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Empirica – Journal of European Economics

Sponsored by the Austrian Economic Association and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research

Empirica publishes empirical and theoretical work on all economic aspects of European Integration. The topics may range from all challenges concerning the deepening of the European Union (Single Market, Lisbon Agenda, EMU) to enlargement and the external relations of the EU (globalisation).

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Recent issues (849 Treffer)

Empirica, 2018, 45(4), S.639-653,
This paper investigates the empirical relationship between military spending and economic growth in a large panel of advanced and developing countries over the period 1984–2014, with a particular focus on whether the growth impact of military expenditures varies with the type and level of security threats. Although there is extensive literature on the military-growth nexus, there is still no consensus on the nature and magnitude of this relationship. Using an expansive dataset and controlling for country-specific effects and potential endogeneity, we revisit this issue and reach two firm conclusions: First, military spending has no statistically significant direct (positive) effect on growth. Second, the nature and level of security threats do not alter the relationship between military spending and growth. Overall, the empirical results documented in the study suggest that military spending is simply not important or large enough in most countries to have a meaningful impact on growth.
This paper proposes a more comprehensive multidimensional poverty index for an advanced economy like Germany. Drawing on the capability approach as conceptual framework, I apply the Alkire-Foster method to the German context. Special attention is paid to the conceptual integration. Specifically, I argue for including material deprivation and employment as important dimensions, but against using an additional lack-of-income indicator. The results are consistent with previous findings and also offer new insights. In particular, I find specific poverty profiles (e.g., for the elderly), but also that gaps in poverty between subpopulations change over time. Importantly, the results suggest that genuine multidimensional measures add unique insights, which neither a single indicator, nor a dashboard approach can offer. Finally, the analysis reveals multidimensional and income-poverty measures to disagree on who is poor. The subsequent analysis of this mismatch lends empirical support to abandon a lack-of-income dimension.
This paper examines financial integration among stock markets in the Eurozone using the prices from each stock index. Monthly time series are constructed for four major stock indices for the period between 1998 and 2016. A fractional cointegrated vector autoregressive model is estimated at an international level. Our results show that there is a perfect and complete Euro financial integration. Considering the possible existence of structural breaks, this paper also examines the fractional cointegration within each regime, showing that Euro financial integration is very robust. However, in the financial and sovereign debt crisis regime, IBEX 35 appears to be the weak link in Euro financial integration, unless Euro financial integration recovers when this period ends.
It is well known that south-east Europe is the least developed area in Europe. Using a methodology based on the idea of heterogeneous firms, this paper studies the degree to which firm heterogeneity and resource misallocation can explain the lower TFP in south-east Europe. The results show a significant degree of heterogeneity and resource misallocation, although the results are sensitive to the calibration used. There is evidence that firm-level productivity depends on firm size, while taxation negatively influences it. There is also some evidence that foreign-owned firms are more competitive, as are exporting firms. Results are generally robust across the various specifications used, but less so relative to the measure of productivity used. Additional evidence suggests that infrastructure-related obstacles as well as institutional instability drive the output distortion, while no factor is underlined as a significant driver of capital distortions, suggesting the need for better data sources for the latter.
Tolga Dağlaroğlu, Baki Demirel, Syed F. Mahmud
Empirica, 2018, 45(4), S.747-763,
The advent of global financial crisis in 2008 unleashed volatile short-term capital flows to the emerging markets. This has forced many central banks in the developing world to adopt innovative policy measures to address concerns related to financial instability caused by the volatile nature of capital flows. In 2010 the Turkish Central Bank included financial stability in addition to price stability as one of the primary goals of its monetary policy. Several macro-prudential measures had been taken and "corridor system" of setting the short-term policy rates had been introduced. In this paper, we have estimated an extended Taylor rule, using error correction model, to examine the impact of global financial factors in impacting the setting up of the policy rate in the pre and post 2010 periods in Turkey. It has been found that in the post-2010 period, global financial factors and monetary policy stance of the core economy, USA, have become major factors in shaping up the monetary policy. Particularly our results of variance decomposition show that global financial indicators such as VIX and EMBI have taken prominence in the setting of the short-term policy rate. This has not only made the domestic monetary policy more dependent on external factors but has also made it pro-cyclical in nature.
Using a sample of 19 advanced countries from 1990 to 2014 and an Arellano – Bover-Blundell – Bond linear dynamic GMM estimator along with a bootstrap-based bias correction fixed effects estimator for dynamic panels, the paper examines the macroeconomic impact of collective bargaining structures in a context of varying intersectoral heterogeneity in productivity growth among the exposed and sheltered sectors of the economy. Results show a dampening impact of pattern and centralised bargaining structures on unemployment. However, strong domestic demand is a key precondition for such a favourable effect to materialise. Uncoordinated and centralised bargaining structures are the most efficient in terms of labour cost restraint while industry bargaining moderates labour cost growth as intersectoral productivity differentials widen.
Luis A. Gil-Alana, Marinko Škare
Empirica, 2018, 45(4), S.801-820,
The disconnection between productivity and workers' compensation after 1980 is a fact not only for the USA, Canada, Japan but also for Europe. The level of the decoupling between labour productivity and real hourly compensation is highest in the USA and Japan and lowest in Norway and Germany. This study investigates the great decoupling phenomena between 1950 and 2014 for eight economies with available time series data. The results should assist policy makers in developing efficient wage-setting mechanisms and help researchers in the field of wage moderation policy and the great decoupling. For this purpose we use fractional integration and cointegration techniques. Countries with stagnating minimum wages, rigid wage moderation policy and a high level of technological progress (strong total factor productivity growth) register higher wage stagnation in relation to labour productivity. Policy makers should be extremely careful when using wage moderation policy to improve a country's competitiveness and should monitor the wage stagnation behind labour productivity (great decoupling) since workers have been producing more but receiving significantly less since 1980. The great decoupling is more prominent today and it is constantly increasing not just in the USA and Japan but worldwide.
Sara Barcenilla-Visús, Carmen López-Pueyo
Empirica, 2018, 45(4), S.821-847,
This paper investigates the impact of human capital on the process of innovation and technology catch-up in European Union countries. Based on the framework proposed by Benhabib and Spiegel (in: Aghion and Durlauf (eds) Handbook of economic growth, 1A, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 2005), a panel data model is estimated from 1950 to 2011 using the improved total factor productivity and human capital variables included in PWT 8.0. Following Vandenbussche et al. (J Econ Growth 11(2):97-127, 2006) we also analyse the differential impact of skilled and unskilled human capital on growth. The empirical analysis applies instrumental variables panel data methods which resolve the endogeneity bias. Our results show robust evidence of the significant direct and indirect effects of human capital on the process of total factor productivity growth in euro area countries. When we analyse the impact of different kinds of human capital on different ways of increasing TFP we conclude that, regardless of academic level, the quantity of unskilled human capital boosts imitation in EU countries while, by contrast, highly qualified human capital is essential for growth through innovation.
Aftab et al. (Empirica 43:461-485, 2016) in this journal assessed the impact of exchange rate volatility on Malaysia-EU trade at commodity level using the linear ARDL approach of Pesaran et al. (J Appl Econom 16:289-326, 2001) and did not find significant effects in most of the 81 Malaysian exporting and 66 importing industries. In this paper, we argue for asymmetric effects of exchange rate volatility on the same industries' trades which implies using Shin et al.'s (Festschrift in Honor of Peter Schmidt, Springer, New York, 2014) non-linear ARDL approach. While we find short-run asymmetric effects of volatility in almost all industries, we find evidence of adjustment asymmetry in 17 exporting and nine importing industries. We also find significant impact or short-run cumulative asymmetry in 12 exporting and six importing industries. The most important finding is significant long-run asymmetric effects in 36 Malaysian exporting industries and 25 Malaysian importing industries. Clearly, trade flows react to an increased exchange rate volatility differently than to a decreased volatility.
This paper studies the role of regime shifts and time-varying volatilities in market integration in a Markov-switching volatility regime environment among the US, European and Asian developed securitised real estate markets. With a two-state volatility model, the study finds the co-dependence, co-movement and synchronisation of volatility regime at the high volatility state are stronger between the US and European securitised real estate markets. Although correlations among the markets are higher in a high volatility regime than in a low volatility regime, there is limited evidence of contagious effects during the high volatility periods between some markets. Moreover, the unsecuritised real estate markets are different from their securitised equivalent in the volatility regime characteristics, correlation pattern and level, as well as the extent of correlation change and contagion effect in high volatility state. Thus, the regime-switching results from stock markets may not be automatically extended to the corresponding public real estate markets, and require rigorous empirical scrutiny.
Managing Editor

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Fritz Breuss

Funktion: Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Forschungsbereiche: Makroökonomie und europäische Wirtschaftspolitik