Current publications

Cover of EconPol Opinions

How Serious Politics Must Counter Populism

Clemens Fuest

EconPol’s speaker Clemens Fuest says moderate politicians should compete with populists by offering realistic perspectives, and suggests Emmanuel Macron can serve as a role model in that regard. He also suggests that politics in Europe would benefit from putting in more effort to explain complex economic policy problems and pointing out where government action reaches its limits.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 15

Sectoral Reallocations, Real Estate Shocks and Productivity Divergence in Europe: a Tale of Three Countries

Thomas Grjebine, Jérôme Héricourt, Fabien Tripier

The creation of the European Monetary Union (EMU) in 1999 was expected to become a catalyst for real convergence in Europe. However, the authors of this policy report find that real divergence actually increased from the early 1990s, as evidenced by low productivity growth in the "periphery" of the Euro area relative to "core" countries. The report investigates the role of sectoral reallocation in this divergence, focusing on three archetypal countries: France, Germany, and Spain.

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Cover of EconPol Working Paper 25

Taxation and Public Spending Efficiency: An International Comparison

António Afonso, João Tovar Jalles, Ana Venâncio

This EconPol paper evaluates the relevance of the taxation for public spending efficiency in a sample of OECD economies in the period 2003-2017. It finds that inputs could be theoretically lower by approximately 32-34%; the Malmquist indices show an overall decrease in technology and in TFP. Crucial for policymaking, the authors find that expenditure efficiency is negatively associated with taxation, more specifically direct and indirect taxes negatively affect government efficiency performance. The same is true for social security contributions.

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Cover of EconPol Opinions

Majority Voting on Taxation Could Prove Explosive for European Integration

Friedrich Heinemann

The unanimity requirement for EU legislation on taxation in the Council has come under attack. Early this year, the European Commission launched an initiative to introduce majority voting for tax-policy decisions. Friedrich Heinemann analyses the arguments of the Commission and finds criticism unconvincing and misleading in this EconPol opinion.

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Cover of EconPol Opinions

Intra-EU labour mobility: From too little to too much?

Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros

Freedom of movement of workers is one of the fundamental ‘four freedoms’ of the European Union and has been in force for decades.  Economists have long considered that labour mobility is too low in EU, but this is changing as more and more EU citizens move to other Member States to work. Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros examine the factors that have driven the growth in intra-EU labour mobility in this latest EconPol opinion.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Brief 17

Macroprudential Measures and Taxation in the Housing Markets

Essi Eerola

The recent financial crisis and subsequent global recession have been followed by a wave of macroprudential measures in the housing market. At the same time, governments have a long tradition of conducting tax policies which encourage households to acquire owner-housing. These tax advantages may be at least partly responsible for the need to regulate borrowing. In terms of policy, the goal should be to identify instruments that reduce the negative effects of household leverage while minimizing the welfare costs to households. This EconPol policy brief examines the joint effects of the tax system and credit regulation.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 14

The Surprising Sluggishness of French Exports: Reviewing Competitiveness and its Determinants

Charlotte Emlinger, Sébastien Jean, Vincent Vicard

The large deterioration in France’s current account balance during the euro’s first decade was mainly due to its poor export performances. Although there have been no more market share losses since 2012, French export growth lags behind that of our European partners. This EconPol policy report examines the continuing sluggishness of France’s trade performances over recent years, marked in particular by its surprising inability to make any significant and lasting reduction in the trade deficit or regain back lost market shares.

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Cover of EconPol Working Paper 24

Immigration and electoral support for the far-left and the far-right

Anthony Edo, Yvonne Giesing, Jonathan Öztunc, Panu Poutvaara

Immigration increases support for far-right political candidates and reduces support for far-left candidates, with areas with low-educated non-European immigrants providing the biggest boost to the far-right. These are the conclusions of a paper released by EconPol Europe. In the paper, forthcoming in the June issue of the European Economic Review, researchers examined to what extent changes in immigration and trade patterns explain voting for far-left and far-right candidates in French presidential elections from 1988 until 2017. They control for the effects of changes in unemployment, education, and demographics.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 13

How to revive productivity growth?

Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, Stefano Schiavo, Klaus Weyerstrass

Providing financial incentives for companies to invest in productivity-enhancing technologies and practices is the key to productivity growth, according to this latest policy report by Cecilia Jona-Lasinio (ISTAT and LUISS Guido Carli), Stefano Schiavo (University of Trento) and Klaus Weyerstrass (Institut für Höhere Studien). Strong investment should also be made into training and workforce skills to exploit the productivity potential of new business models in the digital economy. Competition policy, although not directly related to productivity, is also emerging as an important tool to shape incentives and foster the efficient allocation of resources both across and within sectors and firms. The report analyses the recent trends in labour and total factor productivity in the EU and beyond and identifies factors that influence productivity.

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Cover of EconPol Policy Report 11

The design of a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism for the euro area: Choices and trade-offs

Christophe Destais, Frederik Eidam, Friedrich Heinemann

This paper critically assesses several dimensions of a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism (SDRM) for the euro area, while abstaining from recommending one ideal model for a restructuring mechanism. Instead, authors apply a menu-type approach. For five key institutional SDRM dimensions, they discuss the underlying fundamental trade-offs and the pros and cons of different design choices. The analysis implies that there is no convincing reason to further taboo the search for a euro area SDRM, as there are ways to combine the opportunities of a credible SDRM with financial stability.

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