Westphalian Institute for Economic Research

Bad Essen, Germany

Westphalian Institute for Economic Research

Bad Essen, Germany

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Frondel M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Frondel M.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

Estimating the degree of substitution between energy and non-energy inputs is the key for any evaluation of environmental and energy policies. Yet, given the variety of substitution elasticities, the central question arises as to which measure would be most appropriate. Apparently, Allen's elasticities of substitution have been the most-used measures in applied production analysis. In line with Frondel (2004), this paper argues that cross-price elasticities are preferable for many practical purposes. This conclusion is based on a survey of classical substitution measures, such as those from Allen, Morishima, and McFadden. The survey highlights the fact that cross-price elasticities are their essential ingredients. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Grosche P.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research | Schroder C.,German Institute for Economic Research
Energy Economics | Year: 2011

With its commitment to double the share of renewable fuels in electricity generation to at least 30% by 2020, the German government has embarked on a potentially costly policy course whose public support remains an open empirical question. Building on household survey data, in this paper we assess people's willingness-to-pay (WTP) for various fuel mixes in electricity generation, and capture preference heterogeneity among respondents using random parameter techniques. Based on our estimates, we trace out the locus that links the premia charged for specific electricity mixes with the fraction of people supporting the policy. Albeit people's WTP for a certain fuel mix in electricity generation is positively correlated to the renewable fuel share, our results imply that the current surcharge effectively exhausts the financial scope for subsidizing renewable fuels. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Stiebale J.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research | Reize F.,KfW Bankengruppe
International Journal of Industrial Organization | Year: 2011

This paper analyzes the effects of cross-border mergers and acquisitions on innovation activities in target firms. The empirical analysis is based on survey and ownership data for a large sample of small- and medium-sized German firms. After controlling for endogeneity and selection bias, we find that foreign acquisitions have a large negative impact on the propensity to perform innovation activities and a negative impact on average R&D expenditures in innovative firms. Furthermore, innovation output, measured as product and process innovations, and the share of sales from product innovations, is not significantly affected by a foreign acquisition for a given amount of innovation efforts. Hence, the estimation results do not provide any evidence of significant technology transfer through foreign acquisitions in form of a higher innovation success. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Felder S.,University of Basel | Tauchmann H.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
European Journal of Health Economics | Year: 2013

Due to regional competition and patient migration, the efficiency of healthcare provision at the regional level is subject to spatial dependence. We address this issue by applying a spatial autoregressive model to longitudinal data from Germany at the district ('Kreis') level. The empirical model is specified to explain efficiency scores, which we derive through non-parametric order-m efficiency analysis of regional health production. The focus is on the role of health policy of federal states ('Bundesländer') for district efficiency. Regression results reveal significant spatial spillover effects. Notably, accounting for spatial dependence does not decrease but increases the estimated effect of federal states on district efficiency. It appears that genuinely more efficient states are less affected by positive efficiency spillovers, so that taking into account spatial dependence clarifies the importance of health policy at the state level. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Frondel M.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research | Vance C.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
Energy Economics | Year: 2010

Focusing on individual motorists in car-owning households in Germany, this paper investigates the determinants of automobile travel, with the specific aim of quantifying the effects of fuel prices and person-level attributes on travel conducted over a five-day week and weekend. Our analysis is predicated on the notion that car use is an individual decision, albeit one that is dependent on intra-household allocation processes, thereby building on a growing body of literature that has identified the importance of socioeconomic factors such as employment status, gender, and the presence of children in determining both access to and use of the car. To capture this two-stage decision process, we employ the two-part model, which consists of probit and OLS estimators, and derive elasticity estimates that incorporate both the discrete and continuous choices pertaining to car use. With fuel price elasticity estimates ranging between - 0.45 and - 0.50, our results suggest raising prices via fuel taxes to be a promising energy conservation and climate protection measure. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Grosche P.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
Energy Policy | Year: 2010

Adequate housing and affordable warmth are essential human needs, the lack of which may seriously harm people's health. Germany provides an allowance to low-income households, covering the housing as well as the space heating cost, to protect people from the consequences of poor housing conditions and fuel poverty. In order to limit public expenditures, payment recipients are required to choose low-cost dwellings, with the consequence that they probably occupy flats with a poor thermal performance. Recipients might therefore exhibit a lower per-square meter rent but in turn are likely to have a higher energy consumption and energy expenditures. Using a large data set of German households, this paper demonstrates that this financially counteracting effect is of negligible magnitude. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Vosen S.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research | Schmidt T.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
Journal of Forecasting | Year: 2011

In this study we introduce a new indicator for private consumption based on search query time series provided by Google Trends. The indicator is based on factors extracted from consumption-related search categories of the Google Trends application Insights for Search. The forecasting performance of the new indicator is assessed relative to the two most common survey-based indicators: the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index. The results show that in almost all conducted in-sample and out-of-sample forecasting experiments the Google indicator outperforms the survey-based indicators. This suggests that incorporating information from Google Trends may offer significant benefits to forecasters of private consumption. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Bensch G.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research | Peters J.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
Land Economics | Year: 2013

With 2.7 billion people relying on woodfuel for cooking in developing countries, the dissemination of improved cooking stoves (ICSs) is frequently considered an effective instrument to combat deforestation, particularly in arid countries. This paper evaluates the impacts of an ICS dissemination project in urban Senegal on charcoal consumption, using data collected among 624 households. The virtue of our data is that it allows for rigorously estimating charcoal savings by accounting for both household characteristics and meal-specific cooking patterns. We find average savings of 25% per dish. In total, the intervention reduces Senegalese charcoal consumption by around 1%. (JEL Q41, Q56). © 2013 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.


Procher V.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
Annals of Regional Science | Year: 2011

This paper analyses the location choice determinants of French first-time investments in Europe, North America and North Africa. Firm locations are examined on two geographical scales, the national and regional level. The final sample comprises 307 location choices in 27 countries and across 45 regions. Both, location- and firm-specific variables are used for analyzing investment strategies. The results show that higher market demand and cultural proximity to France increase the likelihood of a particular location to be chosen, whereas higher labour cost and a larger distance between a foreign location and the headquarters deter FDI investments. Manufacturing and older companies are more likely to establish their first subsidiary in Eastern Europe. Furthermore, this study examines the extent to which French investors choose foreign locations that already host a significant number of French firms. The results obtained from regressions with various absolute and relative agglomeration measures suggest that French investors are rather attracted by firm cluster in general, or by the unobserved factors that led to the agglomeration in the first place, than by any nation-specific firm cluster. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.


Objectives: This paper analyses on the basis of data from over 2 400 nursing homes the relationship between remuneration rates and quality for Germany. Other factors influencing this relationship are taken into account. Data and Methods: Data about nursing homes are taken from the nursing home data base PAULA, which includes about 11 500 nursing homes. Data about quality of care in nursing homes are derived from the so-called transparency reports for residential long-term care (PVTS). In a linear regression framework the different quality measures are regressed on the average nursing home price. Control variables are inter alia ownership, size and location of the nursing homes. Results: The analyses show a statistically significant positive correlation between remuneration rates and quality. Better quality is reflected in higher remuneration rates. Conclusions: The results show a significant, but in actual size low relationship between quality and remunerations rates. The results cannot be interpreted as a causal relationship. Additionally, it is not possible to explain differences in nursing home prices over federal states with differences in quality. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart, New York.

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