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The macroeconomic effects of exchange rate movements
20.02.2018, Pablo Anaya
Roundup 121

The macroeconomic effects of exchange rate movements have been subject to an extensive debate in international economics. Traditionally, much of the discussion was focused on the relation between the effective exchange rate and the trade balance. However, the process of financial globalization has led to a sharp increase in foreign asset and liability positions across countries and also to a greater dispersion in foreign currency positions, with many countries being either large net creditors or net debtors in foreign currency. This has shifted the focus of the discussion from the trade (...)




What determines the Costs of Fiscal Consolidations?
19.02.2018, Mathias Klein
Roundup 120

Recent studies have proposed several factors that determine how fiscal consolidations affect the economy. This Roundup focuses on several of these determinants. Namely, it discusses how the composition of the consolidation measure, the state of the business cycle, the level of private indebtedness and the amount of fiscal stress during which the measure is implemented influences the consequences of austerity. It seems reasonable to consider these factors more carefully when deciding about the type and timing of fiscal consolidation plans.




Monetary Policy Normalization in the Euro Area
30.01.2018, Malte Rieth
Roundup 119

The ECB announced in October 2018 that it would begin to cut back the amount of monthly asset purchases starting January 2018 while extending the duration of the purchases until at least September 2018. At it latest Governor’s Council meeting in January 2019 it decided to remain on this track despite a sharp appreciation of the euro in the meanwhile. These steps were just two on a longer and potentially slippery path back towards standard monetary policy. Market turbulences like the so-called “Taper Tantrum”, which followed the Fed’s 2013 announcement that it was (...)




Wie beeinflussen Wehrdienstregelungen die Arbeitsmarkt- und Bildungsentscheidungen der Betroffenen? Ökonomische Evidenz zu einem nach wie vor wichtigen Thema
12.12.2017, Maximilian Bach
Roundup 118

Weltweit wird die Wehrpflicht in etwa 60 Ländern praktiziert (CIA’s World Factbook 2017). Die Dauer des Wehrdienstes, definiert als die Ausübung eines gesetzlich verpflichtenden Dienstes in den Streitkräften eines Staates, variiert je nach Land.  und beträgt in den meisten europäischen Ländern weniger als ein Jahr. In Ländern mit angespannter Sicherheitslage kann der Wehrdienst jedoch deutlich länger dauern, wie  z.B. in Südkorea (26-30 Monat) oder Israel (36 Monate). In Deutschland betrug die Dauer des Wehrdienstes zwischen 6 und 1 (...)




Internationale Investitionen und Leistungsbilanz- ungleichgewichte: Die Bedeutung von Wertschwankungen
07.12.2017, Thore Schlaak
Roundup 117

Die weltweiten Kapitalflüsse sind seit den 1980er Jahren bis zum Ausbruch der Finanzkrise stark gestiegen. Im Zuge dessen sind etwa die Auslandsinvestitionen Deutschlands auf rund 250 Prozent in Relation zum Bruttoinlandsprodukt, die Investitionen des Auslands in Deutschland auf etwa 200 Prozent gestiegen. Diese positive Differenz ist eine Folge der kontinuierlichen Leistungsbilanzüberschüsse Deutschlands, welche die Nettofinanzflüsse abbilden – also die Differenz zwischen Ab- und Zuflüssen. Kapitalanlagen im Ausland bieten Investoren die Chance, Ersparnisse zu (...)




Capital market integration and macroeconomic stability
16.11.2017, Franziska Bremus
Roundup 116

After the establishment of the Banking Union, the European Commission is working on measures to foster capital market deepening in Europe. Key goals for a European Capital Markets Union are to provide firms with alternative funding sources to bank credit and to make economies more resilient to local shocks through better international risk sharing. While open capital markets can improve portfolio diversification, growth and welfare, the recent financial crisis was a reminder that capital market integration also carries risks in terms of economic stability. This article summarizes pros and cons (...)




The use of financial market variables in forecasting
15.11.2017, Stefan Gebauer
Roundup 115

Financial market indicators can provide valuable information for forecasting macroeconomic developments. In response to the global financial crisis of 2007/2008, the role of financial variables for forecasting has been revisited, and new empirical and theoretical forecasting methods able to explicitly incorporate financial market information have been developed. This roundup discusses characteristics of financial variable movements and the relation to business cycles. It furthermore summarizes some of the new theoretical and empirical approaches at hand for forecasting macroeconomic variables (...)




Microenterprises in Developing Countries: Is there Growth Potential?
13.10.2017, Helke Seitz
Roundup 114

Microenterprises account for a large fraction of employment in developing countries and they are likely to increase in importance in the future. In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, around 8 million additional jobs need to be created annually in order to cope with the increasing number of new entrants into the labour market (The World Bank, 2013). As microenterprises typically only provide subsistence income to few individuals the question remains whether they have the potential to grow and to contribute to the creation of jobs. Studies suggest that many businesses do indeed have the potential (...)




Does more education protect against mental health problems?
28.09.2017, Daniel Graeber
Roundup 113

Mental health conditions are a leading cause of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and health costs worldwide: They account for 199 million DALYs or 37 percent of healthy life years lost from non-communicable diseases. The sum of direct and indirect costs worldwide were estimated to amount to 2.5 trillion US dollars in 2010 and projected to increase to 6 trillion US dollars in 2030 (Bloom et al., 2010). The heavy financial and societal burdens of mental health impairments also mean that prevention measures to alleviate these problems will have high financial and societal returns. Education (...)




Effizienzanalysen frühkindlicher Bildungs- und Betreuungsangebote: Mehr differenzierte Analysen für Deutschland erforderlich
31.07.2017, Sophia Schmitz
Roundup 112

Vor dem Hintergrund knapper öffentlicher Ressourcen bilden Effizienzanalysen ein zentrales Instrument im Prozess der politischen Entscheidungsfindung. Durch die Gegenüberstellung von Kosten und Nutzen können sie die Frage beantworten, ob und in welche frühkindlichen Bildungs- und Betreuungsangebote investiert werden sollte. Dieser Roundup zeigt methodische Herausforderungen auf und gibt einen Überblick über bestehende Effizienzanalysen im Bereich frühkindlicher Bildungs- und Betreuungsangebote in den USA und Deutschland. 




Wind power: mitigated and imposed external costs and other indirect economic effects
27.04.2017, Alexander Zerrahn
Roundup 111

Since the 1990s, (onshore) wind power has become an important technology for electricity generation throughout the world. The economic rationale is the mitigation of negative externalities of conventional technologies, in particular emissions from fossil fuel combustion. However, wind power itself is not free of externalities. Wind turbines are alleged visual and noise impacts as well as threats to wildlife. Further indirect economic effects comprise costs for integrating variable wind electricity into the power system. Economic outcomes, such as employment and GDP, can be positively or (...)




The Natural Rate of Interest and Secular Stagnation
30.01.2017, Guido Baldi
Roundup 110

In many advanced economies, there has been a declining trend in interest rates over the past thirty years. Since the financial crisis, interest rates have remained particularly low. Though a decrease in inflation explains part of the fall in nominal interest rates, there is also a clear downtrend in real interest rates. Against this backdrop, a debate has emerged over the factors that might have contributed to this decline. Potential persistent factors discussed under the heading of “secular stagnation” include a decline in profitable investment opportunities and high global (...)




The Natural Rate of Interest II: Empirical Overview
30.01.2017, Philipp König
Roundup 109

The concept of the natural rate of interest (NRI) dates back to Wicksell (1898) and has since then been highly debated in the economic literature. In practice, estimates of the NRI can be employed as a versatile tool for macroeconomic analysis and are a core element within the popular neo-Wicksellian (or New-Keynesian) framework. The real rate gap, i.e. the difference between the actual interest rate and the NRI, provides valuable information about the state of the economy and can help policy makers to adjust the monetary policy stance. However, the NRI cannot be directly observed and has to (...)




The Natural Rate of Interest I: Theory
27.01.2017, Philipp König
Roundup 108

The term natural (or neutral) real interest rate refers to the equilibrium value of the real interest rate. As this equilibrium is usually conceived as a situation where inflationary or deflationary pressures have abated, the natural real interest rate is a key concept for central banks seeking to stabilize the general price level or targeting the rate of inflation. The present roundup provides a brief historical review of this concept and explains the relevance of the natural real rate for monetary policy analysis. 




The Inflation Targeting Debate
09.01.2017, Malte Rieth
Roundup 107

Inflation targeting has become one of the most prominent monetary regimes around the globe. Proponents argue that it reduces the dynamic inconsistency problem of monetary policy and thereby stabilises prices, which in turn promotes growth. Opponents, on the other hand, say that by focusing on price stability inflation targeting neglects other important policy objectives, such as financial stability, and thereby contributed to the built up of the global financial crisis. This roundup summarises the arguments made in the debate. It concludes that no consensus has emerged in the empirical (...)




Arbeitszeitwünsche von Beschäftigten: eine Black Box?
03.01.2017, Elke Holst
Roundup 106

Wie viel Zeit Menschen in ihre Erwerbsarbeit investieren wollen, können und müssen ist nicht nur für den Einzelnen, sondern auch für eine Ökonomie als Ganzes von zentraler Bedeutung. Doch je nach Studie und zugrundeliegendem Datensatz ergibt sich ein heterogenes Bild über Arbeitszeitwünsche und -realitäten in Deutschland. Diesem Phänomen und seinen Ursachen geht der nachfolgende Bericht nach.




Wie beeinflusst der Besuch einer Kindertageseinrichtung nicht-kognitive Fähigkeiten?
20.12.2016, Georg Camehl
Roundup 105

Kindertageseinrichtungen sollen als Ort der frühkindlichen Bildung die Entwicklung und Fähigkeiten von Kindern fördern. Die frühe Bildung ist besonders wichtig, da sich viele Fähigkeiten früh im Lebensverlauf herausbilden. Außerdem erleichtern früh erworbene Fähigkeiten den weiteren Erwerb von Fähigkeiten und beeinflussen somit die gesamte Bildungsbiografie. Die ökonomische Forschung unterscheidet zwischen kognitiven und nicht-kognitiven Fähigkeiten. Kindertageseinrichtungen können beide Aspekte der kindlichen Entwicklung fö (...)




Tax evasion and the impact of international regulation: a summary of empirical results
29.11.2016, Jakob Miethe
Roundup 104

While combating tax evasion ranks highly on the international policy agenda and journalists are covering leak after leak, the economics profession at large has somewhat neglected the subject until recently. In the last years, however, a combination of better international financial data and ingenious identification strategies in several pioneering studies has made the subject popular in empirical economics. These contributions are summarized below.             




Eine Softdrinksteuer zur fiskalischen Konsumsteuerung
03.11.2016, Renke Schmacker
Roundup 103

Am 11. Oktober, dem sogenannten „Welt-Adipositas-Tag“, hat die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) einen Bericht vorgestellt, in dem sie eine 20%-ige Steuer auf zuckergesüßte Getränke empfiehlt (WHO 2016). Zuletzt hat Großbritannien die Einführung einer solchen Abgabe im Haushalt 2016 beschlossen und erwartet, nebst Einnahmen von 520 Millionen Pfund im ersten Jahr, einen deutlichen Rückgang des Übergewichts (HM Treasury 2016). Ob eine solche fiskalische Konsumsteuerung tatsächlich zu einer gesünderen Ernährung führt, hä (...)




Parental leave policies and child development: A review of empirical findings
01.11.2016, Mathias Huebener
Roundup 102

Parental leave policies are a major policy tool used across OECD countries to support families before and after child birth. There are large differences across countries in the amount and the duration of benefit payments as well as leave entitlement periods. Despite these differences, the shared goal of parental leave policies is to reconcile family life and work, and support child development. While much research attention has been paid to the effects of parental leave policies on maternal labor supply, much less is known about their effects on child development and health. This DIW Roundup (...)


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