EconPol Policy Reports

Cover of EconPol Policy Report 14

The Surprising Sluggishness of French Exports: Reviewing Competitiveness and its Determinants

Charlotte Emlinger, Sébastien Jean, Vincent Vicard

The large deterioration in France’s current account balance during the euro’s first decade was mainly due to its poor export performances. Although there have been no more market share losses since 2012, French export growth lags behind that of our European partners. This EconPol policy report examines the continuing sluggishness of France’s trade performances over recent years, marked in particular by its surprising inability to make any significant and lasting reduction in the trade deficit or regain back lost market shares.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 13

How to revive productivity growth?

Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, Stefano Schiavo, Klaus Weyerstrass

Providing financial incentives for companies to invest in productivity-enhancing technologies and practices is the key to productivity growth, according to this latest policy report by Cecilia Jona-Lasinio (ISTAT and LUISS Guido Carli), Stefano Schiavo (University of Trento) and Klaus Weyerstrass (Institut für Höhere Studien). Strong investment should also be made into training and workforce skills to exploit the productivity potential of new business models in the digital economy. Competition policy, although not directly related to productivity, is also emerging as an important tool to shape incentives and foster the efficient allocation of resources both across and within sectors and firms. The report analyses the recent trends in labour and total factor productivity in the EU and beyond and identifies factors that influence productivity.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 11

The design of a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism for the euro area: Choices and trade-offs

Christophe Destais, Frederik Eidam, Friedrich Heinemann

This paper critically assesses several dimensions of a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism (SDRM) for the euro area, while abstaining from recommending one ideal model for a restructuring mechanism. Instead, authors apply a menu-type approach. For five key institutional SDRM dimensions, they discuss the underlying fundamental trade-offs and the pros and cons of different design choices. The analysis implies that there is no convincing reason to further taboo the search for a euro area SDRM, as there are ways to combine the opportunities of a credible SDRM with financial stability.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 12

Towards more feasible sovereign debt restructurings in the euro area

Edited by Frederik Eidam and Friedrich Heinemann

Over the last year, exchanges that were initiated by the ZEW’s SEEK-conference on ‘regulating sovereign debt restructuring in the eurozone’ resulted in vivid discussions on more feasible sovereign debt restructurings in the euro area. This policy report, edited by Frederik Eidam and Friedrich Heinemann, summarizes these discussions by collecting several contributions on different aspects of the topic. Founded in different perspectives, contributors sometimes provide different conclusions, or highlight different choice options and their underlying trade-offs. However, common to all authors is the aim to increase the resilience of the European Monetary Union and to contribute on the debate on the European reform agenda.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 10

An Unemployment Re-Insurance Scheme for the Eurozone? Stabilizing and Redistributive Effects

Mathias Dolls

This paper develops a decomposition framework to study the importance of different stabilization channels of an unemployment re-insurance scheme for the euro area. The paper provides insights on the potential added value of a re-insurance scheme which crucially hinges on its ability to provide interregional smoothing. Running counterfactual simulations based on household micro data for the period 2000-16, the paper finds that on average 15-25 per cent of the income losses originating from rising unemployment in deep recessions would have been absorbed through interregional smoothing effects. The results suggest that the interregional smoothing channel of the re-insurance scheme is economically as important as the intertemporal smoothing effect of an average domestic unemployment insurance scheme in the euro area. The latter would have led to a cushioning effect of 16-27 per cent of large unemployment shocks. The simulated re-insurance scheme would have been evenue-neutral at EA-19, but not at the member-state level. Average annual net contributions would have amounted to -0.1-0.1 per cent of GDP. No member state would have turned out as a permanent net contributor/recipient.

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