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.
A Congestion Theory of Unemployment Fluctuations
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
We propose a theory of unemployment fluctuations in which newhires and incumbentworkers are imperfect substitutes. Hence, attempts to hire away the unemployed during recessions diminish the marginal product of new hires, discouraging job creation. This single feature achieves a ten-fold increase in the volatility of hiring in an otherwise standard search model, produces a realistic Beveridge curve despite countercyclical separations, and explains 30–40% of U.S. unemployment fluctuations. Additionally, it explains the excess procyclicality of new hires’ wages, the cyclical labor wedge, countercyclical earnings losses from job displacement, and the limited steady-state effects of unemployment insurance.
IWH-Tarif-Check: Keine realen Netto-Tariflohnzuwächse für Beschäftigte im öffentlichen Dienst der Länder
*** „Inflationsausgleichszahlung“ und Tariflohnsteigerungen dürften Verbraucherpreis-
inflation nur knapp ausgleichen. *** Die Tarifvertragsparteien des öffentlichen Dienstes der Länder haben sich vor kurzem auf einen neuen Tariflohnabschluss geeinigt: Es wurde vereinbart, dass Einmalzahlungen von insgesamt 3 000 Euro in elf Monats-
beträgen abgabenfrei als so genannte Inflationsausgleichsprämie gezahlt werden. Bereits im Dezember 2023 soll ein Teilbetrag in Höhe von 1 800 Euro ausgezahlt werden, von Januar bis einschließlich Oktober gibt es monatlich jeweils 120 Euro. Die regulären Tabellenentgelte erhöhen sich währenddessen nicht. Erst ab November 2024, wenn die Inflationsausgleichszahlung wegfällt, gibt es eine Stufenerhöhung über 200 Euro für alle Beschäftigten. Auf diese setzt ab Februar 2025 dann eine reguläre prozentuale Erhöhung von 5,5% auf. Der Tarifvertrag läuft bis Ende Oktober 2025.
14.12.2023 • 30/2023
Exports and private consumption weak ‒ Germany is waiting for an economic upturn
In the winter of 2023/2024, the German economy is still in a downturn. Parts of industry have lost competitiveness, real incomes have fallen in 2023 due to inflation, and there is uncertainty about the course of fiscal policy. However, rising real incomes and a slight increase in exports should cause a pickup from spring onwards. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to fall by 0.3% in 2023 and to expand by 0.5% in 2024 (East Germany: +0.5% and +0.7%). In September, the IWH forecast had assumed a decline of 0.5% for Germany in 2023 and expected growth of 0.9% for the coming year.
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Labor Market Power and Between-Firm Wage (In)Equality
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
I study how labor market power affects firm wage differences using German manufacturing sector firm-level data (1995-2016). In past decades, labor market power increasingly moderated rising between-firm wage differences. This is because high-paying firms possess high and increasing labor market power and pay wages below competitive levels, whereas low-wage firms pay competitive or even above competitive wages. Over time, large, high-wage, high-productivity firms generate increasingly large labor market rents while charging comparably low product markups. This provides novel insights on why such top firms are profitable and successful. Using micro-aggregated data covering most economic sectors, I validate key results for multiple European countries.
The Labor Effects of Judicial Bias in Bankruptcy
Journal of Financial Economics,
We study the effect of judicial bias favoring firm continuation in bankruptcy on the labor market outcomes of employees by exploiting the random assignment of cases across courts in the State of São Paulo in Brazil. Employees of firms assigned to courts that favor firm continuation are more likely to stay with their employer, but they earn, on average, lower wages three to five years after bankruptcy. We discuss several potential mechanisms that can rationalize this result, and provide evidence that imperfect information about outside options in the local labor market and adjustment costs associated with job change play an important role.
Conditional Macroeconomic Survey Forecasts: Revisions and Errors
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Using data from the European Central Bank's Survey of Professional Forecasters and ECB/Eurosystem staff projections, we analyze the role of ex-ante conditioning variables for macroeconomic forecasts. In particular, we test to which extent the updating and ex-post performance of predictions for inflation, real GDP growth and unemployment are related to beliefs about future oil prices, exchange rates, interest rates and wage growth. While oil price and exchange rate predictions are updated more frequently than macroeconomic forecasts, the opposite is true for interest rate and wage growth expectations. Beliefs about future inflation are closely associated with oil price expectations, whereas expected interest rates are related to predictions of output growth and unemployment. Exchange rate predictions also matter for macroeconomic forecasts, albeit less so than the other variables. With regard to forecast errors, wage growth and GDP growth closely comove, but only during the period when interest rates are at the effective zero lower bound.
28.09.2023 • 25/2023
The downturn in 2023 is milder in East Germany than in Germany as a whole – Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2023 and of Länder data from recent publications of the Statistical Offices
The German economy has been in a downturn for more than a year. In East Germany, however, the economy has been somewhat stronger in the past four quarters: According to the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), East German gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase by 0.5% in 2023, while production in Germany as a whole will fall by 0.6%. Next year, expansion rates of 1.3% are forecast in both the east and the west. For 2025, East German gross domestic product is expected to grow by 1.2%, which is slightly slower than in Germany as a whole (1.5%).
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28.09.2023 • 24/2023
Joint Economic Forecast 2/2023: Purchasing power returns ‒ political uncertainty high
According to the Joint Economic Forecast, Germany's gross domestic product declines by 0.6% in 2023. This is a strong downward revision of 0.9 percentage points from the forecast made in spring 2023. "The most important reason for this revision is that industry and private consumption are recovering more slowly than we expected in spring," says Oliver Holtemöller, Vice President and Head of the Macroeconomics Department at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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07.09.2023 • 23/2023
The German economy continues its downturn
High inflation, increased interest rates, weak foreign demand and uncertainty among private households and firms are currently weighing on the German economy. In its autumn forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 0.5% in 2023 and to increase by 0.9% in 2024.
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