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


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

Michael Fritsch Viktor Slavtchev

in: Annals of Regional Science, Nr. 1, 2010


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 externalities resulting from high R&D intensity of the local private sector as well as knowledge from local 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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Universities and Innovation in Space

Michael Fritsch Viktor Slavtchev

in: Industry and Innovation, Nr. 2, 2007


We investigate the role of universities as a knowledge source for regional innovation processes. The contribution of universities is tested on the level of German NUTS‐3 regions (Kreise) by using a variety of indicators. We find that the intensity and quality of the research conducted by the universities have a significant effect on regional innovative output while pure size is unimportant. Therefore, a policy that wants to promote regional innovation processes by building up universities should place substantial emphasis on the intensity and quality of the research conducted there. We also find the effects of universities to be concentrated in space. Obviously, the geographical proximity to particular knowledge sources is important for regional innovative activities.

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Worker Beliefs about Outside Options

Simon Jäger Christopher Roth Nina Roussille Benjamin Schoefer

in: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2099


Standard labor market models assume that workers hold accurate beliefs about the external wage distribution, and hence their outside options with other employers. We test this assumption by comparing German workers’ beliefs about outside options with objective benchmarks. First, we find that workers wrongly anchor their beliefs about outside options on their current wage: workers that would experience a 10% wage change if switching to their outside option only expect a 1% change. Second, workers in low-paying firms underestimate wages elsewhere. Third, in response to information about the wages of similar workers, respondents correct their beliefs about their outside options and change their job search and wage negotiation intentions. Finally, we analyze the consequences of anchoring in a simple equilibrium model. In the model, anchored beliefs keep overly pessimistic workers stuck in low-wage jobs, which gives rise to monopsony power and labor market segmentation.

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Wirtschaftliche Folgen des Gaspreisanstiegs für die deutsche Industrie

Matthias Mertens Steffen Müller

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.

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Offshoring, Domestic Employment and Production. Evidence from the German International Sourcing Survey

Wolfhard Kaus Markus Zimmermann

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.

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The Financial Channel of Wage Rigidity

Benjamin Schoefer

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.

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Intangible Capital and Productivity. Firm-level Evidence from German Manufacturing

Wolfhard Kaus Viktor Slavtchev Markus Zimmermann

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%.

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TV and Entrepreneurship

Viktor Slavtchev Michael Wyrwich

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.

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