1998 – Wien

Jahrestagung des Industrieökonomischen Ausschusses, 9.–10. März 1998

Die Sitzung fand vom 9.-10.  März 1998 in Wien statt. Die lokale Organisation hatte Professor Clemenz übernommen. Es wurden folgende Referate gehalten:

I. Fusionen und Unternehmensspaltung

  • G. Lang und P. Welzel, "Mergers among German Cooperative Banks"

Based on an unbalanced panel of all Bavarian cooperative banks for the years of 1989-95 which includes information on 243 mergers, we analyze motives for and cost effects of small-scale mergers in German banking. Estimating a frontier cost function with a time-variable stochastic efficiency term we show that positive scale and scope effects from a merger arise only if the merged unit closes part of the former branch network. When we compare actual mergers to a simulation of hypothetical mergers, size effects of observed mergers turn out to be slightly more favorable than for all possible mergers. Banks taken over by others are less efficient than the average bank in the same size class, but exhibit on average the same efficiency as the acquiring firms. For the post-merger phase, our empirical results provide no evidence for efficiency gains from merging, but point instead to a leveling off of differences among the merging units.

  • R. Bühner, "Unternehmensspaltung"

In this paper it is argued that corporate divestitures are induced by organizational failures and market control. More specifically, divestitures through spin-offs and sell-offs can reduce transaction costs for non-specific investments as costs of innovation, costs of diversification, and costs of capital market control. In an ex-ante efficient way divestiture can be used as a means to control division managers by a threat of possible market control. In absence of a survey sample the case of AT&T is used to illustrate how several of these raised arguments fit into the structure of divesting large firms.

II. Unternehmensstrategie und Wettbewerbspolitik

  • H. Bester, "Informative Reklame"

Die Arbeit stellt ein einfaches Monopolmodell vor, indem der Verkäufer durch informative Reklame um Kunden wirbt. Der Informationsgehalt seiner Reklame betrifft entweder das Angebot eines (neuen) Produkts, den Verkaufspreis oder das Angebot eines Preisrabatts. In Abhängigkeit vom Informationsgehalt der Werbung wird die optimale Marketingstrategie des Monopolisten dargestellt. Ferner werden die Wohlfahrtseffekte informativer Reklame diskutiert.

  • Thusnelda Tivig, "Market Share, Cost-based Dumping and Anti-dumping Policy"

This paper studies the occurrence of dumping and the implications of anti-dumping duties in a deterministic price-setting two-period duopoly model for differentiated products. When current market shares matter for future demand, cost-based dumping can be profitable. Dumping thus arises as a form of investment in market shares. This might trigger the application of anti-dumping law. We further show that correctly anticipated duties do not necessarily hinder firms from selling below costs. However, the mere existence of anti-dumping law significantly changes the structure of the game, leading to higher first-period prices for both firms.

III. Organisationstheorie und Unternehmensbewertung

  • Thomas Gehrig, "Projektbewertung und Organisationsform"

In situations of imperfect testing and communication, as suggested by Sah and Stiglitz (AER, 1986), organizational forms can be identified with different rules of aggregating evaluations of individual screening units. In this paper, we discuss the relative merits of polyarchical organizations versus hierarchical organizations in evaluating cost-reducing R&D projects when individual units' decision thresholds are fully endogenous. Contrary to the results of Sah and Stiglitz, we find that the relative merit of an organizational form depends on the curvature of the screening functions of the individual evaluation units, rather than the pool of potential projects. We find that for certain parameters organizations would want to implement asymmetric decision rules across screening units. This allows us to derive sufficient conditions for a polyarchy to dominate a hierarchy. We also find conditions for which the cost curves associated with the two organizational forms cross each other. In this case the optimal organizational form will depend on product market conditions and on the "lumpiness" of cost-reducing R&D.

  • Klaus Ritzberger, "Underpricing of New Shares Issues"

Consider a general equilibrium model where some firm issues new shares. If investors' expectations on future equity prices are constant in their own shareholdings, any equilibrium on the primary market where new shares are sold must entail a share price which does not exceed the share price on the secondary market. In certain cases this may imply strict underpricing of the newly issued shares. If investors behave strategically, other pricing strategies may obtain in equilibrium.

IV. Technischer Fortschritt

  • Alfred Haid und J. Weigand, "R&D, Productivity Growth and Corporate Governance Structures"

The paper deals with the impact of ownership structure on R&D investment and productivity (growth) of German firms. Using a panel data set consisting of stock corporations and limited liability corporations R&D investment and productivity equations for the time period 1989 – 1993 are estimated. The empirical results imply that governance structures do make a difference. For the subgroup of owner-controlled firms there is some sensitivity of R&D to cash flow implying that liquidity constraints might be present, whereas with management-controlled firms no such effects could be observed. Concerning productivity growth, leverage coefficients proved to be insignificant for the subgroup of management-controlled firms suggesting that debt only plays a subordinate role in inducing productivity enhancing measures.

  • Dietmar Harhoff, F.M. Scherer und K. Vopel, "Exploring the Tail Distribution of Patented Innovation Values"

We explore the tail of patented invention value distributions by using value estimates obtained directly from patent holders. The paper focuses on those full-term German patents of the application year 1977 which were held by West German and U.S. residents. The most valuable patents in our data account for a large fraction of the cumulative value over all observations. Several tests are conducted to pin down more precisely the nature of the high-value tail distribution. Among the Pareto, Singh-Maddala and log normal distributions, the log normal appears to provide the best fit to our patented invention value data.

V. Ökonomie des Arbeitsmarkts

  • Christoph Schmidt, "Die industrielle Struktur der Arbeitsverdienste in Deutschland und den USA - eine Anwendung empirischer Methoden zur Messung von Effekten der Industriezugehörigkeit"

In this paper, the inter-industry wage structure in West Germany and USA is compared using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), the German Mikrozensus (MZ), the American Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the American Current Population Survey (CPS) from 1984 to 1996. Using a sample of prime age full-time employed males from the respective datasets, it is shown that the structure of wages has remained remarkably stable over this time period, and that the German structure resembles the American structure strongly. Cross-sectional and panel results are provided for both countries. Controlling for unobserved heterogeneity in the random effects panel estimations reduces the industry wage dispersion by about half. Thus, although the MZ and the CPS provide very large sample sizes, panel data sets (although typically smaller in sample size) are still very important in getting at the essence of the industry wage structure and the absolute level of industry wage dispersion. In calculating inter-industry wage differentials as deviations from a hypothetical employment-share weighted mean, we use the methodology as described in Haisken-DeNew and Schmidt (1997) of calculating exact differentials and their respective standard errors.

  • George Sheldon, "Unemployment Persisstence, Duration Dependence and Long-term Unemployment: A Markov Perspective"

This paper investigates the formal link between unemployment persistence, on the one hand, and negative dependence duration and long-term unemployment on the other. Although negative duration dependence (implying that the long-term unemployed exhibit a lower re-employment probability than the short-term jobless) frequently appears in the literature as an explanation for the persistently high levels of unemployment in Europe, a formal link has yet to be established. Modeling unemployment as an absorbing Markov chain, we demonstrate that unemployment persistence in fact does not imply negative duration dependence, nor vice versa. Unemployment persistence does however suggest a large share of long-term unemployed. As a result, the proportion of long-term unemployed will perform well in unemployment time-series regressions, whether negative duration pertains or not. Employing data for Switzerland, the paper reveals, in addition, that the degree of unemployment persistence is not a constant, as unvariate time-series analyses customarily assume, but rather a function of the general level of economic activity and the duration of unemployment insurance eligibility.