The Impact of Lowering Carbon Emissions on Corporate Labour Investment: A Quasi-Natural Experiment
We examine the impact of low-carbon city (LCC) initiatives on labour investment decisions (quantity, quality, and well-being). Using a time-varying difference-in-differences approach based on staggered implementations of such a pilot program, we report an inefficient outcome - absolute deviation of labour investment from the optimal net hiring – especially for firms in labour-intensive industries and firms with high financial slack or adjustment costs. We, however, observe increased investments in highly skilled personnel and compensated with employee stock ownership, especially by firms under intense pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Such initiatives are also closely associated with the significant enhancement of workplace safety. Overall, LCC helps to upgrade the corporate labour structure by hiring more skilled employees through reduced agency problems and heightened green innovation.
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Competition, Cost Structure, and Labour Leverage: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry
IWH Discussion Papers,
I study the effect of increasing competition on financial performance through labour leverage. To capture competition, I exploit variation in product market contestability in the U.S. airline industry. First, I find that increasing competitive pressure leads to increasing labour leverage, proxied by labour share. This explains the decrease in operating profitability through labour rigidities. Second, by exploiting variation in human capital specificity, I show that contestability of product markets induces labour market contestability. Whereas affected firms might experience more stress through higher wages or loss of skilled human capital, more mobile employee groups benefit from competitions through higher labour shares.
Robot Adoption at German Plants
IWH Discussion Papers,
Using a newly collected dataset of robot use at the plant level from 2014 to 2018, we provide the first microscopic portrait of robotisation in Germany and study the potential determinants of robot adoption. Our descriptive analysis uncovers five stylised facts concerning both extensive and, perhaps more importantly, intensive margin of plant-level robot use: (1) Robot use is relatively rare with only 1.55% German plants using robots in 2018. (2) The distribution of robots is highly skewed. (3) New robot adopters contribute substantially to the recent robotisation. (4) Robot users are exceptional along several dimensions of plant-level characteristics. (5) Heterogeneity in robot types matters. Our regression results further suggest plant size, low-skilled labour share, and exporter status to have strong and positive effect on future probability of robot adoption. Manufacturing plants impacted by the introduction of minimum wage in 2015 are also more likely to adopt robots. However, controlling for plant size, we find that plant-level productivity has no, if not negative, impact on robot adoption.
Is the 'Central German Metropolitan Region' Spatially Integrated? An Empirical Assessment of Commuting Relations
The 'Central German Metropolitan Region' is a network of cities and their surroundings, located in the three East-German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. It was founded to bring the bundled strengths of these cities into an inter-municipal cooperation, for making use of the possible advantages of a polycentric region. As theory claims, a precondition for gains from polycentricity is spatial integration of the region. In particular, markets for high skilled labour should be integrated. To assess how this precondition is fulfilled in Central Germany, in the framework of a doubly constrained gravity model the commuting relations between the functional regions of the (until 2013) 11 core cities of the network are analysed. In particular for higher educated employees, the results display that commuting relations are determined not only by distance, but also by the state borders that cross the area.
International Trade Patterns and Labour Markets – An Empirical Analysis for EU Member States
International Journal of Economics and Business Research,
During the last decades, international trade flows of the industrialized countries became more and more intra-industry. At the same time, employment perspectives particularly of the low-skilled by tendency deteriorated in these countries. This phenomenon is often traced back to the fact that intra-industry trade (IIT), which should theoretically involve low labour market adjustment, became increasingly vertical in nature. Against this background, the present paper investigates the relationship between international trade patterns and selected labour market indicators in European countries. As the results show, neither inter- nor vertical intra-industry trade (VIIT) do have a verifiable effect on wage spread in EU member states. As far as structural unemployment is concerned, the latter increases only with the degree of countries’ specialization on capital intensively manufactured products in inter-industry trade relations. Only for unemployment of the less-skilled, a slightly significant impact of superior VIIT seems to exist.
International Fragmentation of Production and the Labour Input into Germany’s Exports – An Input-Output-analysis
IWH Discussion Papers,
The import penetration of exports has become a topic of public debate, particularly in the context of Germany’s position as one of the world’s leading exporters. The growth in the volume of intermediate products purchased from abroad for subsequent processing into export goods in Germany seems to be undermining the importance of exports as a driver of domestic production and employment. The gains that arise from an increase in exports seem to have been offset by the losses caused by the crowding out of local production by imports. Empirical evidence on the impact of this international integration of the goods market on the German labour market is ambiguous. Short-term negative effects on employment are claimed to be offset by the long-term benefit that the jobs lost in the short run will eventually be replaced by higher-skilled jobs with better
perspectives. Against this background, the following hypothesis is tested empirically: Germany is poor in natural resources, but rich in skilled labour. In line with the Heckscher- Ohlin theory, Germany should therefore specialize in the production of export goods and services that are relatively intensive in these factors and should import those goods and services that are relatively intensive in unskilled labour. The empirical part of the paper deals with the extent of the German export penetration by imports. At first, it analyses by what ways imports are affecting the exports directly and indirectly and shows the consequences of import penetration of exports for the national output and employment. Secondly, consequences for employment are split in different skill types of labour. These issues are discussed with the standard open static inputoutput- model. The data base is a time series of official input-output tables. The employment effects for Germany divided by skill types of labour are investigated using skill matrices generated by the authors.
Will there be a shortage of skilled labor? An East German perspective to 2015
Applied Economics Quarterly Supplement,
Wie auch andere ostdeutsche Bundesländer steht Thüringen noch immer einer hohen Arbeitslosigkeit in Folge des ökonomischen Transformationsprozesses gegenüber und erfährt eine schnellere Alterung und Schrumpfung der Bevölkerung als die meisten Regionen Westeuropas. Unter Verwendung von Extrapolationsmethoden wird im Beitrag für das Bundesland Thüringen eine Fortschreibung des Angebots und der Nachfrage nach Fachkräften – disaggregiert nach Qualifikationsarten – bis 2015 vorgestellt. Dabei weist die Analyse nicht auf einen unmittelbar bevorstehenden Fachkräfteengpass hin, dennoch liefert sie Hinweise auf einen enger werdenden Arbeitsmarkt für Fachkräfte. Auf Grundlage einer im Sommer 2008 durchgeführten Befragung von rund 1 000 thüringischen Unternehmen wird untersucht, inwieweit Unternehmen diese Entwicklung bereits heute als Problem einschätzen und welche Vorkehrungen sie im Bereich Personalpolitik gegebenenfalls treffen werden. Die Mehrzahl der Unternehmen plant den Ausbau von Weiterbildungsaktivitäten sowie die Einstellung bzw. die Beschäftigung von älteren Arbeitnehmern. Die Studie schließt mit Handlungsempfehlungen zur Reduzierung des Mismatch zwischen Qualifikationsangebot und -nachfrage.