EconPol Opinions

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(Un)Intended Effects of Preferential Tax Regimes: The Case of European Patent Boxes

Marko Köthenbürger, Federica Liberini, Michael Stimmelmayr

The development and diffusion of new technologies scores high on the policy agenda of the European Union (EU) as well as its member states. The EU seeks to limit the technological gap towards other major economies. This manifests in the rapid growth of the digital economy that has evoked an intensified interests on the part of the EU and its member countries not only to foster technological innovations, but also to compete for innovative, internationally mobile firms.

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Public Debt and the Risk Premium: A Dangerous Doom Loop

Cinzia Alcidi, Daniel Gros

The view that deficits and higher public debt can be beneficial received an important boost via Olivier Blanchard’s 2019 presidential address at the American Economic Association (Blanchard 2019). In this opinion piece, which first appeared on VoxEU, Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros examine Blanchard’s analysis and the longer-term link between risk premia and public finances.

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Is Proportional Representation a Cure for Democratic Discontent?

Michael Becher

Public dissatisfaction with politicians and representative democracy is widespread in Europe and should not be taken lightly. The enduring protest of the ‘Yellow Vests’ in France is just one prominent example of the popular view that elections regularly fail to select governments that are reliably responsive to the preferences of a large part of the population. EconPol researcher Michael Becher (IAST) says resolving this dilemma requires a value judgement. 

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How Serious Politics Must Counter Populism

Clemens Fuest

EconPol’s speaker Clemens Fuest says moderate politicians should compete with populists by offering realistic perspectives, and suggests Emmanuel Macron can serve as a role model in that regard. He also suggests that politics in Europe would benefit from putting in more effort to explain complex economic policy problems and pointing out where government action reaches its limits.

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Majority Voting on Taxation Could Prove Explosive for European Integration

Friedrich Heinemann

The unanimity requirement for EU legislation on taxation in the Council has come under attack. Early this year, the European Commission launched an initiative to introduce majority voting for tax-policy decisions. Friedrich Heinemann analyses the arguments of the Commission and finds criticism unconvincing and misleading in this EconPol opinion.

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