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.
ForschungsclusterProduktivität und Institutionen
10.2022 ‐ 09.2024
Enhancing the Micro Foundation of the Research Output of National Productivity Board (NPBs). Using CompNet and expanding its Micro Data Infrastructure (MDI).
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.
European Firm Concentration and Aggregate Productivity
in: Journal of the European Economic Association, Nr. 2, 2023
This paper derives a European Herfindahl–Hirschman concentration index from 15 micro-aggregated country datasets. In the last decade, European concentration rose due to a reallocation of economic activity toward large and concentrated industries. Over the same period, productivity gains from an increasing allocative efficiency of the European market accounted for 50% of European productivity growth while markups stayed constant. Using country-industry variation, we show that changes in concentration are positively associated with changes in productivity and allocative efficiency. This holds across most sectors and countries and supports the notion that rising concentration in Europe reflects a more efficient market environment rather than weak competition and rising market power.
Paying Outsourced Labor: Direct Evidence from Linked Temp Agency-Worker-Client Data
in: Review of Economics and Statistics, Nr. 1, 2023
We estimate how much firms differentiate pay premia between regular and outsourced workers in temp agency work arrangements. We leverage unique Argentinian administrative data that feature links between user firms (the workplaces where temp workers perform their labor) and temp agencies (their formal employers). We estimate that a high-wage user firm that pays a regular worker a 10% premium pays a temp worker on average only a 4.9% premium, compared to what these workers would earn in a low-wage user firm in their respective work arrangements—the midpoint between the benchmarks for insiders (one) and the competitive spot-labor market (zero).
The East-West German Gap in Revenue Productivity: Just a Tale of Output Prices?
in: Journal of Comparative Economics, Nr. 3, 2022
East German manufacturers’ revenue productivity is substantially below West German levels, even three decades after German unification. Using firm-product-level data with product quantities and prices, we analyze the role of product specialization and show that the prominent “extended work bench hypothesis” cannot explain these sustained productivity differences. Eastern firms specialize in simpler product varieties generating less consumer value and being manufactured with less or cheaper inputs. Yet, such specialization cannot explain the productivity gap because Eastern firms are physically less productive for given product prices. Hence, there is a genuine price-adjusted physical productivity disadvantage of Eastern compared to Western firms.
What Does Codetermination Do?
in: ILR Review, Nr. 4, 2022
The authors provide a comprehensive overview of codetermination, that is, worker representation in firms’ governance and management. The available micro evidence points to zero or small positive effects of codetermination on worker and firm outcomes and leaves room for moderate positive effects on productivity, wages, and job stability. The authors also present new country-level, general-equilibrium event studies of codetermination reforms between the 1960s and 2010s, finding no effects on aggregate economic outcomes or the quality of industrial relations. They offer three explanations for the institution’s limited impact. First, existing codetermination laws convey little authority to workers. Second, countries with codetermination laws have high baseline levels of informal worker voice. Third, codetermination laws may interact with other labor market institutions, such as union representation and collective bargaining. The article closes with a discussion of the implications for recent codetermination proposals in the United States.
Micro-mechanisms behind Declining Labor Shares: Rising Market Power and Changing Modes of Production
in: International Journal of Industrial Organization, March 2022
I derive a micro-founded framework showing how rising firm market power on product and labor markets and falling aggregate labor output elasticities provide three competing explanations for falling labor shares. I apply my framework to 20 years of German manufacturing sector micro data containing firm-specific price information to study these three distinct drivers of declining labor shares. I document a severe increase in firms’ labor market power, whereas firms’ product market power stayed comparably low. Changes in firm market power and a falling aggregate labor output elasticity each account for one half of the decline in labor's share.
Wirtschaftliche Folgen des Gaspreisanstiegs für die deutsche Industrie
in: Sachverständigenrat Wirtschaft, Nr. 4, 2022
Diese Analyse nutzt amtliche Mikrodaten für die deutsche Industrie. Auf Ebene fein untergliederter Produkte werden der Verbrauch an Erdgas und der heimische Produktumsatz mit Daten der Vereinten Nationen zu Exporten und Importen verknüpft. Es zeigt sich, dass die 300 Produkte mit dem höchsten Gasverbrauch innerhalb der deutschen Industrie für knapp 90% des Gasverbrauchs der Industrie stehen, dass bei Gaspreiserhöhungen um das Vierfache gegenüber den Jahren 2015-2017 die Kosten für das durchschnittliche Produkt um 12 Cent pro Euro Umsatz steigen und dass ein Produktionsstopp der Produkte, die sowohl überdurchschnittlich gasintensiv sind als auch überdurchschnittlich leicht durch Importe substituiert werden können, 26% des Gesamtgasverbrauchs der Industrie einspart, aber weniger als 3% des Umsatzes der Industrie kostet.
Offshoring, Domestic Employment and Production. Evidence from the German International Sourcing Survey
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 14, 2022
This paper analyses the effect of offshoring (i.e., the relocation of activities previously performed in-house to foreign countries) on various firm outcomes (domestic employment, production, and productivity). It uses data from the International Sourcing Survey (ISS) 2017 for Germany, linked to other firm level data such as business register and ITGS data. First, we find that offshoring is a rare event: In the sample of firms with 50 or more persons employed, only about 3% of manufacturing firms and 1% of business service firms have performed offshoring in the period 2014-2016. Second, difference-in-differences propensity score matching estimates reveal a negative effect of offshoring on domestic employment and production. Most of this negative effect is not because the offshoring firms shrink, but rather because they don’t grow as fast as the non-offshoring firms. We further decompose the underlying employment dynamics by using direct survey evidence on how many jobs the firms destroyed/created due to offshoring. Moreover, we do not find an effect on labour productivity, since the negative effect on domestic employment and production are more or less of the same size. Third, the German data confirm previous findings for Denmark that offshoring is associated with an increase in the share of ‘produced goods imports’, i.e. offshoring firms increase their imports for the same goods they continue to produce domestically. In contrast, it is not the case that offshoring firms increase the share of intermediate goods imports (a commonly used proxy for offshoring), as defined by the BEC Rev. 5 classification.
The Financial Channel of Wage Rigidity
in: Econometrics Laboratory (EML), April 2022
I propose a financial channel of wage rigidity. In recessions, rigid average wages squeeze cash flows, forcing firms to cut hiring due to financial constraints. Indeed, empirical cash flows and profits would turn acyclical if wages were only moderately more procyclical. I study this channel in a search and matching model with financial constraints and wage rigidity among incumbent workers (but flexible new hires’ wages). While neither feature generates amplification individually, their interaction can account for much of the empirical labor market fluctuations—breaking the neutrality of incumbents’ wages for hiring, and showing that financial amplification of business cycles requires wage rigidity.
Intangible Capital and Productivity. Firm-level Evidence from German Manufacturing
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 1, 2020
We study the importance of intangible capital (R&D, software, patents) for the measurement of productivity using firm-level panel data from German manufacturing. We first document a number of facts on the evolution of intangible investment over time, and its distribution across firms. Aggregate intangible investment increased over time. However, the distribution of intangible investment, even more so than that of physical investment, is heavily right-skewed, with many firms investing nothing or little, and a few firms having very large intensities. Intangible investment is also lumpy. Firms that invest more intensively in intangibles (per capita or as sales share) also tend to be more productive. In a second step, we estimate production functions with and without intangible capital using recent control function approaches to account for the simultaneity of input choice and unobserved productivity shocks. We find a positive output elasticity for research and development (R&D) and, to a lesser extent, software and patent investment. Moreover, the production function estimates show substantial heterogeneity in the output elasticities across industries and firms. While intangible capital has small effects for firms with low intangible intensity, there are strong positive effects for high-intensity firms. Finally, including intangibles in a gross output production function reduces productivity dispersion (measured by the 90-10 decile range) on average by 3%, in some industries as much as nearly 9%.
TV and Entrepreneurship
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 17, 2017
We empirically analyse whether television (TV) can influence entrepreneurial identity and incidence. To identify causal effects, we utilise a quasi-natural experiment setting. During the division of Germany after WWII into West Germany with a free-market economy and the socialistic East Germany with centrally-planned economy, some East German regions had access to West German public TV that – differently from the East German TV – transmitted images, values, attitudes and view of life compatible with the free-market economy principles and supportive of entrepreneurship. We show that during the 40 years of socialistic regime in East Germany entrepreneurship was highly regulated and virtually impossible and that the prevalent formal and informal institutions broke the traditional ties linking entrepreneurship to the characteristics of individuals so that there were hardly any differences in the levels and development of entrepreneurship between East German regions with and without West German TV signal. Using both, regional and individual level data, we show then that, for the period after the Unification in 1990 which made starting an own business in East Germany, possible again, entrepreneurship incidence is higher among the residents of East German regions that had access to West German public TV, indicating that TV can, while transmitting specific images, values, attitudes and view of life, directly impact on the entrepreneurial mindset of individuals. Moreover, we find that young individuals born after 1980 in East German households that had access to West German TV are also more entrepreneurial. These findings point to second-order effects due to inter-personal and inter-generational transmission, a mechanism that can cause persistent differences in the entrepreneurship incidence across (geographically defined) population groups.