Democracy and Credit
Journal of Financial Economics,
Does democratization reduce the cost of credit? Using global syndicated loan data from 1984 to 2014, we find that democratization has a sizable negative effect on loan spreads: a 1-point increase in the zero-to-ten Polity IV index of democracy shaves at least 19 basis points off spreads, but likely more. Reversals to autocracy hike spreads more strongly. Our findings are robust to the comprehensive inclusion of relevant controls, to the instrumentation with regional waves of democratization, and to a battery of other sensitivity tests. We thus highlight the lower cost of loans as one relevant mechanism through which democratization can affect economic development.
Employment Effects of Introducing a Minimum Wage: The Case of Germany
Income inequality has been a major concern of economic policy makers for several years. Can minimum wages help to mitigate inequality? In 2015, the German government introduced a nationwide statutory minimum wage to reduce income inequality by improving the labour income of low-wage employees. However, the employment effects of wage increases depend on time and region specific conditions and, hence, they cannot be known in advance. Because negative employment effects may offset the income gains for low-wage employees, it is important to evaluate minimum-wage policies empirically. We estimate the employment effects of the German minimum-wage introduction using panel regressions on the state-industry-level. We find a robust negative effect of the minimum wage on marginal and a robust positive effect on regular employment. In terms of the number of jobs, our results imply a negative overall effect. Hence, low-wage employees who are still employed are better off at the expense of those who have lost their jobs due to the minimum wage.
07.05.2020 • 7/2020
Launch of IWH Bankruptcy Update: Number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany constant despite Corona crisis
Despite the Corona outbreak, the number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany so far remains at 2019 levels. This is according to the new IWH Bankruptcy Update provided by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) on a monthly basis and much earlier than official statistics.
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How Does Economic Policy Uncertainty Affect Corporate Debt Maturity?
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper investigates whether and how economic policy uncertainty affects corporate debt maturity. Using a cross-country firm-level dataset for France, Germany, Spain, and Italy from 1996 to 2010, we find that an increase in economic policy uncertainty is significantly associated with a shortened debt maturity. Specifically, a 1% increase in economic policy uncertainty is associated with a 0.22% decrease in the long-term debt-to-assets ratio and a 0.08% decrease in debt maturity. Moreover, the impacts of economic policy uncertainty are stronger for innovation-intensive firms. We use firms‘ flexibility in changing debt maturity and the deviation to leverage target to gauge the causal relationship, and identify the reduced investment and steepened term structure as transmission mechanisms.
12.02.2020 • 2/2020
Causes of populism: IWH begins international research project
Is the increasing strength of populist parties due to economic causes? The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) is set to play a leading role in scrutinising this controversial question with immediate effect, together with researchers from England, Scotland and the Czech Republic. The Volkswagen Foundation is funding this interdisciplinary project to the tune of almost one million euro for four years.
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Sinkendes Potenzialwachstum in Deutschland, beschleunigter Braunkohleausstieg und Klimapaket: Finanzpolitische Konsequenzen für die Jahre bis 2024
Nach der Mittelfristprojektion des IWH wird das Bruttoinlandsprodukt in Deutschland in den Jahren bis 2024 preisbereinigt um durchschnittlich 1% wachsen; das nominale Bruttoinlandsprodukt wird um durchschnittlich 2¾% zunehmen. Die Durchschnittswerte verschleiern die Tatsache, dass das Wachstum gegen Ende des Projektionszeitraums aufgrund der dann rückläufigen Erwerbsbevölkerung spürbar zurückgehen wird. Dies wird sich auch bei den Staatseinnahmen niederschlagen. Allerdings wird die Bevölkerung nicht regional gleichverteilt zurückgehen. Strukturschwache Regionen dürften stärker betroffen sein. Die regionalen Effekte auf die Staatseinnahmen werden zwar durch Umverteilungsmechanismen abgefedert, aber nicht völlig ausgeglichen. Regionen mit schrumpfender Erwerbsbevölkerung müssen sich auf einen sinkenden finanziellen Spielraum einstellen. Der beschleunigte Braunkohleausstieg wird diesen Prozess verstärken, das Klimapaket der Bundesregierung hat hingegen vergleichsweise geringe Auswirkungen auf die öffentlichen Finanzen.
12.12.2019 • 24/2019
Global economy slowly gains momentum – but Germany still stuck in a downturn
In 2020, the global economy is likely to benefit from the recent thaw in trade disputes. Germany’s manufacturing sector, however, will recover only slowly. “In 2020, the German economy will probably grow at a rate of 1.1%, and adjusted for the unusually high number of working days the growth rate will only be 0.7%”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). With an estimated growth rate of 1.3%, production in East Germany will outpace total German production growth.
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