Press Releases

Current and older Press Releases of DIW Berlin
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10 October 2005

Gossen Award” awarded to SOEP Advisory Board Member Simon Gächter by the Verein für Socialpolitik (association for social policy)

The DIW Berlin is pleased to announce that the recipient of this year’s Gossen Award was Professor Simon Gächter (of the University of Nottingham). The Verein für Socialpolitik, a German economic research association, presents this prestigious award to one German-speaking economist per year for excellence in internationally relevant economic research. The Austrian-born Gächter is associated with the DIW Berlin as a member of Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) Advisory Board.

6 October 2005

Economic Assessment of the Euro Area: Forecasts and Policy Analysis

A group of ten of the most respected economic research institutes in Europe have forecast that Euro Area economic growth will experience a modest rate of expansion of 1.2% in 2005, 1.8% in 2006 and 2.0% in 2007. Oil prices have risen by US$20 since April and are expected to remain high at close to US$60 until 2007. EUROFRAME-EFN (European Forecasting Network) has revised down their forecasts by 0.2-0.3 percentage points from six months ago. This revision is limited as the negative impact of the high level of oil prices is substantially offset by the modest depreciation of the euro exchange rate and the drop in long-term interest rates. The Euro Area is still expected to record inflation rates at or close to 2 per cent with the unemployment improving but still in the order of 8.5 per cent over the period 2005-2007.

23 June 2005

Jürgen Schupp takes on a Fellowship at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg

Dr. Jürgen Schupp has accepted an invitation to take on a fellowship at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Delmenhorst. While holding this position, he will be completing his project „About Measuring and Analyzing Trust, Fairness and Reciprocity”. Dr. Jürgen Schupp is a survey manager and Deputy Director of the Socio-Economic Panel’s (SOEP) longitudinal study at DIW Berlin.

26 April 2005

German-French Group of Experts proposes a closer coordination of economic policies for economic growth and competitiveness

On the occasion of the German-French Council of Ministers, today the Group of German-French Experts convened at the French Ministry of Economics and Finance in Paris. The Group, established in January 2003, is headed by Prof. Dr. Klaus F. Zimmermann (President of the German Institute for Economic Research and Director of IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor), Bonn) and Prof. Christian Stoffaës (President of the Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales - CEPII). Based on the upcoming economic policy challenges, the Group proposed a closer coordination of the German and French economic policies, i. a. in the following areas:

26 April 2005

The World Economy and the German Economy in Spring 2005

In the course of 2004, world economic growth has decelerated. The growth momentum, however, remained substantial due to favorable financing conditions, high corporate profits and increasing asset prices which supported private demand in the global economy. Several factors have been responsible for the slowdown. The strong increase in commodity prices reduced purchasing power in the industrial countries. In Japan and in the euro area in addition the appreciation of the yen and the euro, respectively, dampened exports substantially. Finally, in some countries, notably the United States and China, economic policies were less stimulative than before. Although it can be expected that the prices of crude oil and other commodities will remain high for some time to come, that monetary policy in the United States will be gradually tightened further and that long term interest rates will start rising on a global scale, the outlook is for continued growth in the world economy in 2005 and 2006 at around the pace seen in the second half of last year. Monetary conditions will still be accommodative and high corporate profits remain supportive to economic growth as does the strong underlying growth momentum in the emerging market economies. The growth differences between the industrial countries will gradually decline.

14 April 2005

Zimmermann Elected ARGE Director

At the annual meeting of the Association of German Economic Research Institutes (ARGE) on 14 April 2005, Prof. Dr. Klaus F. Zimmermann, President of DIW Berlin and Director of the Research Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn was elected director. Prof. Dr. Klaus F. Zimmermann succeeds Prof. Dr. Thomas Straubhaar, who was not available for this office anymore

12 March 2005

Three points for more growth - Joint appeal from economic institutes

The dramatic labor market situation clearly shows that economic revival is still urgently needed in Germany. However, large-scale structural reforms cannot take place overnight. For this reason, Professors Michael Hüther (Institute for Economic Policy at the University of Cologne), Thomas Straubhaar (HWWA- Institute for Economic Research in Hamburg) and Klaus F. Zimmermann (German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, submitted a three-point-program with a view to improving the growth conditions of the German economy, which can already be implemented from July 1, 2005.

15 December 2004

Employment Structure of East European EU Countries prior to Further Adaptation to Western Europe

The employment structures of East European EU countries and entry candidates are still markedly different from market economies with a per capita income as that in West European countries. This is the conclusion of an analysis published in the latest Weekly Report of DIW Berlin 51/2004. Using a data record for market economies at various levels of development, a standard unit for comparison („benchmarks“) was defined for the new East European EU countries, which allows to assess structural changes and can also be used for future simulation. According to this benchmark, there will be a significant rise in relative employment in the construction, trade and financial sectors, as well as in the public sector, social services and other private services until 2015. Even though the employment rate in the financial sector is already high, noticeable increases can partially be expected if the per capita income of the population continues to increase. Furthermore, in all East European EU countries, except Poland, continuous relative job reductions in the processing industries are to be expected, even more so in Slovenia and in the Czech Republic. As far as Poland is concerned, slight job increases in this sector are foreseen. Massive job cuts in the agricultural sector are to be taken into account, especially in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

8 December 2004

Upswing in Industrial Output carried by Foreign Trade

According to the latest weekly report of DIW Berlin 50/2004, against the background of an overall positive development in 2005 in Europe and also in Germany, German industrial output will continue to substantially increase, achieving a good 3% growth (adjusted to 3,7% per working day). In 2004, German industrial output increased more than originally expected; the 2003 level should exceed 2004 by 4% (adjusted to 2,9% per working day). In spite of high euro rates against the US dollar, foreign demand has considerably increased.

1 December 2004

European Stability and Growth Pact in need of reform - DIW proposes various solutions in Quarterly Journal of Economic Research

The European Stability and Growth Pact as a major instrument of political-economic discipline is in need of reform. This is the key conclusion presented in the latest issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economic Research published by DIW Berlin. Under the title On the Future of the Stability and Growth Pact, renowned economists analyze the weaknesses of the pact based on present experiences, and expound numerous suggestions for reform.

1 December 2004

Alfred Steinherr appointed Acting Head of Department of Macro Analysis and Forecasting

From January 1, 2005 on, Prof. Dr. Alfred Steinherr will act as interim Head of Department of Macro Analysis and Forecasting at DIW Berlin. Steinherr (60) will fulfill this function in addition to his position as Chief Economist at the European Investment Bank (EIB). Alfred Steinherr has served as Chief Economist at the EIB since 1995. Prof. Dr. Klaus F. Zimmermann, President of DIW Berlin, said: “We are very delighted that we were able to engage an internationally renowned economist with excellent macro-economic competencies like Alfred Steinherr. He has intense and widespread experience in the fields of political consulting and research, and furthermore has outstandingly published in scientific journals. Alfred Steinherr will act as Head of Department of Macro Analysis and Forecasting until the future Head of Department will have been nominated and he will consult with the Recruitment Committee with regard to the applicants.” Alfred Steinherr added: “It is a great challenge. I’m happy to get the chance to be part of this important change process in Germany and at DIW Berlin.”

24 November 2004

Medical technology: an innovative market with growth potential

The German medical-technology industry ranks first throughout Europe. On a world-wide basis, it is in 3rd place behind the USA and Japan according to the current weekly report of DIW Berlin 48/2004. The sales volume in the medical technology sector increased by 5.5 percent from 1995 to 2003 and is, as a result, significantly higher than the average of the manufacturing sector overall. World trade in medical technology increased by seven percent in the period from 1995 to 2001 - valued in US dollars - and is therefore twice as strong as trade in industrial goods. This indicates that the internationalization of the market for medical technology is further advanced. The proportionate shares in world trade have undergone a significant shift here: The USA notched up a positive change of four percent and therefore controls more than one-third of the world market. The proportionate share of Germany in world trade dropped by 3.5 percent to 12.8 percent, in contrast. These shifts are influenced to a considerable degree by changes in the exchange rates among the US dollar, the yen and the euro, though.

4 November 2004

European Researchers are Tracking Down Productivity

The European Commission gave a consortium of European research institutes the task of researching productivity in the European Union. DIW Berlin will be responsible for the development of measures of productivity for Germany as part of this consortium and will carry out analyses in the areas of productivity, technology, the labor market and investment.

27 October 2004

Energy prices on the rise

The recent sharp increase in energy prices has been caused by a combination of different developments: upheaval on the world oil market, its impact on other energy markets, increases in energy prices motivated by environmental policy, and delays in liberalisation and regulation in the area of electricity and gas supplies. In its current Weekly Report (Wochenbericht 44/2004), the DIW Berlin analyses the causes of the price increase in the individual energy sectors.

26 October 2004

Improved Labor Market Chances through Social Networks

The question of whether unemployment will remain a brief phase in one’s career or evolve into a long-term condition depends not only on the overall economic situation—as determined by such reforms as Hartz IV—but also on the personal and social characteristics of unemployed individuals themselves. A recently released DIW Berlin study entitled “The influence of personality characteristics and social resources on the duration of unemployment”, based on empirical data from the longitudinal study Socio-economic Panel (SOEP), finds evidence of different influences of these personal and social characteristics between the former East and West German states.

19 October 2004

Guest workers from the EU successful in Germany

Immigrants to Germany from EU countries succeed in achieving a social situation comparable with German-born individuals, and in some cases even better. Immigrants from other non-EU countries, however, do not. The percentage of unskilled and low-skilled workers among all immigrant groups is, at 43%, significantly higher than the percentage of these workers among individuals born in Germany (12%). However, immigrants from the EU and naturalized citizens together achieve a middle-income level comparable to that of German-born individuals. These are the central findings of the recently released study entitled “Migration and social structure – social situations of immigrants in Germany in the context of European unification” (in German), which is based on empirical data from the representative longitudinal study SOEP.

For this analysis, Stefanie Kley analyzed SOEP longitudinal data from the years 1991 and 1999, studying specific characteristics at both individual and household levels. The study shows how the image of immigrants as “cheap labor” came into being, and the extent to which immigrants still belong to the lower income strata in Germany. For her master’s thesis, Stefanie Kley received the prize for excellent final theses awarded at the 32nd conference of the German Society for Sociology (DGS). A monograph of this study published by Logos Verlag Berlin is forthcoming.

19 October 2004

The State of the World Economy and the German Economy in the Autumn of 2004

The word economy continues to be strong, but since spring 2004 the upswing has been losing some of its momentum, partly because economic policies have become less ex-pansive. Although the monetary conditions remained highly supportive, fiscal impulses in the US have diminished and the other global driving force, China, has been taking administrative steps to cool off the economy. In addition, the high oil prices have further hampered economic activity; up to now they have reached new record levels. Especially private consumption was negatively affected by the oil market developments. On the other hand, corporate investment, supported by the still expansive monetary policy, has gained more and more momentum and has been expanded vigorously. Throughout the forecasting period, in the face of increased economic activity, monetary policy will adhere to its slow tightening path, but will continue to support the economy, albeit to a decreasing degree. In addition, no more stimuli from fiscal policy can be ex-pected for 2005 in the US, where economic activity will expand at a slower rate. In Ja-pan, weaker exports will be counteracted by stronger domestic demand. The compara-tively modest economic expansion in the European Union will continue. Overall world GDP should increase by 3.2 % in 2005, after rising by 3.9 % this year. The economy seems to be strong enough to weather the negative effects of the strong oil prices gains and the reduction of economic policy stimuli. Hence, as long as oil prices do not in-crease much further, a decline into recession is not expected.

29 September 2004

Germany not a bazaar economy

Value added has risen in Germany over the last ten years as a result of external trade. Consequently, according to the current DIW Berlin Weekly Report (Wochenbericht 40/2004), foreign trade has stabilized economic growth in Germany. The authors’ calculations are based on changes in the real external balance, which has increased by around 25 billion euro over the last ten years. The real external balance is equal to the difference between real exports and real imports and comprehends the value added produced by all sectors of the economy. Seen in comparison to the rest of the EU, Germany has the highest external balance of all the large EU countries.

22 September 2004

Junior Professorship strengthens Germany's Position as a Research Location

Following the reform of the Higher Education Act in 2002, the junior professorship was to become the only possible route for young academics seeking to qualify for tenure and was thus intended to replace Germany’s habilitation procedure. This plan was frustrated by the Constitutional Court in July 2004 even though, as outlined in the current DIW Berlin Weekly Report (Wochenbericht 39/2004), the introduction of junior professorships on a national basis would have distinct advantages for the economy. The junior professorship enables young scientists to embark on independent research at a young age, which raises their research productivity and also increases Germany’s attractiveness for young researchers from at home and abroad. A total of 900 junior professorships have been created to date at 65 universities throughout Germany and two thirds of these positions have already been filled. If the habilitation procedure remains in place alongside junior professorships in the long term, however, the advantages of the latter system will be forfeited. This is the situation threatened by the Constitutional Court decision.

8 September 2004

Department of International Economics

The Executive Board of DIW Berlin is happy to announce that the Appointment Commission of DIW Berlin selected Associate Professor Peter Egger (University of Innsbruck) as first choice candidate for the position as Head of Department of International Economics.

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