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.

Income and Tax Burden of the Middle Class in Europe

INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE WORLD

Mathias Dolls, Florian Dorn, David Gstrein, Max Lay

A strong middle class is important for political stability in democracies and can be an anchor against political extremism. With their consumption and labor input, middle class households make a significant contribution to economic growth and a prosperous society. With their taxes and other levies, the middle-income groups also contribute significantly to revenues and thus to the government budgets and the financing of EU welfare states. At the same time, the middle class has come under pressure in many countries in recent years. In many European countries, it is therefore questionable whether and to what extent the middle class will be able to bear further fiscal and financial burdens during the current crises and to meet the state’s additional financing needs to cope with major challenges such as climate change, the energy transition, the security policy shift, or demographic change.

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How Sanctions Work - And Which Goals They Fail to Achieve

POLICY DEBATE OF THE HOUR

Jerg Gutmann, Matthias Neuenkirch and Florian Neumeier, Constantinos Syropoulos and Yoto V. Yotov, Eckhard Janeba, Stefan Goldbach and Volker Nitsch, Kai A. Konrad and Marcel Thum, Dario Laudati, Mohammad Reza Farzanegan

In the light of geopolitical conflicts and instability, sanctions play an important role in the international economic policy debate - especially against countries such as Russia, Iran and China. Economic sanctions are often intended to achieve foreign and security policy goals: fighting terrorism, protecting democracy and human rights, or resolving conflicts. In this issue of EconPol Forum, our authors examine, using the evidence-based studies, the extent to which various sanctions have achieved their goals. How do they affect economic growth, trade, and prosperity? In addition, we want to understand their impact on sectoral development of agriculture, energy and mining, as well as on human rights, military spending or life expectancy. In this context, international trade, financial transactions, technology transfer and other economic activities, among others, are systematically studied. And researchers look at different types of sanctions, such as unilateral, multilateral, and extraterritorial.

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Measuring Remote Work Using a Large Language Model (LLM)

BIG-DATA-BASED ECONOMIC INSIGHTS

Peter John Lambert

The Covid-19 pandemic propelled an enormous uptake in hybrid and fully remote work. Over time, it has become clear that this shift will endure long after the initial forcing event. There are few modern precedents for such an abrupt, large-scale shift in working arrangements. This article analyzes the full text of hundreds of millions of job postings in five English-speaking countries. In doing so, it applies a state-of-the-art Large Language Model (LLM) to analyze the text and determine whether the job allows remote/hybrid work.

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

ECONOMIC POLICY AND ITS IMPACT

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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Discrimination of Sexual Minorities in Emerging Markets: Can the Needle Be Moved?

INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE WORLD

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Christopher S. Carpenter, Ralph De Haas, Mathias Dolls, Lisa Windsteiger

Recent advances in rights for lesbians, gay men, and bisexual individuals (LGB) have varied substantially across the world. This article provides new evidence on the determinants of support for sexual minorities in Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine – three emerging markets with some of the lowest rates of social acceptance of sexual minorities in Europe.

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