WIFO Working Papers

Discussion papers by WIFO staff, consultants and guests – As of 2006 available online only – Free download

WIFO Working Papers are not peer reviewed and are not necessarily based on a coordinated position of WIFO. The authors were informed about the Guidelines for Good Scientific Practice of the Austrian Agency for Research Integrity (ÖAWI), in particular with regard to the documentation of all elements necessary for the replicability of the results.

SearchAdvanced search

Recent issues (689 hits)

The measures taken to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which at the same time severely restrict economic activity in many countries, have consequences not only on unemployment, trade, production, income and value added, but also on the environment. This analysis examines the effects on greenhouse gas emissions in Austria. For this purpose, a new, lean and very flexible model, ALICE, was developed, which quantifies the short to medium-term effects of changes in production and consumption with regard to output, value added and greenhouse gas emissions. In order to determine the consequences as precisely as possible, 74 economic activities and households are distinguished. The model results show not only the direct consequences, but also the consequences resulting from the interdependence of the economic system. The scenario presented here is based on the forecast published by WIFO in late June 2020, which forecasts a decline in gross domestic product by 7 percent in 2020. The sector-specific declines in value added and expected changes in household consumption behaviour are the input parameters for the model that calculates the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emission – as defined by the Austrian inventory – is estimated to decline by 9.9 percent. This decline is due to the change of economic activities. Factors that also affect the level of emissions, such as ambient temperatures, changes in land use and forest growth, are not considered here. Following the conventions of the greenhouse gas inventory, international aviation is not included in the calculation either. There are several uncertainties because the economy may suffer even more than expected in June 2020. The actual production of industries and the behaviour of households throughout the year, especially with regard to their travel activities, may unfold in a different manner than expected.
WIFO Working Papers, 2020, (604), 20 pages
Online since: 15.07.2020 0:00
Neither a gradually rising carbon tax nor emission trading schemes can ensure that the costs of emitting greenhouse gases, in particular CO2, will steadily rise faster than the general price level. If, e.g., global fossil energy prices decline faster than a carbon tax or the emission permit price rises, then the final good and its use become cheaper. Since the prices of fossil energy as well as CO2 emission permit prices belong to the most unstable prices in the global economy, carbon taxes and trading schemes cannot anchor the long-term expectation that the effective emission costs for firms and households will rise continuously. Such an expectation, however, is a prerequisite for steadily growing investment in energy efficiency and/or renewable energy because the profits from such investments consist of the saved fossil energy costs ("opportunity profits"). This paper presents an alternative approach: the EU sets a path of steadily rising prices of crude oil, coal and natural gas by skimming off the difference between the EU target price and the respective world market price through a monthly adjusted quantity tax. Instead of the prices of fossil raw materials, the (implicit) quantity tax should fluctuate. In this way, the uncertainty about future price developments of crude oil, coal and natural gas and, hence, of the effective emission costs would be eliminated. Firms and households could calculate the profitability of investments in avoiding carbon emissions. At the same time, such a tax would ensure a uniform European carbon price in all sectors, provided the initial level of the price paths of crude oil, coal and natural gas account for the different CO2 intensities of these types of fossil energy. Given the size of the EU import bill for fossil energy, the amount of potential receipts of such an implicit and flexible CO2 tax would be (very) huge.
WIFO Working Papers, 2020, (603), 23 pages
Online since: 25.06.2020 0:00
Austria's EU accession 25 years ago, alongside Finland and Sweden, was preceded by an extended period of convergence toward the EU: via the free trade agreement concluded with the EC in 1973, and the participation in the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1994. Although the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 seems to overshadow the overall positive balance of 25 years of EU membership, on average the real GDP growth dividend amounted to 0.8 percentage points per year since 1995. To check the robustness of this result, obtained with an integration macro model, a DSGE model for Austria is used here. Usually other methods are applied to estimate integration effects: trade gravity models, CGE models, macro models. Following in't Veld's (2019) approach with a DSGE model for the EU, we adapt an earlier version of the two-country DSGE model for Austria and the Euro area (Breuss and Rabitsch, 2009) to evaluate the benefits of Austria's EU membership. It turns out that grosso modo the macro results can be confirmed with the DSGE model.
We draw on trade theory to empirically explore the effects of value chain integration on producer price dynamics. Using the EU as an example of an integrated area, we construct measures of backward and forward linkages with intra- and extra-EU trading partners at the country-sector level. We find that especially upstream integration and EU-accession dampen inflation. The results for downstream integration indicate a price-increasing relationship. We propose novel EU integration indicators and offer insights to both theory and applied research. We also add to the policy debate on the price effects of (dis-)integration of EU countries.
Konjunkturerwartungen verbessern sich – Auftragslage bleibt schwach. Ergebnisse des WIFO-Konjunkturtests vom Juni 2020 (Economic Expectations Improve – Order Situation Remains Weak. Results of the WIFO Business Cycle Survey June 2020)
WIFO Business Cycle Survey, 2020, (6), 12 pages
Supported by: European Commission, DG Economic and Financial Affairs
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Online since: 29.06.2020 14:00
Die Stimmung der österreichischen Unternehmen war auch im Juni weiterhin skeptisch. Zwar stieg der WIFO-Konjunkturklimaindex (saisonbereinigt) um 7,6 Punkte, er lag jedoch mit –20,7 Punkten im Bereich jener Werte, die während der Finanzmarkt- und Wirtschaftskrise 2008/09 erreicht wurden. Die COVID-19-Krise hält die österreichische Wirtschaft weiter im Griff.
In 2005 the EU lowered the guaranteed minimum prices for crops in its Common Agricultural Policy and stopped market interventions. Consequently, prices started to fluctuate more intensively, and farmers' incomes are now subject to higher price volatility. A crop price insurance scheme could provide an interesting instrument to stabilise the income of European farmers. We analyse the premium level and capital requirement of a hypothetical insurance contract covering several combinations of minimum prices for a bundle of wheat, maize, and rape seed. The premium level is based on the Black option pricing model and a Bayesian autoregressive stochastic volatility model. Monte Carlo simulated forecasts provide estimates for expected variances and a profit-loss distribution for various combinations of minimum prices. The required solvency capital to keep the insurance business afloat at the 1 percent ruin probability creates capital costs exceeding the expected profit.
Auswirkungen des COVID-19-bedingten Konjunktureinbruchs auf die Emissionen von Treibhausgasen in Österreich. Ergebnisse einer ersten Einschätzung (Effects of the COVID-19-related Economic Slump on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Austria. Results of a First Assessment)
WIFO Working Papers, 2020, (600), 31 pages
Online since: 10.05.2020 0:00
In der vorliegenden Analyse werden die Auswirkungen der Maßnahmen zur Begrenzung der Ausbreitung von COVID-19 auf die Treibhausgasemissionen in Österreich untersucht. Dazu wurde ein neues Modell, ALICE, entwickelt, das die kurz- bis mittelfristigen Auswirkungen von Produktions- und Konsumänderungen im Hinblick auf Wertschöpfung und Emissionen quantifiziert. Die Ergebnisse zeigen die direkten Konsequenzen wie auch die Folgewirkungen aufgrund der Verflechtungen der Wirtschaft. Die hier vorgestellte Analyse orientiert sich an der vom WIFO im April 2020 veröffentlichten Prognose, die für 2020 einen Rückgang der realen Bruttowertschöpfung um 5¼% prognostiziert. Demgemäß ist in Österreich ein Rückgang der Treibhausgasemissionen entsprechend der Abgrenzung der Treibhausgasinventur im Jahr 2020 gegenüber 2019 um 7,1% zu erwarten. Ungewissheit über den tatsächlichen Rückgang der Emissionen besteht durch die endgültigen Produktionsauswirkungen und das Verhalten der Haushalte.
Konjunkturerwartungen weniger pessimistisch – Lagebeurteilungen tragen der Krise Rechnung. Ergebnisse des WIFO-Konjunkturtests vom Mai 2020 (Business Expectations Less Pessimistic – Economic Assessments Take the Crisis Into Account. Results of the WIFO Business Cycle Survey May 2020)
WIFO Business Cycle Survey, 2020, (5), 13 pages
Supported by: European Commission, DG Economic and Financial Affairs
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Online since: 28.05.2020 14:00
Die Stimmung unter den österreichischen Unternehmen bleibt nach dem historischen Einbruch des Vormonats auf Krisenniveau. Zwar stieg der WIFO-Konjunkturklimaindex (saisonbereinigt) um 4,4 Punkte, lag aber mit –27,8 Punkten im Bereich der historischen Tiefstwerte. Die Kreditnachfrage der Unternehmen nahm in den letzten drei Monaten deutlich zu. Die COVID-19-Krise hält die österreichische Wirtschaft im Griff.
Liquiditätsengpässe und Erwartungen bezüglich der Normalisierung. Ergebnisse der zweiten Sonderbefragung zur COVID-19-Krise im Rahmen des WIFO-Konjunkturtests vom Mai 2020 (Liquidity Constraints and Expectations Regarding Normalisation. Results of the Second Special Survey on the COVID-19 Crisis as Part of the WIFO-Konjunkturtest of May 2020)
WIFO-Konjunkturtest Sonderausgabe, 2020, (2), 15 pages
Supported by: European Commission, DG Economic and Financial Affairs
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Online since: 29.05.2020 0:00
Im WIFO-Konjunkturtest vom Mai wurden zum zweiten Mal Sonderfragen zu den Auswirkungen der COVID-19-Krise gestellt. Die Geschäftstätigkeit der meisten Unternehmen ist weiterhin negativ durch die Krise betroffen. Die Unternehmen erwarten im Durchschnitt erst nach 7,4 Monaten eine Normalisierung ihrer Geschäftslage, große Unternehmen sind dabei skeptischer als die kleineren Unternehmen. Rund 30% der Unternehmen geben an, dass ihre Liquiditätsreserven nur 4 Monate oder weniger ausreichen, sollte sich ihre Geschäftslage nicht verbessern. Die staatlichen Unterstützungsmaßnahmen werden überwiegend als hilfreich, aber nicht immer ausreichend beurteilt.
WIFO Working Papers, 2020, (599), 46 pages
Online since: 26.04.2020 0:00
The paper builds Distributional National Accounts (DINA) using household survey data. We present a transparent and reproducible methodology to construct DINA whenever administrative tax data are not available for research and apply it to various European countries. By doing so, we build synthetic microdata files which cover the entire distribution, include all income components individually aligned to national accounts, and preserve the detailed socioeconomic information available in the surveys. The methodology uses harmonised and publicly available data sources (SILC, HFCS) and provides highly comparable results. We discuss the methodological steps and their impact on the income distribution. In particular, we highlight the effects of imputations and the adjustment of the variables to national accounts totals. Furthermore, we compare different income concepts of both the DINA and EG-DNA approach of the OECD in a consistent way. Our results confirm that constructing DINA is crucial to get a better picture of the income distribution. Our methodology is well suited to build synthetic microdata files which can be used for policy evaluation like social impact analysis and microsimulation.