EconPol Opinions

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Intra-EU labour mobility: From too little to too much?

Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros

Freedom of movement of workers is one of the fundamental ‘four freedoms’ of the European Union and has been in force for decades.  Economists have long considered that labour mobility is too low in EU, but this is changing as more and more EU citizens move to other Member States to work. Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros examine the factors that have driven the growth in intra-EU labour mobility in this latest EconPol opinion.

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Activism pressure and the market for corporate assets

Ulrich Hege and Yifei Zhang

Does activism affect the acquisition and asset sale decisions of firms that are only indirectly affected by activists? Has activism grown sufficiently in importance that it influences the equilibrium in corporate asset markets, and what is its impact on the liquidity and efficiency of these markets? These are the questions posed by EconPol researcher Ulrich Hege and his co-author Yifei Zhang in this EconPol opinion examining the rise of shareholder activism and its international expansion.

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The death of the European Banking Union

Timo Wollmershäuser

In July 2017, Louis Rouanet argued that the bail out of two Italian banks, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, would be a ‘deathblow to the European Banking Union’. EconPol researcher Timo Wollmershäuser agrees, and says the correlation between risk premia for sovereigns and banks has since sharply increased to the high levels observed before the start of the Banking Union.

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Fixing the euro needs to go beyond economics

Anne-Laure Delatte

The agenda to fix the euro is hampered by conflicting national interests. Creditor countries demand fiscal house cleaning and debtor countries ask for risk sharing. There is currently a political deadlock about how the adjustment burden should be distributed, perpetuating a state of vulnerability that is not in the collective interest of euro area members. This column, part of the Vox debate on euro area reform, argues that overcoming this coordination failure requires reforming the political governance of the EU, rather than just its economic governance.

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US China trade war and Europe: ‘If two quarrel, the third rejoices’

Daniel Gros

With Trump’s trade policies becoming apparent, China has emerged as enemy number one. Meanwhile, other trading partners – particularly smaller ones - are being pressured to introduce concessions with advantages for the US. A key question for the rest of the world is what economic fallout to expect from this trade war. EconPol researcher Daniel Gros suggests that the US will attempt to put similar pressure on the EU, but it is unlikely that this pressure will succeed.  But with the US expected to pursue its policy of trying to isolate China with other smaller trading partners, the political and systemic costs of the Sino-US trade war could be considerable in the long run.

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