Capital Account Liberalisation Does Worsen Income Inequality
This study examines the relationship between capital account liberalisation and income inequality. Adopting a novel identification strategy, namely a difference-in-difference estimation combined with propensity score matching between the liberalised and closed countries, we provide robust evidence that opening the capital account is associated with an adverse impact on income inequality in developing countries. The main findings are threefold. First, fully liberalising the capital account is associated with a small rise of 0.07-0.30 standard deviations in the Gini coefficient in the short-run and a rise as large as 0.32-0.62 standard deviations in the ten years after liberalisation, on average. Second, widening income inequality is the outcome of the growing income share of the rich at the cost of the poor. The long-term effect of capital account liberalisation includes a reduction in the income share of the poorest half by 2.66-3.79 percentage points and an increase in the income share of the richest 10% by 5.19-8.76 percentage points. Third, the directions and categories of capital account liberalisation matter. Inward capital account liberalisation is more detrimental to income equality than outward capital account liberalisation, and free access to the international equity market exacerbates income inequality the most, while foreign direct investment has an insignificant impact on inequality.
Financial Linkages and Sectoral Business Cycle Synchronisation: Evidence from Europe
We analyse whether financial integration between countries leads to converging or diverging business cycles using a dynamic spatial model. Our model allows for contemporaneous spillovers of shocks to GDP growth between countries that are financially integrated and delivers a scalar measure of the spillover intensity at each point in time. For a financial network of ten European countries from 1996-2017, we find that the spillover effects are positive on average but much larger during periods of financial stress, pointing towards stronger business cycle synchronisation. Dismantling GDP growth into value added growth of ten major industries, we observe that some sectors are strongly affected by positive spillovers (wholesale & retail trade, industrial production), others only to a weaker degree (agriculture, construction, finance), while more nationally influenced industries show no evidence for significant spillover effects (public administration, arts & entertainment, real estate).
Import Competition and Firm Productivity: Evidence from German Manufacturing
IWH Discussion Papers,
This study analyses empirically the effects of import competition on firm productivity (TFPQ) using administrative firm-level panel data from German manufacturing. We find that only import competition from high-income countries is associated with positive incentives for firms to invest in productivity improvement, whereas import competition from middle- and low-income countries is not. To rationalise these findings, we further look at the characteristics of imports from the two types of countries and the effects on R&D, employment and sales. We provide evidence that imports from high-income countries are relatively capital-intensive and technologically more sophisticated goods, at which German firms tend to be relatively good. Costly investment in productivity appears feasible reaction to such type of competition and we find no evidence for downscaling. Imports from middle- and low-wage countries are relatively labour-intensive and technologically less sophisticated goods, at which German firms tend to generally be at disadvantage. In this case, there are no incentives to invest in innovation and productivity and firms tend to decline in sales and employment.
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Within Gain, Structural Pain: Capital Account Liberalization and Economic Growth
New Structural Economics Working Paper No. E2018010,
This paper is the first to study the effects of capital account liberalization on structural transformation and compare the contribution of within term and structural term to economic growth. We use a 10-sector-level productivity dataset to decomposes the effects of opening capital account on within-sector productivity growth and cross-sector structural transformation. We find that opening capital account is associated with labor productivity and employment share increment in sectors with higher human capital intensity and external financial dependence, as well as non-tradable sectors. But it results in a growth-reducing structural transformation by directing labor into sectors with lower productivity. Moreover, in the ten years after capital account liberalization, the contribution share of structural transformation decreases while that of within productivity growth increases. We conclude that the relationship between capital account liberalization and economic growth is within gain and structural pain.
Außenwirtschaft Sachsen-Anhalts auf dem Weg zu einer größeren Internationalisierung
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Der Außenhandel Sachsen-Anhalts hat sich in den vergangenen Jahren abgeschwächt. Dies liegt vor allem an der anhaltenden Krise auf dem wichtigen Absatzmarkt Europa. Neue Wachstumsmärkte zu erschließen, ist gerade für die in Sachsen-Anhalt verbreiteten kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen schwierig. Zudem dominieren Vorerzeugnisse und Halbwaren den Export. Obgleich sich die Schwerpunkte in den Handelsregionen aufgrund der aktuellen Konjunktur jüngst leicht verschoben haben, bleibt es eine schwierige Aufgabe, das Außenwirtschaftspotenzial der Unternehmen besser zu entfalten. Mehr Produktinnovation, die Vernetzung von Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft, neue Anreize für die Fachkräftegewinnung und das Gründungsgeschehen sowie die strategische Erschließung von Auslandsmärkten sind Felder, auf denen das neue Außenwirtschaftskonzept des Landes ansetzen will. Es könnte damit zu mehr Internationalisierung der Unternehmen in Sachsen-Anhalt beitragen.
Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Institutional and Cultural Determinants
Using panel data for 29 source and 65 host countries in the period 1995–2009, we examine the determinants of bilateral FDI stocks, focusing on institutional and cultural factors. The results reveal that institutional and cultural distance is important and that FDI has a predominantly regional aspect. FDI to developing countries is positively affected by better institutions in the host country, while foreign investors prefer to invest in developed countries that are more corrupt and politically unstable compared to home. The results indicate that foreign investors prefer to invest in countries with less diverse societies than their own.
Trade's Impact on the Labor Share: Evidence from German and Italian Regions
IAW Discussion Paper No. 46,
Has the labor share declined? And what is the impact of international trade? These
questions are not only relevant in an international context they also matter for
understanding the regional distribution of incomes in a given country. In this
paper, we study two regions with trade exposures that differ from the rest of the
country, and which display distinct changes in the labor share. East German and
Southern Italian regions have a degree of international openness which is below
the countries’ averages. At the same time, there has been a more pronounced
decline in the labor share in East Germany than in West Germany. In Southern
Italy, the labor share has increased in recent years. We show that increased trade
openness is not the main culprit behind changing labor shares.
The Euro and Cross-Border Banking: Evidence from Bilateral Data
Comparative Economic Studies,
Has the introduction of the Euro fostered financial integration in Europe? We answer this question using a data set of banks’ bilateral foreign assets and liabilities provided by the Bank for International Settlements. The data cover the pre-Euro period (1995–1998) and the post-Euro period (1999–2005). We use information from 10 OECD reporting countries and all OECD recipient countries. Gravity regressions show a positive and significant impact of the Euro on bilateral financial linkages. This effect is stronger and more robust for banks’ foreign assets than for their foreign liabilities.