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Further publications: Matthias Firgo (20 hits)

Zeitschrift für Sozialreform, 2022, 68, (2), pp.211-235,
Commissioned by: Oesterreichische Nationalbank
Projections show sharp increases in public spending on long-term care (LTC) services across Europe. However, a purely cost-based focus on LTC services is economically misleading. Private and public expenditure on LTC services directly and indirectly generates income in the form of salaries, taxes, and social security contributions. The aim of this paper is to quantify the economic impact and multipliers of LTC services for Austria. Based on an econometric regional Input-Output model for Austria, we estimate the direct, indirect, and induced effects of public and private expenditures on value added, employment, taxes, and social security contributions. According to our results, each euro spent on LTC services is associated with domestic value added of 1.70 €; 70 cents per euro spent flows into public budgets in the form of taxes and social security contributions. The economic multipliers of the LTC services are comparatively high due to the high share of wages and salaries in direct expenditure and the associated high direct value added. Public expenditure on professional care services should therefore not be regarded merely as a cost factor in the public budget. Rather, this rapidly growing economic sector is also an increasingly important economic factor in a time of ageing societies. While the model does not provide information on the causal economic effect of the LTC sector, the findings are still highly important for planners of LTC reforms, as they provide information on the total value added associated with LTC expenditures and on the total number of jobs that these expenditures sustain.
This paper is the first to study the effects of hosting Olympic Games on regional economic output beyond population dynamics. For identification, runners-up in the Olympic bidding process are used to construct the counterfactual for Olympic host regions. In the short run, hosting Summer Olympics boosts regional GDP per capita by about 3 to 4 percentage points relative to the national level in the year of the event and the year before. There is also evidence for positive long-run effects, but results on the latter are not statistically robust. In contrast, Winter Olympics do not have a positive impact on host regions. If anything, they lead to a temporal decline in regional GDP per capita in the years around the event.
Understanding the relationship between different modes of home care for the elderly and the determinants of mode choice is fundamental for an efficient care policy in ageing societies. However, empirical research on this issue has revealed that policy conclusions will depend on both national and methodological factors. Using data for Austria from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, the purpose of the present paper is twofold: First, at least to our knowledge, it is the first comprehensive assessment of this kind for Austria. Second, it adds to the literature explicitly focusing on the combined use of informal and formal care in addition to the exclusive use of these services based on an econometric framework accounting for the simultaneity and interdependence between these modes. Our results provide strong evidence for a task-specific and complementary relation of formal and informal home care in Austria, with the health status and functional limitations as the main determinants of home care choice.
Matthias Firgo, Peter Mayerhofer
in: Peter Bußjäger, Georg Keuschnigg, Christoph Schramek (Eds.), Raum neu denken. Von der Digitalisierung zur Dezentralisierung
Book chapters, contributions to collected volumes, New Academic Press, Wien, 2019, pp.31-54,
The empirical literature on mergers, market power and cooperation in differentiated markets has mainly focused on methods relying on output and/or panel data. In contrast to this literature we propose an approach to analyse cooperative behaviour among a group of firms only by making use of information on the spatial structure of a horizontally differentiated market. Using spatial econometrics techniques we focus on differences in the pricing behaviour between different groups of firms, i.e., alliance and stand-alone firms. We apply this method to the market for ski lift tickets using a unique data set on ticket prices and detailed resort-specific characteristics covering all ski resorts in Austria. We show that prices of ski resorts forming alliances are higher and increase with the size and towards the spatial center of an alliance. Interaction in pricing is higher within than outside alliances. All results are in line with the findings of theoretical models on non-competitive pricing behaviour in horizontally differentiated markets.
in: Public Open Space. Zur Zukunft öffentlich-rechtlicher Medien
Book chapters, contributions to collected volumes, Facultas, Wien, 2018, 3 pages, pp.279-282
in: Robert Huggins, Piers Thompson, Handbook of Regions and Competitiveness – Contemporary Theories and Perspectives on Economic Development
Book chapters, contributions to collected volumes, Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA, March 2017, pp.155-191,
Empirical results on the link between growth and diversity in (un)related industries proved to be highly dependent on the specific regional, temporal and econometric context. Using highly disaggregated employment data at the sub-regional level, we find that higher employment growth in Austria is mainly linked to unrelated variety. However, in-depth analyses by sectors and regional regimes illustrate substantial heterogeneity in the results, with services and a large number of relatively small non-urban regions driving the overall results. Thus, our findings argue against structural policy conclusions based on assessments neglecting the specific sectoral and regional context.
Matthias Firgo, Peter Mayerhofer
Wissensintensive Unternehmensdienste als Motor des Produktivitätswachstums? Eine theoretische und empirische Bestandsaufnahme (Knowledge intensive business services as an engine for productivity growth? A theoretical and empirical assessment)
Ausgangspunkt dieses Artikels ist die in der Literatur weit verbreitete Hypothese, wonach der Strukturwandel zu Dienstleistungen wegen vermeintlich geringerer Möglichkeiten zu Effizienzsteigerungen im Tertiärbereich mit negativen Effekten auf die gesamtwirtschaftliche Produktivitäts- und Wachstumsentwicklung verbunden sei. Nach unseren Ergebnissen kann diese Hypothese zumindest für die NUTS-2-Regionen Österreichs bzw. der EU 27 und die untersuchte Zeitperiode (1991/2012) verworfen werden: einerseits weil die Tertiärisierung in den letzten Jahrzehnten vorrangig durch das Wachstum wissensintensiver Unternehmensdienstleistungen (knowledge intensive business services, KIBS) getrieben war und diese Dienste in weiten Teilen selbst hoch produktiv sind, vor allem aber zeigt unsere Evidenz eindeutig positive (direkte und indirekte) Gesamteffekte auf die regionale Produktivität, welche von KIBS wegen ihrer besonderen Rolle in Wissens-Spillovers auf die Effizienzentwicklung in anderen Wirtschaftsbereichen ausgehen. Damit sprechen unsere Ergebnisse für eine Wirtschaftspolitik, welche den fortschreitenden Wandel zum Dienstleistungsbereich als Bestandteil moderner Wirtschaftsentwicklung begreift und das Potential von KIBS als Treiber von Wissens-Spillovers und Produktivitätsdynamik verstärkt nutzt. Der Artikel schließt daher mit Überlegungen zu sinnvollen förderpolitischen Ansatzpunkten zur Entwicklung wissensintensiver Unternehmensdienste bei knappen finanziellen Ressourcen.