Current publications

Cover of EconPol Policy Report 10

An Unemployment Re-Insurance Scheme for the Eurozone? Stabilizing and Redistributive Effects

Mathias Dolls

This paper develops a decomposition framework to study the importance of different stabilization channels of an unemployment re-insurance scheme for the euro area. The paper provides insights on the potential added value of a re-insurance scheme which crucially hinges on its ability to provide interregional smoothing. Running counterfactual simulations based on household micro data for the period 2000-16, the paper finds that on average 15-25 per cent of the income losses originating from rising unemployment in deep recessions would have been absorbed through interregional smoothing effects. The results suggest that the interregional smoothing channel of the re-insurance scheme is economically as important as the intertemporal smoothing effect of an average domestic unemployment insurance scheme in the euro area. The latter would have led to a cushioning effect of 16-27 per cent of large unemployment shocks. The simulated re-insurance scheme would have been evenue-neutral at EA-19, but not at the member-state level. Average annual net contributions would have amounted to -0.1-0.1 per cent of GDP. No member state would have turned out as a permanent net contributor/recipient.

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Cover of EconPol Working Paper 19

International Competition and Rent Sharing in French Manufacturing: A Firm-Level Analysis

Lionel Nesta and Stefano Schiavo

This paper investigates the impact of import competition on rent sharing between firms and employees using a large panel of French manufacturing firms. First, by applying recent advances in the estimation of price-costs margins, we are able to classify each firm into labour- and product-market regimes based on the presence/absence of market power and to estimate the degree of rent sharing among firms and workers. Second, we investigate the hypothesis that import penetration acts as a discipline device on the labour market, reducing workers’ bargaining power. We find that competition from OECD countries has a negative effect on bargaining power, whereas imports from low-wage countries have a more muted impact. By providing firm-level evidence for the relationship between international trade and rent sharing, the paper sheds new light on the effect of trade liberalisation on the labour market.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 11

Who is Paying for the Trade War with China?

Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek and Gabriel Felbermayr

Import tariffs introduced by the United States and China in September will see Chinese exporters bear approximately 75% of the costs, with the US extracting a net welfare gain of USD 18.4 billion, according to new research from EconPol Europe. The tariffs affect around 50% of Chinese products imported to the US, with a value exceeding USD 250 billion. The tariffs introduced by China affect around USD 60 billion worth of goods. The research shows these new tariffs, introduced on 24 September, will increase US consumer prices on affected Chinese products by an average of 4.5%, while the producer price of Chinese firms declines by 20.5%.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 10

European Financial Integration through Securitization

Karolin Kirschenmann, Jesper Riedler and Tobias Schuler

The lack of cross-border risk sharing in the banking sector is one of the biggest barriers to better integrated financial markets in Europe. In this EconPol policy brief, the authors emphasize the potential of the securitization market for bank-based financial integration. To effectively increase cross-border risk sharing through securitization in the EU, they suggest further improving the existing regulatory framework in order to reduce barriers to a thriving securitization market.  A further recommendation is to introduce explicit incentives for risk sharing, and securitization in Europe entering EU regulation and EU programs.

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Cover of EconPol Working Paper 18

Investment Incentives and Tax Competition under the Allowance for Growth and Investment (AGI)

Seppo Kari, Jussi Laitila and Olli Ropponen

The European Commission’s Allowance for Growth and Investment (AGI) has proposed investment incentives in its two-step approach towards the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). In this latest EconPol working paper, the authors demonstrate that the AGI strengthens investment incentives in high-tax countries and decreases the CCCTB-induced investment push towards low-tax countries. They also demonstrate that the AGI decreases tax competition and that a sufficiently generous AGI reduces tax competition between countries when introduced with the CCCTB.

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Cover EconPol Opinion blanco 2018

Fixing the euro needs to go beyond economics

Anne-Laure Delatte

The agenda to fix the euro is hampered by conflicting national interests. Creditor countries demand fiscal house cleaning and debtor countries ask for risk sharing. There is currently a political deadlock about how the adjustment burden should be distributed, perpetuating a state of vulnerability that is not in the collective interest of euro area members. This column, part of the Vox debate on euro area reform, argues that overcoming this coordination failure requires reforming the political governance of the EU, rather than just its economic governance.

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Cover EconPol Opinion blanco 2018

US China trade war and Europe: ‘If two quarrel, the third rejoices’

Daniel Gros

With Trump’s trade policies becoming apparent, China has emerged as enemy number one. Meanwhile, other trading partners – particularly smaller ones - are being pressured to introduce concessions with advantages for the US. A key question for the rest of the world is what economic fallout to expect from this trade war. EconPol researcher Daniel Gros suggests that the US will attempt to put similar pressure on the EU, but it is unlikely that this pressure will succeed.  But with the US expected to pursue its policy of trying to isolate China with other smaller trading partners, the political and systemic costs of the Sino-US trade war could be considerable in the long run.

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Cover EconPol Opinion blanco 2018

Digitalisation should be promoted, not taxed

Clemens Fuest

A 3 percent tax on digital turnover, recently proposed by the European Commission, will stifle digitization in Europe and will only encourage other countries to take countervailing measures, says EconPol expert Clemens Fuest.

The Commission justifies the new tax with the observation that companies like Apple or Google sell their goods and services in Europe but pay almost no profit taxes here. This overlooks that current international tax agreements do not stipulate that companies pay profit taxes in the countries where they sell their goods. Profits should be taxed where these goods are developed and produced. In the case of the global internet giants, this is the US. Whether or not the US exercises its right to tax these profits is not a concern for the EU.

Countries where the goods are sold do collect value added tax. Europe could of course try to change international tax rules. But that would mean it loses the right to tax the profits of its exporters - their profits would be taxed in China or the US.

Instead of introducing new digital taxes Europe should promote digitalisation and focus on creating a European internal market for the digital economy.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 9

Why and How There Should be More Europe in Development Policy

Christoph Harendt, Friedrich Heinemann, Stefani Weiss

Extreme poverty in certain global regions remains one of our greatest international challenges: between 2014 and 2016, 800 million people suffered from hunger. Despite this, most EU member states spend less than the required 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) on development aid and there are high associated administrative costs.

In this EconPol Policy Brief, the authors argue that shifting more financing and management of development aid from member states to the EU would help resolve these problems and reduce costs.

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Cover of EconPol Working Paper 17

The EU Budget and Common Agricultural Policy Beyond 2020: Seven More Years of Money for Nothing?

Friedrich Heinemann and Stefani Weiss

The European Commission’s proposals for the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are under discussion, and these cautious reform ideas have set the parameters for upcoming negotiations. CAP will continue to have a two-pillar structure of direct payments and rural development, with a seven-year budget of €365 billion. As before, almost three-quarters of the budget - €265 billion - is reserved for direct payments to farmers. However, ‘European added value’ must be urgently applied to CAP, say Friedrich Heinemann and Stefani Weiss, who have developed a series of recommendations to justify direct payments in their latest report for EconPol.

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