Do Government Owned Banks Trade Market Power for Slack?
The ‘Quiet Life Hypothesis (QLH)’ posits that banks with market power have less incentives to maximize revenues and minimize cost. Especially government owned banks with a public mandate precluding profit maximization might succumb to a quiet life. We use a unified approach that simultaneously measures market power and efficiency to test the quiet life hypothesis of German savings banks. We find that average local market power declined between 1996 and 2006. Cost and profit efficiency remained constant. Nonparametric correlations are consistent with a quiet life regarding cost efficiency but not regarding profit efficiency. The quiet life on the cost side is negatively correlated with bank size, quality of loan portfolio and local per capita income. The last result indicates that the quiet cost life is therefore potentially due to benevolent excess consumption of local input factors by public savings banks.
The Changing Process of the Quality of Work – 8th Joint Workshop of the IWH and IAB on Labor Market Policy
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
During October 20th and 21st the 8th workshop on Labor Market Policy in Halle (Saale) took place. The major theme was related to changes in the quality of work. One reason for selecting this topic points out that there is a declining number of unemployed people in the German labor market for now a couple of months. This development is often interpreted as the result of a successful labor market policy. But focusing only on quantitative aspects of labor market developments ignores the important aspect of the quality of work.
Over the last years there was also a contemporary debate about changes in the working world. And within this discussion the focus was not only on aspects like income, certainty of employment, and career opportunities. In addition to these issues and with considerable emphasis on the new aspects, the discussion extended to topics such as sense and meaning of activities, work-life balances, self-realization, autonomy, and job satisfaction. It is the aim of the 8th workshop to present and to discuss the current state of the quality of work-debate in the labor market research to a broad audience of scientists as well as practical women and men, and to shed light on possible further research topics in this area. Besides of the opening lecture given by Dr. Ulrich Walwei (IAB), eleven additional papers have been presented during the two-day’s conference.
Rents and Quality of Life in Eastern Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
The rent levels between East- and Westgermany differ less than one Euro on average. This difference seems very slow regarding the persistant economic disparities and high vacancy rates in East-Germany.
Based on the assumtion, that income and life quality aspects have an impact on the local rent level a set of variables is regressed on the rent of several housing quality segments in a cross-section analysis at the community-level. The regression contains demographic, economic and housing-market-related variables and a dummy variable for east germany. It incorporates hypotheses about a special supplier structure and several market interventions that are related to the transformation process from socialistic into market economic structures after the reunification in the 1990s.
The results show a significant positive coeficiant for the east german dummy in two segments of the housing stock. Further Research about the reasons for the extra charge are important, because theese findings may be responsible for the continous out migration from East Germany.