European Firm Concentration and Aggregate Productivity
Journal of the European Economic Association,
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.
Monetary Policy in an Oil-dependent Economy in the Presence of Multiple Shocks
Review of World Economics,
Russian monetary policy has been challenged by large and continuous private capital outflows and a sharp drop in oil prices during 2014. Both contributed to significant depreciation pressures on the ruble and led the central bank to give up its exchange rate management strategy. Against this background, this work estimates a small open economy model for Russia, featuring an oil price sector and extended by a specification of the foreign exchange market to correctly account for systematic central bank interventions. We find that shocks to the oil price and private capital flows substantially affect domestic variables such as inflation and output. Simulations for the estimated actual strategy and alternative regimes suggest that the vulnerability of the Russian economy to external shocks can substantially be lowered by adopting some form of inflation targeting. Strategies to target the nominal exchange rate or the ruble price of oil prove to be inferior.
Completing the European Banking Union: Capital Cost Consequences for Credit Providers and Corporate Borrowers
European Economic Review,
The bank recovery and resolution directive (BRRD) regulates the bail-in hierarchy to resolve distressed banks in the European Union (EU). Using the staggered BRRD implementation across 15 member states, we identify banks’ capital cost responses and subsequent pass-through to borrowers towards surprise elements due to national transposition details. Average bank capital costs increase heterogeneously across countries with strongest funding cost hikes observed for banks located in GIIPS and non-EMU countries. Only banks in core E(M)U countries that exhibit higher funding costs increase credit spreads for corporate borrowers and contract credit supply. Tighter credit conditions are only passed on to more levered and less profitable firms. On balance, the national implementation of BRRD appears to have strengthened financial system resilience without a pervasive hike in borrowing costs.
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International Trade Barriers and Regional Employment: The Case of a No-Deal Brexit
Journal of Economic Structures,
We use the World Input–Output Database (WIOD) combined with regional sectoral employment data to estimate the potential regional employment effects of international trade barriers. We study the case of a no-deal Brexit in which imports to the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) would be subject to tariffs and non-tariff trade costs. First, we derive the decline in UK final goods imports from the EU from industry-specific international trade elasticities, tariffs and non-tariff trade costs. Using input–output analysis, we estimate the potential output and employment effects for 56 industries and 43 countries on the national level. The absolute effects would be largest in big EU countries which have close trade relationships with the UK, such as Germany and France. However, there would also be large countries outside the EU which would be heavily affected via global value chains, such as China, for example. The relative effects (in percent of total employment) would be largest in Ireland followed by Belgium. In a second step, we split up the national effects on the NUTS-2 level for EU member states and additionally on the county (NUTS-3) level for Germany. The share of affected workers varies between 0.03% and 3.4% among European NUTS-2 regions and between 0.15% and 0.4% among German counties. A general result is that indirect effects via global value chains, i.e., trade in intermediate inputs, are more important than direct effects via final demand.
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What Drives the Commodity-Sovereign Risk Dependence in Emerging Market Economies?
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Using daily data for 34 emerging markets in the period 1994–2016, we find robust evidence that higher export commodity prices are associated with lower sovereign default risk, as measured by lower EMBI spreads. The economic effect is especially pronounced for heavy commodity exporters. Examining the drivers, we find that, first, commodity dependence is higher for countries that export large volumes of commodities, whereas other portfolio characteristics like volatility or concentration are less important. Second, commodity-sovereign risk dependence increases in times of recessions and expansionary U.S. monetary policy. Third, the importance of raw material prices for sovereign financing can likely be mitigated if a country improves institutions and tax systems, attracts FDI inflows, invests in manufacturing, machinery and infrastructure, builds up reserve assets and opens capital and trade accounts. Fourth, the country’s government indebtedness or amount of received development assistance appear to be only of secondary importance for commodity dependence.