Opinion Piece by ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach
Economics has now also come to the schools of North Rhine-Westphalia. Starting in the school year 2020/21, economics is to become a mandatory subject in all secondary schools in this state – North Rhine-Westphalia is taking the step that Baden-Württemberg took four years ago.
When East German companies were privatised after German reunification in 1990, the ‘Treuhandanstalt’ – the agency entrusted with the sale of formerly state-owned enterprises – was quicker and more likely to sell productive firms than unproductive ones, and to gain more money in the process. These are the results of a recent study conducted jointly by a team of researchers from the ifo Institute, ZEW Mannheim and the Université libre de Bruxelles. At the same time, the Treuhand was also more likely to sell these firms to West German investors. “Especially productive East German firms were less likely to remain in the hands of East German owners,” explains ifo researcher Lukas Mergele.
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment Stands at 77.4 points
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany increased again in the current September 2020 survey, climbing 5.9 points to a new reading of 77.4 points compared to the previous month. The assessment of the economic situation in Germany also improved, and currently stands at minus 66.2 points, 15.1 points higher than in August. With the increase of both the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment and the assessment of the economic situation, the overall outlook has improved significantly compared to the previous month.
The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has not yet decided on further easing measures despite the sharp fall in the euro inflation rate. Professor Friedrich Heinemann, head of the Research Department “Corporate Taxation and Public Finance” at ZEW Mannheim, comments on this matter.
Today, after four years as chairman of the German Monopolies Commission, the term of office of ZEW President Achim Wambach has come to an end. In today’s meeting, the Monopolies Commission appointed the legal expert Professor Jürgen Kühling from Regensburg to be his successor. Professor Kühling has been a member of the Monopolies Commission since 1 July 2016. His research interests lie in the fields of regulation of network industries, information law and European state aid law.