Robot Adoption at German Plants
Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik,
Using a newly collected dataset at the plant level from 2014 to 2018, we provide the first microscopic portrait of robotization in Germany and study the correlates of robot adoption. Our descriptive analysis uncovers five stylized facts: (1) Robot use is relatively rare. (2) The distribution of robots is highly skewed. (3) New robot adopters contribute substantially to the recent robotization. (4) Robot users are exceptional. (5) Heterogeneity in robot types matters. Our regression results further suggest plant size, high-skilled labor share, exporter status, and labor shortage to be strongly associated with the future probability of robot adoption.
Productivity, Place, and Plants
Review of Economics and Statistics,
Why do cities differ so much in productivity? A long literature has sought out systematic sources, such as inherent productivity advantages, market access, agglomeration forces, or sorting. We document that up to three quarters of the measured regional productivity dispersion is spurious, reflecting the “luck of the draw” of finite counts of idiosyncratically heterogeneous plants that happen to operate in a given location. The patterns are even more pronounced for new plants, hold for alternative productivity measures, and broadly extend to European countries. This large role for individual plants suggests a smaller role for places in driving regional differences.
05.04.2023 • 9/2023
East German economy has come through energy crisis well so far – Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2023 and new data for the East German economy
In 2022, the East German economy expanded by 3.0%, significantly stronger than the economy in West Germany (1.5%). The background is a more robust development of labour and retirement incomes. For 2023, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts a higher GDP growth rate of 1% in East Germany than in Germany as a whole (0.3%). The unemployment rate is expected to stagnate, with 6.8% in 2023 and 6.7% in the following year.
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Robots, Occupations, and Worker Age: A Production-unit Analysis of Employment
IWH Discussion Papers,
We analyse the impact of robot adoption on employment composition using novel micro data on robot use in German manufacturing plants linked with social security records and data on job tasks. Our task-based model predicts more favourable employment effects for the least routine-task intensive occupations and for young workers, with the latter being better at adapting to change. An event-study analysis of robot adoption confirms both predictions. We do not find adverse employment effects for any occupational or age group, but churning among low-skilled workers rises sharply. We conclude that the displacement effect of robots is occupation biased but age neutral, whereas the reinstatement effect is age biased and benefits young workers most.
Uncovered Workers in Plants Covered by Collective Bargaining: Who Are They and How Do They Fare?
British Journal of Industrial Relations,
Abstract In Germany, employers used to pay union members and non-members in a plant the same union wage in order to prevent workers from joining unions. Using recent administrative data, we investigate which workers in firms covered by collective bargaining agreements still individually benefit from these union agreements, which workers are not covered anymore and what this means for their wages. We show that about 9 per cent of workers in plants with collective agreements do not enjoy individual coverage (and thus the union wage) anymore. Econometric analyses with unconditional quantile regressions and firm-fixed-effects estimations demonstrate that not being individually covered by a collective agreement has serious wage implications for most workers. Low-wage non-union workers and those at low hierarchy levels particularly suffer since employers abstain from extending union wages to them in order to pay lower wages. This jeopardizes unions' goal of protecting all disadvantaged workers.
The Nasty Gap 30 years after unification: Why East Germany is still 20% poorer than the...
Evaluation of the InvKG and the federal STARK programme
Evaluation of the InvKG and the federal STARK programme InvKG = Coal Regions ...