Aufschwung bleibt moderat — Wirtschaftspolitik wenig wachstumsorientiert
Die deutsche Wirtschaft befindet sich in einem moderaten Aufschwung. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt die Mitte April veröffentlichte Gemeinschaftsdiagnose der Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitute. Das Bruttoinlandsprodukt dürfte demnach in diesem Jahr um 1,6% und im kommenden Jahr um 1,5% zulegen. Getragen wird der Aufschwung vom privaten Konsum, der vom anhaltenden Beschäftigungsaufbau, den spürbaren Steigerungen der Lohn- und Transfereinkommen und den Kaufkraftgewinnen infolge der gesunkenen Energiepreise profitiert.
Do Manufacturing Firms Benefit from Services FDI? – Evidence from Six New EU Member States
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper focuses on the effect of foreign presence in the services sector on the productivity growth of downstream customers in the manufacturing sector in six EU new member countries in the course of their accession to the European Union. For this purpose, the analysis combines firm-level information, data on economic structures and annual national input-output tables. The findings suggest that services FDI may enhance productivity of manufacturing firms in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries through vertical forward spillovers, and thereby contribute to their competitiveness. The consideration of firm characteristics shows that the magnitude of spillover effects depends on size, ownership structure, and initial productivity level of downstream firms as well as on the diverging technological intensity across sector on the supply and demand side. The results suggest that services FDI foster productivity of domestic rather than foreign controlled firms in the host economy. For the period between 2003 and 2008, the findings suggest that the increasing share of services provided by foreign affiliates enhanced the productivity growth of domestic firms in manufacturing by 0.16%. Furthermore, the firms’ absorptive capability and the size reduce the spillover effect of services FDI on the productivity of manufacturing firms. A sectoral distinction shows that firms at the end of the value chain experience a larger productivity growth through services FDI, whereas the aggregate positive effect seems to be driven by FDI in energy supply. This does not hold for science-based industries, which are spurred by foreign presence in knowledge-intensive business services.
The Development of Cities and Municipalities in Central and Eastern Europe: Introduction for a Special Issue of 'Urban Research and Practice'
Urban Research & Practice, Vol. 7 (3),
Since the 1990s, local governments in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have been confronted by completely new structures and developments. This came after more than 40 years (or even longer in the case of the former Soviet Union) under a socialist regime and behind an iron curtain which isolated them from the non-socialist world. A lack of resources had led to an underinvestment in the refurbishment of older buildings, while relatively cheap ‘prefabricated’ housing had been built, not only in the outskirts of cities, but also within city centres. A lack of resources had also resulted in the fact that the socialist regimes were generally unable to replace old buildings with ‘modern’ ones; hence, there is a very rich heritage of historical monuments in many of these cities today. The centrally planned economies and the development of urban structures (including the shifts of population between cities and regions) were determined by ideology, political rationality and the integration of all CEE countries into the production schemes of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and its division of labour by location. The sudden introduction of a market economy, private property, democratic rules, local autonomy for cities and municipalities and access to the global economy and society may be seen as a kind of ‘natural experiment’. How would these new conditions shape the national systems of cities and municipalities? Which cities would shrink and which would grow? How would the relationship between core cities and their surrounding municipalities develop? And what would happen within these cities and with their built environment?
FDI Micro Database – Methodological Note – Survey 2013 in East Germany and Selected CEE Countries
With the integration of post-communist countries into the European and global economy
after 1990, there was strong research interest into the role of multinational enterprises
(MNEs) for economic restructuring and technological catching-up. Most of the existing
empirical studies on locational determinants of FDI and host country effects did not take
account of East Germany. This might be for different reasons: Firstly, theoretical and
empirical difficulties derive from the fact that East Germany followed a distinct transition
pattern as it became a region subsumed in a larger and more mature economy. Secondly,
East Germany received private investment from foreign as well as West German firms. Only
the first can be considered as a foreign direct investment (FDI). Finally, there had long been
a lack of micro data to adequately analyse the activities of corresponding firms from a
production as well as technological perspective.
Towards Deeper Financial Integration in Europe: What the Banking Union Can Contribute
IWH Discussion Papers,
The agreement to establish a Single Supervisory Mechanism in Europe is a major step towards a Banking Union, consisting of centralized powers for the supervision of banks, the restructuring and resolution of distressed banks, and a common deposit insurance system. In this paper, we argue that the Banking Union is a necessary complement to the common currency and the Internal Market for capital. However, due care needs to be taken that steps towards a Banking Union are taken in the right sequence and that liability and control remain at the same level throughout. The following elements are important. First, establishing a Single Supervisory Mechanism under the roof of the ECB and within the framework of the current EU treaties does not ensure a sufficient degree of independence of supervision and monetary policy. Second, a European institution for the restructuring and resolution of banks should be established and equipped with sufficient powers. Third, a fiscal backstop for bank restructuring is needed. The ESM can play a role but additional fiscal burden sharing agreements are needed. Direct recapitalization of banks through the ESM should not be possible until legacy assets on banks’ balance sheets have been cleaned up. Fourth, introducing European-wide deposit insurance in the current situation would entail the mutualisation of legacy assets, thus contributing to moral hazard.
Towards a Europeanization of Wage Bargaining? Evidence from the Metal Sector
European Journal of Industrial Relations,
European trade unions have attempted to coordinate their bargaining strategies transnationally in order to counter downward pressures on wages. Such coordination is most feasible in broadly integrated and exposed sectors that have to face common competitive constraints on wages. This article investigates collectively negotiated wage increases in the metal sector in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. We assume a specific logic of transnational pattern bargaining, with Germany as the ‘anchor’ country. We investigate the emergence of a transnational wage coordination effect before and after institutions for the coordination of wage bargaining were established. Finally, we draw conclusions on prospects for wage bargaining coordination with further integration of Economic and Monetary Union.
Skill Content of Intra-european Trade Flows
European Journal of Comparative Economics,
In recent decades, the international division of labor has expanded rapidly in the wake of European integration. In this context, especially Western European high-wage countries should have specialized on (human-)capital intensively manufactured goods and should have increasingly sourced labor-intensively manufactured goods, especially parts and components, from Eastern European low wage countries. Since this should be beneficial for the high-skilled and harmful to the lower-qualified workforce in high-wage countries, the opening up of Eastern Europe is often considered as a vital reason for increasing unemployment of the lower-qualified in Western Europe. This paper addresses this issue by analyzing the skill content of Western European countries’ bilateral trade using input-output techniques in order to evaluate possible effects of international trade on labor demand. Thereby, differences in factor inputs and production technologies have been considered, allowing for vertical product differentiation. In this case, skill content of bilateral exports and imports partially differs substantially, especially in bilateral trade between Western and Eastern European countries. According to the results, East-West trade should be harmful particularly to the medium-skilled in Western European countries.