International Fragmentation of Production and the Labour Input into Germany’s Exports – An Input-Output-analysis
IWH Discussion Papers,
The import penetration of exports has become a topic of public debate, particularly in the context of Germany’s position as one of the world’s leading exporters. The growth in the volume of intermediate products purchased from abroad for subsequent processing into export goods in Germany seems to be undermining the importance of exports as a driver of domestic production and employment. The gains that arise from an increase in exports seem to have been offset by the losses caused by the crowding out of local production by imports. Empirical evidence on the impact of this international integration of the goods market on the German labour market is ambiguous. Short-term negative effects on employment are claimed to be offset by the long-term benefit that the jobs lost in the short run will eventually be replaced by higher-skilled jobs with better
perspectives. Against this background, the following hypothesis is tested empirically: Germany is poor in natural resources, but rich in skilled labour. In line with the Heckscher- Ohlin theory, Germany should therefore specialize in the production of export goods and services that are relatively intensive in these factors and should import those goods and services that are relatively intensive in unskilled labour. The empirical part of the paper deals with the extent of the German export penetration by imports. At first, it analyses by what ways imports are affecting the exports directly and indirectly and shows the consequences of import penetration of exports for the national output and employment. Secondly, consequences for employment are split in different skill types of labour. These issues are discussed with the standard open static inputoutput- model. The data base is a time series of official input-output tables. The employment effects for Germany divided by skill types of labour are investigated using skill matrices generated by the authors.
Investment Grants: Which Requirements Should be Fulfilled?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Since the year 1969 the German government has applied investment grants to improve regional economic development of disadvantaged regions. The support of eligible firms shall enhance its investment activities. Such activities may force a sustainable development of the respective region. One requirement – amongst others – for the grant of this investment support scheme is the firm’s verification of supra-regional sales. The gains resulting from the firms’ export activities lead to additional income for that region, and this stimulates multiplicative (reinforcing) regional income processes. Since the German reunification this instrument has been applied in the new federal states, too. Due to the fact that structural deficits still exist in East Germany investment grants are adopted primarily in the new federal states. Today, some policy decision makers think that the catching-up process of disadvantaged regions is not fast enough. Against this background, the further application of investment grants is discussed controversially. Some criticism tends to the criterion of supra-regional sales. It has been argued that particularly small firms are excluded from this support scheme. However, small firms are considered as key players for regional economic activities. Moreover, firms which are highly integrated in international markets depend on world trade cycles and that might be risky for the respective region. Finally, critics believe that regional actors should be boosted in order to strengthen regional identities in terms of regional buyer-supplier-networks. This article shows that policy decision makers should maintain the criterion of supra-regional sales. Particularly, regions with a loss of inhabitants need gains from supra-regional sales to stabilise their local purchasing power. Otherwise, these regions are strongly dependent on transfer flows stemming from other regions. Beyond that, supra-regional sales indicate the firm’s international competitiveness. Finally, the most important argument for supra-regional sale might be linkages to supra-regional knowledge flows which strongly affect the region’s innovative capabilities.
Corporate Governance in the Multinational Enterprise: A Financial Contracting Perspective
International Business Review,
The aim of this paper is to bring economics-based finance research more into the focus of international business theory. On the basis of an analytical model that introduces financial constraints into incomplete contracting in an international vertical trade relationship, we propose an integrated framework that facilitates the study of the interdependencies between internalisation decisions, firm-internal allocations of control rights, and the debt capacity of firms. We argue that the financial constraint of an MNE and/or its supplier should be considered as an important determinant of internal governance structures, complementary to, and interacting with, institutional factors and proprietary knowledge.
Liberalization and Rules on Regulation in the Field of Financial Services in Bilateral Trade and Regional Integration Agreements
Beiträge zum Transnationalen Wirtschaftsrecht Nr. 97,
The recent international financial crisis has sparked a fierce debate about its causes and about how to prevent a recurrence. As liberalization and deregulation were widely considered being among the major culprits, de-liberalization and re-regulation seemed a natural response. However, an economic approach to this issue does not support such black-and-white solutions. Although liberalizing financial services sectors may threaten a developing country's financial stability in the short run, it also fosters long-run economic growth if sound legal and economic institutions are in place that can mitigate the adverse side-effects of liberalization. For achieving this objective, states need the policy space to implement such regulatory measures. Contrary to a wide-spread belief, states are not unduly hampered by bilateral or multilateral agreements. Instead, by providing a far-reaching exception concerning prudential regulation states can define their own regulatory approach. The challange for developing countries thus is to install regulatory capacities.
International Bank Portfolios: Short- and Long-Run Responses to Macroeconomic Conditions
Review of International Economics,
International bank portfolios constitute a large component of international country portfolios. Yet, banks’ response to international macroeconomic conditions remains largely unexplored.We use a novel dataset on banks’ international portfolios to answer three questions. First, what are the long-run determinants of banks’ international portfolios? Second, how do banks’ international portfolios adjust to short-run macroeconomic developments? Third, does the speed of adjustment change with the degree of financial integration?We find that, in the long-run, market size has a positive impact on foreign assets and liabilities. An increase in the interest differential between the home and the foreign economy lowers foreign assets and increases foreign liabilities. Foreign trade has a positive impact on international bank portfolios, which is independent from the effect of other macroeconomic variables. Short-run dynamics show heterogeneity across countries, but these dynamics can partly be explained with gravity-type variables.
Change in East German Firm Level Export Determinants
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Exports have a ‘motor of growth’ status for the German economy. They both save and increase employment and provide wealth. However, only a minority of East German manufacturing and construction firms realize sales in foreign countries. The paper analyses for two points in time the influences of firm level export factors on the level of export activities of East German firms, and how the strength of the influence has changed over time. We found export sales especially in firms who are integrated in international corporate groups and are highly specialized. Economies of scale (firm size) increase the export share. Additionally, export sales also depend on wages. These findings are in line with current analysis in the field of international trade. While the above factors are found to be stable over time some others have changed in importance. In 2000 the industrial sector and the unit labor costs were important factors in determining export activities. In 2008 these factors have lost importance. Instead, human capital and investments have achieved significance.
Margins of international banking: Is there a productivity pecking order in banking, too?
Bundesbank Discussion Paper 12/2009,
Modern trade theory emphasizes firm-level productivity differentials to explain
the cross-border activities of non-financial firms. This study tests whether a
productivity pecking order also determines international banking activities. Using
a novel dataset that contains all German banks’ international activities, we
estimate the ordered probability of a presence abroad (extensive margin) and the
volume of international assets (intensive margin). Methodologically, we enrich the
conventional Heckman selection model to account for the self-selection of banks
into different modes of foreign activities using an ordered probit. Four main
findings emerge. First, similar to results for non-financial firms, a productivity
pecking order drives bank internationalization. Second, only a few non-financial
firms engage in international trade, but many banks hold international assets, and
only a few large banks engage in foreign direct investment. Third, in addition to
productivity, risk factors matter for international banking. Fourth, gravity-type
variables have an important impact on international banking activities.
Warum exportiert der Osten so wenig? Eine empirische Analyse der Exportaktivitäten deutscher Bundesländer
AStA - Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv,
In the aftermath of re-unification, East German exports declined around 70% due to the breakdown of COMECON trade. Although since the mid-1990s export growth rates of the New Federal States were higher than those of their West German counterparts, export performance of East German States measured by the share of exports in GDP is still comparatively poor. Whereas for a long time the low export performance of East German producers was ascribed to competitive disadvantages, in the meantime structural deficits on the micro and/or macro level are often considered as the main reason. Using bilateral trade data of German Federal States, the present paper shows on the basis of an orthodox gravity model of trade that East German exports are explicitly lower than predicted by the model. But if the gravity model is augmented by additional variables representing structural differences between Federal States, the latter explain almost entirely the lower export performance of Eastern Germany. Thus, especially the smaller firm sizes and the lower shares of manufacturing industries in gross value added are identified as important explanatory factors of the comparatively weak export performance of the New German States.