What Drives FDI in Central-eastern Europe? Evidence from the IWH-FDI-Micro Database
The focus of this paper is on the match between strategic motives of foreign investments into Central-Eastern Europe and locational advantages offered by these countries. Our analysis makes use of the IWH-FDI-Micro Database, a unique dataset that contains information from 2009 about the determinants of locational factors, technological activity of the subsidiaries, and the potentials for knowledge spillovers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. The analysis suggests that investors in these countries are mainly interested in low (unit) labour costs coupled with a well-trained and educated workforce and an expanding market with the high growth rates in the purchasing power of potential buyers. It also suggests that the financial crisis reduced the attractiveness of the region as a source for localised knowledge and technology. There appears to be a match between investors’ expectations and the quantitative supply of unqualified labour, not however for the supply of medium qualified workers. But the analysis suggests that it is not technology-seeking investments that are particularly content with the capabilities of their host economies in terms of technological cooperation. Finally, technological cooperation within the local host economy is assessed more favourably with domestic firms than with local scientific institutions – an important message for domestic economic policy.
The Gender Pay Gap under Duopsony: Joan Robinson meets Harold Hotelling
Scottish Journal of Political Economy,
This paper presents an alternative explanation of the gender pay gap resting on a simple Hotelling-style duopsony model of the labour market. Since there are only two employers, equally productive women and men have to commute and face travel cost to do so. We assume that some women have higher travel cost, e.g., due to more domestic responsibilities. Employers exploit that women on average are less inclined to commute and offer lower wages to all women. Since women's firm-level labour supply is for this reason less wage-elastic, this model is in line with Robinson's explanation of wage discrimination.
Is the European Monetary Union an Endogenous Currency Area? The Example of the Labor Markets
IWH Discussion Papers,
Our study tries to find out whether wage dynamics between Euro member countries became more synchronized through the adoption of the common currency. We calculate bivarate correlation coefficients of wage and wage cost dynamics and run a model of endogenously induced changes of coefficients, which are explained by other variables being also endogenous: trade intensity, sectoral specialization, financial integration. We used a panel data structure to allow for cross-section weights for country-pair observations. We use instrumental variable regressions in order to disentangle exogenous from endogenous influences. We applied these techniques to real and nominal wage dynamics and to dynamics of unit labor costs. We found evidence for persistent asymmetries in nominal wage formation despite a single currency and monetary policy, responsible for diverging unit labor costs and for emerging trade imbalances among the EMU member countries.
The Achilles Heel of the EMU: The Labour Markets
Recent diverging labour cost developments among EMU countries, affecting the trade and inflation position of each country, raise some doubts regarding the equal distribution of costs and benefits of shocks among the member countries and, hence, the long term stability of the Euro.
Vertical Intra-industry Trade between EU and Accession Countries
IWH Discussion Papers,
The paper analyses vertical intra-industry trade between EU and Accession countries, and concentrates on two country-specific determinants: Differences in personal income distribution and in technology. Both determinants have a strong link to national policies and to cross-border investment flows. In contrast to most other studies, income distribution is not seen as time-invariant variable, but as changing over time. What is new is also that differences in technology are tested in comparison with cost advantages from capital/labour ratios. The study applies panel estimation techniques with GLS. Results show country-pair fixed effects to be of high relevance for explaining vertical intraindustry trade. In addition, bilateral differences in personal income distribution and their changes are positive related to vertical intra-industry trade in this special regional integration framework; hence, distributional effects of policies matter. Also, technology differences turn out to be positively correlated with vertical intra-industry trade. However, the cost variable (here: relative GDP per capita) shows no clear picture, particularly not in combination with the technology variable.
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.