Press Releases

Current and older Press Releases of DIW Berlin
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25 October 2012

Has Income Inequality Spiked in Germany?

New analyses of personal income distribution in Germany, based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), show that real market income in private households rose significantly from 2005 to 2010. An increase in real disposable income was also observed. At the same time, the disparity in income distribution decreased in both western and eastern Germany. However, the latter showed a further spread at the lower end of disposable income distribution. In the course of this development, the poverty risk in western Germany fell slightly from 2009 to 2010, while it remained unchanged in the eastern part of the country.


17 October 2012

Need for Reform of EU Banking Regulation: Decoupling the Solvency of Banks and Sovereigns

Recent developments in Ireland, Greece, and Spain have shown that sovereign debt crises endanger the solvency of domestic banking sectors, while banking crises in turn endanger the solvency of the domestic sovereign. This vicious circle between government and bank solvency is exacerbated by the home bias in banks’ government bond portfolios, that is, the banks' excessive exposure to domestic government debt. Neither current European banking regulation nor plans to implement Basel III in the EU take this interdependence into account. Both treat government bonds of member states as risk-free, highly liquid assets and exclude them from capital requirements and large exposure regimes. Future EU banking regulations should aim to remedy this.

10 October 2012

Rising EEG Surcharge: Undesirable Distribution Effects Can Be Reduced

2013 will see a significant increase in the surcharge stipulated by the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and paid by power consumers to promote the use of renewable energies. This will equate to a rise in the share of private households’ consumer spending on electricity from around 2.3 percent on average in 2011 or almost 2.4 percent in 2012 to almost 2.5 percent in 2013. The EEG surcharge accounts for 0.5 percentage points of this, or 0.6 percentage points including VAT. However, these proportions are significantly higher for low-income than for high-income households. DIW Berlin calculated the regressive distribution effects of rising electricity prices in general and the increasing EEG surcharge in particular on the basis of the Federal Statistical Office’s sample survey of income and expenditure (EVS) and the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) and extrapolated the results for 2013. The calculation indicates that households with the lowest income are especially adversely affected by the current price increases.

4 October 2012

DIW Autumn Projection 2012

The German economy will lose some of its momentum in the second half of the year, but pick up some speed again next year. In year-on-year terms, German GDP is expected to increase by a mere 0.9 percent in 2012 and 1.6 percent in 2013. Growth is primarily driven by domestic demand. The weakening of the economy in the second half of this year will have limited impact on labor markets, the unemployment rate will only increase slightly from 6.8 percent in 2012 to 7.1 percent in 2013. Hence, disposable income will grow at solid rates and support consumption of private households.

8 June 2012

EURO 2012: Spain to Win Again, but Germany has a Chance

DIW Berlin and Free University Berlin use economic indicator to predict the winner

Based upon team transfer values, Spain will be the 2012 European champions. At the final in Kiev, Spain will play Germany, just as in 2008, with Joachim Löw’s team most likely managing only second place, again. Using this model, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and Free University Berlin (FUB) have correctly predicted the results of three major football tournaments: The World Cup both in 2006 and 2010, as well as the European Football Championship in 2008. “Our forecast model is simple, based on the market values of all players in the squad,” says Gert G. Wagner, head of DIW Berlin. Wagner and sociologists Jürgen Gerhards and Michael Mutz of the Free University Berlin performed the analyses together. “The rules of the globalized economy also apply to football. The players’ performance is realistically reflected by their market value,” Gerhards explains.

24 May 2011

Statistics Debate: Child and Youth Poverty Still the Most Urgent Problem on the Policy Agenda

Differing methods of calculation explain recent discrepancies between OECD/DIW Berlin poverty figures

According to recent estimates by DIW Berlin, children and young adults were the group most severely affected by poverty in Germany in the year 2009. DIW Berlin rejects claims that it manipulated or withheld statistical data on poverty. “These accusations are false,” said Gert G. Wagner, Chairman of the DIW Berlin Executive Board. “To the contrary: we have actively raised the issue that our improved calculation methods result in changes in the poverty statistics.” This has been confirmed in recent news reports and in the official findings of a parliamentary inquiry released by the federal government (BT-Drucksache No. 17/4332).

4 February 2011

Wagner takes over leadership of DIW Berlin until the end of 2012

Board of Trustees will decide on personnel proposals on 11 February

Rearrangement of the management structure at DIW Berlin: Gert G. Wagner is to serve as the new Chairman of the Executive Board. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Bert Rürup, will propose the Head of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin to the Board of Trustees on 11 February. Gert Wagner is supposed to take up the position until the evaluation and the appointment procedure for a new president have ended. Together with Gert Wagner, Georg Weizsäcker will help the Executive Board to lead the forthcoming evaluation of the institute in 2012 to a success.

1 February 2011

DIW President Klaus Zimmermann puts his office at the disposal

Statement of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of DIW Berlin, Bert Rürup

The scientific work of DIW Berlin and its role in providing policy-advice have to be shifted back again into the center of public awareness. Contrary to public criticism, which has been immoderate in many cases, DIW Berlin still is one of the leading economic research institutes in Germany and beyond.

28 September 2010

DIW Berlin: German economy grows 3.4 percent in 2010

Experts claim no space for tax cuts and higher social spending

The German economy has recovered surprisingly well from the crisis. DIW Berlin estimates that the growth will continue – although in a less rapid pace than the first half year. “We reach a massive annual growth of 3.4 percent in 2010. In 2011 the German economy is expected to grow at a rate of 2 percent”, said Ferdinand Fichtner, Head of the new cross-sectional group on economic policy at DIW Berlin. “The strong growth also reduces the government deficit”, said Mr. Fichtner, “Nevertheless, the government should continue its austerity measures instead of wasting tax money.”

23 September 2010

DIW Board of Trustee Meeting: "Look ahead"

The Board of Trustees of DIW Berlin has made a number of decisions in a special meeting. First of all, an adjustment of the articles was decided, reinforcing the Trustees’ right to information and participation on the one hand, and emphasizing the cooperative responsibility of the Executive Board on the other.

30 June 2010

Economic Growth Returns, But Uncertainty Remains High

DIW President Zimmermann: “Another opportunity missed at the G-20 summit in Canada.”

The German economy will grow at a moderate pace through 2010 and 2011. According to the quarterly forecast released today by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the German economy will grow with an average rate of 1.9 percent in 2010, and 1.7 percent in 2011. “The recovery is gaining momentum, but the engine of growth is once again foreign demand,” says DIW President Klaus F. Zimmermann.

14 June 2010

"Huge increase in concentration in European banking market"

Banks should diversify their investment portfolios, European think tanks urge

European banks should develop more strongly diversified international investment portfolios. This would substantially reduce the risk of contagion in financial market crises, economists have urged. Their findings are included in a policy brief published today by FINESS, an EU-wide research consortium, led by DIW Berlin, the German Institute of Economic Research.

14 April 2010

German economy is on a moderate growth path, but effects from the crisis still remain

DIW President, Klaus F. Zimmermann: „Fiscal consolidation is on top of the agenda.”

The German economy is expected to show moderate growth for 2010 and 2011. According to the DIW economic outlook, GDP will increase by 1.7 in 2010 and by 1.8 percent in 2011. “We recover from the crisis. However, with respect to financial markets, high uncertainties remain.” said DIW President, Klaus F. Zimmermann. After the acute crisis management, economic policy has to move back to a more sustainable path: “The biggest challenge will be related to the consolidation of public finances, as the burden of debt has risen enormously.”

11 November 2009

A worldwide network: The “Climate Policy Initiative” opens its first center at DIW Berlin

A new research center devoted to the evaluation of climate policies opens today in Berlin. The center is a branch of the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), an international research organization currently being established by George Soros. The Berlin center is the first to be up and running; addi-tional centers are planned for Peking, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and Ven-ice. Housed within DIW Berlin, a leading German economics research in-stitute, the center will collaborate closely with the institute’s resident economists.

9 February 2009

InterAcademy Panel Award for Tilman Brück

Tilman Brück, Head of the Department of International Economics at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) has been awarded the "IAP Award for Young Scientists 2008". The prize is awarded jointly by the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) and TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world.

5 November 2008

DIW President Zimmermann comments on Obama victory

Restoring the credibility of the global economic system is the key to overcoming the current financial crisis. "Throughout the election campaign President Barack Obama has shown economic competence and trustworthiness. He can contribute greatly to restoring trust in our market economy," said DIW President Klaus F. Zimmermann in Washington, where he observed the U.S. elections.

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