Institut für Höhere Studien - Institute for Advanced Studies

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    6105 research outputs found

    Evaluation of economic forecasts for Austria

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    In this paper, we evaluate macroeconomic forecasts for Austria and analyze the effects of external assumptions on forecast errors. We consider the growth rates of real GDP and the demand components as well as the inflation rate and the unemployment rate. The analyses are based on univariate measures like RMSE and Theil’s inequality coefficient and also on the Mahalanobis distance, a multivariate measure that takes the variances of and the correlations between the variables into account. We compare forecasts generated by the two leading Austrian economic research institutes, the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), and additionally consider the forecasts produced by the European Commission. The results indicate that there are no systematic differences between the forecasts of the two Austrian institutes, neither for the traditional measures nor for the Mahalanobis distance. Generally, forecasts become more accurate with a decreasing forecast horizon, as expected; they are unbiased for forecast horizons of less than a year considering traditional measures and for the shortest forecast horizon considering the Mahalanobis distance. Finally, we find that mistakes in external assumptions, in particular regarding EU GDP and the oil price, translate into forecast errors for GDP and inflation

    Information defaults in repeated public good provision

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    We present an experiment that models a repeated public good provision setting where the policy maker or manager does not have perfect control over information flows. Rather, information seeking can be affected by changing the information default as well as the price of information. The default is one either with or without information about others’ contributions, and having information comes with a positive, zero or negative financial incentive. When information comes without a financial incentive or even is financially beneficial, almost all subjects choose to have the information, but around a third have the information even when this is costly. Moreover, a default of not having information about the others’ contributions leads to a slower unravelling of cooperation, independent of the financial incentives of having information. This slower unravelling is explained by the beliefs about others’ contributions in these treatments. A secondary informational default effect appears to take place. When the default is no information, subjects do not seek information more often but, conditional on financial incentives, they tend to believe that more other subjects seek information

    A feminist economics view on racialized, gendered, and classed effects of the COVID-19 crisis

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    From a European middle class perspective, autumn 2020 is looking more and more apocalyptic. New lockdowns are once again bringing a creaking halt to our 'life-as-we-know-it': Curfews, no leisure shopping, no fitness studio, no holiday flights, no bars and restaurants, no parties, no cultural events. Instead there is again home office and private seclusion, more big disappointments and psychological hardship. Still, it is remarkable how not everyone is affected in the same way, and it is worthwhile to try out an intersectional standpoint (as is practiced in feminist theory and gender studies) to see the cracks that have become visible as the COVID-19 crisis “weakens the foundations of […] interlocking systems of inequality and provides an opportunity for us to imagine feminist alternatives to the prevailing order” (Tobias Neely 2020)

    Recovery of the Austrian economy following the COVID-19 crisis can take up to three years

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    The scenario analysis carried out using the IIASA simulation model for the Austrian economy concludes that it may take up to three years until the economy recovers from the shock caused by the shutdown measures and returns to the growth path it had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. For 2020, the model simulations predict a 4% fall in GDP for a shutdown until mid-May, which would be as high as 6% if the shutdown were to last until mid-June. In spite of strong recovery dynamics, with increases in the GDP growth rates around two percentage points above benchmark in the years 2021 and 2022, the GDP levels will remain below the pre-crisis trend within the scenario horizon, indicating lasting effects of the COVID-19 crisis in the medium-term

    The significance of empowering social relations: challenges for LGBTIQ students in Vienna.

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    Against the backdrop of a quantitative online survey of nearly 700 LGBTIQ youth in Vienna, Austria, on the living situations of LGBTIQs, this article contests the expectation of queer students necessarily experiencing mental or physical health problems based on minority stress. Even though the responses show substantial rates of bullying and violence in the education context as well as very high numbers of street harassment, especially for gender non-conforming young LGBTIQs, our findings suggests that positive experiences of peer, family or school support may play a largely ameliorative role in the relationship between minority stress and well-being. Against the common trope of the “young queer victim” our respondents seem happier than we expected them to be, which may largely be due to empowering environments and affirmative social relationships

    What constitutes expertise in research ethics and integrity?

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    In this paper we reflect on the looming question of what constitutes expertise in ethics. Based on an empirical program that involved qualitative and quantitative as well as participatory research elements we show that expertise in research ethics and integrity is based on experience in the assessment processes. We then connect traditional concepts of expertise as “improved performance” with deliberate practice activities and, based on our research findings, show that ethical assessment experience is a form of deliberate practice. This in our view has further ramifications in the design and recruitment processes of ethical assessment units performing research ethics and integrity assessment

    When does a disaster become a systemic event? Estimating indirect economic losses from natural disasters

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    Reliable estimates of indirect economic losses arising from natural disasters are currently out of scientific reach. To address this problem, we propose a novel approach that combines a probabilistic physical damage catastrophe model with a new generation of macroeconomic agent-based models (ABMs). The ABM moves beyond the state of the art by exploiting large data sets from detailed national accounts, census data, and business information, etc., to simulate interactions of millions of agents representing \backslashemph{each} natural person or legal entity in a national economy. The catastrophe model introduces a copula approach to assess flood losses, considering spatial dependencies of the flood hazard. These loss estimates are used in a damage scenario generator that provides input for the ABM, which then estimates indirect economic losses due to the event. For the first time, we are able to link environmental and economic processes in a computer simulation at this level of detail. We show that moderate disasters induce comparably small but positive short- to medium-term, and negative long-term economic impacts. Large-scale events, however, trigger a pronounced negative economic response immediately after the event and in the long term, while exhibiting a temporary short- to medium-term economic boost. We identify winners and losers in different economic sectors, including the fiscal consequences for the government. We quantify the critical disaster size beyond which the resilience of an economy to rebuild reaches its limits. Our results might be relevant for the management of the consequences of systemic events due to climate change and other disasters


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