19.09.2019 • 19/2019
Long-term effects of privatisation in eastern Germany: award-winning US economist begins large-scale research project at the IWH
It is one of the most prestigious awards in the German scientific community: the Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award 2019 endowed with €1.5 million goes to Ufuk Akcigit, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. At the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), Akcigit aims to use innovative methods to investigate why the economy in eastern Germany is still lagging behind that in western Germany – and what role the privatisation process 30 years ago played in this.
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The Impact of Innovation and Innovation Subsidies on Economic Development in German Regions
Public innovation subsidies in a regional environment are expected to unfold a positive economic impact over time. The focus of this paper is on an assessment of the long-run impact of innovation and innovation subsidies in German regions. This is scrutinized by an estimation approach combining panel model and time-series characteristics and using regional data for the years 1980–2014. The results show that innovation and innovation subsidies in the long run have a positive impact on the economic development of regions in Germany. This supports a long-term strategy for regional and innovation policy.
04.03.2019 • 6/2019
New IWH publication takes stock: “United country – three decades after the Wall came down”
How is Germany’s economy faring 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall? A new publication by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) uses illustrative maps and graphs to show how the Federal Republic has developed compared to other countries and how economic unification has progressed. The publication presents many new findings, including on productivity differences between east and west, urban and rural development, as well as the availability of skilled labour.
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18.12.2018 • 22/2018
IWH leads large scale EU research project on productivity
Is productivity growth slowing in industrialised countries? And if so, why? From the start of 2019, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) will be addressing these questions as the coordinator of a new EU project. Economists and statistics experts from nine European partners will collaborate on the three-year project, entitled MICROPROD. With a total budget of just under three million euros, it is the IWH’s largest EU project to date.
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Living with Lower Productivity Growth: Impact on Exports
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This paper investigates the impact of sustained lower productivity growth on exports, by looking at the role of the productivity distribution and allocative efficiency as drivers of export performance. It follows and goes beyond the work of Barba Navaretti et al. (2017), analysing the effects of productivity on exports depending on the dynamics of allocative efficiency. Low productivity growth is a well-documented stylised fact in Western countries – and possibly a reality likely to persist for some time. What could be the impact of persistent sluggish growth of productivity on exports? To shed light on this question, this paper examines the relationship between the productivity distribution of firms and sectoral export performance. The structure of firms within countries or even sectors matters tremendously for the nexus between productivity and exports at the macroeconomic level, as the theoretical and empirical literature documents. For instance, whether too few firms at the top (lack of innovation) or too many firms at the bottom (weak market selection) drives slow average productivity at the macro level has very different implications and therefore demands different policy responses.
19.04.2018 • 7/2018
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2018: Germany’s Economic Experts Raise Forecast Slightly
Berlin, 19 April – Germany’s leading economic experts raised their forecasts for 2018 and 2019 slightly in their Spring Joint Economic Forecast released on Thursday in Berlin. They now expect economic growth of 2.2 percent for this year and 2.0 percent for 2019, versus 2.0 percent and 1.8 percent respectively in their autumn forecast. “The German economy is still booming, but the air is getting thinner as unused capacities are shrinking“, notes Timo Wollmershaeuser, ifo Head of Economic Forecasting. Commenting on the new German government’s economic policy, he adds: “It is precisely when the government’s coffers are full that fiscal policy should reflect the implications of its actions for overall economic stability and the sustainability of public finances. The extension of statutory pension benefits outlined in the coalition agreement runs counter to the idea of sustainability.”
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Economic Growth: The Past, the Present, and the Future
Journal of Political Economy,
“Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia’s or Egypt’s? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the ‘nature of India’ that makes it so? The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else. (Lucas 1988, 5)”
These words by the Nobel laureate Chicago economist Robert Lucas Jr. summarize why so many great scholars found it hard to “think about anything else” and spent their careers trying to understand the process of economic growth. Economies are complex systems resulting from the actions of many actors. This complexity makes it challenging, but also infinitely interesting, to understand the determinants of economic growth. What are the roles of human capital, fertility, ideas, basic science, and public policy for growth? These are just some of the important questions that were posed by many highly influential studies featured in the issues of the Journal of Political Economy over the years. Indeed, this journal has been the platform to diffuse many of the brilliant ideas and start important debates in the field of economic growth. In this short paper, my goal is to revisit some of those seminal papers, briefly describe some of the more recent contributions, and end with some thoughts about the future direction of the field. The reader should note in advance that the list of work covered here is by no means exhaustive and mostly targets work that has been featured in issues of the JPE.