The FIW - Research Centre International Economics (https://www.fiw.ac.at/) is a cooperation between the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), the University Vienna, the Johannes Kepler University Linz and the University of Innsbruck, WIFO, wiiw and WSR. FIW is supported by the Federal Ministries BMBFW and BMDW.
Abstract: In this paper, we examine possible medium-term changes in EU trade policy, including the negotiation and implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with regional entities like ASEAN and the NAFTA countries. We also examine the possible conclusion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations. Such changes in policy at the regional and global level imply changes in trade policy and industrial structure that affect Austria as part of the network of European industry. To accomplish this, we work with a computable general equilibrium model (CGE) of the Austrian economy and its major global trading partners. This model is benchmarked to 2020 macroeconomic projections. The modeling scenarios are based on a mix of tariff reductions for goods and non-tariff barriers (NTB) reductions for services. The services liberalization scenario is based on protection with an “actionability” assumption. The results include estimated changes in GDP, welfare, as well as in the value added contained in Austrian exports. The focus on value added provides important insight to the overall impact on the Austrian economy. In all policy cases examined, the striking messages is the importance of high technology services (ICT and other business services) to the total growth in Austrian exports, on a value added basis. This reflects both the high value added content of trade in this sector, and the apparent comparative advantage of Austria in this sector in the 2020 baseline.
Abstract: We analyze the role of fiscal policy and intra-European trade in business cycle synchronization in the EU for the period 1995-2008. There is a broad consensus that the relationship between fiscal policy and business cycle comovements and between trade integration and cyclical synchronization are subject to endogeneity problems. We instrument fiscal budget surplus by means of (exogenous) political determinants of fiscal policy acknowledged by the literature, while trade integration is instrumented using covariates which summarize the integration status of countries in the sample, GDP per capita differences with respect to the EU and trade specialization within the EU framework. Our results show that both fiscal policy and trade integration are important determinants of cyclical synchronization. We can conclude that once a high degree of trade integration is reached by countries involved in the European integration process, the role of fiscal policy is particularly relevant and differences in fiscal shocks should be analyzed in detail as a source of coherence in cyclical comovements in Europe. Furthermore, fiscal deficits are shown to be an important potential source of idiosyncratic macroeconomic fluctuations, especially in the eurozone. Our results confirm the rationale of monitoring fiscal developments to assess the adequacy of potential future EMU countries and the need for a broad agreement concerning fiscal policy at the EU level.
Abstract: This report contains three separate papers, each addressing selected issues concerning natural gas policy and security of gas supply in Europe. The over-arching themes are vulnerability (to supply disruptions, to supplier pricing power) and fragmentation; and measures designed to overcome them, namely interconnection and consolidation of bargaining power. The first paper contains a review of some of the economic effects of, and subsequent policy reactions to, the January 2009 cut of Russian gas supplies through the Ukraine Corridor, with a particular focus on Bulgaria and on EU policy. The second paper provides an analysis of the current state of gas relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, with a focus on the Ukrainian perspective and on recent political developments in that country. The third paper provides an analysis of the case for consolidating buyer power in line with the concept of an EU Gas Purchasing Agency.
Abstract: What goods to export and where to sell them? Our research was pursuing these two major goals. The first one is related to detecting countries where Austria has good perspectives for boosting its export. The basic idea was to use macroeconomic data set detecting the significant variables. We found that besides the GDP of importer and distance, there are more important variables like being landlocked, language, inflation, and so forth. We found recent GDP growth rate to be non-significant in more than just the very basic models. Taking all explanatory variables into account we could calculate the country-effects, telling us how Austrian exporters are under or over-represented within each country. It is argued that exporters could put additional efforts into quickly growing countries where Austria is still under-represented. The second goal was a more detailed view on the role of transport costs. Gravity model was shown to be correct and robust (even for a class of functions of distance). The detailed accounting for transport costs requires consideration of different transport modes and ratios of value to weight. Distance suppresses trade of cheap goods most, suggesting that Austria has no disadvantage in export of high-tech goods (like pharmaceutics and complex machines) over long distances. In particular, pharmaceutical sector has growing potential and trade with Russia is one of its perspectives.
Abstract: The amount of water embodied in Austrian imports of selected agricultural products is quantified. These imports are analysed by a dynamic model that is based on the water footprint concept. The model quantifies the water savings potential using a database including more than 200 countries and regions. Austria could save up to 28% of the water embodied in coffee by substituting the current coffee imports from water inefficient countries by efficiently produced coffee. The water savings potential from wheat imports amounts to 22% that from orange imports equals almost 20% of the current amount of embodied water. We calculate a global water value equal to € 0.013 per cubic meter of water. The international trade of coffee, wheat and oranges trades embodied water equal to € 51.6 billions per year with a share of 92.6% (€ 47.8 billions) traded at commodity exchanges.
Abstract: Using the Labour Force Survey (LFS) we explore the difference international migration makes for the distribution of occupational levels for any given level of education in the two countries of interest: Austria and Germany. Migrant outcomes are also being compared with home country outcomes, i.e. Serbia and Turkey. We find that education is imperfectly portable across national borders. Austrian employers treat schooling from certain countries of origin differently from the way they treat schooling from natives. Educational levels completed in Western European countries are obviously more transferable across national borders than educational levels completed elsewhere. Workers in their home country all have similar occupational returns to education but migrants in Austria or Germany lag considerably behind. Middle and higher education in particular are not equally rewarded if from abroad. The low value of foreign-acquired education may reflect discrimination, differences in school quality across continents of origin, imperfect knowledge of the evaluation of foreign credentials on the side of the employer or the low compatibility of the foreign-acquired education with the requirements and the specific orientation of the host country labour market.
Abstract: Studies regarding the migrants’ impact upon performance variables and in particular upon productivity growth – which is the focus of this study - are few although there has been an increased interest in this area. This study addresses this issue in a cross-country and regional perspective with a focus on EU-27 countries at the industry level. In the first part of the study the focus is on employment patterns of migrants regarding their shares in employment, the composition in terms of places of origin, and an important aspect of the analysis is the study of their ‘skills’ (measured by educational attainment levels) and the utilisation of these skills relative to those of domestic workers. The second part of the study conducts a wide range of ‘descriptive econometric’ exercises analysing the relationship between migrants employment across industries and regions and output and productivity growth. We do obtain robust results with respect to the positive impact of the presence of high-skilled migrants especially in high-education-intensive industries and also more generally – but less robustly – on the relationship between productivity growth and the shares of migrants and of high-skilled migrants in overall employment. There is also an analysis of the impact of different policy settings with respect to labour market access of migrants and to anti-discrimination measures. The latter have a significant positive impact on migrants’ contribution to productivity growth. In the analysis of impacts of migrants on value added and labour productivity growth at the regional level we add migration variables to robust determinants of growth and find positive and significant relationships between migrants’ shares (and specifically of high-skilled migrants) and regional productivity growth. The limitations of the study with respect to data issues, causality and selection effects are discussed which give scope for further research.
Abstract: This project focuses on comparing the qualification structure of migrants residing in Austria as well as their over- and underqualification rates to other EU countries. The skill structure of foreign born residing in Austria has improved slightly in the last years. Austria is, however, characterised by a high share of medium skilled migrants and a low share of highly skilled migrants. In addition among the pool of migrants in the EU from a given country, Austria generally selects the less qualified. The location decisions of highly skilled migrants are mostly governed by income opportunities, labour market conditions, ethnic networks and a common official language. Over- and under-qualification rates among the foreign born in Austria largely accord with the European average, the largest part of the differences can be explained by differences in qualification and country structure between the foreign born in Austria and the EU. Native-foreign born differentials in employment rates are, however, significantly higher in Austria than in other EU countries.
Abstract: In this study we analyse the labour market performance of Romanian and Bulgarian return migrants and whether it really pays off to return home. We looked at the employment dynamics of returnees from the perspective of employment and occupational status switches to capture the effects of the work experience abroad on the upgrade in the home labour market. After predicting the wages and measuring the wage premium upon return, we apply an endogenous switching ordered probit model to estimate simultaneously the decision to migrate temporarily and the determinants of an upgrading of labour market performance upon return. The labor market performance of return migrants is analysed by using the 2005 World Bank Surveys in Bulgaria and Romania. The main conclusion is that the interdependence in the decision-making between return migration and labour market participation requires counting them simultaneously. While, the labour market participation upon return are strongly determined by the intentions of a permanent return and the expectation of return premiums for the skills and experience acquired abroad, the permanent intentions of return are determined by the experience abroad, the family ties and by intentions of other household members to migrate.
Abstract: This study quantifies the CO2 emissions embodied in Austrian exports and imports, using a two region-input output approach (Austria and the rest of the world). The approach considers differences in production technologies between Austria and the rest of the world, concerning the CO2 coefficients (per unit of output) and the input-output structure (both are taken from data for EU 27). The CO2 emissions embodied in Austrian imports are considerably higher than CO2 emissions embodied in exports, i.e., CO2 for Austrian demand is leaking to the rest of the world. From 1995 to 2005 this negative balance of CO2 in trade has diminished in absolute terms, from 11 million tons (1995) to 6.4 million tons (2005), as CO2 embodied in exports has grown more rapidly than CO2 embodied in imports, thereby creating a huge potential for future carbon leakage.
Abstract: This study quantifies possible impacts of medium-term structural changes in the global economy on the Austrian economy. Emphasis is placed on the effects of continued medium term growth in emerging markets, especially in Asia and Latin America, on the structure of the Austrian economy. The issues here include the identification of price effects (due to increased demand for raw materials) that can be expected, as well as how these may impact the commodity composition of both exports and imports. Underlying global trends also involve both investment patterns and total factor productivity trends at a more regional level, also impacting on the Austrian economy. Finally, these structural changes at the global level also lead to changes in household incomes and the cost of living in Austria, impacting on patterns of inequality in Austria at the household level.
Abstract: In this study CO2 emissions embodied in Austrian international trade are quantified employing a 66-region input output model of multidirectional trade. We find that Austria’s final demand CO2 responsibilities on a global scale are 38% higher than conventional statistics report (110 Mt-CO2 versus 79 Mt-CO2 in 2004). For each unit of Austrian final demand, currently two thirds of the thus triggered CO2 emissions occur outside Austrian borders. We then develop a 19-region computable general equilibrium model of Austria and its major trading partners and world regions to find that future Austrian climate policy can achieve the EU 20-20 emission reduction targets, but that its carbon trade balance would worsen considerably. Both unilateral EU and internationally coordinated climate policies affect Austrian international trade stronger than its domestic production.
Abstract: The study examines the impact of Austrian outward foreign direct investments (FDI) on home based parent company employment. The analysis is based on the AMADEUS firm-level database and an improved methodology by applying matching methods and the difference in difference estimator. In this way we are able to overcome the major shortcomings of earlier studies on the home market effects of Austrian outward FDI, which included data on foreign direct investors only leading to biased estimates and preventing the deduction of causal relationships. Overall the results indicate that investing abroad strengthens the employment performance in the home country. This is also true for Austrian foreign direct investments in Eastern European locations. We also analyse the major factors determining the firms' decision to invest abroad as well as decisions on the degree of multinationality, which we measure by the number of foreign affiliates owned. Firm size, firm age, the capital intensity and the number of shareholders are significant determinants for the number of subsidiaries. The analysis also corroborates theoretical results establishing the fact that foreign direct investment activities are driven by firm specific advantages and a superior productivity performance in the pre-investment period. Thus, firms that start foreign activities are ex-ante different from non-investing purely domestic firms.
Abstract: China is a rising global power with a growing role and impact on the world’s energy markets as well as on the Earth’s climate system. China pursues its development in an essentially non-confrontational manner, a vision encapsulated by the notion of peaceful rise which is viewed positively in the world’s major capitals. Nevertheless, China’s rapid growth represents a genuine global challenge and raises many questions. How is China dealing with its growing need for imported crude oil? What is the impact of China’s rise on the global oil market, notably in terms of oil price developments? Are Chinese actions on oil markets different from those of other major importers? What opportunities and risks arise as a result of china’s growing role on the global oil market from the viewpoint of other global players? In this report we seek to offer some answers to those questions with a review of China’s developing energy policy, of the actions and revealed preferences of its national oil companies, and of broader economic and geopolitical analyses of the impact of China’s growing oil consumption on other global players.
Abstract: In this study we provide detailed evidence on the importance and performance of exporters compared to non-exporters in Austrian manufacturing, based on firm level data. The results are in line with those found in other studies pointing towards the exceptional role of exporting firms with respect to various size and performance measures. We provide both descriptive as well as econometric evidence on these ‘export premia’ along these lines and further present a brief comparison with results found for other countries. Our findings however also suggest the existence of quite large differences across industries with respect to the export premia which deserves further attention.
Abstract: This paper has examined the home market effects of outward FDI into the CEE region based on the AMADEUS firm-level database. In particular, we investigated the substitution possibilities between foreign affiliate employment and parent company employment by distinguishing between manufacturing and non-manufacturing between the period 2000 and 2004. Despite fears of job losses in the home market due to outward FDI into the countries of central and Eastern Europe we find only limited evidence for the substitution of jobs between the parent companies in the EU15 and their affiliates in the CEEC. In particular we find that substitution possibilities are higher between employment in affiliates in high-wage countries and in the parent company than that of affiliate employment in the CEE region and parent company employment.
Abstract: The paper examines the role of service inputs in shaping the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. It first estimates an export market share function of 18 manufacturing industries for 16 OECD countries over the period 1995 to 2000. The service linkage variables are derived from Input Output tables. The results point to a positive and highly significant impact of international service linkages in high skilled, technology driven industries that explains about 40 percent of the overall increase in the market share. While there is a clear differential impact across the different types of (consuming) manufacturing industries, the type of service input is not relevant. The second part of the paper estimates the impact of outsourced services as well as in house services on total factor productivity growth in Austrian manufacturing, based on an approach suggested by Feenstra Hanson (1999). The results suggest a positive and significant impact of services outsourcing on TFP growth that is higher in the high skilled intensive manufacturing industries. In contrast to the findings for export market shares, the distinction between the types of service inputs is highly relevant for the results on TFP growth, which stresses the role of knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) as important producers and transmitters of technology, innovations and knowledge (technological and knowledge spillovers). The impact of in house services could not be precisely estimated.
Abstract: Betrachtet man die großen Industrieunternehmen in Osterreich, weisen diese einen sehr unterschiedlichen Internationalisierungsgrad auf. Diese Heterogenität der großen Industrieunternehmen wirft die industriepolitisch relevante Frage auf, warum manche Unternehmen mittels Direktinvestitionen internationalisieren, während sich andere auf das Exportieren beschränken. Fragt man nach der Erklärungen für unterschiedliche Internationalisierungsgrade, hat neben vielen anderen Gründen der "Proximity - Concentration Trade-off" in der Literatur Bedeutung erlangt. Ziel dieser Studie ist es, diesen "Proximity - Concentration Trade-off" für drei ausgewählte österreichische Industrieunternehmen, welche die drei oben genannten Gruppen von Unternehmen repräsentieren, genauer zu dokumentieren: Agrolinz als ein Unternehmen, welches ausschließlich exportiert, Wienerberger als ein Unternehmen, welches ausschließlich über Tochtergesellschaften internationalisiert und die Voest als ein Unternehmen, welches beide Aktivitäten setzt. Die Auswahl der Unternehmen erfolgt anhand der Produkteigenschaften, welche durch hohe Transportkosten und hohe Skalenerträge in der Produktion gekennzeichnet sind. Es wird ermittelt, welche Rolle die Faktoren "proximity" und "concentration" als Determinanten der Entscheidung zur Direktinvestition spielen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die Skalenerträge und die Transportkosten sowie die Struktur bzw. die Größe bzw. die Kenntnis des Gastlandmarktes bestimmend für die Wahl der Alternativen "Direktinvestitionen und Exporte" als Form der Auslandsmarktbearbeitung sind. Keines der untersuchten Unternehmen wird seine Internationalisierungsstrategie in absehbarer Zukunft verändern.
Abstract: This paper investigates the link between firm size and growth for European multinational enterprises based on the AMADEUS firm-level database. Using data for about 20,000 firms for the period 2000 2004, we find that firm size has a significant negative impact on firm growth of the multinational enterprises. This holds when growth and its level are measured in terms of employment or turnover. Estimates for seven broad industry groups reveal that the negative relationship can be observed in all industries with higher effects in business services and in the investment goods industry. Furthermore we find that the average year of foundation of the foreign affiliates has a positive impact on the growth of the parent companies.
Abstract: This paper gives a quantitative assessment of possible trade effects resulting from different trade liberalization scenarios within the EU. The simulations are based on the GTAP model, a computable general equilibrium model. We use the GTAP database and own estimates of protection in the service sector. We compare different scenarios, which differ in the extent of their liberalization (linear versus sector country and specific cuts in existing trade barriers, including all sectors versus only selected sectors). Our findings point towards larger gains from more comprehensive cuts (i.e. including all service sectors) and larger gains for the - up to date more restricted - new EU members.
Abstract: Austrian foreign direct investment (FDI) increased quickly since 1992. The profitability of these investments did improve over the full period under consideration (1992 to 2005). In particular investments in Central and Eastern Europe became rather profitable. In 2005 total annual profits translate into an average return on equity (RoE) of 8.3%. However, returns differ to a large extent by regions. They are 5.1% and 9.7% for EU-14 and for CEE-5 respectively. The age of investment is the main determinate of profitability. Interestingly, there are strong differences between Greenfield investments and M&As. While the latter are always more profitable in EU-15 this is not the case for affiliates in CEE. In these countries we can observe a time-dependent development. During the first years of investments M&A are more profitable than Greenfield investments. However, the latter become more rewarding by older vintages. We further examine if profits are either reinvested (and thereby contribute to the existing stock of capital in the host country) or repatriated (and thereby improve the performance of home countries). The paper shows that patterns differ substantially by countries and over time. The share of reinvestment is much higher in CEE than in EU-15. Moreover, M&A show much higher rates of repatriation than Greenfield investments independent of host countries.
Abstract: This study provides a thourough and detailed analysis of the competitiveness of the Austrian service sectors. It combines several industry classifications reflecting different structural features and international regulatory regimes that might be relevant for a sector?s export potential and international competitiveness. These features are the skill and factor intensity, the intrinsic tradability and different regulatory regimes in international trade. For the first time this study applies a newly developed taxonomy of services which represents the different degrees of openness to services trade as reflected by the willingness of countries to submit full or partial commitments under the GATS. The analysis found a clear dominance of activities characterized by unfavourable sector characteristics in terms of skills and factor inputs. Furthermore, the structural change towards high-skilled labour intensive and knowledge intensive service sectors was found to be rather slow. At the detailed sector level, the analysis highlighted "consultancy, legal, accounting, book-keeping and market research services", the "renting of machinery and equipment sector", as well as "engineering, architectural activities and technical testing and analysis" as the most promising fields of activity in the group of high-skilled sectors already facing a relatively liberal international trade regime. The results were less favourable for the group of computer services. Within the group of sectors facing medium regulated trade regimes the R&D sector exhibited a very dynamic development paired with a good, but deteriorating competitive position. Insurance services were found to hold a weak and strongly deteriorating competitive advantage in terms of relative unit labour costs. At the same time the productivity gap to some of the European countries was found to be extremely wide. The growth performance of financial services which face the most regulated internationel trade regime was weak as was the competitive position.
Abstract: Based on simulations with a computable general equilibrium model the impacts of service liberalization policies on trade flows were estimated by wiiw. Given these trade effects resulting changes in value added and employment on a regional level were simulated using a multiregional multisectoral model for Austria (MultiREG). Because net exports changed very little, the impact of trade liberalization policies on the Austrian value added turned out to be rather small: While in the short run value added declines somewhat, the impact is positive in the long run; value added, however, increases only by 0.3 percent.
Abstract: In this paper we study the employment effects of changes in the levels and patterns of outsourcing in the Austrian economy over the periods 1995-2000 and 2000-2003. Based on an input-output framework we apply a hierarchical decomposition analysis to disentangle the employment effects of changes in labour productivity, technical input coefficients and final demand components. Outsourcing is modelled as changes in the shares of domestically produced intermediates. For this some further details can be derived by distinguishing between intermediate imports of energy, material and service products or according to educational intensities of the imported intermediate products. Following this approach first allows to study the direct and indirect effects of changes in the levels and structures of outsourcing.Second, the framework takes account of all 60 sectors (products) of the economy and thus also includes employment effects of service offshoring. Third, we also calculate the employment effects for three employment groups distinguished by educational attainment levels. This paper thus provides a comprehensive picture of employment effects of outsourcing in the Austrian economy.
Abstract: This note gives a comprehensive overview of the currently available international databases on trade in services. Notwithstanding problems in data collection arising from the very wide definition of trade in services (i.e. the four GATS modes in contrast to what is traditionally considered as trade in merchandise goods), we identify a considerable room for improvement of the data situation also with respect to Balance of Payments based data. In this paper we survey IMF, OECD, Eurostat and OENB data at the most detailed sector level. We further give a short descriptive overview of Austria's relative position in service trade flows compared to its major trading partners.