EconPol Policy Briefs

EconPol Policy Briefs are short articles providing key findings of policy-related studies and policy implications from recent policy relevant economic research. Grounded in evidence-based insights, the Policy Briefs discuss current topics in economic and fiscal policy within a wide range of specific areas of expertise. By discussing implications of policy scenarios and the impact of economic policies in the face of the rapidly evolving challenges faced by the European economies and their global partners, EconPol Policy Briefs provide a well-founded economic policy advice to European policymakers. Focusing on key messages and policy conclusions, the Policy Briefs transfer expertise from researchers into the public debate and facilitate informed decisions.

Reconfiguration of Supply Chains: What Are the Priorities of German Firms?

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Andreas Baur, Lisandra Flach, and Beata Javorcik

While eight out of ten German manufacturing firms reported material shortages at the height of the pandemic in December 2021, this share had fallen to 18 percent in October 2023. Nonetheless, the recent attacks by the Yemeni Houthi rebels on container ships in the Red Sea highlight the fact that supply chain risks remain significant.

... Details

Green Skills in German Manufacturing

Oliver Falck, Akash Kaura

Germany is a strong industrial nation with manufacturing contributing significantly to its economy. The country faces challenges including decarbonization, digitalization, and increased competition, especially in the automotive sector. Germany's automotive industry is vital to its economy, contributing around 9% of GDP and employing over 2.5 million people. The industry must adapt to these changes, requiring a skilled workforce with a focus on green technologies. The country has done a remarkable job in greening its manufacturing and green skills are quickly gaining prominence. After all, Germany is still a hotbed of innovation, but cannot afford to become complacent.

... Details

A “Green Revolution” for Sub-Saharan Africa? Challenges and Opportunities

Michael Bernardi, Christa Hainz, Paulina Maier, Maria Waldinger

Sub-Saharan Africa ranks as one of the world’s poorest regions. The causes of this are exceptionally complex, with political instability, lack of security, low levels of education, poor access to infrastructure and lack of integration into global trade networks as the leading explanations, among others. In recent decades, economists and agricultural development experts have been looking for ways to increase agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa through improved seeds, fertilisers and more modern farming technologies. This article looks at the measures in question, what has been done so far, and how scientists assess the effectiveness of these measures on agricultural productivity and poverty reduction. Finally, we present concrete recommendations.

... Details

Working from Home Around the Globe: 2023 Report

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Mathias Dolls, Pablo Zarate

How prevalent is remote work on a global scale? What are the prevailing modes of working arrangements at present? What are the foremost advantages of working from home and on employer's business premises? Is there a need for policy intervention? Our new Global Survey of Working Arrangements provides new insights to answer these questions.

... Details

The Role of Income Support Systems as Income Stabilizers in Times of Crisis

Mathias Dolls, Max Lay

This Policy Brief examines how minimum income support (MIS) schemes contribute to the stabilization of disposable incomes in times of crisis in Europe. MIS systems act as a “safety net of last resort” in many European welfare states, but to varying degrees. The results from the simulation of stylized unemployment shocks hitting labor markets suggest that the tax-transfer system overall contributes to income stabilization in periods of crises. However, the MIS schemes’ individual contribution is relatively small, especially as set against the unemployment insurance system.

... Details