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.

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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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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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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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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