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WIFO Working Papers, 2017

Cornelius Hirsch, Harald Oberhofer, Bilateral Trade Agreements and Trade Distortions in Agricultural Markets?

WIFO Working Papers, 2017, (531), 26 Seiten
Agricultural support levels are at a crossroad with reduced distortions in OECD countries and increasing support for agricultural producers in emerging economies over the last decades. This paper studies the determinants of distortions in the agricultural markets by putting a specific focus on the role of trade policy. Applying different dynamic panel data estimators and explicitly accounting for potential endogeneity of trade policy agreements, we find that an increase in the number of bilateral free trade agreements exhibits significant short- and long-run distortion reducing effects. By contrast, WTO's Uruguay Agreement on Agriculture has not been able to systematically contribute to a reduction in agriculture trade distortions. From a policy point of view our findings thus point to a lack of effectiveness of multilateral trade negotiations.
Online seit: 22.02.2017 0:00

Test #2116

WIFO Working Papers, 2017

test #2323 b

WIFO Working Papers, 2017


WIFO Working Papers, 2017

Birgit Agnezy, Peter Holzer, Test #2104

WIFO Working Papers, 2017

Fritz Breuss, Would DSGE Models have predicted the Great Recession in Austria?

WIFO Working Papers, 2016, (530), 24 Seiten
DSGE (Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium) models are the common workhorse of modern macroeconomic theory. Whereas story-telling and policy analysis were in the forefront of applications since its inception, the forecasting perspective of DSGE models is only recently topical. In this study, we perform a post-mortem analysis of the predictive power of DSGE models in the case of Austria's recession in 2009. For this purpose, 8 DSGE models with different characteristics (small and large models, closed and open economy models, one and two-country models) were used. The initial hypothesis was that DSGE models are inferior in ex-ante forecasting a crisis. Surprisingly however, it turned out that not all but those models which implemented features of the causes of the global financial crisis (like financial frictions or interbank credit flows) could not only detect the turning point of the Austrian business cycle early in 2008 but they also succeeded in forecasting the following severe recession in 2009. In comparison, non-DSGE methods like the ex-ante forecast with the Global Economic (Macro) Model of Oxford Economics and WIFO's expert forecasts performed not better than DSGE models in the crisis.
Online seit: 08.11.2016 0:00

Jürgen Janger, Torben Schubert, Petra Andries, Christian Rammer, Machteld Hoskens, The EU 2020 Innovation Indicator. A Step Forward in Measuring Innovation Outputs and Outcomes?

WIFO Working Papers, 2016, (529), 40 Seiten
In October 2013, the European Commission presented a new indicator intended to capture innovation outputs and outcomes and thereby "support policy-makers in establishing new or reinforced actions to remove bottlenecks that prevent innovators from translating ideas into products and services that can be successful on the market". This paper aims to evaluate the usefulness of the new indicator against the background of the difficulties in measuring innovation outputs and outcomes. We develop a unique conceptual framework for measuring innovation outcomes that distinguishes structural change and structural upgrading as two key dimensions in both manufacturing and services. We conclude that the new indicator is biased towards a somewhat narrowly defined "high-tech" understanding of innovation outcomes. We illustrate our framework proposing a broader set of outcome indicators capturing also structural upgrading. We find that the results for the modified indicator differ substantially for a number of countries, with potentially wide-ranging consequences for innovation and industrial policies.
Online seit: 08.11.2016 0:00

Monika Köppl-Turyna, Hans Pitlik, Do Equalisation Payments Affect Subnational Borrowing? Evidence From Regression Discontinuity

WIFO Working Papers, 2016, (528), 36 Seiten
According to the fiscal federalism literature sub-central budget constraints become softer when local governments are more dependent on revenues over which they have no discretion. As a consequence of higher "transfer dependency", sub-central governments can expect to be bailed out by the central government and therefore tend to accumulate higher levels of debt. We test this conjecture with data from Austrian municipalities. Austria is a fiscally highly centralised federation in which tax autonomy at the sub-central level is almost absent. Our identification strategy is based on a discontinuity caused by a special regulation on population weights in the tax sharing agreement between central government and the municipalities. We analyse the discontinuity in the conditional expectation of borrowing given population size to unveil an average causal effect of the treatment. Our results indicate that in line with theoretical expectations municipalities with higher revenue dependency observe higher net borrowing per capita. We also find that almost one half of the observed discontinuity works through an investment channel. Net borrowing is spatially correlated.
Online seit: 27.10.2016 0:00

Klaus S. Friesenbichler, Inflation and Broadband Revisited. Evidence from an OECD Panel

WIFO Working Papers, 2016, (527), 15 Seiten
This note revisits the conjecture that the use of broadband internet lowers transaction costs and thereby inflation. Using a macroeconomic panel of OECD countries, it roughly confirms previous findings reported by Yi and Choi (2005) by addressing conceptual and econometric issues.
Online seit: 12.10.2016 0:00