Trade, Misallocation, and Capital Market Integration
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
I study how cross-country capital market integration affects the gains from trade in a model with financial frictions and heterogeneous, forward-looking firms. The model predicts that misallocation among exporters increases as trade barriers fall, even as misallocation decreases in the aggregate. The reason is that financially constrained productive exporters increase their production only marginally, while unproductive exporters survive for longer and increase their size. Allowing capital inflows magnifies misallocation, because unproductive firms expand even more, leading to a decline in aggregate productivity. Nevertheless, under integrated capital markets, access to cheaper capital dominates the adverse effect on productivity, leading to higher output, consumption and welfare than under closed capital markets. Applied to the period of European integration between 1992 and 2008, I find that underdeveloped sectors experiencing higher export exposure had more misallocation of capital and a higher share of unproductive firms, thus the data is consistent with the model’s predictions. A key implication of the model is that TFP is a poor proxy for consumption growth after trade liberalisation.
Private Debt, Public Debt, and Capital Misallocation
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
Does finance facilitate efficient allocation of resources? Our aim in this paper is to find out whether increases in private and public indebtedness affect capital misallocation, which is measured as the dispersion in the return to capital across firms in different industries. For this, we use a novel dataset containing industrylevel data for 18 European countries and control for different macroeconomic indicators as potential determinants of capital misallocation. We exploit the within-country variation across industries in such indicators as external finance dependence, technological intensity, credit constraints and competitive structure, and find that private debt accumulation disproportionately increases capital misallocation in industries with higher financial dependence, higher R&D intensity, a larger share of credit-constrained firms and a lower level of competition. On the other hand, we fail to find any significant and robust effect of public debt on capital misallocation within our country-sector pairs. We believe the distortionary effects of private debt found in our analysis needs a deeper theoretical investigation.
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26.11.2015 • 43/2015
Political lendings of German Savings Banks
A recent paper of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) suggests that German local politicians take advantage of their influence on the credit decisions of German savings banks. “German savings banks on average increase the supply of commercial loans by €7.6 million in the year of a local election”, says IWH president Reint E. Gropp. Loans that the savings banks generate during election years also perform worse and lead to lower interest income. The results suggest that local politicians take advantage of savings banks to further their chances of re-election.
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What are the Long-Term Benefits of the Economic Stimulus Package II for German Local Governments? – The Case of Saxony
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
This article deals with the question whether the investments subsidized by the economic stimulus package II („Konjunkturpaket II“) do not only have short-term effects on demand but also long-term effects e.g. on local economic growth. As far as the short-term effects are concerned, the case of the German state of Saxony shows – with some delay – a rise in local government´s investments. Hence, the time-lag problem inherent in all governmental spending programmes seems to keep within reasonable limits. Up to now there have been no signs of inflationary price tendencies in the construction sector.
According to - for example - the „new“ economic growth theory, one ought to be sceptical about the long-term effects of the projects supported by the programme: Even for genuine public intermediate goods the withdrawal effects of financing have to be weighed against the positive effects on private enterprise sector productivity. Furthermore, the effects on factor prices caused by the investment grants might encourage the excess use of physical capital in public production.
This sceptical attitude of the theory is confirmed for Saxony by the fact that primarily public consumption goods (sports and leisure facilities) or educational facilities (kindergartens, primary schools), which are of no direct relevance to the local enterprises, are supported by the programme. Investments in vocational training, research and development play only a minor role at the local government level or are explicitly excluded from the programme.
Especially because of the incentives to misallocate public resources it is recommended to rely on unconditional grants in future support programmes. Then the local governments could use the grants for either „investments” in human capital (new [fixed-term contract] hires, qualification) or in physical capital, according to their needs.
Effects of the promotion of investment in East Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
Investment in East Germany is heavily subsidized. Econometric estimates based on a treatment approach show that the level of investment is significantly higher in firms being supported by state aid. Nevertheless, capital productivity is lower in East Germany, indicating a misallocation of capital. Additionally, there are negative effects in West Germany due to negative crowding-out effects. Therefore state aid in East Germany should be reduced in the medium run.
Misallocation of capital as a result of asymmetric distribution of information on credit markets
Schriften des IWH,