Discussion Papers

About the Discussion Papers

The researchers at DIW Berlin usually publish their research results in scientific journals. However, this process can take many months, depending on the circumstances. To help bridge this gap, DIW Berlin began publishing Discussion Papers in 1989. The Discussion Papers offer a preview of the latest, not-yet-published research results, and allow current research to make its way into current debate more quickly.

Notes for authors

For publication in the series of DIW discussion papers the following may be submitted: Papers by DIW employees, DIW research professors and directors, DIW research affiliates and guest scientists who have spent at least one week at DIW Berlin and thank DIW Berlin in a footnote.    
Papers submitted will be sent in electronic form to the head of the relevant department at DIW Berlin. It is checked by an internal referee procedure whether or not the paper is likely to be published in a refereed journal. A decision on publication will then be made on the basis of a referee report. Should a paper have already been accepted for a publication by a refereed SSCI magazine or have received an invitation to a re-submission in a first-class journal, it will appear immediately without a referee procedure.

1902 results, from 1
Diskussionspapiere 1900 / 2020

Tuition Fees and Educational Attainment

Following a landmark ruling by the Constitutional Court in 2005, more than half of Germany’s universities started charging tuition fees, which also applied to incumbent students. We exploit this unusual lack of grandfathering together with register data covering the universe of students to show that tuition fees increased degree completion among incumbent students. Investigating mechanisms, we do not ...

2020| Jan Bietenbeck, Jan Marcus, Felix Weinhardt
Diskussionspapiere 1899 / 2020

Crisis Impact on the Diversity of Financial Portfolios - Evidence from European Citizens

Since the 2008 Lehman bankruptcy, it is clearly shown that global economic and financial crises present major challenges to private households, requiring from them, a high level of shock absorption capacity. According to the old adage, “Do not put all the eggs in one basket”, resilience depends, to a large extent on financial diversification. So far, especially for Europe, little is known about whether ...

2020| Dorothea Schäfer, Michael Stöckel, Henriette Weser
Diskussionspapiere 1897 / 2020

Center-Based Care and Parenting Activities

We estimate effects of center-based care on parenting activities using time use data for Germany. Our estimates imply that center-based care reduces the overall time that parents spend with the enrolled child, but has only small negative effects on time spent doing activities together. Correspondingly, center-based care increases activities as a share of the time spent together with the child. The ...

2020| Jonas Jessen, C. Katharina Spieß, Sevrin Waights
Diskussionspapiere 1896 / 2020

The Impact of the Length of Schooling on the Timing of Family Formation

Individuals typically traverse several life phases before forming a family. We analyse whether changing the duration of one of these phases, the education phase, affects the timing of marriage and childbearing. For this purpose, we exploit the introduction of short school years in Germany in 1966-67, which compressed the education phase without affecting the curriculum. Based on difference-in-differences ...

2020| Josefine Koebe, Jan Marcus
Diskussionspapiere 1895 / 2020

The Effectiveness of FX Interventions: A Meta-Analysis

There is ample empirical literature centering on the effectiveness of foreign exchange intervention (FXI). Given the mix of objectives and country-heterogeneity, the general lack of consensus thus far is no surprise. We shed light on this debate by conducting the first comprehensive meta-analysis in the FXI literature, with 279 reported effects that stem from 74 distinct empirical studies. We cover ...

2020| Lucía Arango-Lozano, Lukas Menkhoff, Daniela Rodríguez-Novoa, Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas
Diskussionspapiere 1894 / 2020

Learning from Data and Network Effects: The Example of Internet Search

The rise of dominant firms in data driven industries is often credited to their alleged data advantage. Empirical evidence lending support to this conjecture is surprisingly scarce. In this paper we document that data as an input into machine learning tasks display features that support the claim of data being a source of market power. We study how data on keywords improve the search result quality ...

2020| Maximilian Schäfer, Geza Sapi
Diskussionspapiere 1893 / 2020

Who Are the Essential and Frontline Workers?

Identifying essential and frontline workers and understanding their characteristics is useful for policymakers and researchers in targeting social insurance and safety net policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We develop a working definition that may inform additional research and policy discussion and provide data on the demographic and labor market composition of these workers. In a three-step ...

2020| Francine D. Blau, Josefine Koebe, Pamela A. Meyerhofer
Diskussionspapiere 1892 / 2020

Fossil Natural Gas Exit – A New Narrative for the European Energy Transformation towards Decarbonization

This paper discusses the potential role of fossil natural gas (and other gases) in the process of the energy transformation in Europe on its way to complete decarbonization. Mainstream conventional wisdom has it that natural gas, perhaps in combination with other gases, should maintain an important role in the energy mix, first, as a “bridge fuel”, and then through a gradual transition toward decarbonized ...

2020| Christian von Hirschhausen, Claudia Kemfert, Fabian Praeger
Diskussionspapiere 1891 / 2020

Inform Me When It Matters: Cost Salience, Energy Consumption, and Efficiency Investments

Effective attention to information may play a prominent role in consumer choice for energy-intensive services and it may simply be a function of receiving timely information when consumption takes place. This paper investigates whether and why the timing of utility bills leads to salience bias in heat energy consumption. In Germany, the 12-month billing period varies across buildings with a significant ...

2020| Puja Singhal
Diskussionspapiere 1890 / 2020

Airbnb and Rents: Evidence from Berlin

Cities worldwide have regulated peer-to-peer short-term rental platforms claiming that those platforms remove apartments from the long-term housing market, causing an in- crease in rents. Establishing and quantifying such a causal link is, however, challenging. We investigate two policy changes in Berlin to first assess how effective they were in regulating Airbnb, the largest online peer-to-peer short-term ...

2020| Tomaso Duso, Claus Michelsen, Maximilian Schäfer, Kevin Ducbao Tran
Diskussionspapiere 1889 / 2020

Airbnb, Hotels, and Localized Competition

The rise of online platforms has disrupted numerous traditional industries. A prime example is the short-term accommodation platform Airbnb and how it affects the hotel industry. On the one hand, consumers can profit from Airbnb due to an increased number of choices and lower prices. On the other hand, critics of the platform argue that it allows professional hosts to operate de facto hotels while ...

2020| Maximilian Schäfer, Kevin Ducbao Tran
Diskussionspapiere 1888 / 2020

Partitioned Pricing and Consumer Welfare

In online commerce, obfuscation strategies by sellers are hypothesized to mislead consumers to their detriment and to the profit of sellers. One such obfuscation strategy is partitioned pricing in which the price is split into a base price and add-on fees. While empirical evidence suggests that partitioned pricing affects consumer decisions through salience effects, its consumer welfare consequences ...

2020| Kevin Ducbao Tran
Diskussionspapiere 1887 / 2020

R&D Spillovers throught RJV Cooperation

We investigate the dimensions through which R&D spillovers are propagated across firms via cooperation through Research Joint Ventures (RJVs). We build on the framework developed by Bloom et al. (2013) which considers the opposing effects of technology spillovers and product market rivalry, and extend it to account for RJVs. Our main findings are that the adverse effects of product market rivalry are ...

2020| Albert Banal-Estañol, Tomaso Duso, Jo Seldeslachts, Florian Szücs
Diskussionspapiere 1886 / 2020

Is Substitutability the New Efficiency? Endogenous Investment in the Elasticity of Substitution between Clean and Dirty Energy

When analyzing potential ways to counter climate change, standard models of green growth abstract from investment in substitutability between “clean” and “dirty” energy inputs. Instead, they rely on the assumption that efficiency with respect to fossil fuels can be increased perpetually. However, this is not in line with observed firm investment behavior and the limits to efficiency imposed by thermodynamic ...

2020| Fabian Stöckl
Diskussionspapiere 1885 / 2020

Substituting Clean for Dirty Energy: A Bottom-Up Analysis

We fit CES and VES production functions to data from a numerical bottom-up optimization model of electricity supply with clean and dirty inputs. This approach allows for studying high shares of clean energy not observable today and for isolating mechanisms that impact the elasticity of substitution between clean and dirty energy. Central results show that (i) dirty inputs are not essential for production. ...

2020| Fabian Stöckl, Alexander Zerrahn
Diskussionspapiere 1884 / 2020

Repayment under Flexible Loan Contracts: Evidence from Tanzania

We study repayment and delinquency in an innovative loan contract that offers borrowers a wide range of flexibility. Using a large administrative dataset, we perform unsupervised pattern analysis to study how borrowers repay within the framework of this loan. We identify eight clusters that can be grouped into three distinct repayment types. We show that borrowers with fluctuating incomes and limited ...

2020| Antonia Grohmann, Steffen Herbold, Friederike Lenel
Diskussionspapiere 1883 / 2020

Nuclear Power as a System Good: Organizational Models for Production along the Value-Added Chain

Due to its technical complexity, the co-production of electricity generation and nuclear weapons, and its high fixed costs, nuclear power is a particularly complex commodity, which poses unusual challenges for state economic (or industrial, defense, innovation etc.) policy. As in other sectors, the question arises here, too, of an adequate division of private and public responsibilities, in other words ...

2020| Ben Wealer, Christian von Hirschhausen
Diskussionspapiere 1882 / 2020

Fertility as a Driver of Maternal Employment

Based on findings from high-income countries, typically economists hypothesize that having more children unambiguously decreases the time mothers spend in the labor mar- ket. Few studies on lower-income countries, in which low household wealth, informal child care, and informal employment opportunities prevail, find mixed results. Using Mexican census data, I find a positive effect of an instrument-induced ...

2020| Julia Schmieder
Diskussionspapiere 1881 / 2020

Sin Taxes and Self-Control

“Sin taxes” are high on the political agenda in the global fight against obesity. Ac- cording to theory, they are welfare improving if consumers with low self-control are at least as price responsive as consumers with high self-control, even in the absence of ex- ternalities. In this paper, we investigate if consumers with low and high self-control react differently to sin tax variation. For identification, ...

2020| Renke Schmacker, Sinne Smed
Diskussionspapiere 1880 / 2020

The U.S. Coal Sector between Shale Gas and Renewables: Last Resort Coal Exports?

Coal consumption and production have sharply declined in recent years in the U.S., despite political support. Reasons are mostly unfavorable economic conditions for coal, including competition from natural gas and renewables in the power sector, as well as an aging coal- fired power plant fleet. The U.S. Energy Information Administration as well as most models of North American energy markets depict ...

2020| Christian Hauenstein, Franziska Holz
1902 results, from 1