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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The Restructuring of the Agricultural Sector in Eastern Germany
Schneider, Jürgen (Hrsg.): Einigkeit, Recht und Freiheit. 25 Jahre deutsche Wiedervereinigung (1990-2015). Eine ordnungs-theoretische Analyse, Beiträge zur Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte. Band 132.3, Stuttgart,
The paper deals with the restructuring of the East German agricultural sector. In terms of macroeconomic indicators it shows how the sector was able to successfully catching up in the economy. It finds that the restructured agricultural enterprises benefit from the modernization of their capital stocks and the economies of scale in the production of plants on large areas. As a result they outdo their competitors in Western Germany in terms of unit labor costs and per capita output.
12.04.2017 • 19/2017
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2017: Upturn in Germany strengthens in spite of global economic risks
The German economy is already in the fifth year of a moderate upturn. According to the Gemeinschaftsdiagnose (GD, joint economic forecast) that was prepared by Germany’s five leading economic research institutes on behalf of the Federal Government, capacity utilization is gradually increasing, and aggregate production capacities are now likely to have slightly exceeded their normal utilisation levels. However, cyclical dynamics remain low compared to earlier periods of recoveries, as consumption expenditures, which do not exhibit strong fluctuations, have been the main driving force so far. In addition, net migration increases potential output, counteracting a stronger capacity tightening. “Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to expand by 1.5% (1.8% adjusted for calendar effects) and 1.8% in the next year. Unemployment is expected to fall to 6.1% in 2016, to 5.7% in 2017 and 5.4% in 2018”, says Oliver Holtemöller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association. Inflation is expected to increase markedly over the forecast horizon. After an increase in consumer prices of only 0.5% in 2016, the inflation rate is expected to rise to 1.8% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018. The public budget surplus will reduce only modestly. Public finances are slightly stimulating economic activity in the current year and are cyclically neutral in the year ahead.
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11.08.2016 • 34/2016
2016 stress tests: Italian banks don’t look worse than German large commercial banks
The European Banking Authority today presented the results of the 2016 stress tests. They show that most European banks appear more or less stable. “What worries me is, however, that the Italian banks do not look worse than the large German commercial banks,” says Reint E. Gropp, president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). “It appears that both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank would benefit significantly from an increase in equity. The stress test was also missing two crucial points: One, the effect of a long lasting low interest rate environment on banks was not simulated. And second, the test did not take into consideration that many small institutions could fail at the same time. This is not an unlikely scenario, given how small banks in particular struggle with shrinking interest margins,“ says Gropp. Finally, the stress test should not distract from the urgency to solve the problems in the Italian banking system.
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Regional Capital Flows and Economic Regimes: Evidence from China
Using provincial data from China, this paper examines the pattern of capital flows in relation to the transition of economic regimes. We show that fast-growing provinces experienced less capital inflows before the large-scale market reform, contrary to the prediction of the neoclassical growth theory. As China transitioned from the central-planning economy to the market economy, the negative correlation between productivity growth and capital inflows became much less pronounced. From a regional perspective, this finding suggests domestic institutional factors play an important role in shaping the pattern of capital flows.
The Efficiency of Municipal Service Provision: A Study on the Example of Saxony-Anhalt
Gebiets- und Verwaltungsstrukturen im Umbruch: Beiträge zur Reformdiskussion aus Erfahrungen in Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt und Thüringen,
Against the background of the latest reforms of municipal territories in Sachsen-Anhalt, this paper aims to empirically investigate for this federal state whether the former, very small scale structure of municipal administration could generally be termed “inefficient“. It is of particular importance to determine whether decentralised forms of administration, such as the administrative associations that have been dissolved, are characterised by an efficiency disadvantage in comparison to more strongly centralised standard-municipalities, and whether the former municipalities were too small in terms of their “operational size“.
No justification for the creation of large municipal entities can be derived from the analysis conducted. Owing to the settlement structure and limited possible economies of scale, it is thus not only to be feared that territorially large municipalities in rural areas will fail to significantly improve cost efficiency in the provision of municipal services. Rather, it may also be the case that efficiency will actually decline, as such “giant municipalities“ are often attended by disincentive effects for citizens as well as for policy and administration (e.g. little civil society involvement arising from a lack of identification with the municipality, lack of control of political decision-makers, low levels of preference-justice in administrative action).
New Tendencies in Competition Between Cities and Regions: Empirical Results from Case Studies in Germany and Austria
Economy and Geography,
It is often discussed that during the last decades, due to several new developments, locational competition at the local and regional scale has changed its appearance and has increased significantly, all over Europe. Modern economic theories are suggesting that some locational factors have become more important than in previous times and might have led to changing conditions for the competition between cities and regions. The intention of the paper is to bring more light into this discussion and to illustrate, with the help of case studies, whether locational competition has really become more intensive, and / or whether new categories of competition have evolved.
The paper is based on the work of an interdisciplinary research group which was initiated and partially financed by the German National Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung, ARL). The paper’s first part is reporting on a survey of recent theoretical and empirical literature on locational competition and has the task to classify the new tendencies systematically. The second part of the paper is presenting the results of case studies, which were carried out in order to find out about the importance of the expected changes in selected cities and regions in Germany and Austria. The main findings may be characterized as follows. For several cities and regions, we found out that the decrease of transportation and transaction costs had positive impacts on local and regional development, as within these cities and regions, industries are concentrated which benefit from technologies which are connected to transportation or transaction costs. Also for some regions, a positive impact of the downsizing of administrative borders was found – although especially in Eastern Germany, the process of catching up was restrained by agglomeration economies in the West. Although the impact of the new categories of locational competition on the economic development of the case cities and regions was, overall, limited, there was an important impact on the creation of new strategies by local and regional policymakers.
The Halle Economic Projection Model
In this paper we develop an open economy model explaining the joint determination of output, inflation, interest rates, unemployment and the exchange rate in a multi-country framework. Our model -- the Halle Economic Projection Model (HEPM) -- is closely related to studies published by Carabenciov et al. Our main contribution is that we model the Euro area countries separately. In doing so, we consider Germany, France, and Italy which represent together about 70 percent of Euro area GDP. The model combines core equations of the New-Keynesian standard DSGE model with empirically useful ad-hoc equations. We estimate this model using Bayesian techniques and evaluate the forecasting properties. Additionally, we provide an impulse response analysis and a historical shock decomposition.