Der Forschungsschwerpunkt Internationale Wirtschaft (FIW) (https://www.fiw.ac.at/) ist eine Kooperation zwischen der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU), der Universität Wien, der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz und der Universität Innsbruck, WIFO, wiiw und WSR. FIW wird von den Bundesministerien BMBFW und BMDW unterstützt.
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Abstract: We use cooperative game theory to analyze the strategic impact of three controversial pipeline projects. Two of them, Nord Stream and South Stream, allow Russian gas to bypass transit countries, Ukraine and Belarus. Nord Stream’s strategic value turns out to be huge, justifying the high investment cost for Germany and Russia. The additional leverage obtained through South Stream, in contrast, appears small. The third project, Nabucco, aims at diversifying Europe’s gas imports by accessing producers in Middle East and Central Asia. The project has a large potential to curtail Russia’s power, but the benefits accrue mainly to Turkey, while the gains for the EU are negligible.
Abstract: Recent empirical studies have been searching for evidence on and driving forces for offshoring. Frequently, this has been done by analyzing gross trade flows related to offshore activities using gravity equations augmented by ad hoc measures of supply-side country differences. This paper suggests that gravity formulations of this sort are mis-specified, due to theoretically unmotivated attempts to allow for both complete and incomplete specialization influences on gross trade flows within the same gravity framework. We suggest an alternative specification rooted in incomplete specialization that views bilateral gravity equations as statistical relationships constrained on countries’ multilateral specialization patterns. This view reveals that countries’ multilateral specialization incentives drive bilateral trade, corresponding to and competing with the role of multilateral trade resistance. Our results support evidence for offshoring activities across Europe, driven by countries’ multilateral specialization incentives, as expressed by supply-side country differences relative to the rest of the world.
Abstract: We develop a model of directed technological change, frictional unemployment and migration to examine the effects of a change in skill endowments on wages, employment rates and emigration rates of skilled and unskilled workers. We find that, depending on the elasticity of substitution between skilled and unskilled workers and the elasticity of the matching function, an increase in the skill ratio can reduce the relative unemployment rate of skilled workers and decrease the relative emigration rate of skilled workers (brain drain). We provide empirical estimates and simulations to support our findings and show that effects are empirically relevant and potentially sizeable.
Abstract: Trade liberalization is no Pareto-improvement - there are winners (high-skilled) and losers (low-skilled). To compensate the losers the government is assumed to introduce unemployment benefits (UB). These benefits are financed by either a wage tax, a payroll tax, or a profit tax. Using a Melitz-type model of international trade with unionized labor markets and heterogeneous workers we show that: (i) there is a threshold level of UB where all trade gains are destroyed, (ii) this threshold differs between different kind of taxes, (iii) there is a clearcut ranking in terms of welfare for the chosen funding of the UB: 1. wage tax, 2. profit tax, 3. Payroll tax.
Abstract: A fundamental question in monopolistic competition theory is whether the market allocates resources efficiently. This paper generalizes the Spence-Dixit-Stiglitz framework to heterogeneous firms, addressing when the market provides optimal quantities, variety and productivity. Under constant elasticity of demand, each firm prices above its average cost, yet we show market allocations are efficient. When demand elasticities vary, market allocations are not efficient and reflect the distortions of imperfect competition. After determining the nature of market distortions, we investigate how integration may serve as a remedy to imperfect competition. Both market distortions and the impact of integration depend on two demand side elasticities, and we suggest richer demand structures to pin down these elasticities. We also show that integration eliminates distortions, provided the post-integration market is sufficiently large.
Abstract: FIW, a collaboration of WIFO (www.wifo.ac.at), wiiw (www.wiiw.ac.at) and WSR (www.wsr.ac.at) FIW –Working PaperDistributional eff ects of preferential and multilateral trade liberalization: the case of ParaguayElizabeth Jane Casabianca1In this paper I apply Porto (2006) to Paraguay using household level data. The aim is to assess the distributional impact of the preferential and multilateral trade liberalization in a small member country. I also follow Nicita (2009) assuming incomplete pass-through on prices of traded goods which in turn influence both household consumption and earnings of household membersin the labour market. I estimate these effects highlighting the diff erence between the impact of the preferential trade agreement and the multilateral one. Finally, I am able to depict if and who trade integration has benefi ted
Abstract: This paper shows that reduced heterogeneity of exporter-specific goods can provide a direct explanation of the distance puzzle. Using COMTRADE 4-digit bilateral trade data we find that the elasticity of trade to distance has increased by 8% from 1962 to 2009. Theoretical foundations of the gravity equation indicate that the distance coefficient is the product of the elasticity of trade costs to distance and a measure of heterogeneity, e.g. the substitution elasticity between exporter-specific goods in the Armington framework. This parameter has increased by at least 12-29% from 1962 to 2009. The evolution of the distance coefficient is thus compatible with a 4-16% reduction in the elasticity of trade costs to distance.
Abstract: We investigate the impact of the emergence of China as a global competitor on the trade performance of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European (CESEE) countries at the EU-15 market. The paper takes a comprehensive approach in terms of empirical methods and data. We analyze export growth, export market shares, extensive and intensive margins and the number of trade links, applying highly disaggregated data at the 6 digit HS level over the period 1995 – 2010. We show that the most contested markets are those for capital goods and transport equipment, product categories where both regions have gained market shares and comparative advantage. We show that the number of trade links at the product level where both regions are active has increased substantially, indicating intensified competition. At the same time hardly any trade links were lost, which points against cut-throat competition between CESEE and China. The decomposition of export growth along the extensive versus the intensive margin shows that in line with the literature, the deepening of already existing trade relationships (i.e. the intensive margin) contributed most strongly export growth in both regions, whereas the contribution of new trade links (i.e. the extensive margin) had only a minor contribution, apart from the instance of EU accession which boosted the extensive margin considerably. We further decompose intensive margin growth into demand related structural effects and a supplier related competitiveness effect. Both the CESEE region and China successfully intensified their trade linkages above all as a result of their outstanding competitiveness as shown by the econometric shift-share analysis. While this suggests that both regions pursue a able export strategy, further diversification of production towards promising new industries and markets will become increasingly crucial for both, especially in face of projected slower EU-15 market growth in the longer run.
Abstract: In the present contribution, we concentrate on the process of financial liberalization in a specific context of European economic and monetary integration. We implement de facto and de jure measures of financial liberalization and find that formal aspects of financial openness generate a strongly positive impact on economic growth and its sources, productivity growth and capital accumulation. Moreover, there is evidence of a positive contribution to the process stemming from the EU membership, while no substantial effect comes from the euro adoption. Finally, we investigate the effects from financial integration on country groups within the EU.
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to assess whether the level of unionization and the rigidity of the exchange rate affected wages and monetary policy in SEE and CIS during the ongoing economic crisis. Towards that end, a New Keynesian model with price and wage rigidities is used. The model is estimated with a panel GMM over the period January 2002 – March 2011 on sample of 19 countries. Several findings emerge. First, the output gap is found not to depend on the real interest rate, in accordance with the underdeveloped financial markets in these economies. Second, inflation is found not to depend on the output gap, but on the wage gap, which stresses the relevance of the labour unions for the inflation dynamics in these countries. Third, the labour wedge that arises from the monopolistic competition in the labour market works mainly through the wage gap, not the output gap, in accordance with the high unemployment in these countries. Fourth, monetary policy responded counter-cyclically during the crisis in countries with weak trade unions, differently from countries with strong unions: in crisis times, weak economy drags wages down in low-unionized countries and monetary policy relaxes in these countries, both due to lower wages and due to the weaker economy; on the other hand, strong unions prevent a weak economy to drag wages down in crisis times and central banks in these countries are found not to react to economic activity, prices or wages. Fifth, the fixed exchange rate is found to restrain monetary policy in times of crisis, too – in countries with flexible exchange rates, monetary policy during the crisis responds to movements in output gap and reserves, in contrast to countries with fixed exchange rate, where monetary policy does not respond to any domestic macroeconomic variable.
Abstract: This paper empirically analyzes the effects of de jure financial opennesson institutional quality as captured by indicators on investment risk, corruption level, impartiality of judiciary system as well as the effectiveness of bureaucratic authorities. Using a panel data set of more than 110 countries and a time span from 1984 to 2005, we show that a higher degree of financial openness improves institutional quality in particular by reducing investment risks. We also study the effect of a single liberalization reform on the development of institutional quality.Again, we find evidence for the beneficial impact of financial liberalization with the exception of the level of corruption. We additionally show that if financial liberalization is supported by simultaneous politicalliberalization, the benign consequences of financial opening for the institutional performance are even larger, while financial deregulation in former socialist countries tends to worsen institutional quality.
Abstract: This paper examines co-movements and volatility spillovers in the returns of the euro, the British pound, the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen vis-à-vis the US dollar before and after the introduction of the euro. Based on dynamic correlations, variance decompositions, generalized VAR analysis, and a newly introduced spillover index, the results suggest significant co-movements and volatility spillovers across the four exchange returns, but their extend is, on average, lower in the latter period. Return co-movements and volatility spillovers show large variability though, and are positively associated with extreme economic episodes and, to a lower extend, with appreciations of the US dollar. Moreover, the euro (Deutsche mark) is the dominant currency in volatility transmission with a net volatility spillover of 8% (15%) to all other markets, while the British pound is the dominant net receiver of volatility with a net volatility spillover of -11% (-13%), in the post- (pre-) euro period. The nature of crossmarket volatility spillovers is found to be bidirectional though, with the highest volatility spillovers occurring between the European markets. The economic implications of these findings for central bank interventions, international portfolio diversification and currency risk management are then discussed.
Abstract: This paper estimates to what extent "green" crisis-era measures have an impact on the "climate-friendliness" of imports in the Asia-Pacific region. Testable predictions and the empirical strategy are derived from the seminal paper of Eaton and Kortum (2002). The empirical results show that at the intensive margin implemented "green" measures are associated with an increase of sourcing from more rather than less energy intensive countries. One reason for this surprising result may be that governments have presented the state interventions as being "green" although the main purpose was not the environment. At the extensive margin, results are slightly more promising. The implementation of "green" measures seems to decrease the likelihood that imports are sourced from a relatively more energy intensive origin. However, the results are not very strong as to statistical and economic significance. In sum, only limited evidence for environmental benefits of "green" crisis-era interventions through the import channel exist. The implementation of such measures may in fact be associated with an environmental degradation of imports. Moreover, supplier countries being "close" competitors to the interventionist country (in terms of technology levels) relatively loose import share if discriminatory "green" measures are implemented. Stated differently, the alleged "green" measures protect domestic against foreign suppliers with similar technology levels.
Abstract: This paper analyzes whether and to what extent determinants of comparative advantage have explanatory power for conventional services trade. It assesses the geographical, Heckscher-Ohlin and institutional determinants of services trade based on the literature for goods trade. Moreover, this paper investigates the importance of a country’s governance of regulation as a source of comparative advantage in services markets. Determinants for services trade differ from goods. Services trade is more sensitive to a country’s stock of high-skilled and mid-skilled labour, more receptive to the level of trust enjoyed by any importers, and more dependant on the quality of regulatory governance practiced when liberalizing services sectors. The counterfactual analyses presented in this paper show furthermore that these factors when affected by policy can bring substantial gains to countries. Specifically, countries with already good regulatory governance structures would enjoy relatively higher growth share in services trade by capitalizing on their highskilled stock. Other countries, however, would instead to better by improving their condition of regulatory governance.
Abstract: This paper challenges the common view that exports generally contribute more to GDP growth than a pure change in export volume, as the export-led growth hypothesis predicts. Applying panel cointegration techniques to a production function with non-export GDP as the dependent variable, we find for a sample of 45 developing countries that: (i) exports have a positive short-run effect on non-export GDP and vice versa (short-run bidirectional causality), (ii) the long-run effect of exports on non-export output, however, is negative on average, but (iii) there are large differences in the long-run effect of exports on non-export GDP across countries. Cross-sectional regressions indicate that these cross-country differences in the long-run effect of exports on non-export GDP are significantly negatively related to cross-country differences in primary export dependence and business and labor market regulation. In contrast, there is no significant association between the growth effect of exports and the capacity of a country to absorb new knowledge.
Abstract: In international relations, short-run incentives for non-cooperation often dominate. Yet, (external) institutions for enforcing cooperation are hampered by national sovereignty, supposedly strengthening the role of selfenforcing mechanisms. This paper examines their scope with a focus on contingent protection aka tit-for-tat in trade policy. By highlighting various strategies in a (linear) partial-equilibrium framework, we show that retaliation of non- cooperative behavior by limiting market access works as a disciplining device independently of supply and demand parameters. Our theoretical results are backed by empirical evidence that countries more frequently involved in WTO-mediated disputes entailing tit-for-tat strategies pursue on average more liberal trade regimes.
Abstract: This paper examines the extent and evolution of exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) using panel cointegration approach. For 27 OECD countries, we provide a strong evidence of incomplete ERPT in sample of 27 OECD countries. Both FM-OLS and DOLS estimators show that pass-through elasticity does not exceed 0.70%. When considering individual estimates, we note a cross-country differences in the long run ERPT. We find that inflation regime and exchange rate volatility are potential macroeconomic sources of this long-run heterogeneity. When focusing on the subsample of 12 European Monetary Union (EMU) countries, our results show a steady decline in the degree of ERPT throughout the different exchange rate arrangements: pass-through elasticity was close to unity during the "snake-in-the tunnel" period while it is about 0.50% since the formation of the euro area. The observed decline in ERPT to import prices was synchronous to the shift towards reduced inflation regime.
Abstract: This paper studies the impact of trade within US-headquartered multinational companies (MNCs) on labour demand for all employees, as well as, for those of high and low skill in US manufacturing for the period 1995 - 2005. We find strong evidence on the positive and negative effect of intra-firm exports and imports respectively, on aggregate employment. he former effect is stronger than the latter. Moreover, we find that demand for low-skilled labour is negatively associated with intra-firm imports, while unaffected by intra-firm exports. In contrast, high-skilled labour demand is positively linked to intra-firm exports but unaffected by intra-firm imports. The last two findings put together, suggest that low-skill intensive stages of the value-added chain are mostly transferred to the US affiliates abroad, while highskill intensive ones are mostly kept within the US parents.
Abstract: This paper examines whether European integration, manifesting itself in increased trade and FDI linkages, new specializations and economic policy coordination, contributed to the synchronization of business cycles in the enlarged EU. We estimate the effects on bilateral growth rate correlations in 1995-2008 in a simultaneous equations model which permits to model endogenous relationships and unveil direct and indirect effects. Trade and FDI prove to have a strong impact on synchronization, specifically between incumbent and new EU members. More coordinated fiscal policies and, particularly in EU 15, the alignment of monetary policies promoted synchronization. Nevertheless, flexible exchange rates remained important adjustment instruments for the new member states. Increasing manufacturing specialization is not counteracting synchronization. The achieved EU income convergence, a declared objective of EU policy, supported business cycle synchronization.
Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to examine the determining factors of outward FDI from four major OECD investors US, Germany, France and the Netherlands to developing countries located in different world regions. Our goal is to elucidate whether the motivation for FDI differs among these investors. Rather than relying on specific theories of FDI determinants we examine them all simultaneously employing Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) in a panel data set with 129 FDI destinations in 5 geographical regions over the period 1995-2008. This approach permits us to select the most appropriate model that governs FDI allocation and to distinguish robust FDI determinants. We find that all our investors search for destinations with whom they have established intensive trade relations and that offer a qualified labor force. However, low wages and attractive tax rates are robust investment criteria too, and a considerable share of FDI is still resource-driven. Our investors show fairly similar strategies in the main FDI destinations.
Abstract: The absorptive capacity represents the ability of enterprises to efficiently absorb and internalise knowledge from outside: it represents the link between firms’ capabilities to implement new products and the external stock of technological opportunities, such as those spilled-out from Multinational Enterprises (MNEs). In this framework, the present paper aims at testing the absorptive capacity of Italian firms arising from inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Given the peculiar characteristics of the Italian productive system, our analysis will focus on three different dimensions: technology gap between foreign and local enterprises, domestic firm size, and geographical distribution of firms. Our findings suggest that technological gap and firm size matter considerably for the spillover effect. Moreover, spillovers exhibit a subnational dimension, being present only in North-East region of the Peninsula.
Abstract: A number of theoretical studies have tended to trace the nature of globalization process’ impacts (mostly characterised by trade opening) on informality, while relevant empirical literature has been not well developed. The paper aims to fill this knowledge gap by shedding further light on the linkages running from globalisation to informality in developing countries. Moreover, in this study, globalisation is characterised not only by trade integration but also by other globalisation aspects, such as social globalisation, financial globalisation and so forth. To achieve the main objective, we employ the Bayesian statistical techniques, which allow one to determine, from a large set of different globalization indicators, a subset of indicators most likely to influence the size of informality. Our finding reveals that the indicators with consistently high inclusion probabilities are trade integration, trade reforms, de jure financial openness and social globalisation. On the other hand, many covariates found significant in previous empirical studies are not robust to including in informality modelling.
Abstract: In this study the long-run relationship between real oil price, real effective exchange rate and productivity differentials is examined using annual data for Nigeria over the period 1980 to 2010. We aim to investigate whether oil price fluctuations and productivity differentials affect the real effective exchange rate. The empirical results suggest that whereas real oil price exercise a significant positive effect on the real exchange rate in the long run. Productivity differentials exercise a significant negative influence on the real exchange rate. The study noted that, the real exchange rate appreciation of 2000-2010 was driven by oil prices. The findings of this study have important implications for exchange rate policy and are relevant to many developing economies where oil exports constitute a significant share of their exports.
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Abstract: This paper investigates the oil price – exchange rate nexus for Nigeria during the period 2007-2010 using daily data. The generalised autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity (GARCH) and exponential GARCH (EGARCH) models are employed to examine the impact of oil price changes on the nominal exchange rate .The outcome of this research indicates that a rise in oil prices leads to a depreciation of the Nigerian Naira vis-à-vis the US dollar over the study period.
Abstract: Key aspects in economic integrated areas like the EU are both the internationalization of productive activities, which usually occurs in unionized countries, and the ongoing process of labor market integration. In a symmetric two-country duopoly model with integrated product markets, this paper investigates the incentives for unions to coordinate wage demands in the presence of transaction costs. It shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, under certain conditions wage coordination could lead from a social point of view to a Pareto superior outcome respect to separate wage settings.