19.12.2017 • 40/2017
The medium-term economic development in Germany from 2017 to 2022 and opportunities for fiscal policies of a new federal government
Due to the cyclical upswing in Germany, in case of unaltered legislation, the general government would achieve considerable budget surpluses in the years ahead. As a consequence, there is large fiscal scope for a new federal government. With the fiscal policy simulation model of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association, the macroeconomic effects of various fiscal policy measures are analysed. The results show that additional government expenditures, like the expansion of social benefits, do have a stronger effect on GDP than revenue cuts, like for instance tax reliefs. „Due to the already high capacity utilisation, revenue cuts seem to be advantageous from a business cycle perspective. Moreover, a reduction of the high taxes and charges on labour would, in contrast to an expansion of social benefits, have a positive effect on potential output“, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department of Macroeconomics and IWH vice president.
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Can R&D Subsidies Counteract the Economic Crisis? – Macroeconomic Effects in Germany
During the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, governments in Europe stabilized their economies by means of fiscal policy. After decades of absence, deficit spending was used to counteract the heavy decline in demand. In Germany, public spending went partially into R&D subsidies in favor of small and medium sized enterprises. Applying the standard open input–output model, the paper analyzes the macroeconomic effects of R&D subsidies on employment and production in the business cycle. Findings in the form of backward multipliers suggest that R&D subsidies have stimulated a substantial leverage effect. Almost two thirds of the costs of R&D projects are covered by the enterprises themselves. Overall, a subsidized R&D program results in a production, value added and employment effect that amounts to at least twice the initial financing. Overall, the R&D program counteracts the decline of GDP by 0.5% in the year 2009. In the year 2010 the effects are already procyclical since the German economy recovered quickly. Compared to the strongly discussed alternative uses of subsidies for private consumption, R&D spending is more effective.
The Political Setting of Social Security Contributions in Europe in the Business Cycle
IWH Discussion Papers,
Social security revenues are influenced by business cycle movements. In order to
support the working of automatic stabilizers it would be necessary to calculate social insurance contribution rates independently from the state of the business cycle. This paper investigates whether European countries set social contribution rates according to such a rule. By means of VAR estimations, country-specific effects can be analyzed – in contrast to earlier studies which used a panel design. As a result, some countries under investigation seem to vary their social contribution rates in a procyclical way.