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.

Who Should Bear the Burden of Increasing Fiscal Pressure? An Optimal Income Taxation Perspective


Mehmet Ayaz, Lea Fricke, Clemens Fuest, Dominik Sachs

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the global economy, leaving us with a significant stock of additional debt. A widespread view is that the burden of servicing this debt should be distributed fairly, suggesting that tax systems should become more progressive. How should the optimal degree of income tax progression change if governments need to raise more revenues? In this article, the authors use the workhorse model of optimal income taxation to analyze the change in the degree of tax progressivity in response to the fiscal pressure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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How to Reconstruct Ukraine? Challenges, Plans and the Role of the EU


Anna Bjerde, Romina Bandura, Anders Åslund, Marek Dabrowski, Christopher A. Hartwell and Dmytro Boyarchuk, Barry Eichengreen, Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel and Oleg Nivievskyi, Joop Adema, Yvonne Giesing, Tetyana Panchenko and Panu Poutvaara

The war in Ukraine is not over yet. Nevertheless, a possible roadmap and proposals for post-war reconstruction strategies are currently being discussed. They should be accompanied by economic and political reforms in the country. To finance this project, Ukraine will need to tap a variety of sources and institutions. This is because it will require investments in the hundreds of billions ‒ perhaps even trillions ‒ of US dollars. The EU, the US and other Western countries have signaled their willingness to provide further financial support for postwar reconstruction. Also potentially involved could be bilateral donors, multilateral banks, private investors, and the Russian state with reparations.

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The Demand for Data Skills in German Companies: Evidence from Online Job Advertisements


Jan Büchel, Jan Engler, Armin Mertens

The analysis shows that data skills are required in many job advertisements in Germany and are becoming more relevant. This is a positive sign for the data economy in Germany, as companies increasingly realize the potential of data and try to implement it in their own operations. However, a growing demand for employees with data skills poses challenges for companies in the future in view of the existing skills gap, especially in digitalization professions. Policymakers should intervene by, for example, taking measures that make it easier for companies to recruit foreign workers.

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The Closure of Police Stations Leads to an Increase in Theft Crime


Sebastian Blesse and André Diegmann

The recent literature on law enforcement activities and police presence shows that the intensity of crime can be influenced by police availability and visibility. This study is one of the first to analyze the effects of police infrastructure on crime occurrence. Attempts to cut back on police infrastructures in the area in favor of supposed efficiency gains can therefore be accompanied by considerable side effects – in the form of an increase in reported property crimes. Thus, the present results can inform policymakers and practitioners about possible unintended side effects of efficiency-oriented restructuring of administrative infrastructures. These should be considered for future plans of an efficient and future-proof reorganization of police structures.

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Regional Income Inequality in Germany


Immo Frieden, Andreas Peichl and Paul Schüle

In this article, the authors provide new evidence on regional income inequality in Germany, using tabulated income tax statistics for the period 1998-2016. Other than related work on regional income inequality in Germany which analyzes income or wages at the county level, we can characterize inequality at the municipality level. As there currently exist 401 counties in Germany, but more than 10,000 municipalities, our analysis is conducted at a much more fine-grained level.

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