Marktmacht, Inputkosten und Technologie

Im Fokus dieser Forschungsgruppe steht die empirische Analyse der Dynamik und Determinanten der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung. Dabei wird soweit wie möglich anerkannt, dass es einzelne heterogene Unternehmen sind, die durch ihre individuellen Fähigkeiten, Innovationen hervorzubringen und Ressourcen effizient zu allokieren, die Entwicklung auf höherer Aggregationsebene bestimmen. Insgesamt kann die mikrofundierte Analyse zu einem besseren Verständnis der eigentlichen Mechanismen und der Dynamik der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung und somit zur Entwicklung geeigneter wirtschaftspolitischer Instrumente beitragen. Beispielsweise beschäftigt sich eins der aktuellen Projekte dieser Forschungsgruppe mit den Effekten von (Import-)Wettbewerb auf Produktivität und Innovationsverhalten von Unternehmen sowie auf die Entwicklung in und von Branchen.

Die Forschungsgruppe arbeitet eng mit CompNet zusammen.

Produktivität und Institutionen

Ihr Kontakt

Dr. Matthias Mertens
Dr. Matthias Mertens
Mitglied - Abteilung Strukturwandel und Produktivität
Nachricht senden +49 345 7753-707 Persönliche Seite


10.2022 ‐ 09.2024


Europäische Kommission

Enhancing the Micro Foundation of the Research Output of National Productivity Board (NPBs). Using CompNet and expanding its Micro Data Infrastructure (MDI).

Projektseite ansehen

Professor Javier Miranda, Ph.D.

09.2016 ‐

The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet)

Mittelgeber: Europäische Zentralbank (EZB), Europäische Investitionsbank (EIB), Europäische Bank für Wiederaufbau und Entwicklung (EBRD), Tinbergen-Institut, Europäische Kommission.

The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet) provides a forum for high level research and policy analysis in the areas of competitiveness and productivity. Its main activities include the regular updating of its micro-based competitiveness database for European countries, unprecedented in terms of coverage and cross-country comparability.

Professor Reint E. Gropp, Ph.D.

Referierte Publikationen


Trade Shocks, Labour Markets and Migration in the First Globalisation

Richard Bräuer Felix Kersting

in: Economic Journal, Nr. 657, 2024


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.

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Labor Market Power and Between-Firm Wage (In)Equality

Matthias Mertens

in: International Journal of Industrial Organization, December 2023


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.

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Import Competition and Firm Productivity: Evidence from German Manufacturing

Richard Bräuer Matthias Mertens Viktor Slavtchev

in: World Economy, Nr. 8, 2023


Abstract We study how different types of import competition affect firm productivity using firm-product data from German manufacturing (2000-2014). Competition from high-income countries causes affected domestic firms to increase their productivity and lower their prices. Oppositely, import competition from low-wage countries does not lead to firm productivity gains. Instead, domestic firms' sales and input usage decline. Our findings confirm the intuition of ladder models that the effect of competition depends on the "closeness" of competitors. They are in line with widespread X-inefficiencies throughout the economy, which firms reduce in response to competition from high-income countries.

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Cross-country Evidence on the Allocation of COVID-19 Government Subsidies and Consequences for Productivity

Tommaso Bighelli Tibor Lalinsky Juuso Vanhala

in: Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, June 2023


We study the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and related policy support on productivity. We employ an extensive micro-distributed exercise to access otherwise unavailable individual data on firm performance and government subsidies. Our cross-country evidence for five EU countries shows that the pandemic led to a significant short-term decline in aggregate productivity and the direct support to firms had only a limited positive effect on productivity developments. A thorough comparative analysis of the distribution of employment and overall direct subsidies, considering separately also relative firm-level size of support and the probability of being supported, reveals ambiguous cross-country results related to the firm-level productivity and points to the decisive role of other firm characteristics.

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Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: A Test of the Efficiency of Separations

Simon Jäger Benjamin Schoefer Josef Zweimüller

in: Review of Economic Studies, Nr. 3, 2023


We present a test of Coasean theories of efficient separations. We study a cohort of jobs from the introduction through the repeal of a large age- and region-specific unemployment benefit extension in Austria. In the treatment group, 18.5% fewer jobs survive the program period. According to the Coasean view, the destroyed marginal jobs had low joint surplus. Hence, after the repeal, the treatment survivors should be more resilient than the ineligible control group survivors. Strikingly, the two groups instead exhibit identical post-repeal separation behavior. We provide, and find suggestive evidence consistent with, an alternative model in which wage rigidity drives the inefficient separation dynamics.

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Effects of Entrepreneurship Education at Universities

S. Laspita H. Patzelt Viktor Slavtchev

in: Jena Economic Research Papers, Nr. 25, 2012


This study analyzes the impact of entrepreneurship education at universities on the intentions of students to become entrepreneurs or self-employed in the short-term (immediately after graduation) and in the long-term (five years after graduation). A difference-in-differences approach is applied that relates changes in entrepreneurial intentions to changes in the attendance of entrepreneurship classes in the same period. To account for a potential bias due to self-selection into entrepreneurship classes, only individuals having no prior entrepreneurial intentions are analyzed. Our results indicate a stimulating effect of entrepreneurship education on students’ intentions to become entrepreneurs or self-employed in the long-term but a discouraging effect on their intentions in the short-term. These results support the conjecture that entrepreneurship education provides more realistic perspectives on what it takes to be an entrepreneur, resulting in ‘sorting’. Overall, the results indicate that entrepreneurship education may improve the quality of labor market matches, the allocation of resources and talent, and increase social welfare. Not distinguishing between short- and long-term intentions may lead to misleading conclusions regarding the economic and social impact of entrepreneurship education.

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How Does Industry Specialization Affect the Efficiency of Regional Innovation Systems?

Michael Fritsch Viktor Slavtchev

in: Jena Economic Research Papers, Nr. 2008-058, Nr. 58, 2008


This study analyzes the relationship between the specialization of a region in certain industries and the efficiency of the region in generating new knowledge. The efficiency measure is constructed by relating regional R&D input and output. An inversely u-shaped relationship is found between regional specialization and R&D efficiency, indicating the presence of externalities of both Marshall and Jacobs’ type. Further factors influencing efficiency are spillovers within the private sector as well as from public research institutions. The impact of both the specialization and the additional factors is, however, different for regions at different efficiency levels.

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Hochschulen als regionaler Innovationsmotor? Innovationstransfer aus Hochschulen und seine Bedeutung für die regionale Entwicklung

Michael Fritsch Viktor Slavtchev N. Steigenberger

in: Arbeitspapier / Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Nr. 158, 2008


Innovation ist der wesentliche Motor wirtschaftlicher Entwicklung. Denn vor allem die Andersverwendung von Ressourcen, weniger deren Mehreinsatz führt zu Wachstum und Wohlstand. Aus diesem Grund stellt Innovation auch einen wichtigen Ansatzpunkt für eine auf Wachstum zielende Politik dar. Dies gilt sowohl auf gesamtwirtschaftlicher Ebene als auch für einzelne Branchen und Regionen. In Innovationsprozessen stellt Wissen die entscheidende Ressource dar. Wissen ist mehr als bloße Information. Es umfasst insbesondere auch die Fähigkeit, Informationen zu interpretieren und anzuwenden bzw. ihre Anwendbarkeit einzuschätzen. Wissen ist an Menschen gebunden und lässt sich vielfach nur in direktem persönlichen Kontakt weitergeben. Aus diesem Grund hat Wissen eine regionale Dimension: Die Verfügbarkeit von Wissen hängt davon ab, wo sich die Menschen aufhalten, die über dieses Wissen verfügen. Dies ist ein wesentlicher Grund dafür, dass die Fähigkeit zur Innovation von Region zu Region wesentliche Unterschiede aufweisen kann. Für eine Politik, die auf die Stärkung der Innovationsfähigkeit von Regionen gerichtet ist, kommt den öffentlichen Forschungseinrichtungen – Universitäten, Fachhochschulen und außeruniversitären Forschungsinstituten – aus mindestens zwei Gründen zentrale Bedeutung zu: Erstens verfügen die öffentlichen Forschungseinrichtungen in besonderem Maße über innovationsrelevantes Wissen. Ihre Kernaufgabe ist es, Wissen zu produzieren, zu sammeln und weiterzugeben. Zweitens ist der Bereich der öffentlichen Forschungseinrichtungen – im Gegensatz zur privaten Wirtschaft – von der Politik direkt gestaltbar. Aus diesen Gründen stellt die Steuerung des Hochschulsektors ein zentrales Handlungsfeld der Innovationspolitik dar.

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Industry Specialization, Diversity and the Efficiency of Regional Innovation Systems

Michael Fritsch Viktor Slavtchev

in: Jena Economic Research Papers, Nr. 2007-018, Nr. 18, 2007


Innovation processes are characterized by a pronounced division of labor between actors. Two types of externality may arise from such interactions. On the one hand, a close location of actors affiliated to the same industry may stimulate innovation (MAR externalities). On the other hand, new ideas may be born by the exchange of heterogeneous and complementary knowledge between actors, which belong to different industries (Jacobs’ externalities). We test the impact of both MAR as well as Jacobs’ externalities on innovative performance at the regional level. The results suggest an inverted u-shaped relationship between regional specialization in certain industries and innovative performance. Further key determinants of the regional innovative performance are private sector R&D and university-industry collaboration.

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What Determines the Efficiency of Regional Innovation Systems?

Michael Fritsch Viktor Slavtchev

in: Jena Economic Research Papers, Nr. 2007-006, Nr. 6, 2007


We assess the efficiency of regional innovation systems (RIS) in Germany by means of a knowledge production function. This function relates private sector research and development (R&D) activity in a region to the number of inventions that have been registered by residents of that region. Different measures and estimation approaches lead to rather similar assessments. We find that both spillovers within the private sector as well as from universities and other public research institutions have a positive effect on the efficiency of private sector R&D in the respective region. It is not the mere presence and size of public research institutions, but rather the intensity of interactions between private and public sector R&D that leads to high RIS efficiency. We find that relationship between the diversity of a regions’ industry structure and the efficiency of its innovation system is inversely u-shaped. Regions dominated by large establishments tend to be less efficient than regions with a lower average establishment size.

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