12.01.2024 • 2/2024
Green transition and the debt brake: Implications of additional investment for public finances and private consumption in Germany
The German Climate Protection Act stipulates, among other things, that greenhouse gas emissions in Germany are to be reduced by 65% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The green investments required to achieve this target are likely to amount to around 2.5% of gross domestic product each year. According to the medium-term projection of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the associated additional government spending on public investment and support measures cannot be financed from projected tax revenues. It is therefore to be expected that the tax burden on households will increase and private consumption will be curbed accordingly, if both the current form of the debt brake and the greenhouse gas reduction targets are maintained.
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14.12.2023 • 30/2023
Exports and private consumption weak ‒ Germany is waiting for an economic upturn
In the winter of 2023/2024, the German economy is still in a downturn. Parts of industry have lost competitiveness, real incomes have fallen in 2023 due to inflation, and there is uncertainty about the course of fiscal policy. However, rising real incomes and a slight increase in exports should cause a pickup from spring onwards. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to fall by 0.3% in 2023 and to expand by 0.5% in 2024 (East Germany: +0.5% and +0.7%). In September, the IWH forecast had assumed a decline of 0.5% for Germany in 2023 and expected growth of 0.9% for the coming year.
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Konjunktur aktuell: Export und privater Konsum schwach – Deutschland wartet auf den Aufschwung
Die Weltwirtschaft verliert zum Ende des Jahres 2023 weiter an Schwung. Der durch den weltweiten Inflationsschub ausgelöste restriktive Schwenk der Geldpolitik drückt über höhere Finanzierungskosten vielerorts die Güternachfrage. Im nächsten Jahr dürfte die Weltwirtschaft wieder etwas anziehen. Die deutsche Wirtschaft ist nach Ende der Pandemie nicht wieder auf ihren alten Wachstumspfad zurückgekehrt. Das Verarbeitenden Gewerbe hat an Wettbewerbsfähigkeit eingebüßt, und die Weltnachfrage nach Industriegütern ist zurzeit schwach. Zudem ist die Inflation immer noch hoch, und die Realeinkommen sind längere Zeit über zurückgegangen. Die geldpolitische Straffung hat die Finanzierungsbedingungen verschlechtert, was besonders die Bauwirtschaft belastet. Das Bruttoinlandsprodukt wird 2023 wohl um 0,3% sinken und im kommenden Jahr um 0,5% expandieren.
07.09.2023 • 23/2023
The German economy continues its downturn
High inflation, increased interest rates, weak foreign demand and uncertainty among private households and firms are currently weighing on the German economy. In its autumn forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 0.5% in 2023 and to increase by 0.9% in 2024.
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Committing to Grow: Privatizations and Firm Dynamics in East Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper investigates a unique policy designed to maintain employment during the privatization of East German firms after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The policy required new owners of the firms to commit to employment targets, with penalties for non-compliance. Using a dynamic model, we highlight three channels through which employment targets impact firms: distorted employment decisions, increased productivity, and higher exit rates. Our empirical analysis, using a novel dataset and instrumental variable approach, confirms these findings. We estimate a 22% points higher annual employment growth rate, a 14% points higher annual productivity growth, and a 3.6% points higher probability of exit for firms with binding employment targets. Our calibrated model further demonstrates that without these targets, aggregate employment would have been 15% lower after 10 years. Additionally, an alternative policy of productivity investment subsidies proved costly and less effective in the short term.
Household Indebtedness, Financial Frictions and the Transmission of Monetary Policy to Consumption: Evidence from China
Emerging Markets Review,
This paper studies the impact of household indebtedness on the transmission of monetary policy to consumption using the Chinese household-level survey data. We employ a panel smooth transition regression model to investigate the non-linear role of indebtedness. We find that housing-related indebtedness weakens the monetary policy transmission, and this effect is non-linear as there is a much larger counteraction of consumption in response to monetary policy shocks when household indebtedness increases from a low level rather than from a high level. Moreover, the weakened monetary policy transmission from indebtedness is stronger in urban households than in rural households. This can be explained by the investment good characteristic of real estate in China.
IWH Medium-Term Projection The IWH medium-term projection shows: If Germany wants to stick to both its current debt...
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Employment Effects of Investment Grants and Firm Heterogeneity – Evidence from a Staggered Adoption Approach
IWH Discussion Papers,
This study estimates the establishment-level employment effects of investment grants in Germany. In addition to the average treatment effect for the treated, we focus on discrimination in the funding rules as potential source of effect heterogeneity. We combine the difference-in-differences approach of Callaway and Sant’Anna (2021) that explicitly models variation in treatment timing with a ties matching at the cohort level. We observe a positive effect of investment grants on employment development in the full sample. The subsample analysis yields strong evidence for effect heterogeneity due to firm characteristics and the economic environment.