Fiscal Policy and Fiscal Fragility: Empirical Evidence from the OECD ...
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On DSGE Models
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
The outcome of any important macroeconomic policy change is the net effect of forces operating on different parts of the economy. A central challenge facing policymakers is how to assess the relative strength of those forces. Economists have a range of tools that can be used to make such assessments. Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models are the leading tool for making such assessments in an open and transparent manner. We review the state of mainstream DSGE models before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. We then describe how DSGE models are estimated and evaluated. We address the question of why DSGE modelers—like most other economists and policymakers—failed to predict the financial crisis and the Great Recession, and how DSGE modelers responded to the financial crisis and its aftermath. We discuss how current DSGE models are actually used by policymakers. We then provide a brief response to some criticisms of DSGE models, with special emphasis on criticism by Joseph Stiglitz, and offer some concluding remarks.
28.09.2017 • 36/2017
Aufschwung im Osten so stark wie in Deutschland insgesamt – Implikationen der Gemeinschaftsdiagnose Herbst 2017 für Ostdeutschland
Für das Jahr 2017 prognostiziert das Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH) einen Anstieg des ostdeutschen Bruttoinlandsprodukts mit Berlin um 1,9% (Gemeinschaftsdiagnose für Deutschland insgesamt ebenfalls 1,9%). Der gegenüber dem Jahr 2016 (2,1%) etwas schwächere Zuwachs der Produktion resultiert lediglich aus der geringeren Anzahl von Arbeitstagen. Auch im Jahr 2018 dürfte die ostdeutsche Wirtschaft mit 2,0% so kräftig wie in Deutschland insgesamt zulegen.
TV and Entrepreneurship
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.
15.06.2017 • 26/2017
Kranke Banken treiben Schulden von Zombie-Firmen nach oben
Angeschlagene Eurostaaten wie Griechenland und Spanien haben aktuell nicht nur mit ihren Banken zu kämpfen, sondern auch mit hochverschuldeten Firmen im eigenen Land. Eine Gruppe von Forschern unter der Beteiligung von Michael Koetter vom Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH) fand nun heraus: Scheitern die Banken daran, ihre finanziellen Probleme in den Griff zu bekommen, behindert das auch den Schuldenabbau von Unternehmen, die ohnehin ums Überleben kämpfen – und steigert mitunter sogar deren Schulden.
Does Social Capital Matter in Corporate Decisions? Evidence from Corporate Tax Avoidance
Journal of Accounting Research,
We investigate whether the levels of social capital in U.S. counties, as captured by strength of civic norms and density of social networks in the counties, are systematically related to tax avoidance activities of corporations with headquarters located in the counties. We find strong negative associations between social capital and corporate tax avoidance, as captured by effective tax rates and book-tax differences. These results are incremental to the effects of local religiosity and firm culture toward socially irresponsible activities. They are robust to using organ donation as an alternative social capital proxy and fixed effect regressions. They extend to aggressive tax avoidance practices. Additionally, we provide corroborating evidence using firms with headquarters relocation that changes the exposure to social capital. We conclude that social capital surrounding corporate headquarters provides environmental influences constraining corporate tax avoidance.
U.S. Monetary-Fiscal Regime Changes in the Presence of Endogenous Feedback in Policy Rules
We investigate U.S. monetary and fiscal policy regime interactions in a model, where regimes are determined by latent autoregressive policy factors with endogenous feedback. Policy regimes interact strongly: Shocks that switch one policy from active to passive tend to induce the other policy to switch from passive to active, consistently with existence of a unique equilibrium, though both policies are active and government debt grows rapidly in some periods. We observe relatively strong interactions between monetary and fiscal policy regimes after the recent financial crisis. Finally, latent policy regime factors exhibit patterns of correlation with macroeconomic time series, suggesting that policy regime change is endogenous.