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Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

The Future of Driving in Developing Countries

July 17, 2014 Comments off

The Future of Driving in Developing Countries
Source: RAND Corporation

The level of automobility, defined as travel in personal vehicles, is often seen as a function of income: The higher a country’s per capita income, the greater the amount of driving. However, levels of automobility vary quite substantially between countries even at similar levels of economic development. This suggests that countries follow different mobility paths. The research detailed in this report sought to answer three questions: What are the factors besides economic development that affect automobility? What is their influence on automobility? What will happen to automobility in developing countries if they progress along similar paths as developed countries? To answer these questions, the authors developed a methodology to identify these factors, model their impact on developed countries, and forecast automobility (as defined by per capita vehicle-kilometers traveled [VKT]) in four developing countries. This methodology draws on quantitative analysis of historical automobility development in four country case studies (the United States, Australia, Germany, and Japan) that represent very different levels of per capita automobility, in combination with data derived from an expert-based qualitative approach. The authors used the latter to assess how these experiences may affect the future of automobility in the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. According to this analysis, automobility levels in the four BRIC countries will fall between those of the United States (which has the highest per capita VKT level of the four case studies) and Japan (which has the lowest). Brazil is forecasted to have the highest per capita VKT and India the lowest.

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National Funding of Road Infrastructure

July 10, 2014 Comments off

National Funding of Road Infrastructure
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report examines the funding of roads and highways in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England and Wales, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, and Sweden. It provides a description of the infrastructure in the jurisdiction, information on the ownership and responsibility of the roads, and taxes or other ways of collecting money to fund the nation’s infrastructure. If applicable, a discussion of reforms or new initiatives is examined.

A Work in Progress: Prospects for Upward Mobility Among New Immigrants in Germany

June 17, 2014 Comments off

A Work in Progress: Prospects for Upward Mobility Among New Immigrants in Germany
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Recent immigrants to Germany differ significantly from their earlier counterparts: newer arrivals tend to be more highly educated, and they increasingly come from Eastern European countries rather than Germany’s traditional sending countries like Turkey and former Soviet states. These new immigrants have entered the German labor market with varying degrees of success.

This report analyzes the labor market integration of newcomers to Germany, based on German Microcensus data. The report is part of a series of six case studies on labor market outcomes among immigrants to European Union countries.

German Jewish Émigrés and U.S. Invention

May 26, 2014 Comments off

German Jewish Émigrés and U.S. Invention (PDF)
Source: Cato Institute

Immigration policy has been the subject of heated debate in the United States. Much of the controversy surrounds low-skill immigration, but high-skill immigration policy is also contentious. One key claim in support of high-skill immigration is that it spurs innovation, but existing evidence is mixed (Hunt and Gauthier-Loiselle 2010, Kerr and Lincoln 2010, and Borjas and Doran 2012).

Our research provides new evidence on this question by examining the impact on innovation of German Jewish scientists who fled from Nazi Germany to the United States after 1932. Historical accounts suggest that these émigrés revolutionized U.S. innovation. In physics, for example, émigrés such as Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, Edward Teller, John von Neumann, and Hans Bethe formed the core of the Manhattan project that developed the atomic bomb. In chemistry, émigrés such as Otto Meyerhof (Nobel Prize 1922), Otto Stern (Nobel Prize 1943), Otto Loewi (Nobel Prize 1936), Max Bergmann, Carl Neuberg, and Kasimir Fajans “soon effected hardly less than a revolution. . . . Their work . . . almost immediately propelled the United States to world leadership in the chemistry of life” (Sachar 1992, p. 749).

Alternative accounts, however, suggest that émigrés’ contributions may have been limited due to administrative hurdles and antisemitism. Jewish scientists met with a “Kafkaesque gridlock of seeking affidavits from relatives in America [and] visas from less-than-friendly United States consuls” (Sachar 1992, p. 495). Once they were in the United States, a rising wave of antisemitism made it difficult for these scientists to find employment; in “the hungry 1930s, antisemitism was a fact of life among American universities as in other sectors of the U.S. economy” (Sachar 1992, p. 498).

Our paper presents a systematic empirical analysis of how German Jewish émigrés affected U.S. innovation. Taking advantage of the fact that patents are a good measure of innovation in chemistry, because chemical innovations are exceptionally suitable to patent protection (e.g., Cohen, Nelson, and Walsh 2002; Moser 2012), we focus on changes in chemical inventions. By comparison, the contributions of émigré physicists (including those who worked on the Manhattan Project) are difficult to capture empirically because they produced knowledge that was often classified and rarely patented.

Backgrounder: The Group of Seven (G7)

May 20, 2014 Comments off

Backgrounder: The Group of Seven (G7)
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies—France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and Canada—that meets annually to discuss issues of common interest like global economic governance, international security, and energy policy. Proponents say the forum’s small and relatively homogenous membership promotes collective decision-making, but critics note that it often lacks follow-through and that its membership excludes important emerging powers. Russia belonged to the forum from 1998 through 2014—then the Group of Eight (G8)—but the other members suspended their cooperation with Moscow after its annexation of Crimea in March of that year.

Economic Survey of Germany 2014 (overview)

May 15, 2014 Comments off

Economic Survey of Germany 2014
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The German economy has proven remarkably resilient in the face of recent crises. Unemployment has reached post-unification lows, reflecting ambitious reforms in the past decade and Germany’s status as a “safe haven”. The current account surplus remains large, although domestic demand has started contributing substantially to growth. However, Germany will face a number of challenges. Potential growth is estimated to fall on account of demographic changes over the next 20 years. The share of low-paying jobs has risen considerably. Public investment is low and government spending on key services to support inclusive growth, notably childcare, needs to rise further. On unchanged policies, targets for CO2 emission reductions will be missed. To address these issues, determined action is needed, building on the momentum of past reforms. Such action would also have positive international spillover effects on activity.

The German banks have weathered the euro area crisis well but potential risks arise from the low interest-rate environment and large derivative exposures. These potential risks are aggravated by high leverage of the country’s largest banks and persistent perceptions of government guarantees to banks. Lending growth has fallen in real terms in recent years, reflecting weak demand. In some respects, the government has moved ahead of many other OECD countries with reforms to reduce risks in the financial sector. Nonetheless, further steps to make the banks more robust would improve incentives for banks to take advantage of low interest rates to finance strong, sustainable economic growth. Such steps should include reducing high leverage, ambitious implementation of EU requirements for the reform of resolution legislation and addressing governance problems in the public banking sector.

The contribution of the services sector to value-added growth in Germany has been relatively small over the past 10 years. While export oriented manufacturing is exposed to international competition and responds with productivity-increasing innovation and human capital accumulation, service sector productivity is lagging. Competition often appears to be hindered by protection of incumbents. Reforming and deregulating the domestically oriented sectors, including network industries, crafts and professional services would release hidden growth potential and prove beneficial to the economy as a whole. It could also help strengthen domestic demand and make economic growth more balanced.

Full report available for purchase.

The Future of Immigrant Integration in Europe: Mainstreaming Approaches for Inclusion

March 28, 2014 Comments off

The Future of Immigrant Integration in Europe: Mainstreaming Approaches for Inclusion
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Immigrant integration policies that are designed for migrants to Europe, particularly newcomers, are important, but they can be insufficient over the long run to realize the full economic potential and societal participation of immigrants and citizens with an immigrant background.

For this reason, several European governments have increasingly turned to the strategy of “mainstreaming” integration—an effort to reach people with a migration background through needs-based social programming and policies that also target the general population—in order to address areas where traditional immigrant integration polices have fallen short.

This MPI Europe report assesses the degree to which four European countries—relative veterans regarding the reception and integration of immigrants—have mainstreamed integration priorities across general policy areas such as education, employment, and social cohesion. The report shows how approaches to mainstreaming in Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom reflect each country’s distinct ethnic profile, diversity, and social traditions. It also offers suggestions for future policy development.

Lessons from Abroad for the U.S. Entitlement Debate

March 27, 2014 Comments off

Lessons from Abroad for the U.S. Entitlement Debate
Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies

The unsustainable federal budget outlook will inevitably push entitlement reform to the forefront of the national policy debate. As America’s leaders consider reform options, they will have much to learn from the experience of other developed countries, several of which have recently enacted far-reaching overhauls of their state pension systems that greatly reduce the long-term fiscal burden of their aging populations. Lessons from Abroad for the U.S. Entitlement Debate places America’s aging challenge in international perspective, examines the most promising reform initiatives in nine other developed countries, and draws practical lessons for U.S. policymakers.

AU — The G20: a quick guide

March 26, 2014 Comments off

The G20: a quick guide
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

This is a quick guide to basic information about the G20, as well as links to useful summary resources. The G20 background section includes the G20’s history, its members, the hosting system and G20 meeting processes, as well as a brief discussion of selected policy areas. Material on Australia and the G20 includes Australia’s involvement in the G20, Australia’s G20 goals for 2014 and speeches and press releases on the G20. A short list of links provides access to more resources on the G20.

Topics in Migration Research (Mexico and Germany)

March 12, 2014 Comments off

Topics in Migration Research
Source: RAND Corporation

With respective emigrant and immigrant stocks that are among the largest in the world, Mexico and Germany are affected by migration like few other countries are. They also exemplify that migratory movements need not be permanent, but are also often less temporary than initially assumed. This dissertation explores topics related to the determinants and consequences of migration in these two countries.

Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014

February 27, 2014 Comments off

Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014
Source: Towers Watson

This is a study of the 13 largest pension markets in the world and accounts for more than 85% of global pension assets. The countries included are Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The study also analyses seven countries in greater depth by excluding the six smallest markets (Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong and South Africa).

The analysis includes:

  • Asset size, including growth statistics, comparison of asset size with GDP and liabilities
  • Asset allocation
  • Defined benefit and defined contribution share of pension assets
  • Public and private sector share of pension assets.

OECD Review of Fisheries: Country Statistics 2013

January 13, 2014 Comments off

OECD Review of Fisheries: Country Statistics 2013
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Fisheries (capture fisheries and aquaculture) supply the world each year with millions of tonnes of fish (including, notably, fish, molluscs and crustaceans). Fisheries as well as ancillary activities also provide livelihoods and income. The fishery sector contributes to development and growth in many countries, playing an important role for food security, poverty reduction, employment and trade.

This publication contains statistics on fisheries from 2005 to 2012. Data provided concern fishing fleet capacity, employment in fisheries, fish landings, aquaculture production, recreational fisheries, government financial transfers, and imports and exports of fish.

OECD countries covered

Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States

Non-member economies covered

Argentina, Chinese Taipei, Thailand

Sentencing and Prison Practices in Germany and the Netherlands: Implications for the United States

December 2, 2013 Comments off

Sentencing and Prison Practices in Germany and the Netherlands: Implications for the United States
Source: Vera Institute for Justice

Germany and the Netherlands have significantly lower incarceration rates than the United States and make much greater use of non-custodial penalties, particularly for nonviolent crimes. In addition, conditions and practices within correctional facilities in these countries—grounded in the principle of “normalization” whereby life in prison is to resemble as much as possible life in the community—also differ markedly from the U.S. In February 2013—as part of the European-American Prison Project funded by the California-based Prison Law Office and managed by Vera—delegations of corrections and justice system leaders from Colorado, Georgia, and Pennsylvania together visited Germany and the Netherlands to tour prison facilities, speak with corrections officials and researchers, and interact with inmates. Although variations in the definitions of crimes, specific punishments, and recidivism limit the availability of comparable justice statistics, this report describes the considerably different approaches to sentencing and corrections these leaders observed in Europe and the impact this exposure has had (and continues to have) on the policy debate and practices in their home states. It also explores some of the project’s practical implications for reform efforts throughout the United States to reduce incarceration and improve conditions of confinement while maintaining public safety.

Tweeting News Articles: Readership and News Sections in Europe and the Americas

October 15, 2013 Comments off

Tweeting News Articles: Readership and News Sections in Europe and the Americas
Source: Sage Open

In this article we investigate the impact of social media readership to the editorial profile of newspapers. We analyze tweets containing links to news articles from eight of the largest national newspapers in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, and Germany. The data collection follows the first two weeks of October 2012 and includes 2,842,699 tweets with links to news articles. Twitter-shortened links were resolved using a three-pass routine and assigned to 1 of the 21 newspaper sections. We found the concentration of links to news articles posted by top users to be lower than reported in the literature and the strategy of relaying headlines on Twitter via automatic news aggregators (feeds) to be inefficient. The results of this investigation show which sections of a newspaper are the most and least read by readers in different parts of the world, with German readers placing greater emphasis on Politics and Economy; Brazilians on Sports and Arts; Spaniards on Local and National news; Britons and Americans on Opinion and World news. We also found that German and Spanish readers are more likely to read multiple national newspapers, while British readers more often resort to foreign sources of news. The results confirm that feedback to news items from a large user base is pivotal for the replication of content and that newspapers and news items can be clustered according to the editorial profile and principles of newsworthiness inherited from legacy media. The results of this investigation shed light onto the networked architecture of journalism that increasingly depends on readership agency.

Tweeting News Articles: Readership and News Sections in Europe and the Americas

September 26, 2013 Comments off

Tweeting News Articles: Readership and News Sections in Europe and the Americas
Source: Sage Open

In this article we investigate the impact of social media readership to the editorial profile of newspapers. We analyze tweets containing links to news articles from eight of the largest national newspapers in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, and Germany. The data collection follows the first two weeks of October 2012 and includes 2,842,699 tweets with links to news articles. Twitter-shortened links were resolved using a three-pass routine and assigned to 1 of the 21 newspaper sections. We found the concentration of links to news articles posted by top users to be lower than reported in the literature and the strategy of relaying headlines on Twitter via automatic news aggregators (feeds) to be inefficient. The results of this investigation show which sections of a newspaper are the most and least read by readers in different parts of the world, with German readers placing greater emphasis on Politics and Economy; Brazilians on Sports and Arts; Spaniards on Local and National news; Britons and Americans on Opinion and World news. We also found that German and Spanish readers are more likely to read multiple national newspapers, while British readers more often resort to foreign sources of news. The results confirm that feedback to news items from a large user base is pivotal for the replication of content and that newspapers and news items can be clustered according to the editorial profile and principles of newsworthiness inherited from legacy media. The results of this investigation shed light onto the networked architecture of journalism that increasingly depends on readership agency.

Just Published: Law Library of Congress Report on Guest Worker Programs

September 17, 2013 Comments off

Just Published: Law Library of Congress Report on Guest Worker Programs
Source: Law Library of Congress

A report titled Guest Worker Programs was recently added to the list of reports posted on the Law Library of Congress website under “Current Legal Topics” where you can also find a range of other comparative law reports on various topics.

The Guest Worker Programs report is based on a study conducted by staff of the Global Legal Research Center (GLRC). The report describes programs for the admission and employment of guest workers in fourteen selected countries:

  • Australia,
  • Brazil,
  • Canada,
  • China,
  • Germany,
  • Israel,
  • Japan,
  • Mexico,
  • Norway,
  • the Russian Federation,
  • South Korea,
  • Spain,
  • the United Arab Emirates, and
  • the United Kingdom.

It also provides information on the European Union’s Proposal for a Directive on Seasonal Employment, the Association Agreement between the European Union and Turkey regarding migrants of Turkish origin, and the Multilateral Framework of the International Labour Organization on the admission of guest workers. The complete report is also available in PDF.

The report includes a comparative analysis and individual chapters on each country, the EU, and relevant international arrangements. It provides a general overview of a variety of immigration systems, and addresses issues such as eligibility criteria for the admission of guest workers and their families, guest workers’ recruitment and sponsorship, and visa requirements. The report further discusses the tying of temporary workers to their employers in some countries; the duration and the conditions that apply to switching employers; the terms, including the renewability, of guest workers’ visas; and the availability of a path to permanent status.

Shock from Graying: Is the Demographic Shift Weakening Monetary Policy Effectiveness

September 9, 2013 Comments off

Shock from Graying: Is the Demographic Shift Weakening Monetary Policy Effectiveness
Source: International Monetary Fund

Abstract Empirical evidence is mounting that, in advanced economies, changes in monetary policy have a more benign impact on the economy—given better anchored inflation expectations and inflation being less responsive to variation in unemployment—compared to the past. We examine another aspect that could explain this empirical finding, namely the demographic shift to an older society. The paper first clarifies potential transmission channels that could explain why monetary policy effectiveness may moderate in graying societies. It then uses Bayesian estimation techniques for the U.S., Canada, Japan, U.K., and Germany to confirm a weakening of monetary policy effectiveness over time with regards to unemployment and inflation. After proving the existence of a panel co-integration relationship between ageing and a weakening of monetary policy, the study uses dynamic panel OLS techniques to attribute this weakening of monetary policy effectiveness to demographic changes. The paper concludes with policy implications.

Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?

September 5, 2013 Comments off

Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Germany, like many OECD countries, faces a shift in the age composition of its population, and will face an even more drastic demographic change in the years ahead. From a theoretical point of view, decreasing cohort sizes may on the one hand reduce unemployment due to inverse cohort crowding or, on the other hand, increase unemployment if companies reduce jobs disproportionately. Consequently, the actual effect of cohort shrinkage on employment and unemployment is an empirical question.

Objective:
We quantitatively assess the relationship between (un)employment and cohort sizes.

Methods:
We analyze a long panel of population and labor-market data for Western German labor market regions. We isolate the direct, statistical effect of aging in a decomposition approach and estimate the overall effect by regression. In this context, we account for the likely endogeneity of cohort size due to migration of the young workforce across regions using lagged births as instrument.

Results:
The direct effect of the age composition of the labor force on unemployment is negligible. In contrast, the elasticities of unemployment and employment with regard to the labor-market entry cohort’s size are significantly positive or negative, respectively. The causal effect indicates an over-elastic reaction by unemployment.

Conclusions:
Our results provide good news for the Western German labor market: small entry cohorts are indeed likely to decrease the overall unemployment rate and thus to improve the situation of job seekers. Accordingly, we find the employment rate is positively affected by a decrease in the youth proportion.

Explaining High Health Care Spending in the United States: An International Comparison of Supply, Utilization, Prices, and Quality

June 3, 2013 Comments off

Explaining High Health Care Spending in the United States: An International Comparison of Supply, Utilization, Prices, and Quality
Source: Commonwealth Fund

This analysis uses data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other sources to compare health care spending, supply, utilization, prices, and quality in 13 industrialized countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The U.S. spends far more on health care than any other country. However this high spending cannot be attributed to higher income, an older population, or greater supply or utilization of hospitals and doctors. Instead, the findings suggest the higher spending is more likely due to higher prices and perhaps more readily accessible technology and greater obesity. Health care quality in the U.S. varies and is not notably superior to the far less expensive systems in the other study countries. Of the countries studied, Japan has the lowest health spending, which it achieves primarily through aggressive price regulation.

Mobility Regimes and Parental Wealth: The United States, Germany, and Sweden in Comparison

September 6, 2012 Comments off

Mobility Regimes and Parental Wealth: The United States, Germany, and Sweden in Comparison

Source: University of Michigan Populations Studies Center

We study the role of parental wealth for children’s educational and occupational outcomes across three types of welfare states and outline a theoretical model that assumes parental wealth to impact offspring’s attainment through two mechanisms, wealth’s purchasing function and its insurance function. We argue that welfare states can limit the purchasing function of wealth, for instance by providing free education and generous social benefits, yet none of the welfare states examined here provides a functional equivalent to the insurance against adverse outcomes afforded by parental wealth. Our empirical evidence of substantial associations between parental wealth and children’s educational success and social mobility in three nations that are marked by large institutional differences is in line with this interpretation and helps us re-examine and extend existing typologies of mobility regimes.

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