EconPol Forum

EconPol Forum (formerly CESifo Forum) is a bi-monthly English-language journal to bring economic analysis on topics of worldwide interest along with policy advice to a broad range of policymakers and the public.

In September 2022 the CESifo Forum was restructured into four sections under the new EconPol brand. The first, Policy Debate of the Hour, recognizes the constantly evolving nature of policy challenges, focusing on the most pressing issues of the times. Leading researchers are invited to share their insights and policy conclusions. The Economic Policy and its Impact section assesses economic policies and develops robust evidence for their optimal design and implementation. In the Institutions Across the World section, contributors focus on the key role that institutional design plays in shaping socio-economic outcomes, often by comparing institutions across economic and political systems. Finally, Big Data-Based Economic Insights presents articles that glean economic policy advice from the exploitation of large, complex datasets.

Climate Change: Greening the Economy by Green Finance?


Christa Hainz, Claudio Borio, Stijn Claessens and Nikola Tarashev, Jan Krahnen, Jörg Rocholl and Marcel Thum, Jacob Baylon Schumacher, Rainer Haselmann, Sebastian Steuer and Tobias H. Tröger, Florian Berg, Jason Jay, Julian Kölbel and Roberto Rigobon, Emanuela Benincasa, Gazi Kabas and Steven Ongena, Hans Degryse, Tarik Roukny, Joris Tielens

The financial sector may play a central role in climate change. This is because, ideally, climate policy measures create important incentives for investors throughout the globalized world to redirect their capital in favor of a cleaner production and thus lower emissions. That is why climate policy must consider the link between the real sector and the financial sector. This transition will not happen by itself. It requires targeted financing measures. To make it effective, policymakers need information about what economic activity, and thus what investment, can be considered green or sustainable. The task is to identify and compile relevant data and provide it to investors in a suitable classification, e.g., via an ESG rating or a taxonomy. Our authors in the “Policy Debate of the Hour” discuss to which extent green finance can make the economy greener. They also examine the role the financial sector can play in this transition. Among other things, they shed light on how “green” can be measured and look at the role of climate policy and incentive effects. They also provide recommendations for both economic and climate policy. In our “Economic Policy and its Impact” section, the authors shed light on the question of how teaching evolutionary theory changes students' knowledge and important choices in their life. In “Institutions Across the World” we discuss how policymakers can create incentives for households to follow tax rules when they use household-related services. The section “Big Data-Based Economic Insights” uses a textual analysis to look at remarks made in ECB press conferences.

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Do School Curricula Matter to Students in the Long Run?


Benjamin W. Arold

Greater exposure to evolution teaching not only improves students’ knowledge of evolution by the time they graduate from high school, but it also enhances their belief in evolution in adulthood. What is more, the reforms affect high-stakes life decisions, namely the probability of choosing a career in life sciences.

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How to Incentivize Tax Compliance when Households Demand Services? What Works (Better) and General Limitations


Lilith Burgstaller, Sarah Necker

During the recent crises, governments around the world have spent large amounts of public funds to limit the impact of economic downturns on citizens and corporations. The resulting pressure on public funds is highlighting the crucial need to improve tax compliance.

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How to Deal with the European Energy Crisis? Core Challenges for the EU


Andreas Goldthau and Nick Sitter, Reyer Gerlagh, Matti Liski and Iivo Vehviläinen, Daniel Gros, Mathias Mier, Svetlana A. Ikonnikova and Sofia Berdysheva, Alari Paulus, Karsten Staehr

The current energy crisis in Europe is bringing about profound changes that can accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and secure energy system. Yet, it is a supply shock of unprecedented scale and complexity, most noticeable in the markets for natural gas, coal, and electricity. Winter promises to be tough - especially for low-income households that use gas for heating and for small and medium-sized industrial companies. Short-term policy measures aim to shield consumers from the effects of the crisis: these include gas and electricity price brakes and energy subsidies for households. At the same time, many governments in the EU are now trying to increase or diversify oil and gas supplies and also accelerate structural change. The articles in the “Policy Debate of the Hour” section of this issue of EconPol Forum examine the causes of the crisis, analyze its effects, critically assess the policies already in place, and propose new short- to medium-term energy policies to better manage it and strengthen the EU’s systemic resilience to energy market volatility.


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