Research Profiles of the IWH Departments All doctoral students are allocated to one...
IWH-Treuhand-Mikrodatenbank Die IWH-Treuhand-Mikrodatenbank ist ein neuer...
Finanzsysteme: Die Anatomie der Marktwirtschaft Wie ist das Finanzsystem aufgebaut, wie funktioniert es, wie...
IWH-Insolvenzforschung Die IWH-Insolvenzforschungsstelle bündelt die...
The Macroeconomics of Testing and Quarantining
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
We develop a SIR-based macroeconomic model to study the impact of testing/ quarantining and social distancing/mask use on health and economic outcomes. These policies can dramatically reduce the costs of an epidemic. Absent testing/quarantining, the main effect of social distancing and mask use on health outcomes is to delay, rather than reduce, epidemic-related deaths. Social distancing and mask use reduce the severity of the epidemic-related recession but prolong its duration. There is an important synergy between social distancing and mask use and testing/quarantining. Social distancing and mask use buy time for testing and quarantining to come to the rescue. The benefits of testing/quarantining are even larger when people can get reinfected, either because the virus mutates or immunity is temporary.
Inequality in Life and Death
IMF Economic Review,
We argue that the COVID epidemic disproportionately affected the economic well-being and health of poor people. To disentangle the forces that generated this outcome, we construct a model that is consistent with the heterogeneous impact of the COVID recession on low- and high-income people. According to our model, two-thirds of the inequality in COVID deaths reflect preexisting inequality in comorbidity rates and access to quality health care. The remaining third stems from the fact that low-income people work in occupations where the risk of infection is high. Our model also implies that the rise in income inequality generated by the COVID epidemic reflects the nature of the goods that low-income people produce. Finally, we assess the health-income trade-offs associated with fiscal transfers to the poor and mandatory containment policies.
Lender-specific Mortgage Supply Shocks and Macroeconomic Performance in the United States
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper provides evidence for the propagation of idiosyncratic mortgage supply shocks to the macroeconomy. Based on micro-level data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for the 1990-2016 period, our results suggest that lender-specific mortgage supply shocks affect aggregate mortgage, house price, and employment dynamics at the regional level. The larger the idiosyncratic shocks to newly issued mortgages, the stronger are mortgage, house price, and employment growth. While shocks at the level of shadow banks significantly affect mortgage and house price dynamics, too, they do not matter much for employment.
Disentangling Covid-19, Economic Mobility, and Containment Policy Shocks
IWH Discussion Papers,
We study the dynamic impact of Covid-19, economic mobility, and containment policy shocks. We use Bayesian panel structural vector autoregressions with daily data for 44 countries, identified through sign and zero restrictions. Incidence and mobility shocks raise cases and deaths significantly for two months. Restrictive policy shocks lower mobility immediately, cases after one week, and deaths after three weeks. Non-pharmaceutical interventions explain half of the variation in mobility, cases, and deaths worldwide. These flattened the pandemic curve, while deepening the global mobility recession. The policy tradeoff is 1 p.p. less mobility per day for 9% fewer deaths after two months.
The Privatisation Activities of the Treuhandanstalt and the Transformation of the East German Corporate Landscape: A New Dataset for First Explorations
IWH Technical Reports,
Even nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the privatisation and transformation of East Germany's business landscape is controversially discussed in the media and politics. The privatisation process led to enormous structural changes, which were associated with massive job losses. In particular, the stagnating regional development of East Germany is often blamed on the “long shadow” of the privatisation activities of the Treuhandanstalt (THA). From a scientific perspective, however, there are hardly any contributions dealing with the effects of privatisation activities. The IWH-Treuhand Privatisation Micro Database introduced in this technical report is novel as such that it provides comprehensive information on employment and turnover figures for formerly state-owned enterprises for the early 1990s.