The Regional Effects of a Place-based Policy – Causal Evidence from Germany
Regional Science and Urban Economics,
The German government provides discretionary investment grants to structurally weak regions in order to reduce regional inequality. We use a regression discontinuity design that exploits an exogenous discrete jump in the probability of regional actors to receive investment grants to identify the causal effects of the policy. We find positive effects of the programme on district-level gross value-added and productivity growth, but no effects on employment and gross wage growth.
27.06.2019 • 15/2019
Presseeinladung zum Workshop: Gemeinsame Pressekonferenz von Creditreform und dem Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle am 2. Juli 2019 in Halle (Saale)
Die konjunkturelle Entwicklung hat sich in den letzten Monaten deutlich abgekühlt. Bislang sind vor allem Industrie und Exportwirtschaft betroffen. Bleibt der Mittelstand der Stabilitätsanker der Konjunktur in Sachsen-Anhalt? Wie schätzen die Unternehmen die Geschäftslage ein? Haben sich die Rahmenbedingungen in puncto Fachkräfteangebot und Breitbandinternet zuletzt verbessert?
Vertical Grants and Local Public Efficiency
Public Finance Review,
The existing empirical literature on the impact of vertical grants on local public-sector efficiency yields mixed results. Given the fact that vertical financial equalization systems often reduce differences in fiscal capacity, we argue that empirical studies based on cross-sectional data may yield a positive relationship between grants and efficiency of public service production even when the underlying causal effect is not. We provide a simple illustrative theoretical model to show the logic of our argument and illustrate its relevance by an empirical case study for the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. We show that our main argument of an inference-disturbing effect applies to those existing studies that are more optimistic about the impact of vertical grants. Finally, we argue that it may disturb the inference drawn from studies in a number of other countries where vertical grants—intended or not—concentrate in fiscally weak municipalities.
flexpaneldid: A Stata Command for Causal Analysis with Varying Treatment Time and Duration
IWH Discussion Papers,
The paper presents a modification of the matching and difference-in-differences approach of Heckman et al. (1998) and its Stata implementation, the command flexpaneldid. The approach is particularly useful for causal analysis of treatments with varying start dates and varying treatment durations (like investment grants or other subsidy schemes). Introducing more flexibility enables the user to consider individual treatment and outcome periods for the treated observations. The flexpaneldid command for panel data implements the developed flexible difference-in-differences approach and commonly used alternatives like CEM Matching and difference-in-differences models. The novelty of this tool is an extensive data preprocessing to include time information into the matching approach and the treatment effect estimation. The core of the paper gives two comprehensive examples to explain the use of flexpaneldid and its options on the basis of a publicly accessible data set.
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The Efficiency of Local Public-service Production: The Effect of Political Institutions
Reforms replacing municipal cooperations by centralized municipalities often aim at increasing municipal efficiency. Empirical evidence supporting this aim, however, is ambiguous. Our paper analyzes the effect of institutions on municipal efficiency. In particular, we distinguish two archetypal institutional settings, a centralized and a confederal one, and argue that bureaucrats in a centralized setting are able to increase the fiscal residual. Our empirical test case is the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. We test the effect of the institutional setup using the bootstrap approach suggested by Simar and Wilson (2007), concluding that a decentralized institutional setting improves the efficiency of municipal production.