Evaluating communication strategies for public agencies: transparency, opacity, and secrecy
This paper analyses in a simple global games framework welfare eﬀects stemming
from diﬀerent communication strategies of public agencies if strategies of agents are complementary to each other: communication can either be fully transparent, or the agency opaquely publishes only its overall assessment of the economy, or it keeps information completely secret. It is shown that private agents put more weight to their private information in the transparent case than in case of opacity. Thus, in many cases, the appropriate measure against overreliance on public information is giving more details to the public instead of denying access to public information.
Does too much Transparency of Central Banks Prevent Agents from Using their Private Information Efficiently?
This paper analyses in a simple global games framework welfare effects of different communication strategies of a central bank: it can either publish no more than its overall assessment of the economy or be more transparent, giving detailed reasons for this assessment. The latter strategy is shown to be superior because it enables agents to use private information and to be less dependent on common knowledge. This result holds true even if the strategies of agents are strategic complements, for which case it has been argued that too much transparency might induce agents to neglect their private knowledge.
A Game Theoretic Analysis of the Conditions of Knowledge Transfer by New Employees in Companies
The availability of knowledge is an essential factor for an economy in global competition. Companies realise innovations by creating and implementing new knowledge. Sources of innovative ideas are partners in the production network but also new employees coming from another company or academia. Based on a model by HECKATHORN (1996) the conditions of efficient knowledge transfer in a team are analysed. Offering knowledge to a colleague can not be controlled directly by the company due to information asymmetries. Thus the management has to provide incentives which motivate the employees to act in favour of the company by providing their knowledge to the rest of the team and likewise to learn from colleagues. The game theoretic analysis aims at investigating how to arrange these incentives efficiently. Several factors are relevant, especially the individual costs of participating in the transfer. These consist mainly of the existing absorptive capacity and the working atmosphere. The model is a 2x2 game but is at least partly generalised on more players. The relevance of the adequate team size is shown: more developers may increase the total profit of an innovation
(before paying the involved people) but when additional wages are paid to each person a greater team decreases the remaining company profit. A further result is
that depending on the cost structure perfect knowledge transfer is not always best for the profit of the company. These formal results are consistent with empirical studies to the absorptive capacity and the working atmosphere.
Determinants of employment - the macroeconomic view
Schriften des IWH,
The weak performance of the German labour market over the past years has led to a significant unemployment problem. Currently, on average 4.5 mio. people are without a job contract, and a large part of them are long-term unemployed. A longer period of unemployment reduces their employability and aggravates the problem of social exclusion.
The factors driving the evolution of employment have been recently discussed on the workshop Determinanten der Beschäftigung – die makroökonomische Sicht organized jointly by the IAB, Nuremberg, and the IWH, Halle. The present volume contains the papers and proceedings to the policy oriented workshop held in November 2004, 15-16th. The main focus of the contributions is twofold. First, macroeconomic conditions to stimulate output and employment are considered. Second, the impacts of the increasing tax wedge between labour costs and the take home pay are emphasized. In particular, the role of the contributions to the social security system is investigated.
In his introductory address, Ulrich Walwei (IAB) links the unemployment experience to the modest path of economic growth in Germany. In addition, the low employment intensity of GDP growth and the temporary standstill of the convergence process of the East German economy have contributed to the weak labour market performance. In his analysis, Gebhard Flaig (ifo Institute, München) stresses the importance of relative factor price developments. A higher rate of wage growth leads to a decrease of the employment intensity of production, and correspondingly to an increase of the threshold of employment. Christian Dreger (IWH) discusses the relevance of labour market institutions like employment protection legislation and the structure of the wage bargaining process on the labour market outcome. Compared to the current setting, policies should try to introduce more flexibility in labour markets to improve the employment record. The impact of interest rate shocks on production is examined by the paper of Boris Hofmann (Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt). According to the empirical evidence, monetary policy cannot explain the modest economic performance in Germany. György Barabas and Roland Döhrn (RWI Essen) have simulated the effects of a world trade shock on output and employment. The relationships have been fairly stable over the past years, even in light of the increasing globalization. Income and employment effects of the German tax reform in 2000 are discussed by Peter Haan and Viktor Steiner (DIW Berlin). On the base of a microsimulation model, household gains are determined. Also, a positive relationship between wages and labour supply can be established. Michael Feil und Gerd Zika (IAB) have examined the employment effects of a reduction of the contribution rates to the social security system. To obtain robust results, the analysis is done under alternative financing scenarios and with different macroeconometric models. The impacts of allowances of social security contributions on the incentives to work are discussed by Wolfgang Meister and Wolfgang Ochel (ifo München). According to their study, willingness to work is expected to increase especially at the lower end of the income distribution. The implied loss of contributions could be financed by higher taxes.
Non-market Allocation in Transport: A Reassessment of its Justification and the Challenge of Institutional Transition
50 Years of Transport Research: Experiences Gained and Major Challenges Ahead,
Economic theory knows two systems of coordination: through public choice or through the market principle. If the market is chosen, then it may either be regulated, or it may be fully competitive (or be in between these two extremes). This paper first inquires into the reasons for regulation, it analyses the reasons for the important role of government in the transportation sector, especially in the procurement of infrastructure. Historical reasons are seen as important reasons for bureaucratic objections to deregulation. Fundamental economic concepts are forwarded that suggest market failure and justify a regulatory environment. The reasons for regulation cited above, however, may be challenged; we forward theoretical concepts from industrial organization theory and from institutional economics which suggest that competition is even possible on the level of infrastructure. The transition from a strongly regulated to a competitive environment poses problems that have given lieu to numerous failures in privatization and deregulation. Structural inertia plays an important role, and the incentive-compatible management of infrastructure is seen as the key element of any liberal transportation policy. It requires that the setting of rules on the meta level satisfies both local and global efficiency ends. We conclude that, in market economies, competition and regulation should not be substitutes but complements. General rules, an "ethic of competition" have to be set that guarantee a level playing field to agents; it is complimented by institutions that provide arbitration in case of misconduct.
Revenue Implications of Trade Liberalization
IMF Occasional Papers, No. 180,
In recent decades many countries have dismantled trade barriers and opened their economies to international competition. Trade liberalization is seen to promote economic efficiency, international competitiveness, and an expansion of trade, perhaps especially in imperfectly competitive markets. Yet despite this progress in trade liberalization, as evidenced by the conclusion of the Uruguay Round in 1994 and the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, trade barriers are still widespread. Some economies and some sectors (e.g., agriculture in many industrial countries) remain relatively insulated from the global economy by a variety of nontariff and tariff barriers, even as import substitution continues to lose ground as a strategy for economic development.