24.06.2016 • 26/2016
UK’s “No” to EU will be costly for both sides
On Thursday 23rd, the British people have decided to leave the European Union (EU) Their vote not to remain in the European community was surprisingly clear. UK’s exit will have both political and economic consequences which are far-reaching for the country itself as well as the rest of Europe. “The reactions of the remaining member states are the crucial key now, especially France’s and Germany’s” says Reint E. Gropp, President of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association.
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20.06.2016 • 24/2016
Financial market reaction to poll data suggests strong effects of a Brexit on exchange rates and the banking system both in the UK and in the EU
On 23 June 2016, there will be a referendum in the United Kingdom (UK) on the question of whether or not the country should remain in the European Union (EU). We use the polls as a measure of the likelihood of an exit to examine the likely effect of a Brexit on financial markets. “Whenever the probability in the polls of a Brexit moves above 50%, we observe a substantial depreciation of the UK pound with respect to most major currencies (including the euro), and strong decline in bank stock prices, suggesting that markets feel the financial sector (both in the UK and the EU) will be most severely affected by a Brexit”, IWH President Reint E. Gropp says. There is little effect on the euro/US Dollar exchange rate. “A huge concern is that overall market volatility both in the UK and the EU are on record highs since last Thursday, reflecting the higher uncertainty associated with Brexit and how exactly, if it happened, it would come about.” Within the UK, we see some evidence for a flight to safety into UK government bonds, but no effects for German bonds.
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09.06.2016 • 22/2016
The German Economy Benefits from Strong Domestic Demand
In 2016, the moderate upswing of the German economy continues. Incomes grow due to the steady expansion in employment, and the fall in energy prices has propped up the purchasing power of private households. As a consequence, private consumption expands healthily; investment in housing is additionally stimulated by very low interest rates. Exports, however, expand only moderately, as the world economy is rather weak. All in all, the IWH forecasts the German GDP to expand by 1.8% in this year and by 1.6% in 2017.
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Exit Expectations and Debt Crises in Currency Unions
IWH Discussion Papers,
Membership in a currency union is not irreversible. Exit expectations may emerge during sovereign debt crises, because exit allows countries to reduce their liabilities through a currency redenomination. As market participants anticipate this possibility, sovereign debt crises intensify. We establish this formally within a small open economy model of changing policy regimes. The model permits explosive dynamics of debt and sovereign yields inside currency unions and allows us to distinguish between exit expectations and those of an outright default. By estimating the model on Greek data, we quantify the contribution of exit expectations to the crisis dynamics during 2009 to 2012.
The Schumpeterian Growth Paradigm
Annual Review of Economics,
In this review, we argue that the Schumpeterian growth paradigm, which models growth as resulting from innovations involving creative destruction, sheds light on several aspects of the growth process that cannot be properly addressed by alternative theories. We focus on three important aspects for which Schumpeterian growth theory delivers predictions that distinguish it from other growth models, namely, (a) the role of competition and market structure, (b) firm dynamics, and (c) the relationship between growth and development.
What Do We Learn from Schumpeterian Growth Theory?
P. Aghion, S. N. Durlauf (eds.), Handbook of Economic Growth, Volume 2B, Amsterdam: North Holland,
Schumpeterian growth theory has operationalized Schumpeter’s notion of creative destruction by developing models based on this concept. These models shed light on several aspects of the growth process that could not be properly addressed by alternative theories. In this survey, we focus on four important aspects, namely: (i) the role of competition and market structure; (ii) firm dynamics; (iii) the relationship between growth and development with the notion of appropriate growth institutions; and (iv) the emergence and impact of long-term technological waves. In each case, Schumpeterian growth theory delivers predictions that distinguish it from other growth models and which can be tested using micro data.
Slippery Slopes of Stress: Ordered Failure Events in German Banking
Journal of Financial Stability,
Outright bank failures without prior indication of financial instability are very rare. In fact, banks can be regarded as troubled to varying degrees before outright closure. But failure studies usually neglect the ordinal nature of bank distress. We distinguish four different kinds of increasingly severe events on the basis of the distress database of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Only the worst distress event entails a bank to exit the market. Since the four categories of hazard functions are not proportional, we specify a generalized ordered logit model to estimate respective probabilities of distress simultaneously. We find that the likelihood of ordered distress events changes differently in response to given changes in the financial profiles of banks. Consequently, bank failure studies should account more explicitly for the different shades of distress. This allows an assessment of the relative importance of financial profile components for different degrees of bank distress.
The Contestable Markets Theory - Efficient Advice for Economic Policy
During the nineties of the last century several formerly monopolistic markets (telecommunication, electricity, gas, and railway) have been deregulated in Germany based on European directives and theoretically inspired by the theory of contestable markets. The original contestable market theory implied three assumptions necessary to be satisfied to establish potential competition: Free market entry, market exit possible without any costs, and the price adjustment lag exceeding the entry lag. Our analysis shows that if the incumbent reduces its prices slowly (high adjustment lag) and the market entry can be performed quickly (low entry lag), a new competitor will be able to earn back sunk costs. Therefore it is not necessary that all three conditions be complied with for potential competition to exist. Applying this „revised“ contestable market theory to the deregulated sectors in Germany, natural monopolies can be identified in telecommunication sections local loops and local/regional connection networks, in the national electricity grid and the regional/local electricity distribution networks, in the national and regional/local gas transmission/distribution sections, and in the railroad network. These sections are not contestable due to sunk costs, expected high entry lags and a probably short price adjustment lag. They are identified as bottlenecks, which should be regulated. The function of system operators in energy and railroad are closely related to the non-contestable monopolistic networks.