Labor in the Boardroom
Quarterly Journal of Economics,
We estimate the wage effects of shared governance, or codetermination, in the form of a mandate of one-third of corporate board seats going to worker representatives. We study a reform in Germany that abruptly abolished this mandate for stock corporations incorporated after August 1994, while it locked the mandate for the slightly older cohorts. Our research design compares firm cohorts incorporated before the reform and after; in a robustness check we draw on the analogous difference in unaffected firm types (LLCs). We find no effects of board-level codetermination on wages and the wage structure, even in firms with particularly flexible wages. The degree of rent sharing and the labor share are also unaffected. We reject that disinvestment could have offset wage effects through the canonical hold-up channel, as shared governance, if anything, increases capital formation.
Lock‐in Effects in Relationship Lending: Evidence from DIP Loans
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Do prior lending relationships result in pass‐through savings (lower interest rates) for borrowers, or do they lock in higher costs for borrowers? Theoretical models suggest that when borrowers experience greater information asymmetry, higher switching costs, and limited access to capital markets, they become locked into higher costs from their existing lenders. Firms in Chapter 11 seeking debtor‐in‐possession (DIP) financing often fit this profile. We investigate the presence of lock‐in effects using a sample of 348 DIP loans. We account for endogeneity using the instrument variable (IV) approach and the Heckman selection model and find consistent evidence that prior lending relationship is associated with higher interest costs and the effect is more severe for stronger existing relationships. Our study provides direct evidence that prior lending relationships do create a lock‐in effect under certain circumstances, such as DIP financing.
11.04.2017 • 18/2017
The state as a pioneering customer: How public demand can drive private innovation
Especially in technology-intensive industries, demand from the state can expand private markets and create incentives for privately funded research and development, a new study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows.
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Path Dependence and QWERTY's Lock-in: Toward a Veblenian Interpretation
Journal of Economic Issues,
In “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY,“ Paul David challenges an overarching, mainstream assumption that market forces should indeed lead toward efficient and optimal outcomes that include technology selection. David seeks to explain the endurance of technologies that his use of historiography judges inefficient and suboptimal. We challenge David's research, arguing that failure to consider the original institutional economics (OIE) tradition limits his grasp of complex processes to reduced notions of “path dependence“ based upon a “lock-in.“ This inquiry offers an alternative account of QWERTY and technology selection based upon Veblenian thinking, further supported by Paul Dale Bush's emphasis upon the ceremonial.
Business Networks in the Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz and Halle Regions: Do Member Firms Locate in Spatial Proximity?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The business landscape in East Germany mainly consists of small and medium-sized firms. This in mind, business networks may contribute to an improvement of the economic performance of firms which collaborate in business networks. For successful networking a mix of network members being locally concentrated on the one side and of partners from distant regions, especially from abroad, on the other side, is important. In regional economics, this duality is highlighted for two reasons: personal contacts of partners which are located in spatial proximity to each other may ease the transfer of tacit knowledge. The flow of tacit knowledge can be regarded as a factor which enhances innovation processes. However, the inclusion of partners from abroad is important, too. It facilitates access to the most advanced knowledge and technologies worldwide. The academic debate on networking regards a one-sided orientation on the local dimension of networking as risky due to possible lock-in effects. The empirical findings for 93 business networks existing in the regions of Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz and Halle, which are located in the southern part of East Germany, reveal a great proportion of network members concentrated locally: On average, this is the case with more than 50% of the network members. 10% of members are located in the other three city regions mentioned. More than one third of firms are located outside, in other German regions, of which around the half in the states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. A minority of 2% is located abroad. However, for the transfer of externally existing knowledge other network members may be relevant, too. To illustrate: More than four fifths of the networks under investigation include public research units (universities etc.) which usually play an important role when it comes to an inter-regional and international knowledge transfer.
EU Eastern Enlargement and Structural Change: Specialization Patterns in Accession Countries and Economic Dynamics in the Single Market
Diskussionsbeiträge des Europäischen Instituts für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW), Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Nr. 106,
This paper analyses key issues of structural change and specialization patterns in the economies of an enlarged European Union. In all transition countries we observe a shift from the agricultural and industrial sector towards the service sector in terms of employment and productivity; however, in some countries a reindustrialisation drives is observed in a late transition stage. While some countries namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Estonia and Slovenia, have improved their productivity especially in medium-technology-intensive industries and may advance on the technological ladder, others remain unchanged and seem to get locked in labour-intensive industrial sectors. In the context of EU-enlargement, we expect trade creation – going along with a rise of intra-industry trade – and higher FDI-activities. Countries will have to adjust along the logic of comparative advantage, however, technological upgrading and human capital formation are fields in which government can stimulate the direction of comparative advantage. According to the Gerschenkron-hypothesis the accession countries have an “advantage of backwardness. Since accession countries have a low R&D-GDP ratio in the early transition stage rising government expenditures on research and development plus higher education is crucial. We expect the EU-15 countries in general to benefit from enlargement but gains will be asymmetric across countries: economic geography matters. Austria, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Italy and France are likely to profit more than the other members of EU-15. Germany and Austria additionally play a particularly crucial role as origins of FDI. Future research should focus on the speed and the scope of structural adjustment.