Dr. Matthias Mertens

Dr. Matthias Mertens
Aktuelle Position

seit 2/21

Leiter der Forschungsgruppe Innovation, Produktivität und wirtschaftliche Dynamik

Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH)

seit 10/19

Leiter IWH-CompNet-Team

Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH)

seit 10/15

Mitglied der Abteilung Strukturwandel und Produktivität

Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH)

Forschungsschwerpunkte

  • Firmenproduktivität
  • Produkt- und Faktormarktmacht
  • Allokation von Produktionsfaktoren

Matthias Mertens ist seit Oktober 2015 Mitarbeiter in der Abteilung Strukturwandel und Produktivität. Sein Forschungsfeld umfasst Fragen zu den Themen Produktivität von Firmen, Produkt- und Faktormarktmacht und Faktorallokation.

Sein Studium der Volkswirtschaftslehre absolvierte Matthias Mertens an der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. Promoviert hat er an der Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg.

Ihr Kontakt

Dr. Matthias Mertens
Dr. Matthias Mertens
Mitglied - Abteilung Strukturwandel und Produktivität
Nachricht senden +49 345 7753-707 Persönliche Seite

Publikationen

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Labor Market Power and the Distorting Effects of International Trade

Matthias Mertens

in: International Journal of Industrial Organization, January 2020

Abstract

This article examines how final product trade with China shapes and interacts with labor market imperfections that create market power in labor markets and prevent an efficient market outcome. I develop a framework for measuring such labor market power distortions in monetary terms and document large degrees of these distortions in Germany's manufacturing sector. Import competition only exerts labor market disciplining effects if firms, rather than employees, possess labor market power. Otherwise, increasing export demand and import competition both fortify existing distortions, which decreases labor market efficiency. This widens the gap between potential and realized output and thus diminishes classical gains from trade.

Publikation lesen

Arbeitspapiere

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European Firm Concentration and Aggregate Productivity

Tommaso Bighelli Filippo di Mauro Marc Melitz Matthias Mertens

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 5, 2021

Abstract

This article derives a European Herfindahl-Hirschman concentration index from 15 micro-aggregated country datasets. In the last decade, European concentration rose due to a reallocation of economic activity towards large and concentrated industries. Over the same period, productivity gains from reallocation accounted for 50% of European productivity growth and markups stayed constant. Using country-industry variation, we show that changes in concentration are positively associated with changes in productivity and allocative efficiency. This holds across most sectors and countries and supports the notion that rising concentration in Europe reflects a more efficient market environment rather than weak competition and rising market power.

Publikation lesen

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The East-West German Gap in Revenue Productivity: Just a Tale of Output Prices?

Matthias Mertens Steffen Müller

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 14, 2020

Abstract

East German manufacturers’ revenue productivity (value-added per worker) is some 8 (25) percent below West German levels, even three decades after German unification. Using firm-product-level data containing information on product quantities and prices, we analyse the role of product specialisation and reject the prominent ‚extended work bench hypothesis‘, stating a specialisation of Eastern firms in the intermediate input production as explanation for these sustained productivity differences. We decompose the East’s revenue productivity disadvantage into Eastern firms selling at lower prices and producing more physical output for given amounts of inputs within ten-digit product industries. This suggests that Eastern firms specialise vertically in simpler product varieties generating less consumer value but being manufactured with less or cheaper inputs. Vertical specialisation, however, does not explain the productivity gap as Eastern firms are physically less productive for given product prices, implying a genuine physical productivity disadvantage of Eastern compared to Western firms.

Publikation lesen

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Labour Market Power and Between-Firm Wage (In)Equality

Matthias Mertens

in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 13, 2020

Abstract

I study how labour market power affects firm wage differences using German manufacturing sector firm-level data (1995-2016). In past decades, labour market power increasingly moderated rising between-firm wage inequality. This is because high-paying firms possess high and increasing labour market power and pay wages below competitive levels, whereas low-wage firms pay competitive wages. Over time, large, high-wage, high-productivity firms generate increasingly large labour market rents while selling on competitive product markets. This provides novel insights on why such “superstar firms” are profitable and successful. Using micro-aggregated data covering most economic sectors, I validate my results for ten other European countries.

Publikation lesen
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