Overview publications

Working from Home Around the Globe: 2023 Report

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

How prevalent is remote work on a global scale? What are the prevailing modes of working arrangements at present? What are the foremost advantages of working from home and on employer's business premises? Is there a need for policy intervention? Our new Global Survey of Working Arrangements provides new insights to answer these questions.

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Integration of Mercosur in the Global Economy

Andreas Baur, Lisandra Flach, Feodora Teti

More than twenty years after the beginning of negotiations, a new window of opportunity seems to have opened for the ratification of a trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur. For Mercosur, this comes at a crucial juncture in its integration process: the future of the South American trade bloc appears to be more uncertain than ever, with member states holding diverging views on Mercosur’s objectives. Thirty years after its foundation, the original goals of Mercosur’s integration process have been only partially achieved. While there has been some success in terms of trade liberalization within Mercosur, the goals of forming a customs union and pursuing deeper integration steps remain unfulfilled. High Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers within the region, coupled with the lack of trade agreements, hinder the integration of Mercosur countries into the global economy.

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A Targeted Golden Rule for Public Investments?

A Comparative Analysis of Possible Accounting Methods in the Context of the Review of Stability and Growth Pact

Sebastian Blesse, Florian Dorn, Max Lay

The EU faces the challenge to combine large and sustained investments to promote the transition towards a green, digital, and competitive Europe while maintaining fiscal sustainability. Based on a comprehensive literature review on the effects of fiscal rules and investment clauses on public finances, this in-depth analysis provides some guidance how higher public investments can be achieved by a targeted golden rule without harming fiscal sustainability in the EU fiscal framework. The study also discusses the role of investments in the current proposals of the European Commission on the reform of the EU Economic Governance.

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The Role of Income Support Systems as Income Stabilizers in Times of Crisis

Mathias Dolls, Max Lay

This Policy Brief examines how minimum income support (MIS) schemes contribute to the stabilization of disposable incomes in times of crisis in Europe. MIS systems act as a “safety net of last resort” in many European welfare states, but to varying degrees. The results from the simulation of stylized unemployment shocks hitting labor markets suggest that the tax-transfer system overall contributes to income stabilization in periods of crises. However, the MIS schemes’ individual contribution is relatively small, especially as set against the unemployment insurance system.

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The Global Impact of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act: Evidence from an International Expert Survey

Klaus Gründler, Philipp Heil, Niklas Potrafke, and Timo Wochner

The US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) promotes renewable energy and contributes to climate protection, but also offers generous tax credits and subsidies to incentivize production in the United States. While the planned generosity of the program has sparked an intense debate about potential negative spillover effects on the global economy, little is known about the quantity of potential adverse effects. In the new EconPol Policy Report the authors conduct a large-scale international survey among leading economic experts worldwide to quantify the effect of the US Inflation reduction act on the global economy. On a global scale, experts are little concerned about negative effects of the IRA on their domestic economy, estimating both the impact on national output and the risk of business outflows to be low. However, we uncover large heterogeneity in the potential impact of the IRA across countries and regions. In Europe, particularly in France and Germany, economic experts are highly concerned about the IRA and expect a significant effect of the IRA on the domestic economy. In terms of economic policy reactions, roughly 41% of the respondents support economic countermeasures.

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How Sanctions Work - And Which Goals They Fail to Achieve

POLICY DEBATE OF THE HOUR

Jerg Gutmann, Matthias Neuenkirch and Florian Neumeier, Constantinos Syropoulos and Yoto V. Yotov, Eckhard Janeba, Stefan Goldbach and Volker Nitsch, Kai A. Konrad and Marcel Thum, Dario Laudati, Mohammad Reza Farzanegan

In the light of geopolitical conflicts and instability, sanctions play an important role in the international economic policy debate - especially against countries such as Russia, Iran and China. Economic sanctions are often intended to achieve foreign and security policy goals: fighting terrorism, protecting democracy and human rights, or resolving conflicts. In this issue of EconPol Forum, our authors examine, using the evidence-based studies, the extent to which various sanctions have achieved their goals. How do they affect economic growth, trade, and prosperity? In addition, we want to understand their impact on sectoral development of agriculture, energy and mining, as well as on human rights, military spending or life expectancy. In this context, international trade, financial transactions, technology transfer and other economic activities, among others, are systematically studied. And researchers look at different types of sanctions, such as unilateral, multilateral, and extraterritorial.

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Who Should Bear the Burden of Increasing Fiscal Pressure? An Optimal Income Taxation Perspective

ECONOMIC POLICY AND ITS IMPACT

Mehmet Ayaz, Lea Fricke, Clemens Fuest, Dominik Sachs

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the global economy, leaving us with a significant stock of additional debt. A widespread view is that the burden of servicing this debt should be distributed fairly, suggesting that tax systems should become more progressive. How should the optimal degree of income tax progression change if governments need to raise more revenues? In this article, the authors use the workhorse model of optimal income taxation to analyze the change in the degree of tax progressivity in response to the fiscal pressure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Discrimination of Sexual Minorities in Emerging Markets: Can the Needle Be Moved?

INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE WORLD

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Christopher S. Carpenter, Ralph De Haas, Mathias Dolls, Lisa Windsteiger

Recent advances in rights for lesbians, gay men, and bisexual individuals (LGB) have varied substantially across the world. This article provides new evidence on the determinants of support for sexual minorities in Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine – three emerging markets with some of the lowest rates of social acceptance of sexual minorities in Europe.

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Measuring Remote Work Using a Large Language Model (LLM)

BIG-DATA-BASED ECONOMIC INSIGHTS

Peter John Lambert

The Covid-19 pandemic propelled an enormous uptake in hybrid and fully remote work. Over time, it has become clear that this shift will endure long after the initial forcing event. There are few modern precedents for such an abrupt, large-scale shift in working arrangements. This article analyzes the full text of hundreds of millions of job postings in five English-speaking countries. In doing so, it applies a state-of-the-art Large Language Model (LLM) to analyze the text and determine whether the job allows remote/hybrid work.

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The Effect of Subject-Specific Teacher Qualifications on Student Science Achievement

Vera Freundl, Pietro Sancassani

What makes a good teacher? This is one of the central questions in the economics of education. General teacher qualifications, such as education level or advanced degrees, tend to be poor predictors of teacher quality. Instead, some studies have shown that subject-specific qualifications predict teacher quality better. However, the vast majority of such studies are based on data from the United States. It is therefore unclear to what extent the findings can be generalized to other nations, as teacher education programs vary widely across countries. The lack of international evidence is particularly problematic for developing economies, which would arguably benefit most from improving student achievement.

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