Unions as Insurance: Workplace Unionization and Workers' Outcomes During COVID-19
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society,
Abstract We investigate to what extent workplace unionization protects workers from external shocks by preventing involuntary job separations. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a plausibly exogenous shock hitting the whole economy, we compare workers who worked in unionized and non-unionized workplaces directly before the pandemic in a difference-in-differences framework. We find that unionized workers were substantially more likely to remain working for their pre-COVID employer and to be in employment. This greater employment stability was not traded off against lower working hours or labor income.
Industry Mix, Local Labor Markets, and the Incidence of Trade Shocks
Journal of Labor Economics,
We analyze how skill transferability and the local industry mix affect the adjustment costs of workers hit by a trade shock. Using German administrative data and novel measures of economic distance we construct an index of labor market absorptiveness that captures the degree to which workers from a particular industry are able to reallocate into other jobs. Among manufacturing workers, we find that the earnings loss associated with increased import exposure is much higher for those who live in the least absorptive regions. We conclude that the local industry composition plays an important role in the adjustment processes of workers.
Trade Shocks, Labour Markets and Migration in the First Globalisation
This paper studies the economic and political effects of a large trade shock in agriculture—the grain invasion from the Americas—in Prussia during the first globalisation (1870–913). We show that this shock led to a decline in the employment rate and overall income. However, we do not observe declining per capita income and political polarisation, which we explain by a strong migration response. Our results suggest that the negative and persistent effects of trade shocks we see today are not a universal feature of globalisation, but depend on labour mobility. For our analysis, we digitise data from Prussian industrial and agricultural censuses on the county level and combine them with national trade data at the product level. We exploit the cross-regional variation in cultivated crops within Prussia and instrument with Italian and United States trade data to isolate exogenous variation.
Understanding Post-Covid Inflation Dynamics
Journal of Monetary Economics,
We propose a macroeconomic model with a nonlinear Phillips curve that has a flat slope when inflationary pressures are subdued and steepens when inflationary pressures are elevated. The nonlinear Phillips curve in our model arises due to a quasi-kinked demand schedule for goods produced by firms. Our model can jointly account for the modest decline in inflation during the Great Recession and the surge in inflation during the post-COVID period. Because our model implies a stronger transmission of shocks when inflation is high, it generates conditional heteroskedasticity in inflation and inflation risk. Hence, our model can generate more sizeable inflation surges due to cost-push and demand shocks than a standard linearized model. Finally, our model implies that the central bank faces a more severe trade-off between inflation and output stabilization when inflation is elevated.
14.03.2023 • 7/2023
Gas storages full – economic outlook less gloomy
The severe slump in the German economy expected last fall has not materialised because gas supply stabilises. However, due to high inflation, higher real interest rates and declining real incomes, the economy is likely to remain weak. In its spring forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects production to grow by just 0.4% in 2023, and inflation to remain high at 5.8%.
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Monetary Policy in an Oil-dependent Economy in the Presence of Multiple Shocks
Review of World Economics,
Russian monetary policy has been challenged by large and continuous private capital outflows and a sharp drop in oil prices during 2014. Both contributed to significant depreciation pressures on the ruble and led the central bank to give up its exchange rate management strategy. Against this background, this work estimates a small open economy model for Russia, featuring an oil price sector and extended by a specification of the foreign exchange market to correctly account for systematic central bank interventions. We find that shocks to the oil price and private capital flows substantially affect domestic variables such as inflation and output. Simulations for the estimated actual strategy and alternative regimes suggest that the vulnerability of the Russian economy to external shocks can substantially be lowered by adopting some form of inflation targeting. Strategies to target the nominal exchange rate or the ruble price of oil prove to be inferior.
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