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WIFO Working Papers

Discussion papers by WIFO staff, consultants and guests – As of 2006 available online only – Free download

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Recent issues (568 hits)

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (568), 24 pages
Online since: 19.07.2018 0:00
Austria's Beveridge Curve has shifted markedly outwards since labor market access for Eastern European neighbors was liberalized in 2011. I quantify the effects of labor supply shocks by means of a structural VAR with sign restrictions, distinguish domestic-worker from foreign-worker shocks and find that the latter contributed considerably to the counter-clockwise outward movement. On impact, the arrival of additional job seekers facilitates matching but it lowers the chance for existing job seekers to be matched, raising employment and unemployment simultaneously. In the medium run vacancies increase, the employment surge accelerates and unemployment declines. Labor supply shocks caused by foreigners have an unambiguous and positive effect on domestic employment in the long run, indicating complementarity between foreign and domestic labor. On a regional level Vienna, the capital in the east of the country, was most heavily exposed to the recent labor immigration boom.
This study investigates whether there is a link between the successful implementation of European cohesion policy and the voters' attitudes towards the EU. Using the French presidential elections in 2017 as a case study, we do not solely consider regional funds expenditures but also its induced effects in a region as further potential determinant of pro-European or eurosceptic voting behaviour. In order to measure the effectiveness of EU structural funds and Cohesion Fund assignment, firm-level employment effects in French NUTS-2 regions stemming from project allocation during the multi-financial framework 2007-2013 are estimated. The obtained average treatment effects are, in a next step, used together with other regional characteristics to capture the citizens' perceived exposure to the EU in an empirical voting model for the French presidential election in 2017. The estimation results reveal a significant negative relationship between the effectiveness of EU funds allocation and the vote share of the eurosceptic candidate Marine Le Pen.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (566), 16 pages
Online since: 14.06.2018 0:00
One of the lessons learned from the German effort under the heading of Energiewende is the insight that simply shifting to renewables and recommending improving energy efficiency is not sufficient to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Combined with the expected radical change of technologies this requires a more profound understanding of our energy systems. Therefore, in contrast to most conventional approaches we propose a deepened structural analysis that covers the full energy value chain from the required functionalities for mechanical, thermal and specific electric energy services via application and transformation technologies up to primary energy. This deepened structural approach opens and substantially enhances our understanding of policy designs that are compatible with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. We discover the essential role of four energy grids, namely for electricity, heat, gas, and information as the key for integrating all components of a newly structured energy system. Consequently, we conclude that policy strategies focusing on individual components of an energy system as simply shifting to renewables may from a comprehensive perspective on sustainability in the worst case even turn out as counterproductive.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (565), 185 pages
Online since: 29.05.2018 0:00
Österreich bietet einen hohen Lebensstandard, der sowohl in überdurchschnittlichen Pro-Kopf-Einkommen und einer im internationalen Vergleich niedrigen Arbeitslosenquote als auch einem geringeren Anteil armutsgefährdeter Personen zum Ausdruck kommt. Der erreichte materielle Wohlstand beruht auf vergangenen Leistungen, stimmt aber auch für die nähere Zukunft optimistisch. Gleichzeitig bestehen hartnäckige Strukturdefizite in Bezug auf wichtige Bestimmungsfaktoren der langfristigen Entwicklung. Beispiele sind die als zu gering empfundene Leistungsfähigkeit des Bildungssystems, hohe Abgaben auf Arbeitseinkommen, als überbordend empfundene Regulierungen, ein geringer Anteil forschungsintensiver Produktionszweige oder die mangelnde Finanzierung von risikoreichen Projekten mit großem Wachstumspotential.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (564), 43 pages
Online since: 18.05.2018 0:00
While trust in the business sector is crucial for well-functioning markets, there is surprisingly little empirical work on its sources. Available research recognises social trust as a major force explaining confidence in political institutions. Regulation is frequently advocated to foster trust in companies as it is supposed to reduce scope for opportunistic behaviour. Based on individual level data from World Values Survey, European Values Studies and economic regulation data from the Economic Freedom of the World project the paper empirically investigates joint effects of social trust, intensity and quality of regulation on public trust in major companies. Our findings suggest that it is not the intensity of economic regulation per se which matters for trust in companies but that the impartiality with which rules are enforced is decisive, even when we control for social trust. Trust in business can be facilitated by an implicit guarantee of governments to fair and impartial treatment.
Michael Anyadike-Danes, Carl Magnus Bjuggren, Michel Dumont, Sandra Gottschalk, Werner Hölzl, Dan Johansson, Mika Maliranta, Anja Myrann, Kristian Nielsen, Guanyu Zheng
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (563), 33 pages
Online since: 17.05.2018 0:00
This paper addresses three simple questions: how should the contribution of high-growth firms to job creation be measured? how much does this contribution vary across countries? to what extent does the cross-country variation depend on variation in the proportion of high-growth firms in the business population? The first is a methodological question which we answer using a more highly articulated version of the standard job creation and destruction accounts. The other two are empirical questions which we answer using a purpose-built data set assembled from national firm-level sources and covering nine countries, spanning the ten three year periods from 2000-2003 to 2009-2012. The basic principle governing the development of the accounting framework is the choice of appropriate comparators. Firstly, when measuring contributions to job creation, we should focus on just job creating firms, otherwise we are summing over contributions from firms with positive, zero, and negative job creation numbers. Secondly, because we know growth depends in part on size, the "natural" comparison for high-growth firms is with job creation by similar-sized firms which simply did not grow as fast as high-growth firms. However, we also show how the measurement framework can be further extended to include, for example, a consistent measure of the contribution of small job creating firms. On the empirical side, we find that the high-growth firm share of job creation by large job creating firms varies across countries by a factor of 2, from around one third to two thirds. A relatively small proportion of this cross-country variation is accounted for by variations in the influence of high-growth firms on job creation. On average high-growth firms generated between three or four times as many jobs as large non-high-growth job creating firms, but this ratio is relatively similar across countries. The bulk of the cross-country variation in high-growth firm contribution to job creation is accounted for by the relative abundance (or rarity) of high-growth firms. Moreover, we also show that the measurement of abundance depends upon the choice of measurement framework: the "winner" of a cross-national high-growth firm "beauty contest" on one measure will not necessarily be the winner on another.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (562), 43 pages
Online since: 20.04.2018 0:00
The New View on fiscal policy (as coined by Furman 2016) represents a rethinking of the main-stream consensus on the optimal macroeconomic policy mix. It focuses on a reassessment of the relative effectiveness of fiscal policy and its ability to stabilise the economy when monetary policy reaches its limit. This paper aims to present in detail the main principles of the New View as proposed by Furman (2016), to extend them, bring additional theoretical and empirical evidence, as well as concrete policy implications for the architecture of the European Monetary Union. The New View builds upon five core principles: Firstly, fiscal policy is a significant and efficient complement to monetary policy at the zero lower bound on theoretical grounds. Secondly, we take a closer look at the empirical evidence on government spending multipliers in a recession, both in the DSGE and in the VAR literature, and show it points to much higher multipliers than in normal times. Thirdly, we provide evidence to why fiscal space is actually higher than normally perceived in a recession, because fiscal stimuli can pay for themselves by enhancing current growth and potential output. We shortly discuss whether it is not better to have a sustained stimulus rather than a short one and whether enhanced global spillover effects in an environment of insufficient aggregate demand further enhance fiscal policy effectiveness. All of the above arguments point to the welfare enhancing effects of fiscal stimulus during a zero lower bound episode and that an approach, led by the New View, would have delivered better macroeconomic outcomes during the Eurozone crisis. We then discuss what such an approach could mean for a more resilient EMU architecture and for stabilisation mechanisms in the Euro Area.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (561), 26 pages
Online since: 15.04.2018 0:00
The increase of wealth inequality in many EU countries has spurred interest in wealth taxation. While taxes on wealth for a long time have played only a marginal role in the public finance and taxation literature, more recently a variety of arguments are brought forward in favour of (higher) wealth taxation. At the same time, tax competition has led to an almost complete disappearance of recurrent net wealth taxes in Europe. By dealing with non- and under-reporting in the Household and Consumption Survey (HFCS) data set provided by the European Central Bank, we are able to estimate the wealth distribution within 20 EU countries and the revenue potential of a progressive EU-wide net wealth tax.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (560), 30 pages
Online since: 13.03.2018 0:00
We develop a multivariate dynamic factor model that exploits euro area country-specific information on output and inflation for estimating an area-wide measure of the output gap. In the proposed multi-country framework we moreover allow for flexible stochastic volatility specifications for both the error variances and the innovations to the latent quantities in order to deal with potential changes in the commonalities of business cycle movements. By tracing the relative importance of the common euro area output gap component as a means to explaining movements in both output and inflation over time, the paper provides valuable insights in the evolution of the degree of synchronicity of the country-specific business cycles. In an out-of-sample forecasting exercise, the paper shows that the proposed approach performs well as compared to other well-known benchmark specifications.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (559), 26 pages
Online since: 01.03.2018 0:00
The aim of this paper is to map legal aspects that should be taken into account in designing a carbon tax. The survey of the legal literature concludes that many different aspects have to be taken into account in designing a carbon tax, both with respect to the kind of legal instruments to be used and the actual design of the tax. It is analysed how these legal concepts relate to economic theory. This overview of legal considerations may help in creating a sustainable, effective and efficient regulatory system for reducing emissions, as carbon taxes can play a crucial role for achieving long-term emission reductions.