Social Distress and Economic Integration
IWH Discussion Papers,
We analyze whether social distress from income comparisons affects attitudes towards the integration of economies. Using Germany’s division as natural experiment, we find that East Germans’ feelings of relative deprivation with respect to better-off West Germans led to significantly more support for the upcoming German re-unification.
Do Manufacturing Firms Benefit from Services FDI? – Evidence from Six New EU Member States
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.
Determinants of International Fragmentation of Production in the European Union
The last decades were characterized by large increases in world trade, not only in absolute terms, but also in relation to world GDP. This was in large parts caused by increasing exchanges of parts and components between countries as a consequence of international fragmentation of production. Apparently, greater competition especially from the Newly Industrializing and Post-Communist Economies prompted firms in ‘high-wage’ countries to exploit international factor price differences in order to increase their international competitiveness. However, theory predicts that, beside factor price differences, vertical disintegration of production should be driven by a multitude of additional factors. Against this background, the present paper reveals empirical evidence on parts and components trade as an indicator for international fragmentation of production in the European Union. On the basis of a panel data approach, the main explanatory factors for international fragmentation of production are determined. The results show that, although their influence can not be neglected, factor price differences are only one out of many causes for shifting production to or sourcing components from foreign countries.