News Archive

Illustration for EconPol Opinion 19

How Serious Politics Must Counter Populism

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Opinion
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EconPol’s speaker Clemens Fuest (ifo, Munich) 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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Illustration for EconPol Opinion 20

Is Proportional Representation a Cure for Democratic Discontent?

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Opinion
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Public dissatisfaction with politicians and representative democracy is widespread in Europe and should not be taken lightly. The enduring protest of the ‘Yellow Vests’ in France is just one prominent example of the popular view that elections regularly fail to select governments that are reliably responsive to the preferences of a large part of the population. EconPol researcher Michael Becher (IAST, Toulouse) says resolving this dilemma requires a value judgement.
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Illustration for EconPol Policy Report 15

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

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Policy Report
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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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Illustration for EconPol Working Paper 25

Taxation and Public Spending Efficiency: An International Comparison

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Working Paper
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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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Illustration for EconPol Opinion 18

Majority Voting on Taxation Could Prove Explosive for European Integration

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Opinion
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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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