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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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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Structural Stability of the Research & Development Sector in European Economies Despite the Economic Crisis
Journal of Evolutionary Economics,
When an external shock such as the economic crisis in 2008/2009 occurs, the interconnectedness of sectors can be affected. This paper investigates whether the R&D sector experienced changes in its sectoral integration through the recession. Based on an input-output analysis, it can be shown that the linkages of the R&D sector with other sectors remain stable. In some countries, the inter-sectoral integration becomes even stronger. Policy makers can be encouraged to use public R&D spending as a means of fiscal policy against an economic crisis.
Industry in Recession — Growth Forces Dwindle
The leading German economic research institutes have revised their economic forecast for Germany significantly downwards. The reasons for the weak development are the declining global demand for capital goods, which the German economy specialises in exporting, political uncertainty and structural changes in the automotive industry. Fiscal policy, on the other hand, is supporting macroeconomic expansion. Future development depends to a large extent on whether the trade conflicts can be resolved and how Brexit is structured.
02.10.2019 • 20/2019
Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2019: Economy Cools Further – Industry in Recession
Berlin, October 2, 2019 – Germany’s leading economics research institutes have revised their economic forecast for Germany significantly downward. Whereas in the spring they still expected gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 0.8% in 2019, they now expect GDP growth to be only 0.5%. Reasons for the poor performance are the falling worldwide demand for capital goods – in the exporting of which the Germany economy is specialised – as well as political uncertainty and structural changes in the automotive industry. By contrast, monetary policy is shoring up macroeconomic expansion. For the coming year, the economic researchers have also reduced their forecast of GDP growth to 1.1%, having predicted 1.8% in the spring.
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Fehlende Fachkräfte in Deutschland – Unterschiede in den Betrieben und mögliche Erklärungsfaktoren: Ergebnisse aus dem IAB-Betriebspanel 2018
In the years after the economic crisis, the economic situation of establishments in West and East Germany has improved steadily. At the same time, increased labor market dynamics and a positive trend in total employment can be observed. Also the demand for skilled employees reached a new high of 2.7 million in 2018. Only about 60 percent of the demand could be covered, which is also reflected in a further increase of the so-called non-occupancy quota. With regard to the distribution of this indicator for skilled labor shortages, we observe clear sector- and size-specific differences as well as regional heterogeneity. The quota is particularly high in the construction industry and in agriculture and forestry, with more than half the positions left vacant. A positive correlation between shortages of skilled labor and the use of temporary work, flexible working hours and investments in vocational training and further education is assessed in a multivariate analysis. The structure of formal occupational skill requirements did not change very much over recent years. However, a clear trend towards more flexible work organization can be observed. For example, about one quarter of the establishments offer teleworking. The share of part-time employment is also increasing nationwide, especially in sectors with a higher proportion of women, such as the service industries or the public sector. The share of marginal employment is particularly high in sectors that are characterized by cyclical and/or seasonal demand fluctuations or comparatively unspecific skill requirements – and above-average shortages of skilled labor. In 2018, the proportion of establishments authorized to provide in-house vocational training rose for the first time since 2010 – to 54 percent in Germany. In Eastern Germany, the share is significantly lower at 49 percent. The proportion of authorized establishments that actually train apprentices has been relatively stable at around 50 percent for several years. Both successfully occupied and vacant apprenticeships are distributed very heterogeneously across sectors. The recruitment rate of successful graduates is about three quarters. In establishments with skilled labor shortages, both the training rate and the graduate hiring rate are higher, suggesting that vocational training is already used here as an alternative strategy for recruiting skilled employees. The share of establishments supporting further education of their employees remains stable at about fifty percent for several years, and the proportion of employees participating in training is still about one third. A comparatively higher rate of further education among unskilled employees in establishments with skilled labor shortages indicates that internal resources are being increasingly used here to meet the demand for skilled employees.
Power Generation and Structural Change: Quantifying Economic Effects of the Coal Phase-out in Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
In the fight against global warming, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a major objective. In particular, a decrease in electricity generation by coal could contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. Using a multi-region dynamic general equilibrium model, this paper studies potential economic consequences of a coal phase-out in Germany. Different regional phase-out scenarios are simulated with varying timing structures. We find that a politically induced coal phase-out would lead to an increase in the national unemployment rate by about 0.10 percentage points from 2020 to 2040, depending on the specific scenario. The effect on regional unemployment rates varies between 0.18 to 1.07 percentage points in the lignite regions. However, a faster coal phase-out can lead to a faster recovery. The coal phase-out leads to migration from German lignite regions to German non-lignite regions and reduces the labour force in the lignite regions by 10,000 people by 2040.