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:The Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK)

The Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) is an independent academic institute within the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, a non-profit organisation fostering co-determination and promoting research and academic study. The Foundation is linked to the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB). The IMK was founded in 2005 to strengthen the macroeconomic perspective both in economic research and in the economic policy debate. The IMK analyses business cycle developments and conducts economic policy research, notably on fiscal and monetary policy, labour markets, income distribution and financial markets. The Institute seeks to address the challenges facing macroeconomics and economic policy in the wake of the global financial crisis.

24th FMM Online Conference

The Corona Crisis: Macroeconomic Implications and Policies for Sustainable Recovery (28 till 30 October 2020). This year’s conference has been replaced by an online event.

Corona-Pandemie und Mitbestimmung
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Current Publications

IMK Policy Brief 95 : The German presidency of the council and the EU social dimension

On the 1st of July, Germany will take over the rotating EU-presidency. Besides the task of exiting the crisis caused by the pandemic as swiftly as possible, a number of important dossiers need to be pushed forward. They include the European Pillar of Social Rights, action on minimum wages and incomes, backing for national short-time working and unemployment schemes, and a larger EU budget with a stronger social component.

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IMK Policy Brief No. 92 : How to spend it

The Recovery Fund recently proposed by the EU Commission marks a sea-change in European integration. Yet it will not be enough to meet the challenges Europe faces. We propose a 10-year, €2 trillion investment programme focusing on public health, transport infrastructure and energy/decarbonisation. It would finance genuinely European projects so that the EU emerges stronger from the covid-19 crisis.

Allgemeine Titelgrafik für Veröffentlichungen des IMK

IMK Working Paper No. 205 : Missing growth measurement in Germany

A novel hypothesis (due to Aghion et al.) says that imputations for disappeared products distort the officially measured price index. Using the German establishment history panel (BHP) we use the dynamic market-share approach and find an average value of about 0.5 annual percentage points of missing real growth rates, which agrees surprisingly well with the seminal literature.

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IMK Study No. 66 : Why 60 and 3 percent?

The 3 and 60 percent deficit and debt caps came into the Maastricht Treaty 1992 by coincidence. There is no sound economic reasoning behind them. The Fiscal Compact (2011) has added a questionable rule for structural deficits and a problematic rule for the 7 high debt countries in the Euro area. More infrastructure investments, necessary for a Green New Deal, are restrained by the present fiscal rules.

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IMK Working Paper No. 201 : Death to the Cobb-Douglas production function

A meta analysis of the literature shows that the elasticity of substitution between labor and capital is much lower (0.3) than standard models with a Cobb-Douglas production function assume (1.0) after controlling for publication bias. Labor and capital are complements, not substitutes. This also implies that monetary policy and cuts to corporate income taxes are less expansionary than standard models would predict.

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IMK Working Paper No. 200 : Preferences over wealth

A lab experiment on consumption and saving decisions, conducted with students at the University Duisburg-Essen shows that the sluggish consumption response to the currently low interest environment may be explained by precautionary motives or other preferences over wealth, which make consumers save more than a standard model would imply.

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