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News from ZEW, Centre for European Economic Research

ZEW's newsfeed keeps you informed about news and press releases from ZEW, publications, career opportunities as well as events.


ZEW policy briefs No. 18-04: Abnehmendes Produktivitätswachstum – zunehmende Produktivitätsunterschiede

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 15:08:06 +0200

Wie in anderen Industriestaaten ist auch in Deutschland in den vergangenen Jahren trotz eines anhaltenden Wirtschaftswachstums, einer zurückgehenden Arbeitslosigkeit und einer hohen technologischen Dynamik ein Rückgang des Produktivitätswachstums zu beobachten. In einem Workshop Anfang 2018 in Berlin wurde dieses Phänomen eingehend diskutiert.

Aktuell: Improving Healthcare by Increasing Competition

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

According to the OECD’s most recent healthcare report, Germany’s health system is merely average – not in terms of healthcare expenditure, which, like the number of doctors and hospital beds per capita, is above the OECD average, but in terms of the quality of provision. Heart attack mortality rates and obstetric injury figures, for example, are above average in Germany.

Aktuell: Maarten Goos Visiting Researcher at ZEW

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

Professor Maarten Goos was a visiting researcher in ZEW’s Research Department “Labour Markets, Human Resources and Social Policy” on 23 and 24 April 2018. He is Professor of Economics and Institutions at the Utrecht University School of Economics in the Netherlands. His research focuses on labour markets including technological progress, labour market intermediation, inequality, and institutions. During his visit, he worked with ZEW researchers on a joint research project on the technological change and the future of work in the EU.

Aktuell: An Urban Road Pricing Scheme Is an Efficient Solution to Traffic-Related Air Pollution

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

Do driving bans for diesel cars make economic sense? Following a ruling from Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, cities in Germany can impose bans on diesel vehicles in order to comply with EU-wide limits on nitrogen dioxide levels. The possibility of introducing such a ban is currently being discussed in a number of cities, including Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf. Diesel car owners affected by the ban may also be faced with getting their cars modified and installing new software updates. ZEW environmental economist Dr. Martin Kesternich discusses the most practical measures, from an economic point of view, for reducing air pollution and traffic, and for implementing CO2...

Aktuell: FRAME Conference on the Role of Public Research in Innovation Hosted by ZEW

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

To what extent does innovation impact economic growth? Can public research foster innovation through the diffusion of knowledge? And how can policymakers encourage sustainable innovation and growth? These are some of the questions discussed by researchers and politicians from across Europe attending the FRAME Mid-Term Conference held at ZEW on 19–20 March 2018. The FRAME Project is sponsored by the European Commission within the framework of the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, Grant No. 727073.

ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-020: Go for Gigabit? First Evidence on Economic Benefits of (Ultra-)Fast Broadband Technologies in Europe

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:29:10 +0200

The literature on the effects of telecommunications infrastructure investments find positive macroeconomic effects, however, it is severely constrained because it could hitherto only analyze investment up to “basic” broadband but not up to the newer generations of “fast” and “ultra-fast” broadband; in particular there is no such evidence available at the EU level so far. Utilizing a comprehensive panel dataset of EU27 member states for the period from 2003-2015, we estimate a small but significant effect of fiber-based ultra-fast broadband over and above the effects of basic broadband on GDP. Adoption of hybrid-fiber fast broadband is incrementally to basic broadband insignificant. Our...

ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-019: Increasing Tax Transparency: Investor Reactions to the Country-by-Country Reporting Requirement for EU Financial Institutions

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:21:11 +0200

We employ an event study methodology to investigate the stock price reaction around the day of the political decision to include a country-by-country reporting obligation for EU financial institutions. We do not find significant abnormal returns for the banks affected. Sample splits according to the effective tax rate and the degree of B2C orientation do not reveal a more pronounced negative investor response for banks engaging more strongly in tax avoidance or being potentially more concerned about reputational risks, respectively. We conclude that the implementation of a CbCR requirement for EU financial institutions did not trigger a noticeable investor response. Contrary prior...

Aktuell: Digitalisation in Germany – What Silicon Valley Can Teach Us as an Epicentre of Innovation

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

A small stretch of land between the Californian cities of San Francisco and San Jose has been setting the pace for digital transformation around the globe. Often referred to as Silicon Valley, this small area is home to the headquarters of the world’s leading tech firms and start-ups and around a quarter of all venture capital worldwide. The question is, what can Germany learn from the example of Silicon Valley and how can we use this knowledge and the resources we already possess to avoid falling behind in this technological race to the top? Finding new strategies and digital solutions for German businesses was the focus of an event organised jointly by the Centre for European Economic...

Aktuell: Wytse Joosten Visiting Researcher at ZEW

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

Wytse Joosten was a visiting researcher in ZEW’s Research Department “Economics of Innovation and Industrial Dynamics” from 10 to 13 April 2018. She is a doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business at KU Leuven, Belgium. Her research focuses on the economics of education and science. During her visit, she worked with ZEW researchers on identifying the careers of finnish scientists based on publication data.

Aktuell: ZEW Shares Information on Career Opportunities at 2018 Career Fair

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

This year, the human resources department at ZEW once again attended the career fair at the University of Mannheim, providing information on opportunities to embark on a career in research and at ZEW, for example, through internships, student jobs or completing a doctorate at the institute. Students had the opportunity to ask members of the ZEW human resources team their career-related questions on 17 April 2018 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Ehrenhof in Mannheim.

Press Release: The German Bundestag Must Insist on Maintaining its Veto Powers in a New European Monetary Fund

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

The European Commission is planning to restructure the current European Stability Mechanism into a European Monetary Fund . These plans have triggered a debate within Germany’s “Grand Coalition” over what monitoring rights the German parliament – the Bundestag – should have regarding this new organisation. Professor Friedrich Heinemann, head of the Research Department “Corporate Taxation and Public Finance” at the Centre for European Economic Research , Mannheim, shares his thoughts on the plans.

Press Release: Economic Sentiment Continues Sharp Decline

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany once again experienced a sharp decline in April 2018, dropping by 13.3 points compared to March and 26.0 points compared to February. The indicator currently stands at minus 8.2 points, falling far below the long-term average of 23.5 points. The assessment of the current economic situation in Germany decreased by 2.8 points, with the corresponding indicator currently standing at 87.9 points.

Aktuell: Research Award “The Future World of Work”

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

For the sixth year in a row, the Volksbank Weinheim Stiftung and ZEW are offering two research awards with the aim of supporting up-and-coming researchers in the region. The prizes will be awarded to the best doctoral dissertation and the best master’s thesis on the topic “The Future World of Work”. Award recipients will also have the opportunity to complete a research stay at ZEW. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2018.

ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-018: New Evidence on Determinants of IP Litigation: A Market-based Approach

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:15:15 +0200

We contribute to the economic literature on patent litigation by taking a new perspective. In the past, scholars mostly focused on specific litigation cases at the patent level and related technological characteristics to the event of litigation. However, observing IP disputes suggests that not only technological characteristics may trigger litigation suits, but also the market positions of firms, and that firms dispute not only about single patents but often about portfolios. Consequently, this paper examines the occurrence of IP litigation cases in Belgian firms using the 2013 Community Innovation Survey with supplemental information on IP litigation and patent portfolios. The rich...

ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-017: The Demand for Global and Local Environmental Protection – Experimental Evidence from Climate Change Mitigation in Beijing

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:11:44 +0200

In this study, the real demand for global and local environmental protection in Beijing, China, is elicited and investigated. Participants from Beijing were offered the opportunity to contribute to voluntary climate change mitigation by purchasing permits from two Chinese CO2 emissions trading schemes . Purchased permits were withdrawn from the ETS. Since CO2 emissions mitigation is inevitably linked to other local benefits like the reduction in emissions of air pollutants, the aim of our study is to establish the demand for local and global environmental protection. To this end, Beijing and Shenzhen ETS permits were offered. The result is that at low prices the demand for Beijing ETS...

ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-016: Idiosyncratic Risk, Aggregate Risk, and the Welfare Effects of Social Security

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:05:33 +0200

We ask whether a pay-as-you-go financed social security system is welfare improving in an economy with idiosyncratic productivity and aggregate business cycle risk. We show analytically that the whole welfare benefit from joint insurance against both risks is greater than the sum of benefits from insurance against the isolated risk components. One reason is the convexity of the welfare gain in total risk. The other reason is a direct risk interaction which amplifies the utility losses from consumption risk. We proceed with a quantitative evaluation of social security’s welfare effects. We find that introducing an unconditional minimum pension leads to substantial welfare gains in...

ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-015: Cognition, Optimism and the Formation of Age-Dependent Survival Beliefs

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:01:19 +0200

This paper investigates the roles psychological biases play in empirically estimated deviations between subjective survival beliefs and objective survival probabilities . We model deviations between SSBs and OSPs through age-dependent inverse S-shaped probability weighting functions , as documented in experimental prospect theory. Our estimates suggest that the implied measures for cognitive weakness, likelihood insensitivity, and those for motivational biases, relative pessimism, increase with age. We document that direct measures of cognitive weakness and motivational attitudes share these trends. Our regression analyses confirm that these factors play strong quantitative roles in the...

ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-014: Optimal Taxes on Capital in the OLG Model with Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Income Risk

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 13:55:54 +0200

We characterize the optimal linear tax on capital in an Overlapping Generations model with two period lived households facing uninsurable idiosyncratic labor income risk. The Ramsey government internalizes the general equilibrium feedback of private precautionary saving. For logarithmic utility our full analytical solution of the Ramsey problem shows that the optimal aggregate saving rate is independent of income risk. The optimal time-invariant tax on capital is increasing in income risk. Its sign depends on the extent of risk and on the Pareto weight of future generations. If the Ramsey tax rate that maximizes steady state utility is positive, then implementing this tax rate...

Press Release: German Property Tax Needs a More Market-Oriented Approach

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

In a recent ruling on the standard rateable valuation for calculating property tax, the German Federal Constitutional Court determined that the current procedure for tax collection based on outdated assessment values for the more than 35 million real estate properties in Germany is in violation of the principle of equal treatment in the German constitution. Dr. Oliver Lerbs, head of the Research Department “International Finance and Financial Management” at the Centre for European Economic Research , Mannheim, comments on the court’s ruling.

Press Release: Economic Outlook for China Declines Further

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

In the April survey , expectations for the Chinese economy fell once again, albeit slightly. The CEP indicator has dropped 2.4 points since last month, bringing it to a current level of minus 1.0 points . The current results of the CEP Indicator, which reflects the expectations of international financial market experts regarding China’s macroeconomic development over the coming twelve months, show that economic conditions are expected to remain largely unchanged over the current year.

Press Release: Funding Dilemma for Midrange Companies Harms Competitiveness

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

Medium-sized companies, also known as “midrange companies”, in Germany are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to receiving research funding from the federal government and the EU. As a result, many good ideas for a new product or a process innovation developed by these companies are left on the shelf and not pursued. This is due, firstly, to the fact that businesses do not have access to research funding and, secondly, to the fact that companies have been unable to raise sufficient financial resources from internal or external sources via capital markets. This has serious consequences. Not only are opportunities to innovate and to compete with international companies being...

Press Release: Digitalisation Creates Jobs but Needs Targeted Support

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200

Digital transformation is creating more jobs than it is destroying, but still poses many challenges for establishments and workers alike. To ensure that the German economy remains competitive in this arena, the government needs to take action. This is the main finding of a project focusing on the German labour market entitled “Digitalisation and the Future of Work”, which was carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research , Mannheim, and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Press Release: Urban Road Pricing Schemes Have a Clear Advantage over Diesel Car Bans in Cities

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0200

Policy measures such as diesel car bans, the phasing out of cars using internal combustion engines or free public transport have been the focus of recent debates on transport policy. These proposals are, however, not advisable from an economic point of view. If cities want to tackle transport-related problems such as air pollution and congestion, they should instead consider introducing a road toll, or congestion charge, that is linked to traffic volume and local pollution levels. At the same time, policy-makers should also place a stronger focus on the EU emissions trading scheme as a means of reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector in a cost-effective way.

Press Release: Public Programme Improves Social Integration of the Long-Term Unemployed

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0200

The public programme “Soziale Teilhabe am Arbeitsmarkt” has increased the level of social integration among long-term unemployed individuals in Germany. Most participants in the programme are older people who had been receiving government benefits for nine years on average. These are the results of the second interim report on the evaluation of the government programme which was compiled by a research consortium including the Centre for European Economic Research , Mannheim, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs .

Job: Internship

Thu, 10 Dec 2015 00:00:00 +0100

Job: 2 Researchers “Industrial Economics and International Management”

Wed, 14 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0200

2 Researchers

in its “Industrial Economics and International Management” Research Department at the earliest date possible.

The successful applicants will engage in scientific research projects and economic policy analysis in the research areas of "Innovation Economics" or "Firm Dynamics."

The research area "Firm Dynamics" covers analysis of business start-ups, growth and shrinking processes of young firms, as well as financing, innovation and internationalisation of young firms. The research area " Innovation  Economics" focuses on the development of the international patent system, the innovation behaviour of companies, and the interaction of public research institutions and companies.