Industry Mix, Local Labor Markets, and the Incidence of Trade Shocks
Journal of Labor Economics,
We analyze how skill transferability and the local industry mix affect the adjustment costs of workers hit by a trade shock. Using German administrative data and novel measures of economic distance we construct an index of labor market absorptiveness that captures the degree to which workers from a particular industry are able to reallocate into other jobs. Among manufacturing workers, we find that the earnings loss associated with increased import exposure is much higher for those who live in the least absorptive regions. We conclude that the local industry composition plays an important role in the adjustment processes of workers.
Tracking Weekly State-Level Economic Conditions
Review of Economics and Statistics,
This paper develops a novel dataset of weekly economic conditions indices for the 50 U.S. states going back to 1987 based on mixed-frequency dynamic factor models with weekly, monthly, and quarterly variables that cover multiple dimensions of state economies. We find considerable cross-state heterogeneity in the length, depth, and timing of business cycles. We illustrate the usefulness of these state-level indices for quantifying the main contributors to the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for evaluating the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program. We also propose an aggregate indicator that gauges the overall weakness of the U.S. economy.
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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Macroeconomic Effects from Sovereign Risk vs. Knightian Uncertainty
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper compares macroeconomic effects of Knightian uncertainty and risk using policy shocks for the case of Italy. Drawing on the ambiguity literature, I use changes in the bid-ask spread and mid-price of government bonds as distinct measures for uncertainty and risk. The identification exploits the quasi-pessimistic behavior under ambiguity-aversion and the dealer market structure of government bond markets, where dealers must quote both sides of the market. If uncertainty increases, ambiguity-averse dealers will quasi-pessimistically quote higher ask and lower bid prices – increasing the bid-ask spread. In contrast, a pure change in risk shifts the risk-compensating discount factor which is well approximated by the change in bond mid-prices. I evaluate economic effects of the two measures within an instrumental variable local projection framework. The main findings are threefold. First, the resulting shock time series for uncertainty and risk are uncorrelated with each other at the intraday level, however, upon aggregation to monthly level the measures become correlated. Second, uncertainty is an important driver of economic aggregates. Third, macroeconomic effects of risk and uncertainty are similar, except for the response of prices. While sovereign risk raises inflation, uncertainty suppresses price growth – a result which is in line with increased price rigidity under ambiguity.
28.09.2023 • 25/2023
The downturn in 2023 is milder in East Germany than in Germany as a whole – Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2023 and of Länder data from recent publications of the Statistical Offices
The German economy has been in a downturn for more than a year. In East Germany, however, the economy has been somewhat stronger in the past four quarters: According to the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), East German gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase by 0.5% in 2023, while production in Germany as a whole will fall by 0.6%. Next year, expansion rates of 1.3% are forecast in both the east and the west. For 2025, East German gross domestic product is expected to grow by 1.2%, which is slightly slower than in Germany as a whole (1.5%).
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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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Preferred Field of Study and Academic Performance
Economics of Education Review,
This paper investigates the impact of studying the first-choice university subject on dropout and switching field of study for a cohort of students in Germany. Using detailed survey data, and employing an instrumental variable strategy based on variation in the local field of study availability, we provide evidence that students who are not enrolled in their preferred field of study are more likely to change their field, delay graduation and drop out of university. The estimated impact on dropout is particularly strong among students of low socio-economic status and is likely to be driven by lower effort and motivation.
22.06.2023 • 16/2023
Revival in service sectors, but industrial activity remains weak for the time being
After the recession during winter, the German economy will expand at a moderate pace in the coming quarters and despite higher interest rates, as private consumption will pick up again with slowly declining inflation and increased wage momentum. In its summer forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product to decline by 0.3% in 2023, while growth of 1.7% is forecast for the coming year.
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