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Neelsen S.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research | Peters J.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
Energy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2011

This paper aims to shed light on the nexus of electricity, firm performance, and economic development in a dynamic rural area in Southern Uganda. Using quantitative firm-level data on 200 micro-enterprises complemented by qualitative case studies we find that modern energy increases the importance of electricity-using capital and alters the sectoral distribution of economic activities. By contrast, we find no evidence for an expansionary effect of electrification on firm profits or worker remuneration. In fact, many entrepreneurs consider the direct gain from connecting to the grid to be small. Qualitative information, however, suggests that a positive indirect impact of electrification on firm performance is induced by the overall expansive effect electrification has on local demand. The demand increase can be partly assigned to people moving into the electrified community from surrounding non-electrified areas. We conclude that if productive energy promotion policies are put in place they should address drawing up thorough business plans to enable local entrepreneurs to take informed connection and investment decisions. © 2010 International Energy Initiative.


Goetzke F.,University of Louisville | Rave T.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Transportation | Year: 2015

While happiness research in transportation is an emerging topic, this is the first study that uses the German SOEP 2003 data to study the role of peer effects in automobile access on self reported subjective well-being following the approach by Ferrer-i-Carbonell (2005). Defining peers based on age, education and location, we find that the peer’s average automobile availability has a statistically significant impact on quality of life, with stronger effects on persons without a vehicle than persons with vehicle access. Further results are that overall happiness can be locally increased with improving vehicle availability for people, however, that total happiness is maximized globally with a policy leading to nobody having access to an automobile. Finally, these results, which show that not having access to a car does not reduce well-being as long as the peers are in a similar situation, present some supporting evidence for the idea that automobile access can be seen as a “positional” externality and that the pathway for automobile access increasing happiness could be through the increased mobility options rather than through the actual activities made possible by the automobile. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Goetzke F.,University of Louisville | Rave T.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research
International Regional Science Review | Year: 2015

Previous research has analyzed the impact of air pollution on life satisfaction (“happiness”) based on both subjective perceptions of environmental quality and objectively measured pollution data. This article combines these two types of environmental data in life satisfaction regressions and investigates using an instrumental variable (IV)-ordered probit approach whether perceived air quality is endogenous with respect to happiness. We find combining German 2004 socioeconomic panel data with annual readings for sulfur dioxide (SO2), NOx, and PM10 by the Umweltbundesamt (UBA; German Environmental Protection Agency) for counties that people bothered by air pollution feel less happy but that simultaneously unhappy people feel more disturbed by air pollution. Controlling for this simultaneity in an IV-ordered probit approach reveals that perceived air pollution does not have a statistically significant effect on life satisfaction anymore. We also find econometric evidence that air pollution is fully capitalized in the housing market. © The Author(s) 2015.


Egger P.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research | Egger P.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Hahn F.R.,Austrian Institute of Economic Research
International Journal of Industrial Organization | Year: 2010

This paper is aimed at examining the actual performance effects of horizontal mergers among companies. The view taken in this paper holds that evaluating actual mergers' efficiency effects be similar in spirit to estimating causal treatment effects. By applying the matching framework we use a methodology that, given a rich enough dataset, is capable of resolving a twofold problem of empirical merger analysis: the missing data and the selection problem. A high-quality panel dataset of more than 800 Austrian universal banks covering the period from 1996 to 2002 allows us to estimate a logit selection model based on recent developments in dynamic merger analysis to explain the adoption of a merger strategy, and to apply various matching techniques to cope with the missing data and self-selection problem linked to the estimation of merger effects. The analysis provides evidence in favor of the view that horizontal mergers exert positive effects on bank performance, especially, in terms of improved cost performance. The findings also suggest that pre-merger effects are likely to occur in terms of lower costs immediately before the establishment of the merger. Finally, smaller banks involved in merger activities are more likely to enjoy cost-performance gains earlier than larger banks. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Goetzke F.,University of Louisville | Rave T.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research
International Regional Science Review | Year: 2013

This article investigates migration in postunification Germany, focusing on three particular issues: Do Germans migrate to improve their net wages or for higher levels of amenities? Is migration behavior in East Germany the same as for unified Germany? And finally, is there a difference between age groups in terms of migration? In addition, the authors will control for spatial dependence in the migration model. The authors show that Germany has both equilibrium model and disequilibrium model aspects. The authors also find that migration behavior depends on both different stages in the life cycle and the location. Younger people value amenities higher, while middle-aged people and East Germans prefer regions with low unemployment. Surprisingly, retirees do not have a preference for amenities unless they are from East Germany. © 2011 SAGE Publications.


Goetzke F.,University of Louisville | Rave T.,IFO Institute for Economic Research
Urban Studies | Year: 2011

This paper aims to account for important factors influencing bicycle use and focuses in particular on differences between 20 selected German municipalities with considerable variation in their bicycle mode share. Using data from the nation-wide survey Mobility in Germany 2002, a mode choice model for bicycling is developed. In an extension to previous research, social network or spillover effects as a measure of the city's bicycling culture are also taken into account. These effects are modelled using an instrumental variable approach. It is shown that social network effects increase the probability of cycling for shopping and recreational trip purposes, but not for school, work or errands. Furthermore, it is found that cycling infrastructure matters only for shopping and errand trips. Finally, commuting trips by bicycle seem to be largely independent of any policy variables. © 2011 Urban Studies Journal Limited.


Seiler C.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research | Wohlrabe K.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Journal of Informetrics | Year: 2012

In economics the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) network has become an essential source for the gathering and the spread of both existing and new economic research. Furthermore, it is currently the largest bibliometric database in economic sciences containing 33 different indicators for more than 30,000 economists. Based on this bibliographic information RePEc calculates well-known rankings for authors and academic institutions. We provide some cautionary remarks concerning the interpretation of some provided bibliometric measures in RePEc. Moreover, we show how individual and aggregated rankings can be biased due to the employed ranking methodology. In order to select key indicators describing and assessing research performance of scientist, we propose to apply principal component analysis in this data-rich environment. This approach allows us to assign weights to each indicator prior to aggregation. We illustrate the approach by providing a new overall ranking of economists based on RePEc data. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Meier V.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research | Werding M.,Ruhr University Bochum
Oxford Review of Economic Policy | Year: 2010

Over the next four decades, increasing old-age dependency ratios will exert an enormous upward pressure on welfare spending in most developed countries. As this is mainly due to existing unfunded public pension schemes, many countries have embarked on far-reaching reforms in this area, strengthening actuarial fairness, modifying indexation rules, adding elements of pre-funding, and, last but not least, attempting to extend the period of economic activity. Efforts to contain costs may also be relevant with regard to public expenditure on health and long-term care but, thus far, no country has started to really deal with these issues. Still, some countries have made substantial progress in securing the long-term sustainability of their welfare systems. What remains to be considered is re-constructing the system of intergenerational transactions as a potential way of removing disincentives to raise children and invest in their human capital in the long run. © The Authors 2011. Published by Oxford University Press.


Nam C.W.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Disaster Prevention and Management | Year: 2012

Purpose: A natural gas pipeline accident could prove to be a dangerous fire source in city centers. Taking the explosive danger caused by natural gas leakage as an example, the purpose of this paper, based on the box model, is to examine how such an environmental hazard can be hindered by the variation of building heights in the context of urban safety design and land-use decision making. Design/methodology/approach: The box model measures the concentration of pollutants within a defined box in which a mixture of pollutants with air and their transport by wind take place. A street surrounded by tall buildings in the city center is a good example for the application of such a model, and the building heights shape the box size and the mixing height. Under the consideration of atmospheric conditions this study identifies how the constellation of physical factors shaping the city-street box and its change affect the elapsed time to reach the lower explosive limit (LEL) and the upper explosive limit (UEL) of natural gas. Findings: Ceteris paribus higher building heights expand the time span between initial gas leakage and reaching LEL, in which appropriate safety measures should be taken before ignition, but more rapidly increases the elapsed time to reach UEL, making the time scope for potential explosive danger in the city center even larger. Originality/value: In the past, the aspect of preventing explosive dangers caused by natural gas leakage has been largely ignored in the building height regulations related to urban safety design and city center development. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Neelsen S.,Ifo Institute for Economic Research | Stratmann T.,George Mason University
Journal of Health Economics | Year: 2011

This paper examines the long run education and labor market effects from early-life exposure to the Greek 1941-1942 famine. Given the short duration of the famine, we can separately identify the famine effects for cohorts exposed in utero, during infancy and at 1 year of age. We find that adverse outcomes due to the famine are largest for infants. Further, in our regression analysis we exploit the fact that the famine was more severe in urban than in rural areas. Consistent with our prediction, we find that urban-born cohorts show larger negative impacts on educational outcomes than rural-born cohorts. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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