Current publications

Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 27

COVID-19: The World Economy Needs a Lifeline – But Which One?

Dorine Boumans, Sebastian Link and Stefan Sauer (EconPol Europe, ifo Institute)

This paper from Dorine Boumans, Sebastian Link and Stefan Sauer (EconPol Europe, ifo Institute) presents the results of a survey of 1000 economic experts in 110 countries on the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effectiveness of different policy measures to combat the crisis for different countries. The results indicate that economies all around the globe are severely hit by the COVID-19 crisis. The experts perceive the reductions in investment to have the strongest impact on their domestic economies. In consequence, the experts expect a severe recession in almost all countries in 2020, followed by a long period of economic recovery. The experts rate emergency liquidity assistance to firms as well as temporary tax deferrals for businesses as the most effective policy measures, but do not regard other responses such as helicopter money or lenient bank supervision as being well suited to combat the crisis. 

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 26

The Search for the Right European Financing Instruments in the Corona Pandemic: ESM Liquidity Assistance Versus Corona Bonds

Friedrich Heinemann (EconPol Europe, ZEW)

The purported advantages of corona bonds over the ESM are meagre to non-existent, says Friedrich Heinemann (EconPol Europe, ZEW). The challenge we face is to contain the spread of COVID-19 while stabilising the economy and ensuring eurozone states have sufficient liquidity and the ESM is a suitable tool for pursuing these ends. However, we should wait until the acute phase of the crisis has passed before engaging in discussion of how to handle high debt levels and possible cases of insolvencies among eurozone nations, and the difficult question of who finally bears the burden of unsustainable debts.

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Cover of EconPol opinion

EU Solidarity in Exceptional Times: Corona Transfers Instead of Coronabonds

Daniel Gros (EconPol Europe, CEPS)

Does the coronavirus crisis call for solidarity within the EU, or within the euro area? Daniel Gros (EconPol Europe, CEPS) argues that being hit by an unforeseen epidemic has nothing to do with euro area membership and the present situation is a case which requires solidarity at EU level. And, he says, there's a plausible and simple way to organise a real expression of EU solidarity without engaging in any large-scale financial transactions.

This article first appeared on VoxEU.org: https://voxeu.org/article/corona-transfers-instead-coronabonds

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 25

The Economic Costs of the Coronavirus Shutdown for Selected European Countries: A Scenario Calculation

Florian Dorn, Clemens Fuest, Marcell Göttert, Carla Krolage, Stefan Lautenbacher, Robert Lehmann, Sebastian Link, Sascha Möhrle, Andreas Peichl, Magnus Reif, Stefan Sauer, Marc Stöckli, Klaus Wohlrabe, Timo Wollmershäuser

This paper presents scenarios of the shutdown costs in terms of lost value added for Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and UK. The shutdown phase will lead to considerable production losses and large declines in GDP this year. Lasting longer than a month, the losses within the EU quickly reach dimensions well beyond the growth slump of previous recessions or natural disasters. Shutdown costs justify almost every conceivable investment in health policy measures which allow to combine a resumption of production with further fight against the epidemic.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 24

Group Testing Against Covid-19

Christian Gollier (EconPol Europe, Toulouse School of Economics University of Toulouse- Capitole), Olivier Gossner (CNRS – CREST, Ecole Polytechnique, London School of Economics)

Testing for Covid-19 is a bottleneck that we face in front of the pandemic. Test production is currently much below what is necessary for mass testing strategies which are required in order to control the pandemic while letting people go back to work. In this paper, Christian Gollier (EconPol Europe, Toulouse School of Economics University of Toulouse- Capitole) and Olivier Gossner (CNRS – CREST, Ecole Polytechnique, London School of Economics) show how group testing can be optimized in three applications to multiply the efficiency of tests against Covid-19: Estimating virus prevalence to measure the evolution of the pandemic; bringing negative groups back to work to exit the current lockdown; and testing for individual infectious status to treat sick people. 

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Cover of EconPol opinion

One Europe, One Future

António Afonso, ISEG (EconPol Europe; Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa)

In the current context of difficult times across Europe and in the World, there are relevant issues on which many people might agree, regardless of their political, ideological or theoretical views. António Afonso examines the options available and asks for compromise.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 23

Portugal’s GDP, a Note on the 2020 Unknowns

António Afonso (EconPol Europe, Lisbon School of Economics and Management of the Universidade de Lisboa)

António Afonso (EconPol Europe, Lisbon School of Economics and Management of the Universidade de Lisboa) has estimated the real growth rate of GDP in Portugal in 2020 and predicts a budget deficit of around 3% or 4% of GDP, implying a break and not a fiscal regime switch. Of particular relevance, he says, is private consumption and investment, with households cutting spending significantly and an increase in government spending necessary to cover the lack of domestic demand.

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Cover of policy brief 22

Wage Rigidities and Old-Age Unemployment

Martin Kerndler (TU Wien), Michael Reiter (IHS Vienna, NYU Abu Dhabi, EconPol Europe)

Wage smoothing is beneficial for firms and workers, but wage rigidities can lead to bilaterally inefficient separations. By comparing the impact of four policy measures regarding their impact on welfare, output and government expenditures, Martin Kerndler (TU Wien) and Michael Reiter (IHS Vienna, NYU Abu Dhabi, EconPol Europe) have identified a reasonable policy mix to counter the negative employment effects of wage rigidities. 
 

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How Corporate Debt Burdens Threaten the Economic Recovery After COVID-19 and Why Planning for Debt Restructuring Should Start Now

Bo Becker (Stockholm School of Economics, CEPR & ECGI), Ulrich Hege (EconPol Europe, Toulouse School of Economics, ECGI), Pierre Mella-Barral (Toulouse Business School)

EconPol Europe's Ulrich Hege (Toulouse School of Economics, ECGI) and co-authors Bo Becker (Stockholm School of Economics, CEPR & ECGI) and Pierre Mella-Barral (Toulouse Business School) discuss the economic risks of COVID-19 and the increasingly plausible steep protraction, examine the mitigating support programs governments are putting into place for households and firms, and explain why planning for debt structuring should start now.

This article first appeared on VoxEU.org https://voxeu.org/article/corporate-debt-burdens-threaten-economic-recovery-after-covid-19

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 21

The Economic Costs of the Coronavirus Shutdown for Germany: A Scenario Calculation

Florian Dorn, Clemens Fuest, Marcell Göttert, Carla Krolage, Stefan Lautenbacher, Sebastian Link, Andreas Peichl, Magnus Reif, Stefan Sauer, Marc Stöckli, Klaus Wohlrabe, Timo Wollmershäuser

This EconPol policy brief, using figures from the ifo Institute, calculates potential costs of coronavirus to the German economy of up to 729 billion, with up to 1.8 million jobs cut and six million workers affected by lower hours - however it stresses that the aim of any action must be to shorten the partial shutdown of the economy without compromising the fight against the epidemic, with strategies that combine a resumption of production with further containment of the epidemic.

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