Gebhard Kirchgässner

Gebhard Kirchgässner
University of St.Gallen · Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research

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620
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7,137
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Citations since 2017
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1674 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300
20172018201920202021202220230100200300

Publications

Publications (620)
Article
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As long as it is employed cautiously enough, the model approach is a useful tool to estimate simultaneously the size and the development of the shadow economy in several countries. However, a second method is necessary to calibrate the model. The currency demand approach can lead to highly implausible results; the size of the shadow economy might b...
Article
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This paper discusses several problems of direct popular decisions that are often overlooked in political and scientific debates. In the first part, we consider problems related to the functioning of direct democracy. As a political system, it only makes sense if there exists a continuous process and not if only occasional single questions are broug...
Article
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Paternalism is an attempt to influence individuals’ decisions for their own benefit, even if there are no third parties involved. This seems to contradict normative individualism, which provides the general orientation to our modern democracies. Soft or libertarian paternalism accepts the necessity of paternalism due to the existence of behavioural...
Article
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In response to recent negative publicity within and outside the economics profession, the Verein fur Socialpolitik instituted a Code of Ethics for its members in 2012. The Code is based on central three principles of transparency, objectivity, and fairness. This essay presents a rationalization of these principles and points to a number of practica...
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Das Jahresgutachten des Sachverständigenrates für Wirtschaft 2014/15 wurde von der Politik teils heftig kritisiert, weil wichtige politische Entscheidungen infrage gestellt wurden. In Hinblick auf die monierten Einzelfragen gibt es auch aus der Wissenschaft Kritik. Der Sachverständigenrat selbst sieht hingegen seinen Auftrag nicht darin, die Regier...
Chapter
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Traditional analyses of the process of scientific policy advice are rather naïve in that they assume that, in contrast to all other agents, policy advisors do not have own interests. The Political Economy of Policy Advice, on the other hand, assumes that the economic model of behaviour is applicable to all agents, including scientific advisors. It...
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First the assumption of self-interest as applied in Economics is presented. Here we also discuss areas in which (many) people behave less self- but more other-regarding than traditional economic models assume. Then, greedy behaviour is considered as existing in the political and economic ‘world’. Here we refer to corruption as well as to the role o...
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2009 wurde in Deutschland eine Schuldenbremse für den Bundeshaushalt ab 2016 und die Länderhaushalte ab 2020 beschlossen. Sie orientiert sich am Schweizer Modell. Allerdings haben die Bundesländer in Deutschland — anders als die Schweizer Kantone — keine Steuerautonomie. Da die Länder aber dringend Investitionen tätigen müssen, bezweifelt der Autor...
Chapter
Any path of positive, global climate taxes will, under realistic assumptions, reduce cumulative long-run emissions, that is, there is no very strong Green Paradox. A tax may, however, increase short-run emissions. The quantitative question whether initial increases or long-run reductions dominate the tax induced change of the relevant net present v...
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Whenever the economic model of behavior is to be applied, the utility function has—at least somewhat—to be specified. Buchanan generally prefers to apply a rather narrow version. However, he acknowledges that it is hardly possible to explain actual behavior of individuals with such a version, so in performing empirical economic research he accepts...
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Prinzipien der Wirtschaftsordnung können mit jeweils unterschiedlichen Gestaltungen von juristischen, sozialen, ökologischen und kulturellen Systemen kombiniert werden. Diese Wirtschaftsstile stehen in Konkurrenz zueinander. Allerdings gibt es innerhalb der Europäischen Union die Tendenz, Regeln zu vereinheitlichen und Automatismen in die Wirtschaf...
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In der Schweiz betreibt eine Initiative aktuell ganz konkret einen Volksentscheid mit dem Ziel, ein bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen einzuführen. In Deutschland wird das Konzept lebhaft diskutiert. Allerdings wird seine Wirkung auf Beschäftigung, Besteuerung, Einkommensverteilung und die Bereitstellung von staatlichen Leistungen ganz unterschiedlich...
Chapter
So far, we have only considered stationary time series. As a matter of fact, however, most economic time series are trending, like, for example, the GDP series investigated in Chapter 1. We tried to eliminate the trend by using first differences or growth rates. These filtered series can be investigated by employing the concepts that were developed...
Chapter
The previous chapter presented a statistical approach to analyse the relations between time series: starting with univariate models, we asked for relations that might exist between two time series. Subsequently, the approach was extended to situations with more than two time series. Such a procedure where models are developed bottom up to describe...
Chapter
All models discussed so far use the conditional expectation to describe the mean development of one or more time series. The optimal forecast, in the sense that the variance of the forecast errors will be minimised, is given by the conditional mean of the underlying model. Here, it is assumed that the residuals are not only uncorrelated but also ho...
Chapter
A time series is defined as a set of quantitative observations arranged in chronological order. We generally assume that time is a discrete variable. Time series have always been used in the field of econometrics. Already at the outset, JAN TINBERGEN (1939) constructed the first econometric model for the United States and thus started the scientifi...
Chapter
As mentioned in the introduction, the publication of the textbook by GEORGE E.P. BOX and GWILYM M. JENKINS in 1970 opened a new road to the analysis of economic time series. This chapter presents the Box-Jenkins Approach, its different models and their basic properties in a rather elementary and heuristic way. These models have become an indispensa...
Chapter
In the preceding chapter, we used stochastic trends to model nonstationary behaviour of time series, i.e. the variance of the data generating process increases over time, the series exhibits persistent behaviour and its first difference is stationary. For many economic time series, such a data generating process is a sufficient approximation, so th...
Article
In OECD countries, we have observed a considerable increase in public debt over recent decades caused by large and lasting deficits. What is the reason for this development and why is it rather different by country? There are two approaches to explain this. Traditional economic theory explains why it makes sense to allow deficits of public budgets...
Article
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In this paper, institutions are described which are designed to reach sustainability of public finances in the Swiss cantons. These are on the one hand direct popular rights, the fiscal referendum in particular, which allow citizens to express their fiscal preferences. These are on the other hand debt breaks, i.e. institutions, which prevent expend...
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This article contributes to the literature on stock market integration by developing and estimating a capital asset pricing model with segmentation effects in order to assess stock market segmentation and its effects on risk premia at the regional level. We show that the estimated degrees of segmentation vary from one region to anther and over time...
Article
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Die Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise kam unerwartet — auch für Wirtschaftswissenschaftler. Außer ihrer mangelnden Prognosefähigkeit wird ihnen seither vermehrt unterstellt, die Politik interessengeleitet zu beraten. Dass dies so ist, bestreitet der Autor nicht. Er sieht allerdings auch keine Möglichkeit, Objektivität zu erzwingen. Vielmehr lassen sich...
Article
Because economic theory alone does in many situations not provide unambiguous policy advice, most of the time empirical analyses are needed in addition. Thus, today econometric analyses are often parts of reports for political institutions or courts. However, it is not unusual that reports with contradicting evidence are presented by different grou...
Chapter
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Besides its high quality and high costs, the Swiss health system is mainly characterized by its federal structure. The cantons bear not only the strongest responsibilities, but also pay more than 80% of the public money going into the system. Thus, despite some more recent attempts to improve coordination, the system is rather fragmented. This frag...
Chapter
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First, the main features of Swiss fiscal federalism are presented. Then, debt breaks are described , in particular the one of the canton St. Gallen. They are efficient means to ensure sustainability of cantonal fiscal policies, without any need for interventions from the federal level. Next, the system of fiscal equalization is shown which is in ef...
Chapter
So far, we have only considered single stationary time series. We analysed their (linear) structure, estimated linear models and performed forecasts based on these models. However, the world does not consist of independent stochastic processes. Just the contrary: in accordance with general equilibrium theory, economists usually assume that everythi...
Chapter
In Chapter 4 we introduced an approach to analyse vectors of stationary time series, while Chapter 6 was devoted to the nonstationary case. With yth we denote the ith component at time t, t = 1, …, T. In typical time series applications the dimension of the vector is small (for instance equal to 3 in Examples 4.4. or 6.8), while the time dimension...
Article
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The introduction of voters' uncertainty alone is in no way sufficient to guarantee an equilibrium outcome of a voting process. What is needed in addition is the assumption that the voting probabilities depend strictly convex respectively concave of the utility losses caused by the proposed policies of the different parties. This assumption is, howe...
Article
Full-text available
Paternalism is an attempt to influence the decisions of individuals for their own benefit even if there are no third parties involved. This seems to be a contradiction to normative individualism which provides the general orientation of our modern democracies. Soft or libertarian paternalism accepts the necessity of paternalism due to the existence...
Article
Full-text available
In Switzerland, political concordance or direct popular rights and the resulting consociational democracy are often held responsible for delay or even cancellation of necessary political reforms. Switzerland is, however, not the only country with such a system, and direct democracy is just one out of several mechanisms fostering political concordan...
Article
I first discuss two aspects of a social order and cooperation which might be of high relevance: the problem of a spontaneous emerging of a social order, and the relation between exchange and cooperation. In doing so, I also discuss the role of production in separating areas of cooperation from those of competition. Second, I look more closely at th...
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Switzerland has experienced extensive institutional reforms at the local level that could influence local debt. These reforms have included municipal mergers, greater inter-communal cooperation, reformed political decision-making mechanisms, and the introduction of new public management measures. Many of these reforms originated at the cantonal lev...
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In 2007, the Wall Street Journal published an article claiming that each execution saves more than 70 lives. This example is used to show how easy it is, using simple or advanced econometric techniques, to produce results that do or do not support the deterrence hypothesis. Moreover, we also point to some puzzles which have not been satisfactorily...
Article
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First, the points of view of economists regarding falsificationism, scientific revolutions and scientific research programmes are discussed. Next, hardly debatable scientific progress regarding empirical economic research in recent decades is described. Then it is asked whether there have been scientific revolutions with respect to economic theory...
Article
After a short sketch of the history of modern business schools in the German speaking countries, their four major activity fields are considered: (i) academic teaching, (ii) scientific research, (iii) consulting and (iv) executive education. While teaching was traditionally dominant, research has gained more importance in recent decades, not only i...
Article
The increase of fuel extraction costs as well as of temperature will make it likely that in the medium-term future technological or political measures against global warming may be implemented. In assessments of a current climate policy the possibility of medium-term future developments like backstop technologies is largely neglected but can crucia...
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Under which conditions is moral justification of taxation possible? This question does not only interest philosophers and economists from a scientific point of view, but can have considerable practical relevance as well because the willingness of citizens to pay taxes may depend upon whether they consider taxation to be morally justified or not. We...
Article
In political economics, the impact of institutions on income redistribution is mainly studied by comparing different forms of representative democracy. In this article, we analyze the influence of direct democratic institutions on redistribution first focusing on welfare and nonwelfare spending using yearly panel data for Swiss cantons. Then, we es...
Article
I define and classify moral (or altruistic) behaviour and discuss the necessity of moral behaviour for the functioning of a market economic and a democratic political order. I also evaluate claims that moral behaviour is unnecessary. Moral behaviour can only be stable if certain conditions hold, including most importantly that moral requirements fo...
Article
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According to the Leviathan-Model, fiscal federalism is seen as a binding constraint on a revenue-maximizing government. The competitive pressure of fiscal federalism is supposed to reduce public sector size as compared to unitary states. However, empirical results concerning the Leviathan hypothesis are mixed. This study uses a state and local-leve...
Article
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In a recent paper in this journal, Mantzavinos (2010) discussed the relation between federalism and individual liberty. Federalism leads to greater diversity among political units. Between this diversity and individual liberty he presumed two relations. (a) Greater diversity enhances individual liberty insofar as it increases the choice set of the...
Article
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Taking into account the Swiss experience, this paper considers some aspects of the current reform discussion concerning the German health insurance system. The income dependence of effective premia, their size and their distributional consequences are discussed. The potential role of competition is also considered. It is shown that there are only g...
Article
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After some theoretical considerations, fiscal institutions called ‘debt brakes’ designed to prevent public deficit and debt from going off course, are discussed. We first present some models applied in some Swiss cantons, especially in the canton of St. Gallen, then the respective institution introduced in 2001 at the Swiss federal level, and final...
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The current debt crisis in many OECD countries calls for adequate strategies in budget consolidation. To regain fiscal solvency many governments base their fiscal adjustments at least partly on spending cuts. A common political claim is that spending cuts rely too much on investment thereby undermining future long-term growth perspectives. We study...
Article
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First, the institutions of direct democracy, referendum and initiative, are described. One of the main arguments against direct political rights is that citizens are often, or even generally, not enough informed or even incompetent to decide on important political issues. Therefore, the problem of acquiring and processing information is discussed,...
Article
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Using Swiss data from 1983 to 2008, this paper investigates whether growth rates of the different measures of the quantity of money and or excess money can be used to forecast inflation. After a preliminary data analysis, money demand relations are specified, estimated and tested. Then, employing error correction models, measures of excess money ar...
Article
http://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/Publikationen/71283
Article
Steuerwettbewerb gibt es international, zwischen den Ländern der Europäischen Union, aber auch zwischen deutschen Gemeinden. Ganz generell gilt, dass es Steuerwettbewerb immer dann gibt, wenn auf der gleichen Ebene angesiedelte Gebietskörperschaften das Recht haben, über ihre Steuern zumindest teilweise selbst zu entscheiden, seien dies nun souverä...
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Die Arbeit geht zunächst auf die Herausforderungen der Makroökonomischen Theorie durch die Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise ein, bevor die finanzpolitischen Möglichkeiten der Schweiz diskutiert werden, mit denen dieser Krise bzw. ihren Auswirkungen begegnet werden kann. Es zeigt sich, dass die Möglichkeiten hierzu stark begrenzt sind, da es sich (neben...
Article
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Up to now there was a general conviction that increasing unemployment and inflation have a negative impact on the government’s popularity. This was true for Germany as well, but it does not seem to hold any longer. This paper first reviews the results of earlier periods before presenting new results for the last part of the Kohl government after un...
Article
Is the economic and financial crisis also a crisis of Economics? From different perspectives, today there is rather harsh criticism of Economics as a Social Science. In this article, first, some of the recent failures of Economics are discussed. Then some of the criticisms are taken up that are less convincing, in particular criticisms of the appli...
Article
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In this paper we deal with two questions, (1) what are the origins of the current financial crisis, and (2) what did economists contribute, or why did economists fail to provide a convincing answer for the origins of the crisis, and possible solutions to overcome it? The economics profession apparently was unaware of the looming worldwide financial...
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In this paper it is asked whether it is meaningful to state a ‘right to work’ as a basic human right to be written down in the constitution, for example, whether working time should generally be reduced, and whether those who do not have (or find) a job should get a guaranteed minimal income. All three demands have to be rejected, at least in the r...
Article
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In comparing Switzerland and Germany, this paper discusses basic but potentially conflicting constitutional principles and the problems which can arise from such conflicts and which have to be handled by a constitution. We concentrate on three central areas: (i) the tension between democracy and the rule of law, (ii) direct versus (purely) represen...
Article
Full-text available
There is a basic tension between the principle of democracy and the rule of law. This becomes obvious whenever the Swiss citizens accept an initiative that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. First, we discuss the traditions behind these two principles before we survey the empirical papers about the relation between direct...
Article
Full-text available
In comparing Switzerland and Germany, this paper discusses basic but potentially conflicting constitutional principles and the problems which can arise from such conflicts and which have to be handled by a constitution. We concentrate on three central areas: (i) the tension between democracy and the rule of law, (ii) direct versus (purely) represen...
Article
Full-text available
There is a basic tension between the principle of democracy and the rule of law. This becomes obvious whenever the Swiss citizens accept an initiative that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. First, we discuss the traditions behind these two principles before we survey the empirical papers about the relation between direct...
Article
Der Gesundheitssektor wächst scheinbar unaufhaltsam, sowohl in absoluten Grössen als auch als Anteil am Bruttoinlandprodukt (BIP). Dies führt zu kontinuierlich ansteigenden Prämien in der Krankenversicherung. Nachdem dieser Anstieg in den vergangenen Jahren durch Auflösung von Reserven der Versicherungen künstlich niedrig gehalten werden konnte, st...
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Full-text available
After a short description of the economic model of behaviour it is shown that there are two reasons why problems arise if this model is applied to political processes and decisions. First, such decisions are often ‘low cost’, i.e. ‘wrong’ decisions have hardly any impact on the decision maker. Second, the behaviour of single individuals or small gr...
Article
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Many empirical studies are ambiguous about whether good formal institutions are conducive to subjective well-being or not. Possibly, this ambiguity is caused by cross-section models that do not account for unobserved cultural and institutional effects. Using the World Value Survey 1980-2005, this paper supports a positive relation in a country pane...

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