DIW Roundup

Politik im Fokus

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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 (...)

Zur Debatte um die Angleichung des Rentenrechts in Ost und West
09.08.2016, Johannes Geyer
Roundup 101

Auch über ein Vierteljahrhundert nach dem Fall der Mauer ist die vollständige Angleichung des Rentenrechts in Ost- und Westdeutschland noch nicht vollzogen. Die gesetzlichen Renten werden weiterhin unterschiedlich berechnet und angepasst, ferner unterscheiden sich Größen wie die Beitragsbemessungsgrenze oder die sogenannte Bezugsgröße in beiden Landesteilen. Da die Übergangsregelungen der Wendezeit nun über einen so langen Zeitraum Bestand haben, gibt es seit einigen Jahren Kritik an der Ungleichbehandlung von Ost- und Westdeutschen. Hätte es (...)

CGE-Based Methods to Measure the Impact of Trade Liberalization on Poverty
28.07.2016, Isabel Teichmann
Roundup 100

It is heavily discussed whether trade liberalization is good or bad for the poor in a given (developing) country. The answer depends on a wide variety of factors, such as the type of trade barrier removed, the economic and institutional environment in the country, and the characteristics of the poor in that country (Winters 2002; Winters et al. 2004). In addition, the results can also be driven by the specific method used to measure the impact of the trade-policy reform on poverty. For an informed discussion, it is, therefore, important to understand the corresponding empirical methods at (...)

What causes the delay in reforms in Europe?
05.07.2016, Malte Rieth
Roundup 99

The academic literature provides no clear answer to this question. In principle, the recent slowdown in reform activity and fiscal consolidation in the euro area may derive from several developments. Potential reasons involve the end of the economic recession, the provision of financial assistance to crisis countries, and improved financing conditions for governments as a result of unconventional monetary policy, which all reduced reform pressure. While existing studies analyse several of these causes of reform delays in general, there is only very limited evidence for such a relation in the (...)

Nuclear power and the uranium market: are reserves and resources sufficient?
09.06.2016, Roman Mendelevitch
Roundup 98

The increase of the use of atomic power in some emerging economies, in particular South Korea and China, has revitalized a discussion regarding the availability of uranium resources. Despite the fact that global uranium resources are more than sufficient to supply reactor-related demand for the rest of the century, some voices in the nuclear community expect a supply shortage for the upcoming decades, and the risk of prices tippling in the next 20 years. They argue with delayed construction times, untimely mining expansion and unfavorable market conditions. This Roundup takes a closer look at (...)

Staatsfonds in Zeiten niedriger Rohstoffpreise
24.05.2016, Hella Engerer
Roundup 97

Unter Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) oder Staatsfonds werden Fonds verstanden, die im Auftrag eines Staates Geld anlegen und verwalten. Die Fonds speisen sich häufig aus Ressourcen, insbesondere aus Einnahmen von Öl- und Gasexporten. Sie sollen in rohstoffexportierenden Ländern dazu beitragen, mögliche Preisschwankungen auf internationalen Rohstoffmärkten abzufedern oder finanzielle Reserven für künftige Generationen zu bilden. Lange Zeit hatten steigende Energiepreise zu einer rasanten Zunahme des Fondsvolumens auf weltweit insgesamt über sieben Billionen (...)

Demand response in Germany: Technical potential, benefits and regulatory challenges
02.05.2016, Jan Stede
Roundup 96

An increased flexibility of the electricity demand side through demand response (DR) is an opportunity to support the integration of renewable energies. By optimising the use of the generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, DR reduces the need for costly investments and contributes to system security. There is a significant technical DR potential for load reduction from industrial production processes in Germany, as well as from cross-cutting technologies in industry and the tertiary sector. The availability of demand response as a system resource depends on the underlying (...)

The Dilemma or Trilemma Debate: Empirical Evidence
26.04.2016, Pablo Anaya, Michael Hachula
Roundup 95

One of the central results in international economics is that an economy cannot have at the same time independent monetary policy, free capital flows, and a fixed exchange rate. Over the last few years, however, this so-called Mundell-Flemming ‘trilemma’ has increasingly been challenged. It is argued that given the rising importance and synchronization of capital and credit flows across countries and their underlying common driving forces, the ‘trilemma’ has morphed into a ‘dilemma’: an economy cannot have at the same time independent monetary policy and an (...)

Wettbewerbspolitik in digitalen Märkten: Sollte Datenschutz eine Rolle spielen?
14.04.2016, Nicola Jentzsch
Roundup 94

In diesem Jahr steht in Deutschland die Novellierung des Gesetzes gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen (GWB) an. Das Reformvorhaben hat eine intensive Debatte um die Neuorientierung der Wettbewerbspolitik in digitalen Märkten entfacht. Während es einen Konsens gibt, dass der existierende Rechtsrahmen den neuen Bedingungen digitaler Märkte angepasst werden muss, bestehen unterschiedliche Positionen in Bezug auf die Rolle großer Datensammlungen und des Datenschutzes in der Wettbewerbspolitik. Konkret geht es um die Frage, ob Datenbanken und Datenschutzfragen in (...)

Corporate taxation, leverage, and macroeconomic stability
12.04.2016, Franziska Bremus
Roundup 93

A key challenge for economic policy today is to make the financial system more resilient. The literature finds that high indebtedness (or: leverage), both in the financial and in the real sectors, is a danger to macroeconomic stability and growth. Moreover, the design of the corporate tax system is an important determinant of leverage: in many countries interest paid on debt is tax-deductible while the return on equity is not, such that tax systems incentivize debt-type financing and, hence, leveraging. This article summarizes the debate about the implications of corporate taxation for (...)

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