Current publications

Cover EconPol Opinion blanco 2018

The Third Type of Inter-System Competition: Europe and the Rise of China

Clemens Fuest

China’s economy continues to grow apace, creating a worrying new form of economic and political competition for Europe and the US. While private entrepreneurship and free pricing play a growing role in China, the state continues to control economic developments in many sectors and owns almost all of the banking system. Is Chinese state capitalism about to outperform market economies in science and technology? Will its role in developing and emerging economies reduce the influence of the West?

Clemens Fuest, president of the ifo Institute and director of the Center for Economic Studies at the University of Munich, examines Europe’s ability to compete with this third type of inter-system competition.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 9

What a feeling?! How to promote ‘European Identity’

Sarah Ciaglia, Clemens Fuest, Friedrich Heinemann

Authors of a new study conducted jointly by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, and the ifo Institute for the EconPol Europe research network recommend that policymakers should do more to encourage citizens to identify with Europe. The authors suggest that Pan-European political consciousness could be encouraged by having citizens vote for European party lists, rather than national party lists in the European elections. An EU Citizens’ Assembly, say the report’s authors, should serve as a platform to discuss specific political issues and propose potential solutions. Europe could also raise its profile overseas through shared EU embassies and consulates.

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Cover EconPol Policy Report 8 2018

Dissecting the EU’s Recent Anti-Tax Avoidance Measures: Merits and Problems

Richard Collier, Seppo Kari, Olli Ropponen, Martin Simmler and Maximilian Todtenhaupt

Profit-shifting activities by multinational enterprises (MNEs) is widespread. Academics and policymakers agree that such activity should be curbed by diminishing the opportunities that exist within the international tax system The EU has legislated to reduce the scope for such activity, with a central tool being the Anti-Tax Avoidance Package. In this EconPol policy report, the authors argue that while elements of the package are likely to raise the minimum standards of anti-tax avoidance measures in Europe, they still leave scope for tax-planning. At the same time, the measures may lead to double taxation. They will also make the tax code more complex and distort firms’ decisions, generating social costs as a result. The balance between benefits and costs is not satisfactory. The authors discuss the pros and cons of other instruments like withholding taxes and formulary apportionment. While these measures would be of some help, in the long term, a fundamental reform of the international tax system is necessary.



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Cover EconPol Opinion blanco 2018

Tragedies Like Greece Must Not Be Repeated

Clemens Fuest

The third bail-out programme for Greece ended in August, but the crisis isn’t over. Nine years after the crisis broke, public debt still amounts to 180 percent of gross domestic product, a level incompatible with stable economic development. There have been improvements: the increase in public debt has been brought to a halt, exports of goods and services almost match the level of imports, and unemployment fell below 20 percent in June 2018, the lowest rate since September 2011. But the country can only recover if it implements further reforms, and it must do so independently of further bail-outs. And, if we are to avoid a similar tragedy in Greece or elsewhere, the Eurozone must change too.

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Cover EconPol Policy Brief 8 2018

How to Boost Productivity in the EU

Klaus Weyerstrass

Advances in total factor productivity (TFP) are important for sustaining economic growth in modern economies, in particular in the face of a declining working-age population. In this Policy Brief, we identify investment in research and development, good governance, the capital intensity, a high share of information technology in the total capital stock, and the number of industrial robots per employee as conducive for TFP growth. Based on the empirical results, policies that are beneficial for capital formation in general, investment in computer technology, research and development as well as the use of industrial robots could boost TFP in Europe.

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Cover EconPol Working Paper 16

Shadow Banking and the Four Pillars of Traditional Financial Intermediation

Emmanuel Farhi and Jean Tirole

Traditional banking is built on four pillars: SME lending, access to public liquidity, deposit insurance, and prudential supervision. This paper unveils the logic of the quadrilogy by putting core services to “special depositors and borrowers” at the heart of the analysis, and makes room for bank and depositor implicit and explicit guarantees. It analyzes how prudential regulation must adjust to the emergence of shadow banking. The model also rationalizes ring fencing between regulated and shadow banking and the sharing of liquidity in centralized platforms to counter syphoning and financial contagion.

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Cover EconPol Working Paper 15

Fragmentation and Strategic Market-Making

Laurence Daures Lescourret and Sophie Moinas

Information technology, infrastructure enhancement, and arbitrage strategies all contributeto link trading venues in fragmented markets. Our paper highlights a new cross-market linking channel: the interdependence of liquidity providers' inventory costs. We use a two-venue duopoly model involving strategic risk-averse market-makers. Costs to provide immediacy depend on market-makers' inventory aggregated across venues, implying that absorbing a shock in one venue simultaneously changes marginal costs in all other venues. Moreover, market-makers strategically choose which shock(s) to absorb. These two forces may lead to competitive prices and enhanced liquidity. Using Euronext proprietary data, we uncover evidence for these crossmarket inventory cost linkages.

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Cover EconPol Working Paper 14

Macroeconomic Imbalances and the Euro Zone. Alternative Views

Roberto Tamborini

Macroeconomic imbalances (MI) play a prominent role in the "consensus narrative" of the crisis of the Euro Zone (EZ). Accordingly, the package of governance reforms undertaken by the EZ countries amid the crisis includes the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP) to be enacted by the Commission. The whole approach has raised various critical and alternative views. These are examined distinguishing between the "domestic" and "external" dimension of MI, and the controversial issues are identified with reference to the MI relevance, their causes and connections with the crisis, and their policy implications.

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Cover EconPol Working Paper 13

Funding Constraints and Market Illiquidity in the European Treasury Bond Market

Sophie Moinas, Minh Nguyen and Giorgio Valente

Financial markets routinely experience a variety of frictions that hinder their efficient functioning by impacting price formation. These frictions are usually due to how trading is organized in a market, regulatory constraints, or trading capital. EconPol expert Sophie Moinas (TSE) and her co-authors propose an empirical investigation of the dynamic relationships between funding and market illiquidity measures in the European Treasury bond market. They find that funding illiquidity shocks affect bond market illiquidity and of a weaker, but significant, reverse feedback effect. Their analysis also shows that the responses of individual bonds' market illiquidity to funding illiquidity shocks increase with bond duration, the credit risk of the issuer, and with haircuts.

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Cover EconPol Working Paper 12 2018

The Role of Pre-Opening Mechanisms in Fragmented Markets

Selma Boussetta, Laurance Lescourret and Sophie Moinas

Liquidity issues in financial markets arise because of two main factors: asymmetric information and cost of market participation. To alleviate these frictions, several exchanges start with a pre-opening period characterized by the accumulation of orders and the absence of trading. What is the role of Euronext’s pre-opening mechanism in the price discovery and liquidity formation of the exchange itself versus two other competing venues deprived of such a mechanism, namely BATS and Chi-X? EconPol expert Sophie Moinas (TSE) and her co-authors find evidence that tentative clearing prices set during the pre-opening period contribute to discover opening price; and that tentative clearing volume is positively correlated with liquidity across all three platforms.

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