News Archive

European Central Bank Frankfurt

Current Account Imbalances and the Euro Area: Alternative Views

|
Working Paper
| News
The Euro area is caught in a "maze of peculiar regulations" and referring to current account imbalances (CAI) as a catch-all indicator of financial efficiency may lead to seriously misplaced policies, according to Ronny Mazzocchi (European Parliament) and Roberto Tamborini (University of Trento), the authors of this latest EconPol working paper. The paper examines the controversial points about the causes, meaning and consequences of CAI, and discusses the alternative policy prescriptions that emerge.
... Details
Italy flag in Europe

Your Vote is (no) Secret! How Low Voter Density Harms Voter Anonymity and Biases Elections in Italy

|
Working Paper
| News
The density of voters in polling regions limits the secrecy of voting and can affect the outcome of Italian elections, with the same impact on countries with a similar voting mechanism. In the first study to analyze the link between voter density and election bias, authors Mauro Caselli (University of Trento) and Paolo Falco (University of Copenhagen) examined all municipal elections conducted in Italy from 1989 to 2015. They found that lower voter density significantly increases the probability of re-election for an incumbent in a municipal office, while in areas with a higher number of voters the probability of re-election for an incumbent falls.
... Details
Illustration for EconPol Opinion 20

Is Proportional Representation a Cure for Democratic Discontent?

|
Opinion
| News
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, Toulouse) says resolving this dilemma requires a value judgement.
... Details
Illustration for EconPol Opinion 21

Public Debt and the Risk Premium: A Dangerous Doom Loop

|
Opinion
| News
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 (CEPS, Brussels) examine Blanchard’s analysis and the longer-term link between risk premia and public finances.
... Details
Illustration for EconPol Opinion 19

How Serious Politics Must Counter Populism

|
Opinion
| News
EconPol’s speaker Clemens Fuest (ifo, Munich) 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.
... Details