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Do Digital Information Technologies Help Unemployed Job Seekers Find a Job? Evidence from the Broadband Internet Expansion in Germany
European Economic Review,
This paper studies effects of the introduction of a new digital mass medium on reemployment of unemployed job seekers. We combine data on high-speed (broadband) internet availability at the local level with German individual register data. We address endogeneity by exploiting technological peculiarities that affected the roll-out of high-speed internet. The results show that high-speed internet improves reemployment rates after the first months in unemployment. This is confirmed by complementary analyses with individual survey data suggesting that internet access increases online job search and the number of job interviews after a few months in unemployment.
Exchange Rates and FDI: Goods versus Capital Market Frictions
The World Economy,
Changes in exchange rates affect countries through their impact on cross-border activities such as trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). With increasing activities of multinational firms, the FDI channel is likely to gain in importance. Economic theory provides two main explanations why changes in exchange rates can affect FDI. According to the first explanation, FDI reacts to exchange rate changes if there are information frictions on capital markets and if investment depends on firms’ net worth (capital market friction hypothesis). According to the second explanation, FDI reacts to exchange rate changes if output and factor markets are segmented, and if firm-specific assets are important (goods market friction hypothesis). We provide a unified theoretical framework of these two explanations. We analyse the implications of the model empirically using a dataset based on detailed German firm-level data. We find greater support for the goods market than for the capital market friction hypothesis.
How do multinationals meet investment decisions: The case study of General Motors
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The recent events around Opel, the German subsidiary of General Motors, has attracted a great deal of attention, especially with respect to the influence of multinational corporations on the German economy. General Motors' announcement of an internal competition for production capacities in June 2004 has led some observers to the assessment that this would be a step towards more efficiency and profitability. But such internal competition for ressources may be hampered and end up in inefficiency. This is because informational frictions and enforcement problems within a corporation restrict the headquarters ability and willingness to allocate ressources efficiently. Against this background, we discuss possible problems associated with the internal capital allocation within multinational corporations and show their relevance in the case of General Motors.
The integration of imperfect financial markets: Implications for business cycle volatility
Journal of Policy Modeling,
During the last two decades, the degree of openness of national financial systems has increased substantially. At the same time, asymmetries in information and other financial market frictions have remained prevalent. We study the implications of the opening up of national financial systems in the presence of financial market frictions for business cycle volatility. In our empirical analysis, we show that countries with more developed financial systems have lower business cycle volatility. Financial openness has no strong impact on business cycle volatility, in contrast. In our theoretical analysis, we study the implications of the opening up of national financial markets and of financial market frictions for business cycle volatility using a dynamic macroeconomic model of an open economy. We find that the implications of opening up national financial markets for business cycle volatility are largely unaffected by the presence of financial market frictions.
The Impact of Technology and Regulation on the Geographical Scope of Banking
Oxford Review of Economic Policy,
We review how technological advances and changes in regulation may shape the (future) geographical scope of banking. We first review how both physical distance and the presence of borders currently affect bank lending conditions (loan pricing and credit availability) and market presence (branching and servicing). Next we discuss how technology and regulation have altered this impact and analyse the current state of the European banking sector. We discuss both theoretical contributions and empirical work and highlight open questions along the way. We draw three main lessons from the current theoretical and empirical literature: (i) bank lending to small businesses in Europe may be characterized both by (local) spatial pricing and resilient (regional and/or national) market segmentation; (ii) because of informational asymmetries in the retail market, bank mergers and acquisitions seem the optimal route of entering another market, long before cross-border servicing or direct entry are economically feasible; and (iii) current technological and regulatory developments may, to a large extent, remain impotent in further dismantling the various residual but mutually reinforcing frictions in the retail banking markets in Europe. We conclude the paper by offering pertinent policy recommendations based on these three lessons.