effective average tax burden | Tax competition | Corporate taxation | United States | U.S. presidential election
Donald Trump\'s plans to reform the US corporate tax system are less radical than previously expected.

Donald Trump's plans to reform the corporate tax system in the United States are less radical than previously expected. If the president-elect implements the tax reform plans he put forward during his 2016 presidential campaign, the effective tax burden for US businesses would merely fall to the average European level. This may not only prevent US businesses from engaging in aggressive tax evasion; Trump's tax reform might also have significant implications for global tax competition. These are the findings of a recent analysis by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim.

Price competition | Competition | Hotel industry | Online services
Best price clauses on restrict hotels in their pricing decisions.

In December 2015, the Federal Cartel Office prohibited the online booking portal from imposing its best price clause. Against this background, researchers from the Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in collaboration with external researchers have investigated the impact of best price clauses on the use of different sales channels and on pricing decisions of hotels. The study has shown that in many cases, hotels do not comply with agreed best price clauses. Instead, they set a lower price on their direct channel than on large online travel agents where they also offer rooms. The study has also found evidence that this might be occurring more frequently since the prohibition of’s best price clause came into effect. In addition, since the Federal Cartel Office prohibited from using this clause, the researchers have observed an increase in hotel room offers via direct channels where prices tend to be lower. At the same time, there has been an increase in hotel room offers on as well.

M&A Index
M&A | Takeover | Merger | ZEW-ZEPHYR M&A-Index | M&A activity
In 2016, the ZEW-ZEPHYR M&A Index recorded its highest ever value since recording began.

The outgoing year of 2016 has surpassed 2015 in terms of mega deals in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) worldwide. The ZEW-ZEPHYR M&A Volume-per-Deal Index has been climbing to ever greater heights, with the year 2016 surpassing the previous record high of 106 points in March 2016 a further four times and ultimately peaking at 113 points in October 2016 – by far the highest index value since records began. These are the findings of studies carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, on the basis of the Zephyr database of Bureau van Dijk.

European Union | Export Sector | Export intermediaries | United States | Europe | U.S. presidential election
President-elect Donald Trump claimed \"Make America great again\" during his campaign in the USA in 2016.

The US economic policy changes pursued by the Trump administration will have rather small effects on EU Member States with regard to economic growth, consumption and investment. This is the result of a survey conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) among around 200 financial market experts as part of the Financial Market Survey in December 2016. An exception forms the export economy, where a clear majority of 59 per cent of respondents expects to see negative effects.

Migration research | Migration policy | Delinquency | Voting behaviour | Germany | Refugees | Unemployment
Increased migration leads to higher unemployment rates among non-German workers in particular.

The effects of the large influx of refugees arriving in Germany have been the focus of intense political and social debate. A joint study by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, and the University of Strathclyde has been investigating the short-term effects of this migration on unemployment, crimes rates and voting behaviour in Germany. The results of the study show that increased migration leads to higher unemployment rates among non-German workers in particular. Crime rates experienced only a negligible change. A larger influx of refugees or the existence of an immigrant reception centre in a particular region does not on their own lead to greater electoral success for anti-migration parties, such as the AfD ("Alternative for Germany"), in comparison with other regions with no large influxes of migrants or reception centres.

ECB | Interest rate policy | Interest Rate | Federal Reserve Bank

The US Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by 0.25 per cent, to a range of 0.5 to 0.75 per cent. Professor Friedrich Heinemann, head of the "Corporate Taxation and Public Finance" Research Department at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, comments on the decision.

CH Indicator of Economic Sentiment
ZEW-CS-Indicator | Switzerland | Short-term forecast | Cyclical indicator | Business survey
The ZEW-CS Indicator for Switzerland increased for the fourth consecutive time and currently stands at 12.9 points

The ZEW-CS-Indicator for the economic sentiment in Switzerland has continued its rise in December 2016. Growing by 4.0 points, the index now stands at 12.9 points. The indicator's current level is therefore far above the long-term average of about minus 10 points. This marks the continuation of an upward trend observed since October 2016. When it comes to the current economic situation in Switzerland, however, experts are less positive in their evaluation than in the previous month: The corresponding indicator declined by 5.0 points to a level of 9.7. None of the survey participants evaluated the current economic situation in Switzerland as "bad."

ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment
ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment | Cyclical indicator | Short-term forecast | Germany | Business survey
ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany, December 2016

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany has remained unchanged at a level of 13.8 points (long-term average: 24.0 points) in December 2016. "The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment remains at the same level; however, given the fact that the evaluation of the current situation has once again recorded an improvement, the overall assessment is quite positive. This is supported by the recently published positive GDP growth figures for the euro area in the third quarter. The considerable economic risks arising from the tense situation in the Italian banking sector, as well as the political risks surrounding upcoming elections in Europe, seem to have faded into the background at the moment," comments ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach,PhD.

Real estate market | Real estate price | Real Estate Services | Housing market | Housing stock
The map shows the housing vacancy rates in the municipalities in Germany.

While rising housing prices in large cities are currently a popular topic for discussion in Germany, there are an increasing number of homes in rural and peripheral areas being left vacant. This is particularly, though not exclusively, the case in the East German states. A decisive factor for high numbers of empty properties is often a struggling local economy. Vacant housing in turn exerts pressure on property prices in the surrounding area. These are the findings of a current discussion paper of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The study is part of the interdisciplinary research project "Single-Family Homes under Pressure (Homes-uP)", which is funded by the Leibniz Association.

Anniversary | ZEW | Leibniz Association
ZEW celebrates its 25th anniversary with a ceremony.

The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), a member institution of the Leibniz Association, is celebrating its 25th birthday today! "ZEW has been conducting research at the highest level for 25 years. Alongside this, it also aims to advise, assist and shape economic policy. This combination of excellence and the institute's public orientation is something very special," said Baden-Württemberg Minister for Science Theresia Bauer at the anniversary celebration in Mannheim. Around 300 guests, including friends, patrons and partners of the institute both past and present took up the invitation issued by ZEW's Board of Directors to celebrate a quarter of a century of excellent research and policy advice at ZEW.


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