Population and labour market
Population and labour market Inhabitants are all people (Germans and foreigners) with permanent residence in federal territory (or in a Land). That does not include ...
IWH Alumni The IWH would like to stay in contact with its former employees. We...
PhD Graduates Financial Markets
PhD Graduates of the Department of Financial Markets Hannes Böhm: "The Role of...
14.09.2021 • 23/2021
Production bottlenecks delay recovery
The German recovery made good progress over the summer 2021. However, bottlenecks in sea transport and the production of intermediate goods are weighing on world trade. The rise in raw material prices has prompted inflation rates to spike, and an increase in new infections is clouding the outlook again. A weak final quarter is therefore to be expected. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that German gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 2.2% in 2021 and 3.6% in 2022 (East Germany: 1.8% and 2.8%).
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Hysteresis from Employer Subsidies
Journal of Public Economics,
This paper uses administrative data to analyze a large and 8-year long employer payroll tax rate cut in Sweden for young workers aged 26 or less. We replicate previous results documenting that during the earlier years of the reform, it raised youth employment among the treated workers, driven by labor demand (as workers’ take-home wages did not respond). First, drawing on additional years of data, this paper then documents that the longer-run effects during the reform are twice as large as the medium-run effects. Second, we document novel labor-demand-driven “hysteresis” from this policy – i.e. persistent employment effects even after the subsidy no longer applies – along two dimensions. Over the lifecycle, employment effects persist even after workers age out of eligibility. Three years after the repeal, employment remains elevated at the maximal reform level in the formerly subsidized ages. These hysteresis effects more than double the direct employment effects of the reform. Discrimination against young workers in job posting fell during the reform and does not bounce back after repeal, potentially explaining our results.
Why is Unemployment so Countercyclical?
Review of Economic Dynamics,
We argue that wage inertia plays a pivotal role in allowing empirically plausible variants of the standard search and matching model to account for the large countercyclical response of unemployment to shocks.
Conditional Macroeconomic Forecasts: Disagreement, Revisions and Forecast Errors
IWH Discussion Papers,
Using data from the European Central Bank‘s Survey of Professional Forecasters, we analyse the role of ex-ante conditioning variables for macroeconomic forecasts. In particular, we test to which extent the heterogeneity, updating and ex-post performance of predictions for inflation, real GDP growth and the unemployment rate are related to assumptions about future oil prices, exchange rates, interest rates and wage growth. Our findings indicate that inflation forecasts are closely associated with oil price expectations, whereas expected interest rates are used primarily to predict output growth and unemployment. Expectations about exchange rates and wage growth also matter for macroeconomic forecasts, albeit less so than oil prices and interest rates. We show that survey participants can considerably improve forecast accuracy for macroeconomic outcomes by reducing prediction errors for external conditions. Our results contribute to a better understanding of the expectation formation process of experts.
Labor in the Boardroom
Quarterly Journal of Economics,
We estimate the wage effects of shared governance, or codetermination, in the form of a mandate of one-third of corporate board seats going to worker representatives. We study a reform in Germany that abruptly abolished this mandate for stock corporations incorporated after August 1994, while it locked the mandate for the slightly older cohorts. Our research design compares firm cohorts incorporated before the reform and after; in a robustness check we draw on the analogous difference in unaffected firm types (LLCs). We find no effects of board-level codetermination on wages and the wage structure, even in firms with particularly flexible wages. The degree of rent sharing and the labor share are also unaffected. We reject that disinvestment could have offset wage effects through the canonical hold-up channel, as shared governance, if anything, increases capital formation.
15.04.2021 • 12/2021
Economy in East Germany shrank less than in the West, but will have weaker momentum when pandemic disappears – Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2021 and new data for East Germany
At 3%, the increase in gross domestic product in eastern Germany in 2021 is likely to be lower than in Germany as a whole (3.7%), as the slump due to the pandemic was smaller in 2020. In the course of the economic recovery in the second half of the year, the unemployment rate is expected to fall slightly.
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