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ifo Institute Expects US Current Account Deficit to Increase Slightly in 2018

The ifo Institute expects a further increase in the US current account deficit, despite the introduction of tariffs by US President Donald Trump. The US current account deficit is expected to total 464 billion US dollars in 2018, or 2.5 percent of annual economic output, according to projections calculated by the ifo Institute based on mid-year figures on the occasion of the annual conference of the EconPol research network.
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Economists Recommend Policies to Encourage a Sense of European Identity

European policymakers need to do more to encourage citizens to identify with Europe. Pan-European political consciousness could be encouraged by having citizens vote for European party lists rather than national party lists in the European elections. An EU Citizens’ Assembly should serve as a platform to discuss specific political issues and propose potential solutions. Europe could also raise its profile overseas through shared EU embassies and consulates. These are some of the main policy recommendations from a new study conducted jointly by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, and the ifo Institute, Munich for the EconPol Europe research network. The authors of the study also suggested the establishment of a European public broadcaster to provide more accurate and neutral information about the EU. There need to be more debates on European issues and international exchanges for groups that have so far had little opportunity to visit other EU countries and who generally do not strongly identify with Europe. Ideally, the European Union should introduce new programmes such as “Erasmus for Pensioners” or a work exchange programme (“European Waltz”) allowing workers to spend several months working in another European country.
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EU tax avoidance standards are inadequate and need reform, finds EconPol study

A report by EconPol Europe, the European network for economic and fiscal policy research, has found that the measures included in the recently legislated Anti-Tax Avoidance Package (ATAP), which aim to reduce profit shifting activities by multinational enterprises (MNEs), are not likely to solve the perceived problems at reasonable costs and that a reform of the key principles of the international tax systems is required.
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How to Boost Productivity in the EU

Advances in total factor productivity (TFP) are important for sustaining economic growth in modern economies, in particular in the face of a declining working-age population. In a new EconPol Europe policy brief we identify investment in research and development, good governance, the capital intensity, a high share of information technology in the total capital stock, and the number of industrial robots per employee as conducive to TFP growth. Based on the empirical results, policies that are beneficial for capital formation in general, investment in computer technology, research and development as well as the use of industrial robots could boost TFP in Europe.
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