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WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (571), 30 Seiten
Online seit: 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 Bulletin, 2018, 23(14), S.131-144
Mit finanzieller Unterstützung von: Jubiläumsfonds der Oesterreichischen Nationalbank
Online seit: 02.11.2018 0:00
 
This paper analyses the effects of the introduction of the tax relief for families family bonus (Familienbonus) and supplementary child benefit (Kindermehrbetrag) on household income in Austria, using the WIFO-Micromod microsimulation model that is based on the EU-SILC data. The average yearly (person-weighted) equivalised household income increases by 320 €, which corresponds to a relative increase of 1.4 percent. For the families concerned, the reform leads to an increase in the corresponding income by 733 € or 3.1 percent and to a reduction in the average yearly income tax burden by 1,556 €. The effects are most pronounced in the medium range of the household income distribution. The total personal income tax revenue decreases by 1.5 billion € per year.
 
Leading indicators still point to favourable cyclical conditions in Austria until the end of 2018. GDP growth for the year as a whole is set to reach 3 percent. Currency crises in some emerging market countries, lack of clarity about the further course of US trade policy, and uncertainty surrounding the terms of Brexit increasingly strain international trade and with it business activity in highly export-oriented economies. These factors will dampen GDP growth also in Austria, which is expected to receed to 2 percent in 2019.
 
The Austrian economy continued to grow at a strong pace in the late summer of 2018, although the trend toward declining unemployment slowed. In the euro area, growth remains stable, albeit modest. The US economy has benefitted from expansive fiscal policy, posting particularly strong growth rates. Recent trade-policy signals have been stoking uncertainty. This, in combination with a sharp depreciation in emerging market currencies, has had a dampening effect on global trade, with potential knock-on effects for export-oriented industrialised economies.
WIFO Bulletin, 2018, 23(11), S.96-106
Online seit: 31.10.2018 0:00
 
In 2016, the cash-flow-to-sales ratio of the Austrian manufacturing sector reached an estimated 10.0 percent, a value higher than the previous year's ratio of 9.4 percent. The ratio should have further increased to 11.0 percent in 2017. The rising profit-ability ratio of manufacturing corresponds with sound economic growth performance of the sector. Its real value-added growth rate amounted to 1.3 percent in 2016 and 6.7 percent in 2017, respectively. According to additional estimates of a dynamic panel-econometric model at the industry level, the cash-flow-to-sales ratio in manufacturing will continue its up-ward trend in 2018.
 
After a rather sluggish growth at the beginning of the year, economic activity in the USA gained considerably momentum in the second quarter. In the EU, following a weak start, economic growth stabilised in the second quarter, although it slowed again in the euro area. The economy in Austria continues to expand strongly. Despite growth slowing down in comparison to previous quarters, GDP continues to expand faster than in the average of euro area countries. Unemployment dropped again in July.
Sara Barcenilla-Visús, Carmen López-Pueyo
Empirica, 2018, 45(4), S.821-847, http://www.springer.com/10663
This paper investigates the impact of human capital on the process of innovation and technology catch-up in European Union countries. Based on the framework proposed by Benhabib and Spiegel (in: Aghion and Durlauf (eds) Handbook of economic growth, 1A, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 2005), a panel data model is estimated from 1950 to 2011 using the improved total factor productivity and human capital variables included in PWT 8.0. Following Vandenbussche et al. (J Econ Growth 11(2):97-127, 2006) we also analyse the differential impact of skilled and unskilled human capital on growth. The empirical analysis applies instrumental variables panel data methods which resolve the endogeneity bias. Our results show robust evidence of the significant direct and indirect effects of human capital on the process of total factor productivity growth in euro area countries. When we analyse the impact of different kinds of human capital on different ways of increasing TFP we conclude that, regardless of academic level, the quantity of unskilled human capital boosts imitation in EU countries while, by contrast, highly qualified human capital is essential for growth through innovation.
Luis A. Gil-Alana, Marinko Škare
Empirica, 2018, 45(4), S.801-820, http://www.springer.com/10663
The disconnection between productivity and workers' compensation after 1980 is a fact not only for the USA, Canada, Japan but also for Europe. The level of the decoupling between labour productivity and real hourly compensation is highest in the USA and Japan and lowest in Norway and Germany. This study investigates the great decoupling phenomena between 1950 and 2014 for eight economies with available time series data. The results should assist policy makers in developing efficient wage-setting mechanisms and help researchers in the field of wage moderation policy and the great decoupling. For this purpose we use fractional integration and cointegration techniques. Countries with stagnating minimum wages, rigid wage moderation policy and a high level of technological progress (strong total factor productivity growth) register higher wage stagnation in relation to labour productivity. Policy makers should be extremely careful when using wage moderation policy to improve a country's competitiveness and should monitor the wage stagnation behind labour productivity (great decoupling) since workers have been producing more but receiving significantly less since 1980. The great decoupling is more prominent today and it is constantly increasing not just in the USA and Japan but worldwide.
Using a sample of 19 advanced countries from 1990 to 2014 and an Arellano – Bover-Blundell – Bond linear dynamic GMM estimator along with a bootstrap-based bias correction fixed effects estimator for dynamic panels, the paper examines the macroeconomic impact of collective bargaining structures in a context of varying intersectoral heterogeneity in productivity growth among the exposed and sheltered sectors of the economy. Results show a dampening impact of pattern and centralised bargaining structures on unemployment. However, strong domestic demand is a key precondition for such a favourable effect to materialise. Uncoordinated and centralised bargaining structures are the most efficient in terms of labour cost restraint while industry bargaining moderates labour cost growth as intersectoral productivity differentials widen.
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