Committing to Grow: Privatizations and Firm Dynamics in East Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper investigates a unique policy designed to maintain employment during the privatization of East German firms after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The policy required new owners of the firms to commit to employment targets, with penalties for non-compliance. Using a dynamic model, we highlight three channels through which employment targets impact firms: distorted employment decisions, increased productivity, and higher exit rates. Our empirical analysis, using a novel dataset and instrumental variable approach, confirms these findings. We estimate a 22% points higher annual employment growth rate, a 14% points higher annual productivity growth, and a 3.6% points higher probability of exit for firms with binding employment targets. Our calibrated model further demonstrates that without these targets, aggregate employment would have been 15% lower after 10 years. Additionally, an alternative policy of productivity investment subsidies proved costly and less effective in the short term.
Cross-country Evidence on the Allocation of COVID-19 Government Subsidies and Consequences for Productivity
Journal of the Japanese and International Economies,
We study the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and related policy support on productivity. We employ an extensive micro-distributed exercise to access otherwise unavailable individual data on firm performance and government subsidies. Our cross-country evidence for five EU countries shows that the pandemic led to a significant short-term decline in aggregate productivity and the direct support to firms had only a limited positive effect on productivity developments. A thorough comparative analysis of the distribution of employment and overall direct subsidies, considering separately also relative firm-level size of support and the probability of being supported, reveals ambiguous cross-country results related to the firm-level productivity and points to the decisive role of other firm characteristics.
Die garstige Lücke Warum Ostdeutschland auch 30 Jahre nach der Vereinigung um 20% ärmer ist...
Produktivität: Mehr mit weniger durch besser Die verfügbaren Ressourcen sind begrenzt. Nur wenn wir sie...
Hysteresis from Employer Subsidies
Journal of Public Economics,
This paper uses administrative data to analyze a large and 8-year long employer payroll tax rate cut in Sweden for young workers aged 26 or less. We replicate previous results documenting that during the earlier years of the reform, it raised youth employment among the treated workers, driven by labor demand (as workers’ take-home wages did not respond). First, drawing on additional years of data, this paper then documents that the longer-run effects during the reform are twice as large as the medium-run effects. Second, we document novel labor-demand-driven “hysteresis” from this policy – i.e. persistent employment effects even after the subsidy no longer applies – along two dimensions. Over the lifecycle, employment effects persist even after workers age out of eligibility. Three years after the repeal, employment remains elevated at the maximal reform level in the formerly subsidized ages. These hysteresis effects more than double the direct employment effects of the reform. Discrimination against young workers in job posting fell during the reform and does not bounce back after repeal, potentially explaining our results.
The Impact of Innovation and Innovation Subsidies on Economic Development in German Regions
Public innovation subsidies in a regional environment are expected to unfold a positive economic impact over time. The focus of this paper is on an assessment of the long-run impact of innovation and innovation subsidies in German regions. This is scrutinized by an estimation approach combining panel model and time-series characteristics and using regional data for the years 1980–2014. The results show that innovation and innovation subsidies in the long run have a positive impact on the economic development of regions in Germany. This supports a long-term strategy for regional and innovation policy.
Public Investment Subsidies and Firm Performance – Evidence from Germany
Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik,
This paper assesses firm-level effects of the single largest investment subsidy programme in Germany. The analysis considers grants allocated to firms in East German regions over the period 2007 to 2013 under the regional policy scheme Joint Task ‘Improving Regional Economic Structures’ (GRW). We apply a coarsened exact matching (CEM) in combination with a fixed effects difference-in-differences (FEDiD) estimator to identify the effects of programme participation on the treated firms. For the assessment, we use administrative data from the Federal Statistical Office and the Offices of the Länder to demonstrate that this administrative database offers a huge potential for evidence-based policy advice. The results suggest that investment subsidies have a positive impact on different dimensions of firm development, but do not affect overall firm competitiveness. We find positive short- and medium-run effects on firm employment. The effects on firm turnover remain significant and positive only in the medium-run. Gross fixed capital formation responses positively to GRW funding only during the mean implementation period of the projects but becomes insignificant afterwards. Finally, the effect of GRW-funding on labour productivity remains insignificant throughout the whole period of analysis.
Joint R&D Subsidies, Related Variety, and Regional Innovation
International Regional Science Review,
Subsidies for research and development (R&D) are an important tool of public R&D policy, which motivates extensive scientific analyses and evaluations. This article adds to this literature by arguing that the effects of R&D subsidies go beyond the extension of organizations’ monetary resources invested into R&D. It is argued that collaboration induced by subsidized joint R&D projects yield significant effects that are missed in traditional analyses. An empirical study on the level of German labor market regions substantiates this claim, showing that collaborative R&D subsidies impact regions’ innovation growth when providing access to related variety and embedding regions into central positions in cross-regional knowledge networks.
Transition to Clean Technology
Journal of Political Economy,
We develop an endogenous growth model in which clean and dirty technologies compete in production. Research can be directed to either technology. If dirty technologies are more advanced, the transition to clean technology can be difficult. Carbon taxes and research subsidies may encourage production and innovation in clean technologies, though the transition will typically be slow. We estimate the model using microdata from the US energy sector. We then characterize the optimal policy path that heavily relies on both subsidies and taxes. Finally, we evaluate various alternative policies. Relying only on carbon taxes or delaying intervention has significant welfare costs.