Search for publicationsAdvanced search

WIFO Working Papers

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

WIFO is not responsible for any opinions reflected in the Working Papers.

Recent issues (573 hits)

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (573), 30 pages
Online since: 13.12.2018 0:00
Both the UN SDGs and the Paris Agreement imply ambitious long-term targets which only can be met with a fundamental restructuring of economic and social systems. We propose a set of energy and climate policy indicators that allows informed policy making and goes beyond the approaches that mainly focus on progress based on the UN indicator set. The sustainable energy indicators cover the whole energy system as well as the three dimensions of sustainability. The approach combines an energy service centred perspective with research on energy and climate indicators and embeds the indicator framework in broader socio-ecologic context. For the four demand-side sectors a set of 118 high-level energy indicators has been assembled that can be further disaggregated to about 387 indicators. For electricity and heat supply a set of 25 energy indicators has been compiled that can be further disaggregated to about 130 indicators differentiating by energy source and plant type. Interactions (i.e., synergies and conflicts) between the different target dimensions and the corresponding indicators need to be carefully considered. Given the complexity of the issue and the lack of adequate indicators and gaps in data availability it is difficult to interpret certain observable trends. This needs to be kept in mind when using the indicator system for policy analysis.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (572), 33 pages
Online since: 15.11.2018 0:00
The EU Single Market and the Maastricht Treaty are now aged 25. In this short history many events marked the way: the creation of EMU in 1999, the introduction of the euro in 2002, and the great EU enlargement starting in 2004. And lastly – for the first time – with the Brexit a reverse of the process of European integration takes place. The recession of 2009 and the Euro crisis in 2010 led to a setback in the economic development in the EU. A quarter of a century invites to look back about the achievements. How much trade and economic growth could be created by the Single Market plus euro plus EU enlargement? These questions are treated here with the help of a consistent integration model. Embedded into an endogenous growth model approach growth and trade effects for EU and EFTA countries are estimated. It turns out that (taking also into account GATT liberalisation) the European integration added to per-capita GDP 0.5 percentage point to EU 28 countries but only 0.2 percentage point to EFTA countries. Trade openness increased by 0.9 percentage point of GDP in EU 28 and by 0.3 percentage point in EFTA countries.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (571), 30 pages
Online since: 02.11.2018 0:00
This essay reconsiders the interaction between the development of economic theories and economic reality since the 1920ies. I begin with the systemic cause of the financial crisis, the coincidence of three "bear markets" (stocks, real estate, commodities) which followed three parallel "bull markets". I then sketch the macroeconomic effects of the "manic-depressive" fluctuations of asset prices and show how they paved the road into the present crisis. As next step, I explain how "bulls" and "bears" are brought about. Then I sketch how the treatment of financial markets in economic theory and policy has shaped the long cycle from the financial boom of the 1920ies, the Great Depression, the post-war prosperity under "realcapitalistic" framework conditions to the "finance-capitalistic" regime since the 1970ies. The paper concludes with proposals how Europe could find roads to new prosperity. After the upcoming financial crisis there will be a window of opportunity to implement these proposals.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (570), 55 pages
Online since: 23.10.2018 0:00
Aus ökonomischer Sicht werden hier 100 Jahre Österreich beleuchtet und Schlussfolgerungen für die Zukunft gezogen. Die Republik Österreich besteht nicht durchgehend seit 100 Jahren; sie ging zwischen 1938 und 1945 unter. Im Gegensatz zur Sicht eines Historikers, der chronologisch und sehr detailliert die Ereignisse von 100 Jahren Österreich in der Ersten und Zweiten Republik beschreibt, möchte ich als Ökonom nur gewisse Muster herausarbeiten. Zum einen werde ich die Charakteristika der Wirtschaftsentwicklung nach den beiden Weltkriegen (Inflation, Arbeitslosigkeit, Staatshaushalt, Geldpolitik und die Auswirkungen auf das Wirtschaftswachstum) aufzeigen. Zum anderen werden die Auswirkungen der verschiedenen Regimewechsel auf die wirtschaftliche Souveränität und damit auf die Wirtschaftsentwicklung des Staates Österreich behandelt. In der Ersten Republik und am Beginn der Zweiten Republik gab es eher eine zwangsweise Abgabe an Souveränität (Völkerbunddiktat, Anschluss, Besatzung). Dann folgte mit dem Staatsvertrag und der Neutralität die volle Souveränität. Später kam es im Zuge der stufenweisen Teilnahme an der europäischen Integration (EFTA, EWR, EU, WWU) zu einer freiwilligen Abgabe an Souveränität in der Hoffnung, als Gegenleistung einen barrierefreien Zugang zu einem größeren Markt zu erhalten. Zum Abschluss werden die Vorzüge der EU-Mitgliedschaft beleuchtet und abschließend die Frage diskutiert, ob Österreich besser mit oder ohne EU in die Zukunft schreiten sollte.
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (569), 34 pages
Online since: 01.10.2018 0:00
We use individual level data covering 30 mostly post-communist and developing countries which account for over a fifth of the worldwide immigrant stock to assess the impact of risk aversion on the willingness to migrate. Consistent with theories of individual level migration decisions, risk aversion has a statistically significant negative impact on both the willingness to migrate within countries as well as abroad. This applies to virtually all countries considered and is robust across various specifications, to alternative measures of risk aversion and to different measures of the willingness to migrate. Differences in the impact of risk aversion on the willingness to migrate are also positively correlated to measures of sending country risks and the missing variable bias of omitting risk aversion from migration regressions is substantial.
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.
Mehr