Competition Policy in Central East Europe in light of EU Accession
Journal of Common Market Studies,
This study reviews the progress made in EU accession candidates on competition policy. The analysis shows that institution-building and legislation are well under way and that anti-trust practice is not too lax. Due to the diversity among the accession countries under review, the study finds that the strictly rule-based frame work of the EU might not be the most favourable solution for some candidates: firstly, the small and open economies of most candidates make it particularly difficult to define the ‘relevant market’ in competition cases. Secondly, the traditionally intense vertical integration of production in accession states calls for a reassessment of ‘vertical restraints’. The policy implications of this study suggest that the EU competition task force should take a proactive, case-by-case approach vis-à-vis its new members.
Investment, Financial Markets, New Economy Dynamics and Growth in Transition Countries
Economic Opening Up and Growth in Russia: Finance, Trade, Market Institutions, and Energy,
The transition to a market economy in the former CMEA area is more than a decade old and one can clearly distinguish a group of relatively fast growing countries — including Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia — and a majority of slowly growing economies, including Russia and the Ukraine. Initial problems of transition were natural in the sense that systemic transition to a market economy has effectively destroyed part of the existing capital stock that was no longer profitable under the new relative prices imported from world markets; and there was a transitory inflationary push as low state-administered prices were replaced by higher market equilibrium prices. Indeed, systemic transformation in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have brought serious transitory inflation problems and a massive transition recession; negative growth rates have continued over many years in some countries, including Russia and the Ukraine, where output growth was negative throughout the 1990s (except for Russia, which recorded slight growth in 1997). For political and economic reasons the economic performance of Russia is of particular relevance for the success of the overall transition process. If Russia would face stagnation and instability, this would undermine political and economic stability in the whole of Europe and prospects for integrating Russia into the world economy.
Merger Control and Competition Policy in Central East Europe in view
ICFAI Journal of International Business Law,
This study reviews the progress made in EU accession candidates with respect to competition policy. The analysis shows that institution building and legislation is well under way and that anti-trust practise is not too lax. Due to the diversity among the accession countries under review, the study finds that the strictly rule-based framework of the EU might not represent the most favourable solution for some candidates: firstly, the small and open economies of most candidates make it particularly difficult to define the “relevant market” in competition cases. Secondly, the traditionally intense vertical integration of production in accession states calls for a reassessment of “vertical restraints”. The policy implications of this study suggest that the EU competition task force should take a rather proactive, case-by-case approach vis-à-vis its new members.
Bank-Firm Relationships and International Banking Markets
International Journal of the Economics of Business,
This paper reviews how long-term relationships between firms and banks shape the structure and integration of banking markets worldwide. Bank relationships arise to span informational asymmetries that are endemic in financial markets. Firm-bank relationships not only entail specific benefits and costs for both the engaged firms and banks, but also directly affect the structure of banking markets. In particular, the sunk cost of screening and monitoring activities and the 'informational capital' collected by the incumbent banks may act as a barrier to entry. The intensity of the existing firm-bank relationships will determine the height of this barrier and shape the structure of international banking markets. For example, in Scandinavia where firms maintain few and strong relationships, foreign banks may only be able to enter successfully through mergers and acquisitions. On the other hand, Southern European firms maintain many bank relationships. Therefore, banks may consider entering Southern European banking markets through direct investment.
Macroeconomic Modelling of the German Economy in the Framework of Euroland
Schriften des IWH,
An attempt to develop a new macroeconometric model for Germany is confronted with several questions that range from the general rationality of such an approach to specific problems of an appropriate model structure. One important aspect of this discussion is the introduction of the Euro as a common currency of the European monetary union. This institutional change may result in structural breaks due to changing behavior of economic agents. In addition, the definition of the spatial unit that is appropriate for modelling becomes a problem. Additional problems come from the introduction of the European Single Market and the increasing international economic integration not only within the European union but also beyond its borders. And in the case of Germany, the unification of the West and the East demand special attention. Last but not least, the harmonization of national accounting for the member states of the European Union has to be dealt with. Thus, the introduction of the Euro as a common currency is just one problem besides others that must be addressed.
Municipal labor market policy - Marshalling yard or escape from public assistance dependency?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Due to an increasing fiscal burden by welfare payments, municipalities tend
more and more to initiate employment and training programs under their own
responsibility besides the Federal Labor Agency. However, critics object
that this might predominantly be viewed as an attempt to shift fiscal
burdens to the Federal Labor Agency rather than a policy option towards
labor market integration of low-wage workers. In order to investigate this
issue, the IWH carried out a country-wide survey within twelve
municipalities and rural districts. The sample comprises 200 employable
welfare recipients, among them participants of labor market programs as well
as a reference group of non-participants. The results of the IWH welfare
survey are at best suggesting a moderate success of program participation
with regard to labor market integration. Nevertheless, the programs appear
to be profitable for municipalities, since they succeed in bringing
participants out of welfare dependency. In many cases, however, welfare is
replaced by unemployment support, which means that only the fiscal
responsibility changes. A shortcoming of the results has to be seen in the
fact that municipalities tend to assign especially those people for program
participation, who are already better fitting into requirements of the labor
market. This seriously impairs the comparability of participants and
non-participants. In view of the remarkable amount of expenditures it seems
therefore advisable to put more attention on the effectiveness of the
programs than has been done in the past. This could be achieved by a
stronger orientation towards an experimental design of assignment for
Labor market developments at the former inner-German border – Consequences for the EU's eastern border regions
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Der vorliegende Beitrag beschreibt ausgewählte Entwicklungen auf den Arbeitsmärkten beiderseits der früheren innerdeutschen Grenze. Sie können als exemplarisch hinsichtlich der Konsequenzen einer Grenzöffnung für die regionalen Arbeitsmärkte entlang der derzeitigen EU-Ostgrenze angesehen werden. Es wird gezeigt, dass sich die ehemalige ostdeutsche Grenzregion günstiger, ihre Nachbarregion im Westen dagegen eher ungünstiger entwickelt hat, als die Bundesländer, denen die Regionen zugehören. Dies spiegeln sowohl die Arbeitslosigkeits-und Beschäftigungsdaten als auch die Lohn- und Gehaltsdaten in der Industrie wider. In der Folge dieser Entwicklungen auf den Arbeitsmärkten haben auch die Pendlerbewegungen zwischen den ost- und den westdeutschen Grenzregionen weniger zugenommen als zwischen den Bundesländern. Eine mögliche Ursache für die eher ungünstige Entwicklung auf dem Arbeitsmarkt im westdeutschen Grenzraum könnten ungünstige Standortbedingungen sein, die dazu beigetragen haben, dass Unternehmen nach dem Wegfall der Zonenrandförderung den Raum als Investitionsstandort in geringerem Maße angenommen haben. Dies kommt in einem überdurchschnittlichen Rückgang der Investitionstätigkeit im Grenzraum West im Vergleich zu den Grenzländern zum Ausdruck. Übertragen auf die Situation an den Ostgrenzen der EU lässt sich daraus schließen, dass die Regional- und Strukturpolitik versuchen sollte, die Standortbedingungen zu verbessern, die heutigen EU-Grenzregionen als Integrations- und Kooperationsraum auszubauen und den wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung in den Beitrittsländern zu fördern, damit diese in Zukunft noch mehr Produkte in der EU allgemein und in den Grenzregionen insbesondere nachfragen. Dagegen erscheint eine Beschränkung der Freizügigkeit als wenig geeignet, um negative Arbeitsmarkteffekte abzuwenden.
The Integration of the Central and East European Equity Markets into the International Capital Markets: A Kalman Filter Approach
The integration of the Central and East European equity markets into international capital markets
In dem Artikel wird die Hypothese untersucht, inwieweit die mittel- und osteuropäischen Aktienmärkte bereits in die internationalen Kapitalmärkte integriert sind. Dabei wird angenommen, daß die Märkte integriert sind, wenn langfristige Gleichgewichtsbeziehungen zwischen den Aktienindizes der jeweiligen Börsen vorliegen. Die Anlyse stützt sich auf bivariate und multivariate Kointegrationsverfahren, um das Verhalten der Aktienmarktindizes von fünf mittel- und osteuropäischen und sieben westlichen Börsen für den Zeitraum von 1990 bis 1997 zu untersuchen. Die Ergebnisse der empirischen Analyse deuten darauf hin, daß die mittel- und osteuropäischen Aktienmärkte noch nicht so weit in die internationalen Kapitalmärkte integriert sind, wie dies hätte erwartet werden können.
What can a town achieve today? Integration, urban regimes, and the acceptance of models
IWH Discussion Papers,
Since 1990, the date of German reunification, urban development and especially the recovery of inner cities in East Germany has been delayed by several factors including real estate restitution claims, inflexible preservation codes for historic buildings, and the shortage of stores for retailers. This blockade situation has resulted in the quick and intensified development of shopping centres as „inner city substitutes“ on the urban periphery. The combined effect of the factors preventing revitalisation strategies and the newly realised and practised potential for autonomous action by the authorities of smaller municipalities was a severe restriction for the governing capacities of the authorities of the larger cities. in regaining their governance capability city governments are dependent on urban groups joining and supporting public developmental strategies. In accordance with Stone (1993) and Stoker and Mossberger (1994) urban groups active in urban development policy can be described as urban regimes. In Germany three types of regimes can be differentiated. The cities differ with respect to the political strength and the forms of coalition and conflict between different urban regimes. Specific conditions in East Germany have led to a special regime constellation with a powerful „conservation regime“ on the one hand and a vivid „globalisation regime“ on the other hand. This conflicting constellation results in a developmental blockade. The hypothesis is that a third regime type, the „local alliance“, is missing and still has to be created by practices such as city marketing and city management. Only when this regime building process has advanced will new constellations of political coalitions and compromise become possible and be able to reduce governance problems of city government in the long run.