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.

1884 results, from 1
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
Diskussionspapiere 1879 / 2020

I Am Innocent: Hourly Variations in Air Pollution and Crime Behavior

I posit that hourly changes in air pollution affect criminality through two distinct pathways, via physiological effects on the criminal and by changes in the tightness of the market for criminal activities. To disentangle individual from market effects, I develop a behavioral model of the individual decision to transgress and a model of search-and-matching frictions between criminals and crime opportunities. ...

2020| Luis Sarmiento
Diskussionspapiere 1878 / 2020

Waiting for My Sentence: Air Pollution and the Productivity of Court Rulings

I assert that air pollution from nitrogen oxides affects the productivity of employees in Mexican court hearings. This is the first article analyzing this connection and the first to disentangle work-breaks from the productivity of white-collar workers. I merge hourly pollution with granular hearing data under the assumption that the length of the hearing approximates productivity and identify causality ...

2020| Luis Sarmiento
Diskussionspapiere 1877 / 2020

Make Sure the Kids are OK: Indirect Effects of Ground-Level Ozone on Well-Being

This paper uses a panel of German individuals and highly granular pollution data to test if air pollution affects adults’ well-being indirectly through the health of their children. Results show that ozone decreases the well-being of individuals with children while not affecting persons without kids. We confirm the same effect for fine particulate matter and sulfur dioxide. Concerning the mechanism, ...

2020| Julia Rechlitz, Luis Sarmiento, Aleksandar Zaklan
Diskussionspapiere 1876 / 2020

Heteroskedastic Proxy Vector Autoregressions

In proxy vector autoregressive models, the structural shocks of interest are identified by an instrument. Although heteroskedasticity is occasionally allowed for, it is typically taken for granted that the impact effects of the structural shocks are time-invariant despite the change in their variances. We develop a test for this implicit assumption and present evidence that the assumption of time-invariant ...

2020| Helmut Lütkepohl, Thore Schlaak
Diskussionspapiere 1875 / 2020

The Impact of Carbon Disclosure Mandates on Emissions and Financial Operating Performance

We examine whether a disclosure mandate for greenhouse gas emissions creates stakeholder pressure for firms to subsequently reduce their emissions. For UK-incorporated listed firms such a mandate was adopted in 2013. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that firms affected by the mandate reduced their emissions – depending on the specification – by an incremental 14-18% relative to a control ...

2020| Benedikt Downar, Jürgen Ernstberger, Stefan Reichelstein, Sebastian Schwenen, Aleksandar Zaklan
Diskussionspapiere 1874 / 2020

Distributional Effects of the COVID-19 Lockdown

A two-sector incomplete markets model with heterogeneous agents can be used to study the distributional effects of the COVID-19 lockdown. While negative aggregate welfare effects of the lockdown are unavoidable, the size of aggregate welfare effects as well as the distribution of the welfare effects across agents turn out to depend on the specific economic environment of the affected economy as well ...

2020| Marius Clemens, Maik Heinemann
Diskussionspapiere 1873 / 2020

The Macroeconomic Effects of a European Deposit (Re-) Insurance Scheme

While the first two pillars of the European Banking Union have been implemented, a European deposit insurance scheme (EDIS) is still not in place. To facilitate its introduction, recent proposals argue in favor of a reinsurance scheme. In this paper, we use a regime-switching open-economy DSGE model with bank default and bank-government linkages to assess the relative efficiency of such a scheme. We ...

2020| Marius Clemens, Stefan Gebauer, Tobias König
Diskussionspapiere 1872 / 2020

Active, or Passive? Revisiting the Role of Fiscal Policy in the Great Inflation

We reexamine whether pre-Volcker U.S. fiscal policy was active or passive. To do so, we estimate a DSGE model with monetary and fiscal policy interactions employing a sequential Monte Carlo algorithm (SMC) for posterior evaluation. Unlike existing studies, we do not have to treat each policy regime as distinct, separately estimated, models. Rather, SMC enables us to estimate the DSGE model over its entire ...

2020| Stephanie Ettmeier, Alexander Kriwoluzky
Diskussionspapiere 1871 / 2020

Structural Vector Autoregressive Models with more Shocks than Variables Identified via Heteroskedasticity

In conventional structural vector autoregressive (VAR) models it is assumed that there are at most as many structural shocks as there are variables in the model. It is pointed out that heteroskedasticity can be used to identify more shocks than variables. However, even if there is heteroskedasticity, the number of shocks that can be identified is limited. A number of results are provided that allow ...

2020| Helmut Lütkepohl
Diskussionspapiere 1870 / 2020

Difference-in-Differences to Identify Causal Effects of COVID-19 Policies

Policymakers have implemented a wide range of non-pharmaceutical interventions to fight the spread of COVID-19. Variation in policies across jurisdictions and over time strongly suggests a difference-in-differences (DD) research design to estimate causal effects of counter-COVID measures. We discuss threats to the validity of these DD designs and make recommendations about how researchers can avoid ...

2020| Andrew Goodman-Bacon, Jan Marcus
Diskussionspapiere 1869 / 2020

Institutional Diversity in Domestic Banking Sectors and Bank Stability: A Cross-Country Study

This paper analyzes the causal relationship between institutional diversity in domestic banking sectors and bank stability. We use a large bank- and country-level unbalanced panel data set covering the EU member states’ banking sectors between 1998 and 2014. Constructing two distinct indicators for measuring institutional diversity, we find that a high degree of institutional diversity in the domestic ...

2020| Christopher F. Baum, Caterina Forti Grazzini, Dorothea Schäfer
Diskussionspapiere 1868 / 2020

Knowledge-Based Capital and Productivity Divergence

Understanding the causes of the slowdown in aggregate productivity growth is key to maintaining the competitiveness of advanced economies and ensuring long-term economic prosperity. This paper is the first to provide evidence that investment in Knowledge-Based Capital (KBC), despite having a positive effect on productivity at the micro level, is a driver of the weak productivity performance at the ...

2020| Marie Le Mouel, Alexander Schiersch
Diskussionspapiere 1867 / 2020

Way Off: The Effect of Minimum Distance Regulation on the Deployment of Wind Power

Several countries and regions have introduced mandatory minimum distances of wind turbines to nearby residential areas, in order to increase public acceptance of wind power. Germany’s largest federal state Bavaria introduced such separation distances of ten times the height of new wind turbines in 2014. Here, we provide a novel monthly district-level dataset of construction permits for wind turbines ...

2020| Jan Stede, Nils May
Diskussionspapiere 1866 / 2020

Currency Futures' Risk Premia and Risk Factors

The use of futures exchange contracts instead of forwards completes the maturity spectrum of the correlation between the spot yield and the premium. We find that the forward premium puzzle (FFP) depends significantly on the maturity horizon of the futures contract and the choice of sampling period. The FFP appears to be a pre-crisis phenomenon and is only observed for maturities longer than about one ...

2020| Kerstin Bernoth, Jürgen von Hagen, Casper G. de Vries
Diskussionspapiere 1865 / 2020

Starke Erwartungsreaktionen auf Angela Merkels Covid-Erklärungen

Wir führen hochfrequente Befragungen der in Deutschland lebenden Personen durch und erheben die Erwartungen zur Dauer der Covid-bedingten Beschränkungen des öffentlichen Lebens. In einer ersten Analyse der Daten finden wir Hinweise, dass zwei in den Erhebungszeitraum fallenden öffentlichen Auftritte von Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel die Erwartungen stark beeinflussen. Insbesondere messen wir nach Merkels ...

2020| Peter Haan, Andreas Peichl, Annekatrin Schrenker, Georg Weizsäcker, Joachim Winter
Diskussionspapiere 1864 / 2020

Financial Education Affects Financial Knowledge and Downstream Behaviors

We study the rapidly growing literature on the causal effects of financial education programs in a meta-analysis of 76 randomized experiments with a total sample size of over 160,000 individuals. The evidence shows that financial education programs have, on average, positive causal treatment effects on financial knowledge and downstream financial behaviors. Treatment effects are economically meaningful ...

2020| Tim Kaiser, Annamaria Lusardi, Lukas Menkhoff, Carly Urban
Diskussionspapiere 1863 / 2020

A Glimpse of Freedom: Allied Occupation and Political Resistance in East Germany

This paper studies costly political resistance in a non-democracy. When Nazi Germany surrendered in May 1945, 40% of the designated Soviet occupation zone was initially captured by the western Allied Expeditionary Force. This occupation was short-lived: Soviet forces took over after less than two months and installed an authoritarian regime in what became the German Democratic Republic (GDR). We exploit ...

2020| Luis R. Martinez, Jonas Jessen, Guo Xu
Diskussionspapiere 1862 / 2020

Insolvency Regimes and Cross-Border Investment Decisions

This paper investigates the effect of reforms of insolvency regulations on cross-border debt and equity investments at a sectoral level. Using disaggregated data from the Securities Holdings Statistics by Sector (SHSS) and OECD-indicators on the efficiency of insolvency regulations, we find that investors prefer to invest more in countries with more efficient insolvency frameworks. The effect, however, ...

2020| Tatsiana Kliatskova, Loïc Baptiste Savatier
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