Switching to Good Policy? The Case of Central and Eastern European Inflation Targeters
The paper analyzes how actual monetary policy changed following the official adoption of inflation targeting in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland and how it affected the volatilities of important macroeconomic variables in the years thereafter. To disentangle the effects of the policy shift from exogenous changes in the volatilities of these variables, a Markov-switching dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model is estimated that allows for regime switches in the policy parameters and the volatilities of shocks hitting the economies. Whereas estimation results reveal periods of high and low volatility for all three economies, the presence of different policy regimes is supported by the underlying data for the Czech Republic and Poland, only. In both economies, monetary policy switched from weak and unsystematic to strong and systematic responses to inflation dynamics. Simulation results suggest that the policy shifts of both central banks successfully reduced inflation volatility in the following years. The observed reduction in output volatility, on the other hand, is attributed more to a reduction in the size of external shocks.
Why is Unemployment so Countercyclical?
NBER Working Paper No. 26723,
We argue that wage inertia plays a pivotal role in allowing empirically plausible variants of the standard search and matching model to account for the large countercyclical response of unemployment to shocks.
Nowcasting East German GDP Growth: a MIDAS Approach
Economic forecasts are an important element of rational economic policy both on the federal and on the local or regional level. Solid budgetary plans for government expenditures and revenues rely on efficient macroeconomic projections. However, official data on quarterly regional GDP in Germany are not available, and hence, regional GDP forecasts do not play an important role in public budget planning. We provide a new quarterly time series for East German GDP and develop a forecasting approach for East German GDP that takes data availability in real time and regional economic indicators into account. Overall, we find that mixed-data sampling model forecasts for East German GDP in combination with model averaging outperform regional forecast models that only rely on aggregate national information.
Total Factor Productivity and the Terms of Trade
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
In this paper we analyse how the terms of trade (TOT) – the ratio of export prices to import prices – affect total factor productivity (TFP). We provide empirical macroeconomic evidence for the European Union countries based on the times series SVAR analysis and microeconomic evidence based on industry level data from the Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet) database which shows that the terms of trade improvements are associated with a slowdown in the total factor productivity growth. Next, we build a theoretical model which combines open economy framework with the endogenous growth theory. In the model the terms of trade improvements increase demand for labour employed in exportable goods production at the expense of technology production (research and development – R&D) which leads to a shift of resources from knowledge development towards physical exportable goods. This reallocation has a negative impact on the TFP growth. Under a plausible calibration the model is able to replicate the observed empirical pattern.
19.09.2019 • 19/2019
Long-term effects of privatisation in eastern Germany: award-winning US economist begins large-scale research project at the IWH
It is one of the most prestigious awards in the German scientific community: the Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award 2019 endowed with €1.5 million goes to Ufuk Akcigit, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. At the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), Akcigit aims to use innovative methods to investigate why the economy in eastern Germany is still lagging behind that in western Germany – and what role the privatisation process 30 years ago played in this.
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Klimaschutz und Kohleausstieg: Politische Strategien und Maßnahmen bis 2030 und darüber hinaus
Pao-Yu Oei et al., Klimaschutz und Kohleausstieg: Politische Strategien und Maßnahmen bis 2030 und darüber hinaus. Abschlussbericht. Climate Change 27/2019. Dessau-Roßlau: Umweltbundesamt,
The present study examines the socio-economic consequences of a climate policy-driven coal phase-out in Germany. A focus lies on the lignite industry – especially in the lignite regions. In a first step, the regions are spatially defined and described. Additional analysis is based on energy economic modelling. The model examines phase-out scenarios, which differ in the chosen criteria for the order of power plant closure (specific emissions or plant age). An input-output-model and a regional macroeconomic model build up on these phase-out pathways and examine the socio economic effects of the phase-out in the lignite regions as well as in the rest of Germany. The combination of both models offers the advantage to consider the phase-out from different perspective and hence derive different and more robust effects. The models show, on the one hand, that in an early phase-out the negative effects of structural change are visible earlier. On the other hand, recuperative effects can counteract the negative consequences according to the regional economic model.
Furthermore, the structural change creates economic opportunities. Those opportunities are primarily diversified economic activities. Case studies show significant employment potentials for the lignite regions. New jobs in renewable energies and energetic optimization of buildings can already counteract the negative employment effects associated with the investigated structural change. The study concludes, describing accompanying political instruments that can support the regions on their way to master the challenges of the up-coming structural change.