Overview publications

Climate Change: Greening the Economy by Green Finance?

POLICY DEBATE OF THE HOUR

Christa Hainz, Claudio Borio, Stijn Claessens and Nikola Tarashev, Jan Krahnen, Jörg Rocholl and Marcel Thum, Jacob Baylon Schumacher, Rainer Haselmann, Sebastian Steuer and Tobias H. Tröger, Florian Berg, Jason Jay, Julian Kölbel and Roberto Rigobon, Emanuela Benincasa, Gazi Kabas and Steven Ongena, Hans Degryse, Tarik Roukny, Joris Tielens

The financial sector may play a central role in climate change. This is because, ideally, climate policy measures create important incentives for investors throughout the globalized world to redirect their capital in favor of a cleaner production and thus lower emissions. That is why climate policy must consider the link between the real sector and the financial sector. This transition will not happen by itself. It requires targeted financing measures. To make it effective, policymakers need information about what economic activity, and thus what investment, can be considered green or sustainable. The task is to identify and compile relevant data and provide it to investors in a suitable classification, e.g., via an ESG rating or a taxonomy. Our authors in the “Policy Debate of the Hour” discuss to which extent green finance can make the economy greener. They also examine the role the financial sector can play in this transition. Among other things, they shed light on how “green” can be measured and look at the role of climate policy and incentive effects. They also provide recommendations for both economic and climate policy. In our “Economic Policy and its Impact” section, the authors shed light on the question of how teaching evolutionary theory changes students' knowledge and important choices in their life. In “Institutions Across the World” we discuss how policymakers can create incentives for households to follow tax rules when they use household-related services. The section “Big Data-Based Economic Insights” uses a textual analysis to look at remarks made in ECB press conferences.

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How to Incentivize Tax Compliance when Households Demand Services? What Works (Better) and General Limitations

INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE WORLD

Lilith Burgstaller, Sarah Necker

During the recent crises, governments around the world have spent large amounts of public funds to limit the impact of economic downturns on citizens and corporations. The resulting pressure on public funds is highlighting the crucial need to improve tax compliance.

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Do School Curricula Matter to Students in the Long Run?

ECONOMIC POLICY AND ITS IMPACT

Benjamin W. Arold

Greater exposure to evolution teaching not only improves students’ knowledge of evolution by the time they graduate from high school, but it also enhances their belief in evolution in adulthood. What is more, the reforms affect high-stakes life decisions, namely the probability of choosing a career in life sciences.

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The Interplay of Interest Rates and Debt-Financed Government Spending

Bev Dahlby and Ergete Ferede

Persistently low interest rates on government debt over past decades have prompted some economists to question the wisdom of fiscal policies that restrict the use of deficits to finance government spending. In the new EconPol Policy Brief Bev Dahlby and Ergete Ferede argue that the widely held view that there is no, or only a low, fiscal cost from debt-financed increases in program spending can be misleading.

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How to Deal with the European Energy Crisis? Core Challenges for the EU

POLICY DEBATE OF THE HOUR

Andreas Goldthau and Nick Sitter, Reyer Gerlagh, Matti Liski and Iivo Vehviläinen, Daniel Gros, Mathias Mier, Svetlana A. Ikonnikova and Sofia Berdysheva, Alari Paulus, Karsten Staehr

The current energy crisis in Europe is bringing about profound changes that can accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and secure energy system. Yet, it is a supply shock of unprecedented scale and complexity, most noticeable in the markets for natural gas, coal, and electricity. Winter promises to be tough - especially for low-income households that use gas for heating and for small and medium-sized industrial companies. Short-term policy measures aim to shield consumers from the effects of the crisis: these include gas and electricity price brakes and energy subsidies for households. At the same time, many governments in the EU are now trying to increase or diversify oil and gas supplies and also accelerate structural change. The articles in the “Policy Debate of the Hour” section of this issue of EconPol Forum examine the causes of the crisis, analyze its effects, critically assess the policies already in place, and propose new short- to medium-term energy policies to better manage it and strengthen the EU’s systemic resilience to energy market volatility.

 

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Working from Home Around the World

INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE WORLD

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven Davis, Mathias Dolls, Pablo Zarate

The Covid-19 pandemic triggered a huge, sudden uptake in work from home, as individuals and organizations responded to contagion fears and government restrictions on commercial and social activities. Over time, it has become evident that the big shift to work from home will endure after the pandemic ends. No other episode in modern history involves such a pronounced and widespread shift in working arrangements in such a compressed time frame.

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The Revenue Effect of a Global Effective Minimum Tax

ECONOMIC POLICY AND ITS IMPACT

Clemens Fuest, Florian Neumeier

In October 2021, 136 countries and jurisdictions agreed on the introduction of a global effective minimum tax (OECD 2021). The plan is to impose a minimum tax rate of 15 percent on the global profits of multinational corporations (MNCs). If an MNC’s effective tax burden in a country is less than 15 percent, additional taxes will be collected until the ratio of tax payments to profits reaches a level of 15 percent. This is to affect all MNCs whose global consolidated revenue is at least €750 million.

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Intentions to Stay and Employment Prospects of Refugees from Ukraine

Tetyana Panchenko, Panu Poutvaara

In the new Policy Brief the authors present the results of two waves of quantitative online surveys of Ukrainian refugees in Germany. They were asked whether they plan to stay in Germany and whether they are already employed or plan to search for employment, as well as the factors that determine these. The second wave of the survey clarified the socio-demographic characteristics of refugees from Ukraine, the circumstances of their arrival and adaptation in Germany, and demonstrates the dynamics of changes in their plans and intentions.

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