Unequal partners : security and identity at the Polish-German border
- The sovereignty of the European nation states in the realm of security politics is gradually eroding. At the same time the European integration to a large degree influences the level of direct bilateral police cooperation, since cross-border crime has come to be perceived not as only a national, but as a common problem for the European nation states. At the German-Polish border, "Europe's Rio Grande", these high expectations concerning security policy are put into practice. With Poland's EU accession, Polish and German border guards are no longer spatially separated, but jointly control travellers. Joint patrols and contact points have already existed since 1998. On the one hand, the enforced meeting of German and Polish border policemen may help dismantle mutual prejudices. On the other hand, other cleavages may appear, based on cultural, systemic and institutional factors, which hinder the development of mutual trust and reinforce the asymmetrical relationship between the Schengen member Germany and the "junior partner" Poland.
Economic impact of the spread of alien species in Germany : research report 20186211
- The European Strategy on Invasive Alien Species T-PWS(2002) 8 mandates intensified research by member nations on invasive species. This research will not be restricted solely to the biology and remediation of invasive species, but will also evaluate their adverse health effects and economic impact. Previous studies of these issues have only been carried out in the Unites States of America, or in a limited, regional manner. Consequently, 20 plant and animal species from various problem areas (species which pose a threat to public health; losses to agriculture, fisheries, and forestry; damage to public roads and waterways; costs associated with the protection of native species threatened by non-native species as mandated by Recommendation 77 of the Bern Convention were assessed in Germany nation-wide. The accruing costs were sorted into 3 categories: a) direct economic losses, such as those caused by destructive pest species; b) ecological costs, in the form of extra care and protection of native taxa, biotopes, or ecosystems threatened by invasive species; c) costs of measures to combat invasive species. Because of the nature of available data, as well as the different biology and ecology of the invasive species, each had to be treated individually, and the associated costs vary greatly from species to species. Moreover, not all of the species investigated cause economic losses. Accordingly, a nuanced approach to alien species is essential. Cost assessment of losses deriving from ecological damage was only possible in a few cases. Ongoing, multi-year studies incorporating cost/benefit analysis will be necessary to resolve remaining issues.
Structural change in the German banking system?
Reinhard H. Schmidt
- This paper starts out by pointing out the challenges and weaknesses which the German banking systems faces according to the prevailing views among national and international observers. These challenges include a generalproblem of profitability and, possibly as its main reason, the strong role of public banks. These concerns raise the questions whether the facts support this assessment of a general profitability problem and whether there are reasons to expect a fundamental or structural transformation of the German banking system. The paper contains four sections. The first one presents the evidence concerning the profitability problem in a comparative, international perspective. The second section presents information about the so-called three-pillar system of German banking. What might be surprising in this context is that the group of pub lic banks is not only the largest segment of the German banking system, but that the primary savings banks also are its financially most successful part. The German banking system is highly fragmented. This fact suggests to discuss past, present and possible future consolidations in the banking system in the third section. The authors provide evidence to the effect that within- group consolidation has been going on at a rapid pace in the public and the cooperative banking groups in recent years and that this development has not yet come to an end, while within-group consolidation among the large private banks, consolidation across group boundaries at a national level and cross-border or international consolidation has so far only happened at a limited scale, and do not appear to gain momentum in the near future. In the last section, the authors develop their explanation for the fact that large-scale and cross border consolidation has so far not materialized to any great extent. Drawing on the concept of complementarity, they argue that it would be difficult to expect these kinds of mergers and acquisitions happening within a financial system which is itself surprisingly stable, or, as one cal also call it, resistant to change.
Initial public offerings and venture capital in Germany
- We present a survey on the role of initial public offerings (Epos) and venture capital (VC) in Germany after the Second World War. Between 1945 and 1983 IPOs hardly played a role at all and only a minor role thereafter. In addition, companies that chose an IPO were much older and larger than the average companies going public for the first time in the US or the UK. The level of IPO underpricing in Germany, in contrast, has not been fundamentally different from that in other countries. The picture for venture capital financing is not much different from that provided by IPOs in Germany. For a long time venture capital financing was hardly significant, particularly as a source of early stage financing. The unprecedented boom on the Neuer Markt between 1997 and 2000, when many small venture capital financed firms entered the market, provides a striking contrast to the preceding era. However, by US standards, the levels of both IPO and venture capital activities remained rather low even in this boom phase. The extent to which recent developments will have a lasting impact on the financing of German firms, the level of IPO activity, and venture capital financing, remains to be seen. At the time of writing, activity has come to a near stand still and the Neuer Markt has just been dissolved. The low number of IPOs and the fairly low volume of VC financing in Germany before the introduction of the Neuer Markt are a striking and much debated phenomenon. Understanding the reasons for these apparent peculiarities is vital to understanding the German financial system. The potential explanations that have been put forward range from differentces in mentality to legal and institutional impediments and the availability of alternative sources of financing. Moreover the recent literature discusses how interest groups may have benefited and influenced the situation. These groups include politicians, unions/workers, managers/controlling-owners of established firms as well as banks. Revised version forthcoming in "The German Financial System", edited by Jan P. Krahnen and Reinhard H. Schmidt, Oxford University Press.
The role of accounting in the German financial system
- This chapter analyzes the role of financial accounting in the German financial system. It starts from the common perception that German accounting is rather "uninformative". This characterization is appropriate from the perspective of an arm´s length or outside investor and when confined to the financial statements per se. But it is no longer accurate when a broader perspective is adopted. The German accounting system exhibits several arrangements that privately communicate information to insiders, notably the supervisory board. Due to these features, the key financing and contracting parties seem reasonably well informed. The same cannot be said about outside investors relying primarily on public disclosure. A descriptive analysis of the main elements of the Germany system and a survey of extant empirical accounting research generally support these arguments.
Why EMU is irrelevant for the German economy
- No one seems to be neutral about the effects of EMU on the German economy. Roughly speaking, there are two camps: those who see the euro as the advent of a newly open, large, and efficient regime which will lead to improvements in European and in particular in German competitiveness; those who see the euro as a weakening of the German commitment to price stability. From a broader macroeconomic perspective, however, it is clear that EMU is unlikely to cause directly any meaningful change either for the better in Standort Deutschland or for the worse in the German price stability. There is ample evidence that changes in monetary regimes (so long as non leaving hyperinflation) induce little changes in real economic structures such as labor or financial markets. Regional asymmetries of the sorts in the EU do not tend to translate into monetary differences. Most importantly, there is no good reason to believe that the ECB will behave any differently than the Bundesbank.
Taxes and the financial structure of German inward FDI
Alfons J. Weichenrieder
- The paper analyses the financial structure of German inward FDI. From a tax perspective, intra-company loans granted by the parent should be all the more strongly preferred over equity the lower the tax rate of the parent and the higher the tax rate of the German affiliate. From our study of a panel of more than 8,000 non-financial affiliates in Germany, we find only small effects of the tax rate of the foreign parent. However, our empirical results show that subsidiaries that on average are profitable react more strongly to changes in the German corporate tax rate than this is the case for less profitable firms. This gives support to the frequent concern that high German taxes are partly responsible for the high levels of intracompany loans. Taxation, however, does not fully explain the high levels of intra-company borrowing. Roughly 60% of the cross-border intra-company loans turn out to be held by firms that are running losses. JEL - Klassifikation H25 , F23 .
Industry-level wage bargaining : a partial rehabilitation - the German experience
Exit and voice revisited: the challenge of migrant media
- This paper discusses the implications of transnational media production and diasporic networks for the cultural politics of migrant minorities. How are fields of cultural politics transformed if Hirschmann’s famous options ‘exit’ and ‘voice’ are no longer constituting mutually exclusive responses to dissent within a nation-state, but modes of action that can combine and build upon each other in the context of migration and diasporic media activism? Two case studies are discussed in more detail, relating to Alevi amateur television production in Germany and to a Kurdish satellite television station that reaches out to a diaspora across Europe and the Middle East. Keywords: migrant media, transnationalism, Alevis, Kurds, Turkey, Germany
Deficiency of immunity to poliovirus type 3: a lurking danger?
Hans W. Doerr
- Background: Europe was certified to be polio-free in 2002 by the WHO. However, wild polioviruses remain endemic in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, occasionally causing polio outbreaks, as in Tajikistan in 2010. Therefore, effective surveillance measures and vaccination campaigns remain important. To determine the poliovirus immune status of a German study population, we retrospectively evaluated the seroprevalence of neutralizing antibodies (NA) to the poliovirus types 1, 2 and 3 (PV1, 2, 3) in serum samples collected from 1,632 patients admitted the University Hospital of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 2001, 2005 and 2010.
Methods: Testing was done by using a standardized microneutralization assay.
Results: Level of immunity to PV1 ranged between 84.2% (95%CI: 80.3-87.5), 90.4% (88.3-92.3) and 87.5% (85.4-88.8) in 2001, 2005 and 2010. For PV2, we found 90.8% (87.5-90.6), 91.3% (89.3-93.1) and 89.8% (88.7-90.9), in the same period. Seroprevalence to PV3 was 76.6% (72.2-80.6), 69.8% (66.6-72.8) and 72.9% (67.8-77.5) in 2001 and 2005 and 2010, respectively. In 2005 and 2010 significant lower levels of immunity to PV3 in comparison to PV1 and 2 were observed. Since 2001, immunity to PV3 is gradually, but not significantly decreasing.
Conclusion: Immunity to PV3 is insufficient in our cohort. Due to increasing globalization and worldwide tourism, the danger of polio-outbreaks is not averted - even not in developed countries, such as Germany. Therefore, vaccination remains necessary.