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Better Science Teachers Mean Better Student Performance

Schoolchildren achieve better science grades when their teacher has specialist training in the subject they teach. This has been shown in an evaluation of international student data by Pietro Sancassani of the ifo Center for the Economics of Education. Germany was not included in the study because all science teachers there already have specialist training. Around one-fifth of the effect qualified teachers have on student performance can be ascribed to the fact that teachers feel more confident delivering the course material.

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NATO Countries Slow to Increase Defense Spending

Despite Russia’s attack on Ukraine, many NATO countries are increasing their defense spending at a very slow pace. In 2023, most of them remain short of the goal of spending 2 percent of their economic output on defense. Only 11 out of 30 countries exceed this mark. “In Europe, the 2 percent target is being reached almost exclusively along NATO’s eastern border. Member countries further in the west are increasing their defense spending only cautiously,” says ifo’s military expert Marcel Schlepper.

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Closure of Smaller Police Stations Led to More Burglaries and Car Thefts

Following the consolidation of smaller police stations in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, crime increased in the affected areas. This is the finding of a joint study conducted by the ifo Institute, EconPol Europe and the Halle Institute for Economic Research. Police station closures led to an 18 percent increase in car thefts and a 12 percent increase in residential burglaries.

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Inequality in Germany Increased between 1998 and 2016 Especially within Cities and Municipalities, Not across Regions

Income inequality has increased in Germany between 1998 and 2016, according to tax data analyzed by the ifo Institute and EconPol Europe. This analysis shows that in 1998, the richest 10 percent of taxpayers earned 33.8 percent of total income. In 2016, that figure rose to 37.2 percent. “Unfortunately, more recent figures aren’t available,” says ifo researcher Andreas Peichl. Over the same period, the poorest 50 percent’s share of income fell from 19.3 percent to 15.9 percent. “Differences in income within municipalities account for more than 95 percent of national inequality.

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Disintegration of the EU Would Cause Massive Loss of Prosperity

A disintegration of the European Union would mean a massive loss of prosperity for the member states, finds a study conducted by the ifo Institute and EconPol Europe. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita would fall by almost 9 percent in Ireland, by 5.2 percent in Germany, by 7.7 percent in the Netherlands, and by 10.2 percent in Belgium. France and Italy would each lose 4.1 percent. Smaller economies such as Malta (19.4 percent), Luxembourg (18.1 percent), and Estonia (11.8 percent) would be hit the hardest.

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