Current publications

Cover EconPol Policy Report 3/2017

The Nature of Shocks in the Eurozone and Their Absorption Channels

Cinzia Alcidi, Mathias Dolls, Clemens Fuest, Carla Krolage and Florian Neumeier

We investigate the degree of (a)symmetry of macroeconomic fluctuations within the euro area (EA). Our findings indicate, first, a high degree of co-movement of cyclical GDP across EA member states. However, the amplitudes of national business cycles appear to vary notably, meaning that booms and recessions differ with regard to their severity across EA member states. Second, the co-movement of cyclical unemployment is somewhat less pronounced than that of cyclical GDP and the sensitivity to common shocks is even more heterogeneous, suggesting that differences in labour market conditions play an important role with regard to the vulnerability to common shocks. Turning to potential stabilization mechanisms, we find that in general, the private sector has a huge potential to absorb asymmetric shocks. However, in international comparison, the shock-absorption capacity of the private sector in the EA is rather weak. Recent evidence suggests that promoting capital market integration may improve the private sector’s shock absorption capacity.

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Cover EconPol Policy Brief

Accountability Bonds – Reconciling Fiscal Policy Based on Market Discipline with Financial Stability

Clemens Fuest and Friedrich Heinemann

Accountability bonds revive market discipline in the Eurozone without endangering fiscal and financial stability - and they address the various concerns from difference sides. Clemens Fuest (ifo Institute) and Friedrich Heinemann (ZEW) have proposed the new type of bonds for overcoming the debt crisis in the Eurozone two years ago. In our new EconPol Policy Brief, the two EconPol network members revisit their concept of accountability bonds in the light of current developments, respond to criticism and explain why they are an innovative instrument that stand a real chance of building a consensus, now more than ever.

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We need more Europe in the Monetary Union. Which Europe? Hints from policy games.

We need more Europe in the Monetary Union. Which Europe? Hints from policy games.

Luciano Andreozzi and Roberto Tamborini

Under the pressure of the 2008 crisis serious flaws have emerged in the design of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as a supranational architecture which aims at generating and distributing  collective benefits from integration among highly interdependent countries. If we agree that more Europe is needed, we shall urgently ask "Which Europe?" Economists Luciano Andreozzi and Roberto Tamborini from EconPol network partner Università di Trento introduced an interesting policy game setup of two interdependent countries where each sovereign government seeks to optimise its own welfare function reflecting social preferences over policy options and their outcomes. Read here why the strategy of further integration by an extended system of binding rules enforced by technocratic agencies may be unsuccessful and which consequences should be drawn.

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Catalonia's Lessons for a European Fiscal Union

Catalonia’s Lessons for a European Fiscal Union

Friedrich Heinemann

Spanish cohesion is currently facing a severe test in the chaotic conflict surrounding the referendum on Catalan independence. Of particular importance is the fiscal dimension of the issue. A highly influential argument of the independence movement has pointed to the financial burden placed on the region combined with Catalonia’s limited budgetary autonomy. This is an experience that Europe should pay close attention to, given the ambitious reform proposals currently discussed for the EU and the euro area many of which point to greater centralisation.

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The Commission's View on Strenthening the Euro Area: Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

The Commission’s Views on Strengthening the Euro Area - Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

Daniel Gros

Juncker’s proposals on the euro area are lacking in substance and coherence. His starting point was that the euro should be considered the currency of the Union, not just the currency of some Member States. From a formal point of view this is correct, as the euro is indeed designated in the European Treaties as the currency of the Union. The countries that are not part of the euro area are considered to have a temporary derogation. Network member David Gros, Director of CEPS, says that the reality is,  however, different and explains why small, concrete steps aimed at strengthening financial stability would have been more useful. 

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Cover EconPol Working Paper 04 2017

The Case for Co-Financing the CAP

Friedrich Heinemann

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was set up in a time when the memory about post-war food shortage was fresh, Europe was a large net importer of agricultural products, agricultural production was still highly labour-intensive, food was a major item in a typical consumer basket and significant shares of the work-force received their major income from the agricultural sector. Today, agricultural production is capital-intensive with a low share of total labour employed and food spending. Read in this paper by network member Friedrich Heinemann/ZEW why CAP in its current size is still part of the problem and which conclusions should be drawn.

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Cover EconPol Working Paper 03 2017

Firm Responses to an Interest Barrier: Empirical Evidence

Jarkko Harju, Ilpo Kauppinen and Olli Ropponen

Finnish VATT economists Jarkko Harju, Ilpo Kauppinen and Olli Ropponen have studied the interesting effects of an interest barrier that was introduced in Finland to restrict the profit-shifting opportunities of multinational enterprises (MNEs). They employed full population data of Finnish, Swedish and Danish MNEs and a difference-indifferences methodology, where Swedish and Danish MNEs serve as a control group.

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Europe at the interdependence war

Europe at the Interdependence War

Roberto Tamborini

The EMU has been founded on the exclusive national responsibility doctrine, except for monetary sovereignty devoted to a single bank. Italian economist Roberto Tamborini, Università di Trento, speaks out on why the strong interdependent linkages among the Partner countries impair the national responsibility notion and make the country-by-country approach of the EMU policicies so dramatically harmful.

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Cover EconPol Policy Brief

Why are Macroeconomic Imbalances so Important for the European Monetary Union?

Roberto Tamborini

Are convergent growth rates a sine-qua-non condition for a monetary union? Is there any economic tendency towards this outcome? Economist Roberto Tamborini, Università di Trento, says: "Higher growth across Europe is a valuable aim but is the devotion to pro-growth and convergence policies and to the formalisation of the convergence process in Europe's Economic and Monetary Union the correct answer?

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