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Determinants of soft budget constraints: How public debt affects hospital performance in Austria

Soft budget constraints (SBCs) undermine reforms to increase hospital service efficiency when hospital management can count on being bailed out by (subnational) governments in case of deficits. Using cost accounting data on publicly financed, non-profit hospitals in Austria from 2002 to 2015, we analyse the association between SBCs and hospital efficiency change in a setting with negligible risk of hospital closure in a two-stage study design based on bias-corrected non-radial input-oriented data envelopment analysis and ordinary least squares regression. We find that the European debt crisis altered the pattern of hospital efficiency development: after the economic crisis, hospitals in low-debt states had a 1.1 percentage point lower annual efficiency change compared to hospitals in high-debt states. No such systematic difference is found before the economic crisis. The results suggest that sudden exogenous shocks to public finances can increase the budgetary pressure on publicly financed institutions, thereby counteracting a pre-existing SBC.

Berger, M., Sommersguter-Reichmann, M. und Czypionka, T. (2020): Determinants of soft budget constraints: How public debt affects hospital performance in Austria, in: Social Science & Medicine, Vo. 249, pp. 1-11, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.112855.

Kontakt: Margit Sommersguter-Reichmann, Institut für Finanzwirtschaft, Tel.: 0316/380 - 3516

Do Austrian Programmes Facilitate Labour Market Integration of Refugees?

This study examines two programmes aimed at integrating refugees into the Austrian labour market: a short‐term Skills Assessment and a longer‐term Integration Year that includes an internship and training. The theoretical framework draws on the concepts of social field and forms of capital proposed by Pierre Bourdieu. Using data from a large‐scale refugee survey in early 2019, we find that Austria’s short‐term Skills Assessment fails to increase refugees’ employment chances. The Integration Year positively helps employment, but this outcome is limited to refugee women. We conclude that integration programmes only help if they provide refugees with both cultural and social capital. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Ortlieb, R., Eggenhofer-Rehart, P., Leitner, S., Hosner, R. und Landesmann, M. (2020): Do Austrian Programmes Facilitate Labour Market Integration of Refugees?, in: International Migration, pp. 1-21, doi: doi.org/10.1111/imig.12784 [21.10.2020].

Kontakt: Renate Orlieb, Institut für Personalpolitik, Tel.: 0316/380 - 7189

The role of heads of departments in the commercialization of university research

The commercialization of knowledge has become increasingly important for universities worldwide. Today, the acquisition of third-party funds, the filing of patents and the foundation of spin-offs are seen as similarly relevant to other academic activities such as conducting research and teaching. Research has examined how universities can be supported in their transformation into entrepreneurial institutions. Interestingly, the role of academic leaders in this process remains unclear. In this study, we examine how far the business and scientific experience of the head of department impacts the entrepreneurial activities of an entire department team. Our results demonstrate that heads with business experiences positively influence the acquisition of third-party funds and the patent output of the whole department. However, we found that the foundation of spin-offs is negatively affected by these experiences. Our results have clear policy implications and suggest that business experiences should be considered in the assignment of new heads when reorienting universities into entrepreneurial institutions. Yet, the business experience of academic leaders is not a panacea and has its limitations.

Leitner, K.‑H., Bergner, S. und Rybnicek, R. (2020): The role of heads of departments in the commercialization of university research, in: Journal of Business Economics, pp. 1-26, doi: doi.org/10.1007/s11573-020-01003-y [27.7.2020].

Kontakt: Robert RybnicekInstitut für Unternehmensführung und Entrepreneurship, Tel.: 0316/380 - 7355

Gute Karten gegen den Fiskus? Einflussgrößen der Erfolgswahrscheinlichkeit in höchstgerichtlichen Verfahren zur steuerlichen Gewinnermittlung

Der vorliegende Beitrag untersucht, welche Faktoren die Erfolgswahrscheinlichkeit von steuerlichen Verfahren vor dem Höchstgericht beeinflussen. Basierend auf einer Stichprobe von Urteilen des österreichischen Höchstgerichts zur steuerlichen Gewinnermittlung von Unternehmen aus den Jahren 2003–2018 wird gezeigt, dass mit Ausnahme des Ortes der vorinstanzlichen Entscheidung allgemeine, vom konkreten Sachverhalt weitgehend unabhängige Faktoren keinen signifikanten Einfluss auf die Erfolgswahrscheinlichkeit vor dem Höchstgericht aufweisen. Die Ergebnisse der Untersuchung liefern einen Beitrag zur verbesserten Einschätzung der Erfolgswahrscheinlichkeit vor dem Höchstgericht und damit Einsichten darüber, unter welchen Bedingungen eine Revision für Unternehmen erstrebenswert ist. Sie zeigen, dass über den konkreten Sachverhalt hinausgehende Faktoren bei der Entscheidung, eine Revision vor dem Höchstgericht einzubringen, in der Regel nicht berücksichtigt werden müssen.

Krenn, P., Rechbauer, M. und Rünger, S. (2020): Gute Karten gegen den Fiskus? Einflussgrößen der Erfolgswahrscheinlichkeit in höchstgerichtlichen Verfahren zur steuerlichen Gewinnermittlung, in: Betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung und Praxis, Heft 5, S. 473-500.

Kontakt: Martina RechbauerInstitut für Unternehmensrechnung und Steuerlehre, Tel.: 0316/380 - 6440

Longing for a national container. On the symbolic economy of Europe's new nationalism

This paper discusses how to explain the rise of a new nationalism in Europe. It begins by problematizing the inconsistencies in the current culturalist, socio-economic, and socio-political approaches. It then makes Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social space fruitful for a sociological explanation of neonationalism by removing it from the conceptional framework of national container societies. It finally shows that the transnational opening of national societies is accompanied by profound processes of symbolic appreciation and depreciation of economic, cultural, and social ‘capital’ that the inhabitants of the national container possess.

Kraemer, K. (2020): Longing for a national container. On the symbolic economy of Europe’s new nationalism, in: European Societies, Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 529-554, doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616696.2019.1694164.

Kontakt: Klaus KraemerInstitut für Soziologie, Tel.: 0316/380 - 3546

Export starters and exiters: Do innovation and finance matter?

Using European Central Bank restricted-access biannual data on European small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the period 2014–2017, we analyze the impact that innovation, financial constraints, and an efficient regulatory environment exert on the probability of switching from the status of nonexporter to exporter and vice versa. We find that either the use of finance for innovation or undertaking product innovation increases the likelihood of starting to export and lowers the likelihood of stopping exporting. Although SMEs’ financial frictions are negligible for foreign market entry, they matter for increasing the probability of exiting. We also document that a friendly regulatory environment is conducive to start – but not to stop – exporting. Our findings provide empirical support for the recent European Commission policies on both SMEs’ internationalization and access to finance.

Rossi, S. P. S., Bonanno, G., Giansoldati, M. und Gregori, T. (2020): Export starters and exiters: Do innovation and finance matter?, in: Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, pp. 1-39, doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.strueco.2020.11.004 [1.12.2020].

Kontakt: Stefania Patrizia Sonia Rossi, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Tel.: 0316/380 - 7117

CITES and the Zoonotic Disease Content in International Wildlife Trade

International trade in wildlife is one contributing factor to zoonotic disease risk. Using descriptive statistics, this paper shows that in the last decades, the volume and pattern of internationally traded wildlife has changed considerably and, with it, the zoonotic pathogens that are traded. In an econometric analysis, we give evidence that an international environmental trade agreement could be used to limit the spread of zoonotic pathogens and disease. More specifically, combining zoonotic disease data with wildlife trade data from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife and Fauna (CITES), we show that making trade requirements more stringent leads to a decrease in the number of animals traded and, incidentally, also the number of zoonotic diseases that are traded. Our results contribute to the discussion of policy measures that manage the spread of zoonotic diseases.

Borsky, S., Hennighausen, H., Leiter, A. und Williges, K. (2020): CITES and the Zoonotic Disease Content in International Wildlife Trade, in: Environmental and Resource Economics, Vol. 76, pp. 1001-1017, doi: doi.org/10.1007/s10640-020-00456-7.

Kontakt: Stefan Borsky, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Tel.: 0316/380 - 7514


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