Thematic Platform "Competitiveness"

Workshops and conferences

Workshops, conferences and other events, 05.12.2019–06.12.2019
Organised by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Online since: 24.08.2019 0:00
The Research Centre International Economics – FIW announces its 12th Research Conference "International Economics" and invites the submission of (full) working papers to be presented at the conference. The main objective of the conference is to provide a platform for economists working in the field of "International Economics" to present recent research. Papers from PhD students, young faculty members and young researchers in similar positions are particularly welcome as the conference aims to support and encourage young economists by providing an opportunity to present their work to fellow junior economists as well as experienced senior researchers. The conference also aims at bringing together researchers and policy makers to provide a forum for a discussion on how empirical evidence can more effectively inform actual economic policy making. – Deadline for submissions: 10 October 2019
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 12.07.2019
Online since: 28.06.2019 0:00
We analyse the effects of R&D-driven automation on economic growth, education, and inequality when high-skilled workers are complements to machines and low-skilled workers are substitutes for machines. The model predicts that innovation-driven growth leads to an increasing population share of college graduates, increasing income and wealth inequality, and a declining labour share. We use the model to analyse the effects of redistribution. We show that it is difficult to improve income of low-skilled individuals as long as both technology and education are endogenous. This is true irrespective of whether redistribution is financed by progressive wage taxation or by a robot tax. Only when higher education is stationary, redistribution unambiguously benefits the poor. We show that education subsidies affect the economy differently depending on their mode of funding and that they may actually reduce education. Finally, we extend the model by fair wage concerns and show how automation could induce involuntary low-skilled unemployment.
Jean-Robert Tyran (Vienna University)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 05.07.2019
Online since: 24.06.2019 0:00
This lecture explains how experimental economics can shed new light on the functioning of "democracy". I draw on examples from my own research to illustrate advantages and problems of making collective choices through voting. The lecture discusses the role of institutions and emphasises the interplay of "rational" and "behavioural" factors.
Workshops, conferences and other events, 26.09.2019–27.09.2019
Organised by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Online since: 12.06.2019 0:00
Workshops, conferences and other events, 04.07.2019–06.07.2019
Organised by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Online since: 07.06.2019 0:00
The Verein für Socialpolitik is the umbrella organisation for economics in the German-speaking world and is organised in various specialist committees. WIFO currently chairs the Committee for Evolutionary Economics, which deals with the long-term determinants of complex economic systems. The focus is on the interaction of heterogeneous microeconomic actors and the resulting structural changes (e.g., of institutions, industries, technologies) as the basis for macroeconomic development. In the public guest lectures of this annual conference, Jason Potts from RMIT University in Melbourne will speak on institutional aspects of cryptoeconomics, while Jean-Robert Tyran from the University of Vienna will discuss democratic processes under aspects of recent behavioural economics.
Jason Potts (RMIT University)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 04.07.2019
Online since: 05.06.2019 0:00
Blockchains are a new digital technology that combines peer-to-peer network computing and cryptography to create an immutable decentralised public ledger. When the ledger records money, a blockchain is a cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin. But ledger entries can record any data structure, including property titles, identity and certification, contracts, and so on. I argue that the economics of blockchains extend beyond analysis of a new general-purpose technology and its disruptive Schumpeterian consequences to the broader idea that blockchains are an institutional technology, and an instance of institutional evolution. I propose a transaction cost based model of blockchains as a three-sided market. I will explain why blockchain technology is the foundation of next generation digital economic infrastructure for global trade and commerce.
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 25.07.2019
Online since: 10.09.2019 0:00
Workshops, conferences and other events, 12.09.2019–13.09.2019
Online since: 16.05.2019 0:00
Following successful previous ENEF meetings organised in Sheffield, Rotterdam, Nice–Sophia Antipolis, Cambridge, Paris, Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Bologna, Madrid, Manchester, Toulouse, Turin, Pisa and Brighton, the 16th ENEF meeting was held in Vienna at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO). The theme of the 2019 meeting reflected core themes of ENEF and the long-standing tradition of research on competitiveness, industrial dynamics and international trade at WIFO. The interplay between new digital technologies and value chains shapes much of the observed globalisation of production structures. Recently, the emergence of new players (especially China) and new technologies (robotisation and digitalisation) have raised questions about the implications of technological change. These concern firm strategies, employment, productivity, market concentration, and industrial dynamics in general. A wide variety of approaches and concepts are necessary to understand the complex relationship between industrial dynamics and the strategies of firms embedded in value chains. These may include the role of trade, industry characteristics, firm capabilities, institutional frameworks and policy interventions.
Jens Südekum (HHU)
Regionalpolitik in Zeiten von Globalisierung, Digitalisierung und zunehmendem Stadt-Land-Gefälle (Regional Policy in Times of Globalisation, Digitalisation and Increasing Urban-rural Disparities)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Vortrag, Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 15.05.2019
Online since: 24.04.2019 0:00
Large internal wage disparities between cities can be found worldwide. On the basis of data for Germany, the lecture identifies "assortative matching" of highly qualified employees and companies in large cities as a central driver of this development. A promising strategy to reduce spatial wage disparities is to improve matching in small cities.
Daniel Waldenström (PSE)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Vortrag, Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 23.05.2019
Online since: 01.04.2019 0:00
The lecture analyses the appropriate role of capital taxation in advanced economies by synthesising the research on optimal capital taxation. To highlight the redistributive role of capital taxation, robust correlations between labour income, wealth and capital income are documented and new evidence on the wealth holdings of the wealthiest is presented. Distortionary effects of capital taxation are analysed and critical issues in its practical implementation are discussed. The overall conclusion is that there are good reasons to tax capital and that Nordic "dual" income taxation could be a constructive way to strike a balance between an optimal and administratively feasible tax system.
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 02.05.2019
Online since: 27.03.2019 0:00
Tourists move by definition from the place of residence to the destination region, as well as between destinations, and between attractions within the same destination. These phenomena present several issues which are related both to the collection of information and to the analysis of complex information such as the ones related with tourist itineraries. An improved understanding of tourist mobility can assist DMOs to fully capture the benefit of cooperative marketing strategies between destinations and among tourism services within the same destination. Furthermore, increased knowledge regarding the determinants of tourist mobility can result in a more focused marketing of tourism products and services. In this lecture, traditional survey methods and the potential coming from the use of new technologies for the analysis of tourist mobility, such as GPS devices are discussed along with their merits and pitfalls. Special attention will be given to the implementation of sampling procedure, and Time Location Sampling is introduced as a potential solution in surveying mobile populations. From several case studies we can describe empirically the main problems arising in the analysis of tourist mobility and propose some potential solutions for the collection and analysis of data on tourist mobility at different temporal and territorial scales.
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 18.02.2019
Online since: 18.01.2019 0:00
Katja Schechtner
Unsicherer Himmel: Drohnen in der Welt von morgen (Uncertain Skies: Drones in the World of Tomorrow)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 17.12.2018
Online since: 28.11.2018 0:00
Recent years have seen rapid developments in drone technology. Today, drones have the potential to become a reliable technology for civil, commercial and leisure use, presenting both opportunities and risks for societies. Although surveys have forecast likely public support for the use of drones, widespread introduction will need to be accompanied by regulation to address privacy, competition, sustainability, safety and security concerns and be benchmarked against existing transport options. Current government regulation of drones tends to be either too restrictive (hampering the development of new designs), or lagging behind (causing reluctance among potential end-users to adopt drone use). Governments must, therefore, be acquainted with developments taking place in the international context of the industry – particularly when considering transport sector use cases. In this talk we will explore the rapidly developing concept designs for drones and drone services, questions of acceptability of drone services, and their safe integration within the transport system as a whole. We will also consider the use of drones for different scales of payloads – both freight and passenger transport – as well as their potential as a support to other modes and aspects of transport, e.g., logistics, monitoring, maintenance and emergency services. The insights from the discussion will be taken into account in the ongoing OECD Working Group on "Drones – Acceptability and Integration with the Transport System".
Martin Kenney
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 03.05.2018
Online since: 20.04.2018 0:00
Digital platform firms led by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are changing social life, work, competition and, ultimately, value creation and capture. Today, the five US giants plus Alibaba and Tencent are the most valuable firms in the world. The increasing centrality of digital platforms for organising competition, work, and value creation is changing the balance of power between labour and employer and within a variety of supply chains. Not only do we have the salient cases of work contracting platforms such as Upwork and services platforms such as Uber and Lyft, but also there are new opportunities for generating income such as the Airbnb, app stores, YouTube, and beyond. Remarkably, even when workers are not displaced, platforms such as Yelp and TripAdvisor affect the work and management process. Digital platforms are also transforming the dynamics of competition in a wide variety of industries from services, logistics and finance through entertainment and music. I explore these dynamics and speculate how inter-firm competition might be impacted particularly as the platform giants become increasingly intertwined in all social and economic life and can leverage their existing power to enter yet other value-creation opportunities.
Eva Christine Erhardt
Wie entwickeln sich Wachstumsunternehmen weiter? Eine Analyse auf Basis verschiedener Wachstumsdefinitionen (Firm Performance After High Growth. A Comparison of Absolute and Relative Growth Measures)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 22.03.2018
Online since: 15.02.2018 0:00
Do high-growth firms continue to create jobs after the high-growth period or is high growth a one-time event? Does the answer to this question depend on the definition of high growth? This paper analyses data from Amadeus on Bulgarian firms for three consecutive 3-year periods (2001-2004, 2004-2007, and 2007-2010). Previously, high growth has been defined in terms of relative growth or composite measures such as recommended by Eurostat and OECD. We additionally apply an absolute measure of growth, i.e., the actual change in headcount. Using a two-part model with separate equations for survival and growth, we moreover specifically account for the impact of firm exits on aggregate effects. We find that definitions are central for outcomes. In terms of relative and Eurostat-OECD high growth our results for Bulgarian firms largely confirm what has been found for high-income countries: surviving relative high-growth firms are characterised by negative future development. High growth firms defined according to Eurostat-OECD continue to grow after high growth. If growth is measured in absolute terms, then high-growth firms only continue to create more jobs than non-high growth firms as far as surviving firms are concerned. Taking firm exits into account, absolute high-growth firms are outperformed by average firms due to the job losses of large exiting high-growth firms – with one notable exception: absolute high-growth firms of initially small size (10 to 49 employees) continue to grow faster than other firms even if exits are accounted for and indeed seem a worthwhile target for policies promoting high-growth entrepreneurship.
Rainer Widmann (Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 18.12.2017
Online since: 27.11.2017 0:00
This paper studies the relationship between personal income tax rates and the residential location choice of inventors in Switzerland. Exploiting sharp differences in tax rates across state borders, I find an elasticity of the number of inventors in a municipality with respect to the net-of-tax rate (after-tax income) of around 5.5. This estimate is considerably higher than the elasticities found in previous studies. Tax policies at the local level, where inventors may take advantage of tax differences by relocating over short distances, may have particularly strong effects on the location choice. In addition, I compare the effect of income tax rates to the effect of non-pecuniary amenities, such as commuting distance, and document the relevance of political attitudes in municipalities for the residential location choice of inventors.
Innovationen in der österreichischen Landwirtschaft – Messbarkeit, empirische Ergebnisse, Schlussfolgerungen (Innovation in Austrian Agriculture – Measures, Empirical Results, Conclusions)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 17.10.2017
Online since: 06.10.2017 0:00
To date, there are no findings in Europe comparable to the Community Innovation Survey on innovations in agriculture. The WIFO study provides three contributions to innovation literature: 1. It presents a survey instrument that takes into account the specific conditions of agriculture. As a rule, the companies are small, have hardly any research capacity, are usually price takers, and the entrepreneurial interests are strongly influenced by the goals of the family. Empirical results of a comprehensive survey in 2016 confirm the finding that profit orientation is not the primary corporate goal. Agricultural companies are not only technology buyers, but also develop products, production methods and organisational processes considerably further within the scope of their possibilities. Conventional survey methods could not make these findings visible. The results also show that some companies succeed in creating special niches through innovations in order to stand out from the competition. They can achieve higher prices. Other companies are focusing on cost-reducing innovations in order to remain price-competitive. The detailed results provide guidance for the development of targeted programmes to accelerate innovation performance in agriculture. Improving the transfer of knowledge from publicly funded research and development activities is a key challenge.
Balázs Muraközy (RCERS Fass)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 15.09.2017
Online since: 15.09.2017 0:00
Structural and Cohesion Funds are one of the key policy instruments of the European Union, aimed at fostering growth in the less developed regions of the EU. Despite the magnitude of these funds in new member countries (equivalent to about 3 percent of GDP in Hungary) not much is known about their effects. Our paper uses firm-level balance sheet and subsidy data from Hungary to study the effects of business subsidies financed from Structural and Cohesion Funds between 2004 and 2014. We find strong selection both into applying and winning the grants: firms which are larger, more productive and had grown faster in the past are more likely to apply and win. We also find that many firms apply multiple times. We estimate the effect of subsidies with matching winners with non-winners to find that winning grants was associated with somewhat faster growth but was not correlated with an increase in productivity. Our results are in line with a picture that grants provide a way of financing which has a low marginal cost but requires a relatively high fixed application cost.
Rainer Widmann (Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University)
in: Lectures "WIFO-Extern"
Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 05.04.2017
Online since: 29.03.2017 0:00
This paper examines the effect of government research grants on firms' patenting outcomes. Discontinuities in the funding decisions of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) allow to study the effect of public funding in a large sample of Austrian firms. My estimates suggest that a government research grant increases the propensity to file a patent application with the European Patent Office within 4 years by around 10 percentage points. Stronger effects appear for established firms of advanced age. I present evidence that established firms undertake ambitious research projects when they receive grants. Finally, I interpret the findings in an "exploration vs. exploitation" model in which the government agency addresses inefficiency in the direction of research.