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Co-ordination of current projects: Matthias Firgo (2 hits)

Current research studies (work in progress)
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Supported by: Anniversary Fund of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank
This project investigates the possibility of the existence of middle-income traps among European NUTS-2 regions. Thus, the study extends the literature on middle-income traps, which has so far mainly focused on the national level, to the subnational level. Given the granularity of regional data, the study aims at improving existing spatial econometric methods by simultaneously accounting for spatial dependence, the nature of spatial spillover processes and the uncertainty regarding alternative definitions of growth regimes. Furthermore, the project focuses on analysing growth determinants of middle-income regions, such as EU regional funds, and studies factors driving regions to falling into and escaping from a middle-income trap.
Project lead: Matthias Firgo
Project team member: Franz Sinabell
Structural Change, Spatial Competition and Revealed Competitiveness: Farm Survival in Austria (Strukturwandel, räumlicher Wettbewerb und Wettbewerbsfähigkeit: Die Landwirtschaft in Österreich)
Current research studies (work in progress)
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Supported by: Anniversary Fund of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank
The agricultural sector has been characterised by efficiency gains and an increase in optimal firm size, provoking net firm exits. We intend to isolate factors explaining firm survival and firm growth as the indicators of competitiveness. As agricultural land, constituting an important input factor, is scarce and immobile, the strategies of farms to survive in this market are limited. One option is to diversify the production by offering products which require no farmland, like agritourism. An IV approach will allow us to identify the causal effect of agritourism on farm survival. In addition, we contribute to explaining the striking regional heterogeneity of the structural change in Austria. The second part of the study focuses on the competition for land, which is limited and thus a farm may only cultivate more land if other farms nearby exit the market. We can draw on unique and extremely rich data for this empirical analysis, comprising geo-referenced data of virtually the entire population of both farmsteads and plots (parcels of land) under cultivation. We intend to apply spatial econometric models to quantify the spillover effects of nearby farms leaving the market on the performance of the surviving farms.