11.03.2021 • 8/2021
New wave of infections suspends economic recovery
The lockdown is being eased only slightly in Germany in March 2021, and gross domestic product (GDP) declines significantly in the first quarter of 2021. As vaccination campaigns progress and restrictions are gradually eased, a normalisation of household consumption patterns will likely boost the economy later during the year. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that GDP will increase by 3.7% in 2021, following a decline of 4.9% in 2020. In East Germany, both the contraction and the rebound are much less pronounced.
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16.12.2020 • 26/2020
New wave of infections delays economic recovery in Germany
The lockdown is causing production in Germany to decline at the end of the year. When restrictions will be relaxed again, the recovery is likely to pick up pace only slowly, partly because the temporary reduction in value-added taxes is expiring. In spring, milder temperatures and an increasing portion of the population being vaccinated are likely to support the German economy to expand more strongly. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that gross domestic product will increase by 4.4% in 2021, following a 5% decline in 2020. In East Germany, both the decline and the recovery will be significantly less pronounced.
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Can Lenders Discern Managerial Ability from Luck? Evidence from Bank Loan Contracts
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We investigate the effect of managerial ability versus luck on bank loan contracting. Borrowers showing a persistently superior managerial ability over previous years (more likely due to ability) enjoy a lower loan spread, while borrowers showing a temporary superior managerial ability (more likely due to luck) do not enjoy any spread reduction. This finding suggests that banks can discern ability from luck when pricing a loan. Firms with high-ability managers are more likely to continue their prior lower loan spread. The spread-reduction effect of managerial ability is stronger for firms with weak governance structures or poor stakeholder relationships, corroborating the notion that better managerial ability alleviates borrowers’ agency and information risks. We also find that well governed banks are better able to price governance into their borrowers’ loans, which helps explain why good governance enhances bank value.
16.03.2016 • 10/2016
German Economy Stays Stable Despite Shaky Environment
The German economy had a good start into the year 2016, in spite of heightened risks for the world economy and political turmoil in Europe. Employment and incomes are expanding, as is internal de-mand, additionally supported by government spending related to the high number of newly arrived refugees. However, sliding sentiment indicates a temporary slow down of the economy during this spring. We assume that the present political tensions inside the European Union can be mitigated in the coming months and that confidence will rise again. All in all, gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to rise by 1.5% in 2016.
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Changing patterns of employment
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In Germany, the typical pattern of employment is still an employee with open-ended full time contract (standard employment relationship). Nearly three out of four employed persons work in that type of employment. However, during the last years, a number of other employment models expanded in the labour market: part-time, temporary, short-term and marginal workers. Main reasons for that development are the effects of globalization, the structural change in modern economies (the increasing importance of the services sector), and changing preferences on the part of employees to achieve a better work-life-balance. The article deals with the rise of atypical employment relationships. We find that atypical work is a domain of female and young people. During the last years, atypical employment relationship in West and East Germany increased similarly due to globalization. Differences in employment patterns between East and West could be linked to employment behaviour and structural determinants.
Does Temporary Employment Affect the Work-related Training of Low-skilled Employees?
Zeitschrift für Arbeitsmarktforschung,
Using the German Mikrozensus 2004, this paper analyses the effect of temporary contracts on work-related training for low-skilled workers. To take systematic differences between temporary and permanent employees into account, we estimate a bivariate probit model for whether fixed-term employment affects participation in work-related training. We conclude that holding a temporary contract does not have systematic disadvantages in access to further training.
Does temporary employment influence the workrelated training of low-skilled employees?
IWH Discussion Papers,
Fixed-term contracts are considerd as one of the most popular instruments of labour market flexibility. Although they provide new labour market options for employer and employees, it is argued that they may lead to decreasing investments in human capital. From the theoretical point of view it is not clear wheter a fixed-term contract is a drawback for the participation in work-related training. The paper deals with the influence of fixed-term contracts on work-related training especially for low-skilled workers. Based on the Micro Census data of 2004, we estimate a bivariate probit model for the probability of fixed-term employment and participating in work-related training. This model enables us to control for selection effects that may arise from unobservable factors. From the estimation results we can conclude that holding a fixed-term contract does not mean a systematical disadvantage for the training probability of low-skilled employees.
Who Invests in Training if Contracts are Temporary? - Empirical Evidence for Germany Using Selection Correction
IWH Discussion Papers,
This study deals with the effect of fixed-term contracts on work-related training. Though previous studies found a negative effect of fixed-term contracts on the participation in training, from the theoretical point of view it is not clear whether workers with fixed-term contracts receive less or more training, compared to workers with permanent contracts. In addition to the existing strand of literature, we especially distinguish between employer- and employee-financed training in order to allow for diverging investment patterns of worker and firm. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), we estimate a bivariate probit model to control for selection effects that may arise from unobservable factors, affecting both participation in training and holding fixed-term contracts. Finding negative effects for employer-sponsored, as well as for employee-sponsored training, leads us to conclude that workers with fixed-term contracts do not compensate for lower firm investments.
Determinants of employment - the macroeconomic view
Schriften des IWH,
The weak performance of the German labour market over the past years has led to a significant unemployment problem. Currently, on average 4.5 mio. people are without a job contract, and a large part of them are long-term unemployed. A longer period of unemployment reduces their employability and aggravates the problem of social exclusion.
The factors driving the evolution of employment have been recently discussed on the workshop Determinanten der Beschäftigung – die makroökonomische Sicht organized jointly by the IAB, Nuremberg, and the IWH, Halle. The present volume contains the papers and proceedings to the policy oriented workshop held in November 2004, 15-16th. The main focus of the contributions is twofold. First, macroeconomic conditions to stimulate output and employment are considered. Second, the impacts of the increasing tax wedge between labour costs and the take home pay are emphasized. In particular, the role of the contributions to the social security system is investigated.
In his introductory address, Ulrich Walwei (IAB) links the unemployment experience to the modest path of economic growth in Germany. In addition, the low employment intensity of GDP growth and the temporary standstill of the convergence process of the East German economy have contributed to the weak labour market performance. In his analysis, Gebhard Flaig (ifo Institute, München) stresses the importance of relative factor price developments. A higher rate of wage growth leads to a decrease of the employment intensity of production, and correspondingly to an increase of the threshold of employment. Christian Dreger (IWH) discusses the relevance of labour market institutions like employment protection legislation and the structure of the wage bargaining process on the labour market outcome. Compared to the current setting, policies should try to introduce more flexibility in labour markets to improve the employment record. The impact of interest rate shocks on production is examined by the paper of Boris Hofmann (Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt). According to the empirical evidence, monetary policy cannot explain the modest economic performance in Germany. György Barabas and Roland Döhrn (RWI Essen) have simulated the effects of a world trade shock on output and employment. The relationships have been fairly stable over the past years, even in light of the increasing globalization. Income and employment effects of the German tax reform in 2000 are discussed by Peter Haan and Viktor Steiner (DIW Berlin). On the base of a microsimulation model, household gains are determined. Also, a positive relationship between wages and labour supply can be established. Michael Feil und Gerd Zika (IAB) have examined the employment effects of a reduction of the contribution rates to the social security system. To obtain robust results, the analysis is done under alternative financing scenarios and with different macroeconometric models. The impacts of allowances of social security contributions on the incentives to work are discussed by Wolfgang Meister and Wolfgang Ochel (ifo München). According to their study, willingness to work is expected to increase especially at the lower end of the income distribution. The implied loss of contributions could be financed by higher taxes.