Wage Bargaining Regimes and Firms‘ Adjustments to the Great Recession
Filippo di Mauro, Maddalena Ronchi
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
The paper aims at investigating to what extent wage negotiation set-ups have shaped up firms’ response to the Great Recession, taking a firm-level cross-country perspective. We contribute to the literature by building a new micro-distributed database which merges data related to wage bargaining institutions (Wage Dynamic Network, WDN) with data on firm productivity and other relevant firm characteristics (CompNet). We use the database to study how firms reacted to the Great Recession in terms of variation in profits, wages, and employment. The paper shows that, in line with the theoretical predictions, centralized bargaining systems – as opposed to decentralized/firm level based ones – were accompanied by stronger downward wage rigidity, as well as cuts in employment and profits.
29.09.2016 • 40/2016
Joint Economic Forecast: German Economy on Track – Economic Policy needs to be Realigned
Thanks to a stable job market and solid consumption, the German economy is experiencing a moderate upswing. The GDP is expected to increase by 1.9 percent this year, 1.4 percent in 2017, and 1.6 percent in 2018, according to the Gemeinschaftsdiagnose (GD, joint economic forecast) that was prepared by five of Europe’s leading economic research institutes on behalf of the Federal Government. The most recent GD, which was released in April, predicted a GDP growth rate of 1.6 percent for 2016 and 1.5 percent for 2017.
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02.09.2016 • 35/2016
The German Economy: Still Robust Despite Sliding Sentiment
The prospects for the German economy are still quite favorable. While sentiment indicators suggest that growth will slow at the end of the year, domestic demand will continue on an upward trend. The German GDP should increase by 1.9% in 2016. For 2017 we expect a lower growth rate of 1.2%“Weaker export volumes and higher growth of imports are the relevant factors for the slowdown”, says Prof Oliver Holtemöller, IWH Vice president. Unemployment will rise a bit as more refugees enter the labor market. Consumer price inflation remains moderate. The general government balance (cyclically ad¬justed as well as unadjusted) will be in surplus in both 2016 and 2017.
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To Invest or Not to Invest, That Is the Question: Analysis of Firm Behavior under Anticipated Shocks
Dejan Kovač, Nikola Kleut, Boris Podobnik, Vuk Vukovic
When companies are faced with an upcoming and expected economic shock some of them tend to react better than others. They adapt by initiating investments thus successfully weathering the storm, while others, even though they possess the same information set, fail to adopt the same business strategy and eventually succumb to the crisis. We use a unique setting of the recent financial crisis in Croatia as an exogenous shock that hit the country with a time lag, allowing the domestic firms to adapt. We perform a survival analysis on the entire population of 144,000 firms in Croatia during the period from 2003 to 2015, and test whether investment prior to the anticipated shock makes firms more likely to survive the recession. We find that small and micro firms, which decided to invest, had between 60 and 70% higher survival rates than similar firms that chose not to invest. This claim is supported by both non-parametric and parametric tests in the survival analysis. From a normative perspective this finding could be important in mitigating the negative effects on aggregate demand during strong recessionary periods.
Unemployment in the Great Recession: A Comparison of Germany, Canada, and the United States
Florian Hoffmann, Thomas Lemieux
Journal of Labor Economics,
S1 Part 2
This paper looks at the surprisingly different labor market performance of the United States, Canada, Germany, and several other OECD countries during and after the Great Recession of 2008–9. A first important finding is that the large employment swings in the construction sector linked to the boom and bust in US housing markets is an important factor behind the different labor market performances of the three countries. We also find that cross-country differences among OECD countries are consistent with a conventional Okun relationship linking gross domestic product growth to employment performance.
16.12.2015 • 45/2015
German Economy: Strong domestic demand compensates for weak exports
The upturn of the German economy is expected to gain further momentum as a consequence of strong domestic demand. Real gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.6% in 2016. Consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.9%. Unemployment is expected to rise slightly because it will take time to integrate refugees into the labour market.
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Financial Integration, Housing, and Economic Volatility
Elena Loutskina, Philip E. Strahan
Journal of Financial Economics,
The Great Recession illustrates the sensitivity of the economy to housing. This paper shows that financial integration, fostered by securitization and nationwide branching, amplified the positive effect of housing price shocks on the economy during the 1994–2006 period. We exploit variation in credit supply subsidies across local markets from government-sponsored enterprises to measure housing price changes unrelated to fundamentals. Using this instrument, we find that house price shocks spur economic growth. The effect is larger in localities more financially integrated, through both secondary loan market and bank branch networks. Financial integration thus raised the effect of collateral shocks on local economies, increasing economic volatility.
Understanding the Great Recession
Mathias Trabandt, Lawrence J. Christiano, Martin S. Eichenbaum
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity during the Great Recession were due to financial frictions. We reach this conclusion by looking through the lens of an estimated New Keynesian model in which firms face moderate degrees of price rigidities, no nominal rigidities in wages, and a binding zero lower bound constraint on the nominal interest rate. Our model does a good job of accounting for the joint behavior of labor and goods markets, as well as inflation, during the Great Recession. According to the model the observed fall in total factor productivity and the rise in the cost of working capital played critical roles in accounting for the small drop in inflation that occurred during the Great Recession.