Overview publications

Semantic Shifts in EU Competition Law: A Data-driven Study of Policy Goals


Anselm Küsters

Since its inception, European competition law has been a battleground for different interpretations and ideologies. As a result, concepts ranging from market integration and individual freedom to socially optimal market structures have constantly vied for influence alongside efficiency-oriented arguments reminiscent of the Chicago School. This tapestry of ideas underscores the multifaceted nature of competition policy – a policy that is inextricably linked to the specific “DNA” of its legal regime and its hierarchy of policy goals. In order to dissect and understand this DNA for the European case, this article uses natural language processing (NLP), also known as text mining, to examine over 11,000 EU competition law decisions and judgments from 1961 to 2021.

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A World Unprepared: Missing Skills for Development


Sarah Gust, Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann

How far away is the world from ensuring that every child obtains at least basic skills? And what would it mean for world development to reach the goal of global universal basic skills? This article addresses these two intertwined questions in a new study. The authors draw on the individual-level test data from available international and regional student assessments to develop world estimates of the share of children not achieving basic skills in each country and then show the economic costs of these deficits.

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Pandemics, Payments and Fiscal Policy: Lessons from Four Years after the Outbreak of Covid-19


Gerome Wolf

The outbreak of an unprecedented global health crisis about four years ago put the very foundations of our communities, economies and politics to the test. Policymakers had to learn and react fast to limit human and economic costs at the same time. This article highlights the importance of existing markets, technological features such as payments systems and economic decisions at the transactional level in combating the spread of a contagious disease while stabilizing aggregate economic activity.

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Watts Next: Securing Europe’s Energy and Competitiveness

Where the EU’s Energy Policy Should Go Now

Frédéric Gonand, Pedro Linares, Andreas Löschel, David Newbery, Karen Pittel, Julio Saavedra, Georg Zachmann

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 led to gas supply in Europe dropping significantly, shaking the EU out of its complacency regarding energy procurement and consumption habits. The costs of going green on top of more expensive energy are putting a strain on European competitiveness, with higher energy prices hitting the chemical, steel and metal processing industries in countries like Germany, Spain or Poland particularly hard.

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Economic Causes for the Rise of Populist and Nationalist Movements

Florian Dorn, David Gstrein and Florian Neumeier

In recent years, radical right-wing political groups and populist movements have strongly gained popularity in many Western democracies. The presidency of Donald Trump and the increasing political polarization in the US, the Brexit vote in the UK, as well as the electoral successes of nationalist parties in many Western countries – such as the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in Germany, Rassemblement National in France, the Sweden Democrats, or the Movimento 5 Stelle, Lega, or Fratelli d’Italia in Italy – serve as evidence of this trend. One of the key features of many of these movements is an anti-establishment, anti-immigration, and anti-globalization rhetoric. In this article, we summarize the existing literature studying the extent to which economic causes contribute to the rise in populism.

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Climate Policy Priorities for the Next European Commission

Clemens Fuest, Andrei Marcu, Michael Mehling

From the earliest announcement of the European Green Deal, the current EU political cycle has been defined by an unprecedented acceleration in the scale and pace of climate policy. Under difficult conditions that sometimes tested the ability to engage stakeholders, including various external shocks, the EU has put forward and largely passed an unprecedented legislative agenda, which was meant to have, and is having, deep impacts on the EU economy and society at large. Much has changed in the world since the European Green Deal and the “Fit for 55” packages were conceived, including a dramatic increase in industrial policy actions by Europe’s trade partners, a deteriorating geopolitical landscape, and an energy crisis that has been aggravated by these factors, all of which has led to persistent fiscal and economic pressures. 

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Monitoring the Impact of Sanctions on the Russian Economy

Quarterly Report Vol. 2

Vasily Astrov, Lisa Scheckenhofer, Camille Semelet, Feodora Teti

In 2023, Russia experienced a 3.5% economic growth, but forecasts for 2024 indicate a slowdown to 1.5% due to tightened monetary policies and the expected global economic slowdown. Despite large military spending and Western energy sanctions eroding budget revenues, fiscal deficits have been generally kept under control. Intensified scrutiny of third-country firms violating energy sanctions widened discounts on Russian oil prices in late 2023. Generally, Russian import patterns remained relatively stable. In particular, EU exports of economically critical and common high priority goods to Russia in November 2023 represent just 2% of its prewar levels, underscoring the effectiveness of sanctions in halting direct exports. Besides China and Hong Kong, Türkiye and CIS countries became vital suppliers, meeting Russia's demand for economically critical goods and high-priority items.

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Reconfiguration of Supply Chains: What Are the Priorities of German Firms?

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Andreas Baur, Lisandra Flach, and Beata Javorcik

While eight out of ten German manufacturing firms reported material shortages at the height of the pandemic in December 2021, this share had fallen to 18 percent in October 2023. Nonetheless, the recent attacks by the Yemeni Houthi rebels on container ships in the Red Sea highlight the fact that supply chain risks remain significant.

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BRICS Enlargement – What Are the Geoeconomic Implications?

Alicia Garcia Herrero, Mark N. Katz, Pádraig Carmody, Günther Maihold, Isabella Gourevich, Dorothee Hillrichs and Camille Semelet

In January 2024, five politically and economically heterogeneous countries ‒ Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates ‒ joined the BRICS. The BRICS+ countries now represent around 45 percent of the world’s population and around a third of global GDP. The BRICS were originally founded as an economic alternative to the Western bloc led by the USA and the EU. The idea was to offer the countries of the Global South a counterweight to Western institutions. The current change in the geopolitical and geoeconomic framework has driven the expansion of the BRICS. And it will also play an important role in shaping the international order of tomorrow.

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New Evidence on the Effects of EU Regional Policy


Julia Bachtrögler-Unger, Mathias Dolls, Carla Krolage, Paul Schüle, Hannes Taubenböck and Matthias Weigand

EU Cohesion Policy constitutes an important item in the EU budget. For the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–2027, EUR 392 billion is reserved for the promotion of economic and social cohesion among the regions of the European Union. This article presents results from a pilot study that combines official data on projects co-funded by the ERDF and the CF in the programming period 2007–2013, with remote sensing data on night light emission and land cover to assess the effect of EU funding on economic growth at the municipal level, where regional GDP data are not available. Our approach can also be applied in other contexts, for example to study the impact of investment projects funded by Next Generation EU.

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