Trade Shocks, Labour Markets and Elections in the First Globalisation
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This paper studies the economic and political effects of a large trade shock in agriculture – the grain invasion from the Americas – in Prussia during the first globalisation (1871-1913). We show that this shock accelerated the structural change in the Prussian economy through migration of workers to booming cities. In contrast to studies using today’s data, we do not observe declining per capita income and political polarisation in counties affected by foreign competition. Our results suggest that the negative and persistent effects of trade shocks we see today are not a universal feature of globalisation, but depend on labour mobility. For our analysis, we digitise data from Prussian industrial and agricultural censuses on the county level and combine it with national trade data at the product level. We exploit the cross-regional variation in cultivated crops within Prussia and instrument with Italian trade data to isolate exogenous variation.
Political Cycles in Bank Lending to the Government
Review of Financial Studies,
We study how political party turnover after German state elections affects banks’ lending to the regional government. We find that between 1992 and 2018, party turnover at the state level leads to a sharp and substantial increase in lending by local savings banks to their home-state government. This effect is accompanied by an equivalent reduction in private lending. A statistical association between political party turnover and government lending is absent for comparable cooperative banks that exhibit a similar regional organization and business model. Our results suggest that political frictions may interfere with government-owned banks’ local development objectives.
Transactional and Relational Approaches to Political Connections and the Cost of Debt
Journal of Corporate Finance,
This paper examines the economic effects of a firm's approach to developing and maintaining political connections. Specifically, we investigate whether lenders favor transactional connection as opposed to relational connection. By tracing firms in a politically volatile emerging democracy in Indonesia, we find that firms following a transactional political connection strategy experience a relatively lower cost of debt than those with a relational strategy. The effect is more pronounced for firms facing high financial distress. The finding is robust to cost of bank loans and a variety of regression methods. Overall, the evidence suggests that in times of frequently changing political regimes, firms benefit from a transactional relationship with politicians as it enables to update connection with the government in power. Relational connection is valuable for a firm only when the political regime connected with it gains power.
Recovery Loses Momentum – Economy and Politics Still Shaped by the Pandemic
The corona pandemic has left substantial marks on the German economy and its impact is more persistent than presumed in the spring. In their autumn reports, leading German economic research institutes have revised their economic outlook downwards by roughly one percentage point for both this and next year. They now expect gross domestic product to fall by 5.4 % in 2020 (previously 4.2 %) and to grow by 4.7 % (5.8 %) in 2021 and 2.7 % in 2022. The downgrade of the forecast follows a more pessimistic assessment of the recovery, which is being held back by those sectors that are particularly dependent on social contacts. The precrisis level of output will not be reached until the end of 2021 with GDP remaining at 2.5 % below the level that would have prevailed without the pandemic. Despite massively falling back on shorttime working schemes, an estimated 820,000 jobs were lost due to the crisis. The government will run a record high budget deficit of 183 billion euros in 2020. In 2021 and 2022, deficits will remain substantial at 118 billion euros and 92 billion euros, respectively.
Crisis is Gradually being Overcome – Align Actions to Lower Growth In their autumn report, the leading German economic...
14.10.2020 • 22/2020
Economic slump in East Germany not as severe as in Germany as a whole ‒ Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast and new data for East Germany
The German economy started recovering quickly after the drastic pandemic-related slump in spring 2020. The recovery, however, loses much of its momentum in the second half of the year. The Joint Economic Forecast predicts that production levels seen before the crisis will not be reached again until the second half of 2021. In principle, the East German economy is following this pattern, although the economic slump is likely to be somewhat milder.
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14.10.2020 • 21/2020
Recovery Loses Momentum ‒ Economy and Politics Still Shaped by the Pandemic
The corona pandemic leaves substantial marks in the German economy and its impact is more persistent than assumed in spring. In their autumn report, the leading German economic research institutes have revised their economic outlook downwards by roughly one percentage point for both this and next year. They now expect gross domestic product to fall by 5.4% in 2020 (previously -4.2%) and to grow by 4.7% (5.8%) in 2021 and 2.7% in 2022.
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