Understanding the Great Recession
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity during the Great Recession were due to financial frictions. We reach this conclusion by looking through the lens of an estimated New Keynesian model in which firms face moderate degrees of price rigidities, no nominal rigidities in wages, and a binding zero lower bound constraint on the nominal interest rate. Our model does a good job of accounting for the joint behavior of labor and goods markets, as well as inflation, during the Great Recession. According to the model the observed fall in total factor productivity and the rise in the cost of working capital played critical roles in accounting for the small drop in inflation that occurred during the Great Recession.
Optimum Currency Areas in Emerging Market Regions: Evidence Based on the Symmetry of Economic Shocks
Open Economies Review,
This paper examines which emerging market regions form optimum currency areas (OCAs) by assessing the symmetry of macroeconomic shocks. We extend the output-prices-VAR framework by adding net exports and the real effective exchange rate as endogenous variables. Based on theoretical considerations, we derive which shocks affect these variables in the long run: shocks to labor productivity, foreign trade, labor supply, and money supply. The considered economies of Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, East and Southeast Asia, and South Asia, exhibit large enough shock symmetry to form a currency union; the economies of Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East do not.
Barriers to Internationalization: Firm-Level Evidence from Germany
IAW Discussion Paper No. 52,
Exporters and multinationals are larger and more productive than their domestic
counterparts. In addition to productivity, financial constraints and labor market
constraints might constitute barriers to entry into foreign markets. We present new
empirical evidence on the extensive and intensive margin of exports and FDI based on detailed micro-level data of German firms. Our paper has three main findings. First, in line with earlier literature, we find a positive impact of firm size and productivity on firms’ international activities. Second, small firms suffer more frequently from financial constraints than bigger firms, but financial conditions have no strong effect on internationalization. Third, labor market constraints constitute a more severe barrier to foreign activities than financial constraints. Being covered by collective bargaining particularly impedes international activities.
Eastern Germany in the process of catching-up: the role of foreign and Western German investors in technological renewal
Eastern European Economics,
Foreign direct investment as a means to support system transformation and the ongoing process of catching-up development has caught researcher’s attention for a number of Central and Eastern European countries. Not much research, however, has been carried out for East Germany in this respect although FDI plays an important role in East Germany too. Descriptive analysis by the use of unique survey data shows that foreign and West German affiliates perform much better with respect to technological capability and labor productivity than domestic companies in East Germany. The results of the regression analysis, however, show that it is not the status of ownership as such that forms a significant determinant of innovativeness in East Germany but rather general firms specific characteristics attached to it such as firm size, export-intensity, technical state of the equipment, and R&D activities. Due to the fact that foreign and West German affiliates perform better with respect to exactly all of these characteristics, they can be considered as a means to support the process of technological renewal and economic development.
A Glimpse on Sectoral Convergence of Productivity Levels
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper examines the presence of sectoral convergence of labor productivity between 14 OECD countries. Using the OECD International Sectoral Data Base (ISDB), the paper looks at the developments within 12 distinct sectors during the period 1970-1995. The change of the coefficients of variance suggests that there is strong sectoral convergence within most service sectors while the evidence of convergence for Manufacturing as well as for Communication is rather weak. These findings are in line with most studies undertaken on this subject so far. It is concluded that economic theories at hand to explain growth and convergence (or divergence respectively) are of different importance for the sectors concerned. While models of the New Growth Theory seemed to be useful to explain growth mechanisms within Manufacturing and Communication, traditional models seemed to apply to most other sectors.