Research
Young firms | Minimum wage | KfW/ZEW Start-up Panel
Young companies are subject to additional bureaucratic burdens due to the statutory minimum wage.

The statutory minimum wage, which became binding in Germany on a national level in 2015, has proved to be a greater burden on young companies than previously expected. Besides the necessary wage adjustments, start-ups have also been struggling with additional bureaucratic requirements, such as time sheets and less flexibility regarding compensation schemes. As a result, young companies may suffer from negative effects. These are the findings of a survey among start-ups conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) within the framework of the Mannheim Start-up Panel.

M&A Index
M&A activity | Information technology | United States | M&A | M&A report
Plenty less fish in the sea: The IT sector recently saw a significant decline in global M&A particularly in the USA, the most important market for both IT giants and Internet start-ups.

In the past few years the IT sector saw a significant decline in global mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This trend is particularly pronounced in the USA, the most important market for both IT giants and Internet start-ups. This is the result of recent calculations by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) based on the Zephyr database of Bureau van Dijk.

M&A Index
M&A activity | ZEW-ZEPHYR M&A-Index | Takeover | Merger | Germany | M&A | M&A report
The twelve-month moving average reached a level of 96 index points in August 2016. A comparable reading was last seen in 2009.

According to the twelve-month moving average of the ZEW-ZEPHYR M&A Index, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with or by German businesses continue on the path to new highs. Besides a minor downward trend in 2015, the twelve-month average, which is based on the number of M&As, has grown continually since the beginning of the merger wave back in 2011. In August 2016, the twelve-month average reached a level of 96 index points, which is the highest value observed since 2009. These are the findings of a study carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) on the basis of the Zephyr database of Bureau van Dijk.

Research
U.S. presidential election | Political education | United States | Political Culture and Participation | Participation
Individuals which are less privileged in terms of family background and childhood experiences are practically excluded from certain forms of political participation in the USA.

While from a legal perspective, the US population does have several ways to get involved in politics, the opportunity to exercise these rights mostly depends on factors which are beyond individual control. Individuals which are less privileged in terms of family background and childhood experiences are practically excluded from certain forms of political participation, particularly when it comes to membership in political organisations, participation in rallies and marches, and the direct contact to officials. This is the result of a recent study carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), which for the first time analysed the equality of opportunity in political participation in the USA.

Comment
Information and communication | Employment | ICT | Employment growth

According to data released today by Eurostat, the European Statistical Office, the number of information and communication technologies (ICT) specialists in the EU rose by almost 1.5 million people in the period between 2011 and 2015. Germany, in particular, saw a significant increase. This development was also confirmed in the recently published Monitoring Report DIGITAL Economy 2016, in which Irene Bertschek, head of ZEW's Research Department "Information and Communication Technologies", was actively involved. With regard to the development of ICT specialists in Germany she finds that,

Information Economy
ZEW ICT Survey | Information Services | ZEW survey
The ZEW Economic Sentiment Indicator in the German Information Economy reaches a level of 68.9 points in the third quarter of 2016.

In the third quarter of 2016, the economic sentiment among companies in the German information economy remains positive. The corresponding ZEW Economic Sentiment Indicator, which had already closed at a high level in the previous quarter, continued its growth by climbing an extra 3.4 points, reaching a total of 68.9 points. This suggests that a vast majority of the companies evaluates the economic situation of the information economy positively. This is the result of a survey among companies in the German information economy, conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in September 2016.

China Economic Barometer
ZEW survey | Macroeconomic performance | China | ZEW-PwC Indicator of Economic Sentiment China

German managers in China are more optimistic again regarding the current economic situation in the world's second largest economy. Following negative evaluations in four consecutive quarters, China's economic situation is for the first time judged more positively again. According to the surveyed managers, the likelihood of an economic slowdown to occur within the coming twelve months remains relatively high. With 33 per cent, however, it is significantly lower than in the previous survey (53 per cent).

Research
Brexit | Foreign trade risk | Länderindex Familienunternehmen
Brexit carries risks for several European countries in terms of foreign trade.

The imminent departure of Great Britain from the European Union won't affect Germany in terms of foreign trade as much as it does other economies, such as Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands. This is the result of a preliminary analysis in the latest Country Index for Family Enterprises, carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, on behalf of the Foundation for Family Businesses. The index shows that the pharmaceutical industry is the German sector that will be most affected by Brexit due to its high dependency on export. Several branches of the transportation industry – including aerospace and railway construction – are also considered vulnerable since they are exposed to high import risks.

Research
ICT | Germany | Corporate performance | Internet | Digitisation
Positive trend in Germany\\\'s Internet economy continues. Nevertheless, Germany remains in the midrange.

The German Internet economy generated a turnover of more than EUR 111 billion in 2015, which corresponds to a 9 per cent increase compared to the previous year. On a global scale, Germany's Internet economy ranks fifth in terms of turnover per capita, remaining in the midrange alongside with Japan and France. In 2015, EUR 1,379 per capita was invested in Internet-based goods and services in Germany. The highest turnover per capita was recorded in the UK (EUR 2,585), followed by South Korea (EUR 2,389) and the USA (EUR 2,352). These are the findings of the Monitoring Report DIGITAL Economy 2016, conducted by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in collaboration with TNS Infratest, on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Research
Fiscal Transfer | State finances | Public Debt | Debt | Fiscal policy
Growing optimism regarding the federal government\\\'s ability to remain within the debt limits.

A vast majority of the members of the German state parliaments is optimistic that the German government will be able to meet the requirements of the debt brake, which entered into force this year. In addition, a great number of parliamentarians is confident that their home states will remain within the debt limits, which will be binding for all federal states as of 2020. When it comes to their predictions regarding the ability of other German states to reach a balanced budget, however, the MPs are not quite so optimistic. According to their estimations, only Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Saxony and Hesse will be able to meet the requirements. These are the findings of a survey among members of all 16 German state parliaments conducted by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), in collaboration with the University of Mannheim in 2015–16. Compared with the results from a first, similar survey carried out in 2011–12, this year’s results indicate a significant increase in optimism regarding the central level's ability to remain within the debt limit but, surprisingly, not with respect to the states.

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