09.06.2016 • 22/2016
The German Economy Benefits from Strong Domestic Demand
In 2016, the moderate upswing of the German economy continues. Incomes grow due to the steady expansion in employment, and the fall in energy prices has propped up the purchasing power of private households. As a consequence, private consumption expands healthily; investment in housing is additionally stimulated by very low interest rates. Exports, however, expand only moderately, as the world economy is rather weak. All in all, the IWH forecasts the German GDP to expand by 1.8% in this year and by 1.6% in 2017.
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Außenwirtschaft Sachsen-Anhalts auf dem Weg zu einer größeren Internationalisierung
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Der Außenhandel Sachsen-Anhalts hat sich in den vergangenen Jahren abgeschwächt. Dies liegt vor allem an der anhaltenden Krise auf dem wichtigen Absatzmarkt Europa. Neue Wachstumsmärkte zu erschließen, ist gerade für die in Sachsen-Anhalt verbreiteten kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen schwierig. Zudem dominieren Vorerzeugnisse und Halbwaren den Export. Obgleich sich die Schwerpunkte in den Handelsregionen aufgrund der aktuellen Konjunktur jüngst leicht verschoben haben, bleibt es eine schwierige Aufgabe, das Außenwirtschaftspotenzial der Unternehmen besser zu entfalten. Mehr Produktinnovation, die Vernetzung von Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft, neue Anreize für die Fachkräftegewinnung und das Gründungsgeschehen sowie die strategische Erschließung von Auslandsmärkten sind Felder, auf denen das neue Außenwirtschaftskonzept des Landes ansetzen will. Es könnte damit zu mehr Internationalisierung der Unternehmen in Sachsen-Anhalt beitragen.
Consequences of China’s Opening to Foreign Banks
L. Song, R. Garnaut, C. Fang, L. Johnston (eds.), China's Domestic Transformation in a Global Context. Acton: ANU Press,
China’s government has recently implemented additional reforms to relax the regulatory environment for foreign banks. Specifically, State Council Order No. 657, signed by Premier Li Keqiang, announced a decision to revise the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Administration of Foreign-Funded Banks, effective from 1 January 2015. Implications of the revised regulations include removal of the requirement that a minimum of RMB100 million operating capital be transferred unconditionally from the overseas parent bank to the newly opened Chinese branch. In addition, in terms of the conditions attached to the right to carry out RMB-denominated activity, foreign banks are now eligible to apply to undertake local currency business after operating in China for one year—down from the previous three years. The requirement for two consecutive years of profit will be scrapped as well.
The Skills Balance in Germany’s Import Intensity of Exports: An Input-Output Analysis
In the decade prior to the economic and financial crisis, Germany’s net exports increased in absolute terms as well as relative to the growing level of import intensity of domestically produced export goods and services. This article analyses the direct and indirect employment effects induced both by exports as well as by of the import intensity of the production process of export goods and services on the skills used. It shows that Germany’s export surpluses led to positive net employment effects. Although the volume of imports of intermediate goods increased and was augmented by the rise in exports, it could not undermine the overall positive employment effect.
Has Labor Income Become More Volatile? Evidence from International Industry-Level Data
German Economic Review,
Changes in labor market institutions and the increasing integration of the world economy may affect the volatility of capital and labor incomes. This article documents and analyzes changes in income volatility using data for 11 industrialized countries, 22 industries and 35 years (1970–2004). The article has four main findings. First, the unconditional volatility of labor income has declined in parallel to the decline in macroeconomic volatility. Second, the industry-specific, idiosyncratic component of labor income volatility has hardly changed. Third, cross-sectional heterogeneity is substantial. If anything, the labor incomes of high- and low-skilled workers have become more volatile relative to the volatility of capital incomes. Fourth, the volatility of labor income relative to the volatility of capital income declines in the labor share. Trade openness has no clear-cut impact.
Skill Content of Intra-european Trade Flows
European Journal of Comparative Economics,
In recent decades, the international division of labor has expanded rapidly in the wake of European integration. In this context, especially Western European high-wage countries should have specialized on (human-)capital intensively manufactured goods and should have increasingly sourced labor-intensively manufactured goods, especially parts and components, from Eastern European low wage countries. Since this should be beneficial for the high-skilled and harmful to the lower-qualified workforce in high-wage countries, the opening up of Eastern Europe is often considered as a vital reason for increasing unemployment of the lower-qualified in Western Europe. This paper addresses this issue by analyzing the skill content of Western European countries’ bilateral trade using input-output techniques in order to evaluate possible effects of international trade on labor demand. Thereby, differences in factor inputs and production technologies have been considered, allowing for vertical product differentiation. In this case, skill content of bilateral exports and imports partially differs substantially, especially in bilateral trade between Western and Eastern European countries. According to the results, East-West trade should be harmful particularly to the medium-skilled in Western European countries.
International Trade Patterns and Labour Markets – An Empirical Analysis for EU Member States
International Journal of Economics and Business Research,
During the last decades, international trade flows of the industrialized countries became more and more intra-industry. At the same time, employment perspectives particularly of the low-skilled by tendency deteriorated in these countries. This phenomenon is often traced back to the fact that intra-industry trade (IIT), which should theoretically involve low labour market adjustment, became increasingly vertical in nature. Against this background, the present paper investigates the relationship between international trade patterns and selected labour market indicators in European countries. As the results show, neither inter- nor vertical intra-industry trade (VIIT) do have a verifiable effect on wage spread in EU member states. As far as structural unemployment is concerned, the latter increases only with the degree of countries’ specialization on capital intensively manufactured products in inter-industry trade relations. Only for unemployment of the less-skilled, a slightly significant impact of superior VIIT seems to exist.