Employment Effects of Introducing a Minimum Wage: The Case of Germany
Income inequality has been a major concern of economic policy makers for several years. Can minimum wages help to mitigate inequality? In 2015, the German government introduced a nationwide statutory minimum wage to reduce income inequality by improving the labour income of low-wage employees. However, the employment effects of wage increases depend on time and region specific conditions and, hence, they cannot be known in advance. Because negative employment effects may offset the income gains for low-wage employees, it is important to evaluate minimum-wage policies empirically. We estimate the employment effects of the German minimum-wage introduction using panel regressions on the state-industry-level. We find a robust negative effect of the minimum wage on marginal and a robust positive effect on regular employment. In terms of the number of jobs, our results imply a negative overall effect. Hence, low-wage employees who are still employed are better off at the expense of those who have lost their jobs due to the minimum wage.
Bank Accounting Regulations, Enforcement Mechanisms, and Financial Statement Informativeness: Cross-country Evidence
Accounting and Business Research,
We construct measures of accounting regulations and enforcement mechanisms that are specific to a country's banking industry. Using a sample of major banks in 37 economies, we find that the informativeness of banks’ financial statements, measured by the value relevance of earnings and common equity, is higher in countries with stricter bank accounting regulations and countries with stronger enforcement. These findings suggest that superior bank accounting and enforcement mechanisms enhance the informativeness of banks’ financial statements. In addition, we find that the effects of bank accounting regulations are more pronounced in countries with stronger enforcement in the banking industry, suggesting that enforcement is complementary to bank accounting regulations in achieving higher value relevance of financial statements. Our study has important policy implications for bank regulators.
Spillovers of Asset Purchases Within the Real Sector: Win-Win or Joy and Sorrow?
IWH Discussion Papers,
Events which have an adverse or positive effect on some firms can disseminate through the economy to firms which are not directly affected. By exploiting the first large sovereign bond purchase programme of the ECB, this paper investigates whether more lending to some firms spill over to firms in the surroundings of direct beneficiaries. Firms operating in the same industry and region invest less and reduce employment. The paper shows the importance to consider spillover effects when assessing unconventional monetary policies: Differences between treatment and control groups can be entirely attributed to negative effects on the control group.
Industry in Recession — Growth Forces Dwindle
The leading German economic research institutes have revised their economic forecast for Germany significantly downwards. The reasons for the weak development are the declining global demand for capital goods, which the German economy specialises in exporting, political uncertainty and structural changes in the automotive industry. Fiscal policy, on the other hand, is supporting macroeconomic expansion. Future development depends to a large extent on whether the trade conflicts can be resolved and how Brexit is structured.
05.09.2019 • 18/2019
Downturn in Germany continues
Trade disputes are causing international trade in goods to decline this year. The manufacturing industry in Germany is particularly affected by this. However, a robust labour market is supporting the economy. According to IWH autumn economic forecast, German gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 0.5% in 2019. At 1%, output growth in East Germany is likely to be significantly higher than in West Germany.
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Klimaschutz und Kohleausstieg: Politische Strategien und Maßnahmen bis 2030 und darüber hinaus
Pao-Yu Oei et al., Klimaschutz und Kohleausstieg: Politische Strategien und Maßnahmen bis 2030 und darüber hinaus. Abschlussbericht. Climate Change 27/2019. Dessau-Roßlau: Umweltbundesamt,
The present study examines the socio-economic consequences of a climate policy-driven coal phase-out in Germany. A focus lies on the lignite industry – especially in the lignite regions. In a first step, the regions are spatially defined and described. Additional analysis is based on energy economic modelling. The model examines phase-out scenarios, which differ in the chosen criteria for the order of power plant closure (specific emissions or plant age). An input-output-model and a regional macroeconomic model build up on these phase-out pathways and examine the socio economic effects of the phase-out in the lignite regions as well as in the rest of Germany. The combination of both models offers the advantage to consider the phase-out from different perspective and hence derive different and more robust effects. The models show, on the one hand, that in an early phase-out the negative effects of structural change are visible earlier. On the other hand, recuperative effects can counteract the negative consequences according to the regional economic model.
Furthermore, the structural change creates economic opportunities. Those opportunities are primarily diversified economic activities. Case studies show significant employment potentials for the lignite regions. New jobs in renewable energies and energetic optimization of buildings can already counteract the negative employment effects associated with the investigated structural change. The study concludes, describing accompanying political instruments that can support the regions on their way to master the challenges of the up-coming structural change.
13.06.2019 • 12/2019
Weak foreign demand – economic downturn in Germany
In the summer of 2019, uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes weighs on the global economy. The export-oriented German economy is particularly affected. According to IWH summer economic forecast, gross domestic product is expected to increase by only 0.5% in 2019; the forecast for East Germany is 0.8%. The German labour market remains largely robust despite the economic downturn.
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04.04.2019 • 9/2019
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2019: Significant cooling of the economy – Political risks high
Berlin, April 4 – Germany’s leading economics research institutes have revised their forecasts for economic growth in 2019 significantly downward. They expect Germany’s gross domestic product to increase by 0.8%. This is more than one percentage point less than in autumn 2018, when the forecast was still for 1.9% growth. In contrast, the institutes confirm their previous forecast for the year 2020: gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.8%. These are the results of the Joint Economic Forecast for spring 2019, which will be presented in Berlin on Thursday.
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07.03.2019 • 7/2019
German economy will pick up speed only slowly
In winter of 2018/2019, the global economy weakened considerably, mainly due to economic policy risks. In Germany, the economy will pick up speed only slowly. According to IWH spring economic forecast, gross domestic product will increase by 0.5% in 2019. Growth in East Germany will amount to 0.7%.
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Spatial Development Patterns in East Germany and the Policy to Maintain “Industrial Cores”
H.-G. Jeong, G. Heimpold (Hrsg.), Economic Development after German Unification and Implications for Korea. Policy References 18-08. Sejong: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy,
This paper investigates the intra-regional development patterns in East Germany with particular reference to the manufacturing sector. When East Germany’s economy was ruled by the central planning regime, the share of industrial workforce in total employment was the greatest in entire Europe. It exceeded the respective value in the Soviet Union at that time. When the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy occurred, the East German manufacturing sector faced the greatest challenges.