate the firm’s international competitiveness. Finally, the most important argument for supra-regional sale might be linkages to supra-regional knowledge flows which strongly affect the region’s innovative capabilities.
Stochastic Income Statement Planning and Emissions Trading
IWH Discussion Papers,
Since the introduction of the European CO2 emissions trading system (EU ETS), the
development of CO2 allowance prices is a new risk factor for enterprises taking part in this system. In this paper, we analyze how risk emerging from emissions trading can be considered in the stochastic profit and loss planning of corporations. Therefore we explore which planned figures are affected by emissions trading. Moreover, we show a way to model these positions in a planned profit and loss account accounting for uncertainties and dependencies. Consequently, this model provides a basis for risk assessment and investment decisions in the uncertain environment of CO2 emissions trading.
From District Capital to State Capital: What are the Consequences of Rebuilding the East German States for the System of Cities?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
20 years after the German unification, one may ask what consequences for the system of East German cities follow from the changes of the institutional framework. It may be expected that gains or losses of a location in the hierarchy of central places significantly affect the outcome of economic activity as well as the accumulation of – particularly human – capital. The reorganisation of countries on the territory of the former GDR that has elevated five former district capitals to the status of state capitals while the other ones became urban municipalities has created a model case whose implications were investigated by the IWH. The main objective was to identify a pattern of group formation within the former district capitals on the basis of socioeconomic indicators that coincides with the subgroups out of them with and without the status of a capital state. By means of cluster analysis, we have found that already from 1995 to 2000, differences between both groups with regard to income, structure of employment, human capital, and other indicators were significantly. In the period from 2002 to 2007, the spread of income is growing not only between both groups but also within the group of state capitals, dividing their cluster. We can conclude that the allocation of political institutions of higher centrality has influence on local economic development.
A Minimum Wage of 7.50 Euro per Hour Does Particularly Affect Jobs in Business Related Services
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In the present public debate on the implementation of a minimum wage, different proposals concerning its design and level are discussed. Often, a minimum wage of 7.50 euro per hour is mentioned. Thereby, it is widely unknown how many employees do earn less than 7.50 euro per hour in different branches. Their jobs could be affected by the introduction of a minimum wage. By means of data of the German Socio-Economic Panels Study, it can be shown that the shares of the low-income earners are considerably high in some branches. Especially in Eastern Germany, in branches like retail trades as well as business related services many employees earn less than 7.50 euro per hour. Wage increases on the demanded minimum level would probably cause employment losses in these labour-intensive branches.