20.02.2018 • 2/2018
TV boosts entrepreneurial identity
Entrepreneurship is a key driver of development in free-market economies – and TV is one channel in transporting and promoting an entrepreneurial identity or ‘culture’, as IWH economist Viktor Slavtchev and his co-author Michael Wyrwich find in a recent study. For their analysis, they compare – for the period after 1990 – the entrepreneurship incidence among the inhabitants of East German regions that had West Ger¬man TV signal prior to 1990 to that of the inhabitants of regions without such a signal.
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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.
14.12.2016 • 50/2016
The German Economy: Economic Activity Spurred by Private Consumption and Construction
German economic activity remains robust due to strong domestic demand. IWH forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 1.3% in 2017. The growth rate is half a percentage point lower than in 2016 due to calendar effects and a negative contribution of external trade. Consumer price inflation also remains modest (1.3%). “Unemployment is expected to increase slightly due to a protracted integration of refugees into the labor market”, says Oliver Holtemöller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president
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29.09.2016 • 40/2016
Joint Economic Forecast: German Economy on Track – Economic Policy needs to be Realigned
Thanks to a stable job market and solid consumption, the German economy is experiencing a moderate upswing. The GDP is expected to increase by 1.9 percent this year, 1.4 percent in 2017, and 1.6 percent in 2018, according to the Gemeinschaftsdiagnose (GD, joint economic forecast) that was prepared by five of Europe’s leading economic research institutes on behalf of the Federal Government. The most recent GD, which was released in April, predicted a GDP growth rate of 1.6 percent for 2016 and 1.5 percent for 2017.
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Taxation, Corruption, and Growth
European Economic Review,
We build an endogenous growth model to analyze the relationships between taxation, corruption, and economic growth. Entrepreneurs lie at the center of the model and face disincentive effects from taxation but acquire positive benefits from public infrastructure. Political corruption governs the efficiency with which tax revenues are translated into infrastructure. The model predicts an inverted-U relationship between taxation and growth, with corruption reducing the optimal taxation level. We find evidence consistent with these predictions and the entrepreneurial channel using data from the Longitudinal Business Database of the US Census Bureau. The marginal effect of taxation for growth for a state at the 10th or 25th percentile of corruption is significantly positive; on the other hand, the marginal effects of taxation for growth for a state at the 90th percentile of corruption are much lower across the board. We make progress towards causality through Granger-style tests and by considering periphery counties where effective tax policy is largely driven by bordering states. Finally, we calibrate our model and find that the calibrated taxation rate of 37% is fairly close to the model׳s estimated welfare maximizing taxation rate of 42%. Reducing corruption provides the largest potential impact for welfare gain through its impact on the uses of tax revenues.
The Impact of Local Factors on the Scope of Benefits from Public Investment: The Case of Tourism Infrastructure in Saxon Municipalities
Urban Research & Practice,
Following the transition from socialist central planning economies to market economies in all of the former socialist countries, many regions have had to cope with severe structural changes and economic development problems. To overcome these problems, local governments have tried to invest in new public infrastructure to support the development of new industries. This paper looks at infrastructure that supports tourist activities and argues that the impact of infrastructure generally depends on certain local factors which differ between municipalities. One important factor is whether the local population possesses the relevant complementary factors, in particular the right ‘soft skills’.
Die Zukunft der Daseinsvorsorge im ländlichen Raum: Entwicklungsoptionen für Kinderbetreuung, Schule und Kultur
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Am 14. und 15. Februar 2013 veranstalteten das IWH, der Lehrstuhl für Öffentliches Recht und der Lehrstuhl für Ökonometrie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) einen Workshop zum Thema „Die Zukunft der Daseinsvorsorge im ländlichen Raum: Entwicklungsoptionen für Kinderbetreuung, Schule und Kultur“. Der Workshop verdeutlichte den existierenden Effizienzdruck in den Infrastruktureinrichtungen infolge rückläufiger Einwohnerzahlen. Es wurde aber auch deutlich, dass zur Sicherung der Daseinsvorsorge in ländlichen Räumen ein breites Spektrum von Anpassungsmöglichkeiten existiert, das beispielsweise Veränderungen im Gebietszuschnitt, Kooperationslösungen, Flexibilisierung von Standards und Umnutzung brachgefallener Einrichtungen umfasst. Die von den Veranstaltern präsentierten Forschungsergebnisse sind im Rahmen der Expertenplattform „Demographischer Wandel in Sachsen-Anhalt“ entstanden und wurden durch das Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt gefördert. Darüber hinaus hielten weitere Expertinnen und Experten aus Sachsen-Anhalt und anderen Bundesländern Vorträge.
Evaluation of the Main Achievements of Cohesion Policy Programmes over the Longer Term in 15 Selected Regions (from 1989-1993 Programming Period to the Present) (2011.CE.16.B.AT.015): Case Study Sachsen-Anhalt
Analyse: Bewertungen des Programmplanungszeitraums,
Sachsen-Anhalt’s regional development has been heavily determined by the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy after German unification in 1990. The process of transition took place during the 1990s as the formal rules associated with a market economy system were adopted. Nevertheless, a number of structural peculiarities which have their roots in the transition period continue to have an impact. This feature is not specific to Sachsen-Anhalt; it concerns all East German regions.
Transfer Payments without Growth: Evidence for German Regions, 1992–2005
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research,
After German reunification, interregional subsidies accounted for approximately 4% of gross fixed capital investment in the new federal states (i.e. those which were formerly part of the German Democratic Republic). We show that, between 1992 and 2005, infrastructure and corporate investment subsidies had a negative net impact on regional economic growth and convergence. This result is robust to both the specification of spatially weighted control variables and the use of instrumental variable techniques to control for the endogeneity of subsidies. Our results suggest that regional redistribution was ineffective, potentially due to a lack of spatial concentration to create growth poles.