New papers from Hans-Jörg Schmerer and Martin Kleinmann published

Hans-Jörg Schmerer, Martin Kleimann and Yuan Li published their paper "Estimating causal effects of BRI infrastructure projects based on the synthetic control method" in the Asia Europe Journal in August, 2021. You can find the paper here.

They also published "The Implications of the New Silk Road Railways on Local Development" in the Journal of Asian Economics together with Ling Fang earlier this year (May, 2021). You can find it here.


"Estimating causal effects of BRI infrastructure projects based on the synthetic control method":

This paper studies regional treatment effects of infrastructure projects on employment and transport volumes by combining quantitative econometric methods with qualitative case studies. The quantitative approach we use is the synthetic control method, which allows for the analysis of causal effects on particular treatment groups. The regions of interest in our study are Duisburg and Piraeus. Both quantitative and qualitative evidence reveal that the impact on maritime transportation in Piraeus is very significant. While the quantitative evidence shows a rather modest effect on employment before 2016, the qualitative evidence suggests a more significant effect in recent years. We interpret this as the postponed effects from infrastructure provision on various outcome variables. Moreover, we find that rail transport does not crowd out local road transport.

"The Implications of the New Silk Road Railways on Local Development":

This paper studies the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on local development in Europe. In particular, we analyze regional treatment effects of the introduction of the China Railway Express on economic growth, employment, and intermodal transport volumes. The commissioning of rail connections under the umbrella of the BRI provides a natural experiment that can be evaluated empirically using causal inference techniques. On the aggregate level, our results show that establishing a new railway connection with China is not systematically associated with short-run economic growth. However, the new railway connections spurred local employment and road freight, i.e. boost intermodal transport. These aggregate findings are supplemented by additional evidence on sector-specific and regional spillover effects. These findings shed light on the increased relevance of BRI infrastructure projects for its future expansions.

Daniel Stähr | 01.09.2021