Energy Markets and Global Economic Conditions
Review of Economics and Statistics,
We evaluate alternative indicators of global economic activity and other market funda-mentals in terms of their usefulness for forecasting real oil prices and global petroleum consumption. World industrial production is one of the most useful indicators. However, by combining measures from several different sources we can do even better. Our analysis results in a new index of global economic conditions and measures for assessing future energy demand and oil price pressures. We illustrate their usefulness for quantifying the main factors behind the severe contraction of the global economy and the price risks faced by shale oil producers in early 2020.
Micro-mechanisms behind Declining Labor Shares: Rising Market Power and Changing Modes of Production
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
I derive a micro-founded framework showing how rising firm market power on product and labor markets and falling aggregate labor output elasticities provide three competing explanations for falling labor shares. I apply my framework to 20 years of German manufacturing sector micro data containing firm-specific price information to study these three distinct drivers of declining labor shares. I document a severe increase in firms’ labor market power, whereas firms’ product market power stayed comparably low. Changes in firm market power and a falling aggregate labor output elasticity each account for one half of the decline in labor's share.
Kommentar: Weniger Krisenmodus und wieder mehr Wettbewerb, bitte!
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Ende November kam die frohe Kunde aus Nürnberg: Die Arbeitslosenzahlen sind weiter gesunken, sogar den zehnten Monat in Folge. Was auf der einen Seite erfreulich ist, zeigt auf der anderen Seite, dass Arbeitskräftemangel eines der größten Probleme der deutschen Wirtschaft ist.
14.12.2021 • 29/2021
German economy not yet immune to COVID 19 ‒ outlook clouded again
The current pandemic wave and supply bottlenecks cause the German economy to stagnate in winter. When infection rates go down in spring, private consumption will increase significantly. In addition, supply restrictions will be gradually reduced. As a result, the economy will regain momentum. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that German gross domestic product will increase by 3.5% (East Germany: 2.7%) in 2022, after 2.7% (East Germany: 2.1%) in the current year. Inflation is expected to decline only slowly.
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09.11.2021 • 27/2021
IWH Bankruptcy Update: Still No Indication of Impending Bankruptcy Wave
The number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany edged slightly upward in October following several months of historic lows. The number of jobs impacted by bankruptcy also remained unusually depressed. These are the headline figures from this month’s IWH Bankruptcy Update, a report on German bankruptcy statistics published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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Bank Concentration and Product Market Competition
Review of Financial Studies,
This paper documents a link between bank concentration and markups in nonfinancial sectors. We exploit concentration-increasing bank mergers and variation in banks’ market shares across industries and show that higher credit concentration is associated with higher markups and that high-market-share lenders charge lower loan rates. We argue that this is due to the greater incidence of competing firms sharing common lenders that induce less aggressive product market behavior among their borrowers, thereby internalizing potential adverse effects of higher rates. Consistent with our conjecture, the effect is stronger in industries with competition in strategic substitutes where negative product market externalities are greatest.
Explaining Wage Losses After Job Displacement: Employer Size and Lost Firm Wage Premiums
Journal of the European Economic Association,
This paper investigates whether wage losses after job displacement are driven by lost firm wage premiums or worker productivity depreciations. We estimate losses in wages and firm wage premiums, the latter being measured as firm effects from a two-way fixed-effects wage decomposition. Using new German administrative data on displacements from small and large employers, we find that wage losses are to a large extent explained by losses in firm wage premiums and that premium losses are largely permanent. We show that losses strongly increase with pre-displacement employer size. This provides an explanation for large and persistent wage losses reported in previous displacement studies typically focusing on large employers, only.
Worker Participation in Decision-making, Worker Sorting, and Firm Performance
Worker participation in decision-making is often associated with high-wage and high-productivity firm strategies. Using linked employer–employee data for Germany and worker fixed effects from a two-way fixed-effects model of wages capturing observed and unobserved worker quality, we find that plants with formal worker participation via works councils indeed employ higher quality workers. We show that worker quality is already higher in plants before council introduction and further increases after the introduction. Importantly, we corroborate previous studies by showing positive productivity and profitability effects even after taking into account worker sorting.
14.10.2021 • 26/2021
East German economy less affected by supply bottlenecks than German economy as a whole, but lower vaccination rates pose risks – Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2021 and of Länder data from recent publications of the Federal Statisti
Supply bottlenecks affect production in the manufacturing sector in East Germany somewhat less than in Germany as a whole. With 1.8%, the increase in Gross Domestic Product in eastern Germany in 2021 therefore is likely to be lower than in Germany as a whole (2.4%); this gap is likely to enlarge in 2022, when supply bottlenecks hamper less (East Germany: 3.6%, Germany 4.8%).
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14.10.2021 • 25/2021
Crisis is gradually being overcome – align actions to lower growth
The Corona pandemic still shapes the economic situation in Germany. A complete normalisation of contact-intensive activities is not to be expected in the short term. In addition, supply bottlenecks are hampering manufacturing for the time being. The German economy will reach normal capacity utilisation in the course of 2022. In their autumn report, the leading economic research institutes forecast that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will rise by 2.4% in 2021 and by 4.8% in 2022.
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