Discussion Papers

B5 - Weltwirtschaftliche Integration und die neue Firmenorganisation

SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No.


Markus Nagler, Marc Piopiunik, Martin R. West
Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness


How do alternative job opportunities affect teacher quality? We provide the first causal evidence on this question by exploiting business cycle conditions at career start as a source of exogenous variation in the outside options of potential teachers. Unlike prior research, we directly assess teacher quality with value-added measures of impacts on student test scores, using administrative data on 33,000 teachers in Florida public schools. Consistent with a Roy model of occupational choice, teachers entering the profession during recessions are significantly more effective in raising student test scores. Results are supported by placebo tests and not driven by differential attrition.


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SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No.


Iris Kesternich, Heiner Schumacher, Joachim Winter
Professional norms and physician behavior: homo oeconomicus or homo hippocraticus?


Physicians' treatment decisions determine the level of health care spending to a large extent. The analysis of physician agency describes how doctors trade off their own and their patients' benefits, with a third party (such as the collective of insured individuals or the taxpayers) bearing the costs. Professional norms are viewed as restraining physicians' self-interest and as introducing altruism towards the patient. We present a controlled experiment that analyzes the impact of professional norms on prospective physicians' trade-offs between her own profits, the patients' benefits, and the payers' expenses for medical care. We find that professional norms derived from the Hippocratic tradition shift weight to the patient in the physician's decisions while decreasing his self-interest and efficiency concerns.


Keywords: social preferences, allocation of medical resources, professional norms

JEL classification: A13, I19, C72, C91

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SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No.


Heiner Schumacher, Iris Kesternich, Michael Kosfeld, Joachim Winter
Us and Them: Distributional Preferences in Small and Large Groups


We analyze distributional preferences in games in which a decider chooses the provision of a good that benefits a receiver and creates costs for a group of payers. The average decider takes into account the welfare of all parties and has concerns for efficiency. However, she attaches similar weights to small and large groups so that she neglects large provision costs that are dispersed among many payers. This holds regardless of whether the decider benefits from the provision or not. A CES utility function which rationalizes average behavior implies altruism in bilateral situations and welfare-damaging actions when costs are  dispersed.


Keywords: Social Preferences, Distribution Games, Concentrated Benefits and

Dispersed Costs

JEL Classification: C91, D63, H00

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SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No.


Anna Gumpert, James R. Hines Jr., Monika Schnitzer
The use of tax havens in exemption regimes


This paper analyzes the tax haven investment behavior of multinational firms from a country that exempts foreign income from taxation. High foreign tax rates generally encourage firms to invest in tax havens, though significant costs of reallocating taxable income dampen these incentives. The behavior of German manufacturing firms from 2002-2008 is consistent with this prediction: at the mean, one percentage point higher foreign tax rates are associated with three percentage point greater likelihoods of owning tax haven affiliates. This contrasts with earlier evidence for U.S. firms subject to home country taxation, which are more likely to invest in tax havens if they face lower foreign tax rates. Foreign tax rates appear to be unrelated to tax haven investments of German firms in service industries, possibly reflecting the difficulty they face in reallocating taxable income.
Keywords: Tax Havens, Multinational Firms, Tax Avoidance, Profit Shifting, Manufacturing FDI, Service FDI
JEL classification: H87, F23

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SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No.


Katrin Peters, Monika Schnitzer
Trade liberalization and credit constraints: Why opening up may fail to promote convergence


Recent evidence suggests that despite opening up a country for trade, the productivity gap between developed and emerging economies often does not close. This paper examines credit constraints as one channel held responsible for hampering convergence. Specifically, we extend a Melitz and Ottaviano (2008) type trade model with variable mark-ups to allow for endogenous technology adoption. We consider a framework with two countries that potentially differ with respect to credit market development. Firms have the option to adopt a more efficient technology by paying some fixed cost. A fraction of the fixed technology adoption cost has to be financed externally: in a less developed credit market, the costs of external finance and thus the total costs of technology adoption are higher. A reduction in trade costs raises demand abroad (pro technology-adoption effect) but reduces demand at home because of import competition (anti technology-adoption effect). We find that trade liberalization increases economic performance, that is average productivity and technology adoption, in both countries but that the productivity gap widens. Simulations show that the welfare gap widens too. Opening up without sufficient access to external funding thus fails to promote convergence.
Keywords: Trade liberalization, Technology adoption, Financial constraints, Convergence, Productivity gap.
JEL classification: F1, O33, O16

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SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No.


Katharina Eck, Martina Engemann, Monika Schnitzer
How Trade Credits Foster International Trade


Internationally active firms rely intensively on trade credits even though they are considered particularly expensive. This phenomenon has been little explored so far. Our theoretical analysis shows that trade credits can alleviate financial constraints arising from asymmetric information because they serve as a quality signal and reduce the uncertainty related to international transactions. We use unique survey data on German enterprises to test the effect of the use of trade credits on firms' exporting and importing behavior, both at the extensive and intensive margins. Our results support the assertion that trade credits have a positive impact on firms' exporting and importing activities.
Keywords: trade credits, international trade, financial constraints, export, import, BEEPS
JEL classification: F10, G30

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SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No.


Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Monika Schnitzer
Financial constraints and innovation: Why poor countries don't catchup


We examine micro-level channels of how financial development can affect macroeconomic outcomes like the level of income and export intensity. We investigate theoretically and empirically how financial constraints affect a firm's innovation and export activities, using unique firm survey data which provides direct measures for innovations and firm-specific financial constraints. We find that financial constraints restraint heability of domestically owned firms to innovate and export and hence to catch up to the technological frontiers. This negative effect is amplified as financial constraints force export and innovation activities to become substitutes although they are generally natural complements.


Keywords: innovation, productivity, financial constraint, export, technology frontier, BEEPS

JEL Classification: O3, O16, F1, G3

June 2010


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