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Transitions and Transformation

Abstract

Reorganization of the office-based emergency care system is currently on the political agenda in Germany. Analysing the present situation, the present study makes an empirical comparison between usage of the office-based emergency service and of the competing hospital outpatient departments in different localities, also examining the possible reasons for the differences.

Family doctor density was found to have a negative influence on the number of cases in hospital outpatient departments and a positive influence on the number of cases dealt with by the emergency service of the office-based physicians. Further, the number of hospitals in a county correlates positively with the cases in hospital outpatient departments.

Abstract

The rising debt-to-GDP ratios of the eurozone member states result not least from the coronavirus crisis. Without external support, especially with regard to Italy, but also for other Mediterranean states, access to the capital market could be seriously threatened in the medium run. The recovery fund ‘Next Generation EU’ likely directs the fundamental structures of the European Union (EU) towards a fiscal union with considerable transfer elements, while the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), which is declared as a monetary policy instrument, is even discussed as a violation of the prohibition of monetary financing. As an alternative, this contribution analyses a debt relief by the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), implemented via an EU debt agency. This construction would avoid a negative equity position of the central banks and also enable a legal integration into the EU system. The question remains: What would be the consequences of such a non-recurring step?

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Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical framework to discuss the positive role of imitative works where creators often have private information about their creative abilities and may need outside investment. Within this framework, we consider the impact of three types of copyright protection during the different stages: the production, distribution, and consumption of creative works. Different types of enforcement can discourage imitation (production-side enforcement), limit distribution (supply-side enforcement), and restrict consumption (demand-side enforcement) of unauthorized copies of creative works. The last two types of infringement are called end-user piracy since these involve end-users, who actively search and illegally access creative works. The main results show that substitutability exists between copyright protection against end-user piracy since both types of enforcement increase the creator’s incentive with a higher return. However, it cannot solve the inefficient investment problem due to information asymmetry. There exists complementarity between copyright protection against end-user piracy and imitation. When weak protection against end-user piracy yields the overproduction of creative works, a high level of protection against imitation can minimize the related inefficiencies. However, when end-user piracy enforcement increases and brings underproduction, imitative works can benefit society.

Abstract

A large literature has used patent data to measure knowledge spillovers across inventions but few papers have explicitly measured the impact of the collaboration networks formed by inventors on the quality of invention. This paper develops a method to measure the impact of collaboration networks of inventors on invention quality. We apply this methodology to the information and communication technology (ICT) and information security sectors in Israel and find that the quality of Israeli inventions are systematically linked to the structure of the collaborative network in these sectors. We are very grateful to the editor Lukasz Grzybowski and an anonymous referee for very helpful comments and suggestions that significantly improved the paper. We thank the Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel, Start-Up Nation Central, the U. S. National Science Foundation (SciSIP grants 1360165 and 1360170), and Portugal’s Foundation for Science and Technology for financial support of this research. Lee Branstetter’s work on this project was supported by the National Science Foundation and we thank Britta Glennon for excellent research assistance. We are also grateful to Tim Bresnahan, Eugene Kandel, Imke Reimers, and seminar/conference participants at the 19th CEPR IO conference, the 10th Paris conference on Digital Economics, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Hebrew University, Stanford University, Tel Aviv University, ad UC-Berkeley and for helpful comments and suggestions. © 2020 by Neil Gandal, Nadav Kunievsky, and Lee Branstetter. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including the © notice, is given to the source.

Abstract

The Riester pensions today face two main problems: First, life insurance industry in Germany faces the problem of inadequate solvency. Therefore, there is a need that we take the Riester pension not as a sole part of the life insurance sector and open it to the whole sector of financial services.

Second, the previous regulation of the Riester pension is causing problems. Particularly the guarantee forces mandatory retirement with a life insurance company and the requirement of capital preservation. Therefore we have to review these two guarantee aspects. It is also important to limit costs and to simplify the funding system.

The concept of the “Basisdepot-Vorsorge” solves these problems while it is based on promoting precisely those who want to save up for their retirement during their active career, no matter what kind of financial service is included in the accumulation or decumulation phase. To include all different financial service providers creates the needed economical competition to ensure better products for the Riester-Rente.

Abstract

The Riester pension was well thought out, but badly done. It is primarily the agents and insurance companies who benefit from Riester, while consumers hardly benefit at all – and if they do, it is only because of the generous state subsidy. The reform proposals to date do not eliminate the deficits, but are rather a restructuring plan for the supply side. However, private pension contracts should also pay off without subsidies. State-organised standard products in Sweden or Great Britain show how such efficiency can be achieved. The German “Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband” has made a suggestion in this respect, the “Extrarente”: a public body pools consumer demand and can thus cost-effectively organise their capital investment on a share scheme basis.