Channeling the Iron Ore Super-cycle: The Role of Regional Bank Branch Networks in Emerging Markets
IWH Discussion Papers,
The role of the financial system to absorb and to intermediate commodity boom induced windfall gains efficiently presents one of the most pressing issues for developing economies. Using an exogenous increase in iron ore prices in March 2005, I analyse the role of regional bank branch networks in Brazil in reallocating capital from affected to non-affected regions. For the period from March 2004 to March 2006, I find that branches directly exposed to this shock by their geographical location experience an increase in deposit growth in the post-shock period relative to non-affected branches. Given that these deposits are not reinvested locally, I further show that branches located in the non-affected region increase lending growth depending on their indirect exposure to the booming regions via their branch network. Even tough, these results provide evidence against a Dutch Disease type crowding out of the non-iron ore sector, further evidence suggests that this capital reallocation is far from being optimal.
19.04.2018 • 7/2018
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2018: Germany’s Economic Experts Raise Forecast Slightly
Berlin, 19 April – Germany’s leading economic experts raised their forecasts for 2018 and 2019 slightly in their Spring Joint Economic Forecast released on Thursday in Berlin. They now expect economic growth of 2.2 percent for this year and 2.0 percent for 2019, versus 2.0 percent and 1.8 percent respectively in their autumn forecast. “The German economy is still booming, but the air is getting thinner as unused capacities are shrinking“, notes Timo Wollmershaeuser, ifo Head of Economic Forecasting. Commenting on the new German government’s economic policy, he adds: “It is precisely when the government’s coffers are full that fiscal policy should reflect the implications of its actions for overall economic stability and the sustainability of public finances. The extension of statutory pension benefits outlined in the coalition agreement runs counter to the idea of sustainability.”
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Flooded Through the Back Door: Firm-level Effects of Banks‘ Lending Shifts
IWH Discussion Papers,
I show that natural disasters transmit to firms in non-disaster areas via their banks. This spillover of non-financial shocks through the banking system is stronger for banks with less regulatory capital. Firms connected to a disaster-exposed bank with below median capital reduce their employment by 11% and their fixed assets by 20% compared to firms in the same region without such a bank during the 2013 flooding in Germany. Relationship banking and higher firm capital also mitigate the effects of such negative cross-regional spillovers.
Economic Transition in Unified Germany and Implications for Korea
H.-G. Jeong and G. Heimpold (eds.): Economic Transition in Unified Germany and Implications for Korea. Policy References 17-13. Sejong: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy,
The reunification of Germany, which marked the end of the Cold War in the 20th century, is regarded as one of the most exemplary cases of social integration in human history. Nearly three decades after the German reunification, the economic and social shocks that occurred at the beginning of the reunification process have largely been resolved. Moreover, the unified Germany has grown into one of the most advanced economies in the world.
The unification process that Germany underwent may not necessarily be the way that the Republic of Korea would choose. However, the economic and social exchanges between East and West Germany prior to unification, and the cooperation in a myriad of policies based on these exchanges, served as the crucial foundation for unification. The case of Germany will surely help us find a better way for the re-unification of the Korean Peninsula.
In this context, this is the first edition of a joint research which provides diverse insights on social and economic issues during the process of unification. It consists of nine chapters whose main topics include policies on macroeconomic stabilization, the privatization of state-owned enterprises in East Germany, labor policies and the migration of labor, integration of the social safety nets of the North and South, and securing finances for reunification. To start with, the first part covers macroeconomic stabilization measures, which include policies implemented by the federal government of Germany to overcome macroeconomic shocks directly after the reunification. There was a temporary setback in the economy at the initial phase of reunification as the investment per GDP went down and the level of fiscal debt escalated, reverting to its original trend prior to the reunification. While it appears the momentum for growth was compromised by reunification from the perspective of growth rate of real GDP, this state did not last long and benefits have outpaced the costs since 2000.
In the section which examines the privatization of state-owned enterprises in East Germany, an analysis was conducted on the modernization of industrial infrastructure of East German firms. There was a surge in investment in East German area at the beginning stages but this was focused on a specific group of firms. Most of the firms were privatized through unofficial channels, with a third of these conducted in a management buy-out (MBO) process that was highly effective. Further analysis of a firm called Jenoptik, which was successfully bailed out, is incorporated as to draw implications of its accomplishments.
In the section on migration, we examine how the gap between the unemployment rates in the West and East have narrowed as the population flow shifted from the West to East. Consequently, there was no significant deviation in terms of the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) per capita in each state of East Germany. However, as the labor market stabilized in East Germany and population flows have weakened, the deviation will become larger. Meanwhile, if we make a prediction about the movement of population between the North and the South, which show a remarkable difference in their economic circumstances, a radical reunification process such as Germany’s case would force 7% of the population of the North to move towards the South. Upon reunification, the estimated unemployment rate in North Korea would remain at least 30% for the time being. In order to reduce the initial unemployment rate, it is crucial to design a program that trains the unemployed and to build a system that predicts changes in labor demand.
It seems nearly impossible to apply the social safety nets of the South to the North, as there is a systemic difference in ideologies. Taking steps toward integration would be the most suitable option in the case of the Koreas. We propose to build a sound groundwork for stabilizing the interest rates and exchange rates, maintain stable fiscal policies, raise momentum for economic growth and make sure people understand the means required to financially support the North in order to reduce the gap between the two.
This book was jointly organized and edited by Dr. Hyung-gon Jeong of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) and Dr. Gerhard Heimpold of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). We believe that this report, which examines numerous social and economic agendas that emerged during the reunification of Germany, will provide truly important reference for both Koreas. It is also our view that it will serve as a stepping-stone to establish policies in regard to South-North exchanges across numerous sectors prior to discussions of reunification. KIEP will continue to work with IWH and contribute its expertise to the establishment of grounds for unification policies.
Economic Growth: The Past, the Present, and the Future
Journal of Political Economy,
“Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia’s or Egypt’s? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the ‘nature of India’ that makes it so? The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else. (Lucas 1988, 5)”
These words by the Nobel laureate Chicago economist Robert Lucas Jr. summarize why so many great scholars found it hard to “think about anything else” and spent their careers trying to understand the process of economic growth. Economies are complex systems resulting from the actions of many actors. This complexity makes it challenging, but also infinitely interesting, to understand the determinants of economic growth. What are the roles of human capital, fertility, ideas, basic science, and public policy for growth? These are just some of the important questions that were posed by many highly influential studies featured in the issues of the Journal of Political Economy over the years. Indeed, this journal has been the platform to diffuse many of the brilliant ideas and start important debates in the field of economic growth. In this short paper, my goal is to revisit some of those seminal papers, briefly describe some of the more recent contributions, and end with some thoughts about the future direction of the field. The reader should note in advance that the list of work covered here is by no means exhaustive and mostly targets work that has been featured in issues of the JPE.
R&D Collaborations and the Role of Proximity
R&D collaborations and the role of proximity. Regional Studies. This paper explores the impact of proximity measures on knowledge exchange measured by granted research and development (R&D) collaboration projects in German NUTS-3 regions. The results are obtained from a spatial interaction model including eigenvector spatial filters. Not only geographical but also other forms of proximity (technological, organizational and institutional) have a significant influence on the emergence of collaborations. Furthermore, the results suggest interdependences between proximity measures. Nevertheless, the analysis does not show that other forms of proximity may compensate for missing geographical proximity. The results indicate that (subsidized) collaborative innovation activities tend to cluster.
17.08.2017 • 30/2017
Ostdeutsche Wirtschaft: Rückstand bleibt trotz kräftigem Aufschwung groß, Finanzausgleich fließt auch nach Reform vor allem in den Osten
Ostdeutschland hat vom gegenwärtigen Aufschwung in Deutschland bisher besonders deutlich profitiert. In jedem der Aufschwungsjahre 2014 bis 2016 nahm die gesamtwirtschaftliche Produktion schneller zu als in Westdeutschland; auch für das Jahr 2017 prognostiziert das IWH, dass der Zuwachs der Produktion in Ostdeutschland mit 1,8% etwas höher liegt als in Westdeutschland. „Freilich ist auch nach mehr als 25 Jahren Deutscher Einheit in jeder der ostdeutschen Regionen die Produktivität immer noch niedriger als in derjenigen westdeutschen Region mit der geringsten Produktivität“, räumt Oliver Holtemöller, Leiter der Abteilung Makroökonomik und Vizepräsident des Leibniz-Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH), ein. Der größte Teil der Zuweisungen vom Bund wird auch ab dem Jahr 2020, wenn der reformierte Länderfinanzausgleich gilt, in den Osten der Republik fließen. Die Reform des Länderfinanzausgleichs hat dabei nicht zu einer Verbesserung der wirtschaftspolitischen Anreize für die finanzschwachen Bundesländer geführt, was auch dazu beitragen könnte, dass die ökonomische Konvergenz nur schleppend verläuft.
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Broadening the G20 Financial Inclusion Agenda to Promote Financial Stability: The Role for Regional Banking Networks
G20 Insights Policy Brief, Policy Area "Financial Resilience",
Policies that foster the expansion of regional banking services can be an effective tool to enhance financial inclusion by facilitating the access to deposit services. Financial inclusion, in turn, can expand banks’ deposit base with positive spillovers for financial stability, both at the bank and country levels. Governments’ support to unconventional branching via correspondent banking, to the proportionality of regulation, and to the harmonization of banking services can provide the conditions to stimulate banks to reach customers that remain outside the financial system, especially in emerging countries. By encouraging these conditions within its Financial Inclusion Action Plan, the G20 could effectively link its financial inclusion and financial stability objectives within a consistent policy framework.