EconPol Policy Reports

Cover of EconPol Policy Report 6

Which Role for a European Minister of Economy and Finance in a European Fiscal Union?

Zareh Asatryan, Xavier Debrun, Annika Havlik, Friedrich Heinemann, Martin G. Kocher and Roberto Tamborini

The European Commission has proposed to inaugurate a European Minister of Economy and Finance with the broad purpose of streamlining the complex and fragmented decision-making processes within the European Monetary Union. This policy report discusses the potential role the Minister could play in the development of the European Fiscal Union. The report lays out the main challenges along the current institutional solutions facing several dimensions of the Fiscal Union, in particular related to fiscal sustainability, macroeconomic shocks, incentives of structural reforms, and the optimum provision of European public goods. The report then discusses whether and to what degree the new European Minister of Economy and Finance can provide appropriate solutions to these challenges for the Fiscal Union.

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Cover EconPol Policy Report 5/2018

The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research

Anthony Edo, Lionel Ragot, Hillel Rapoport, Sulin Sardoschau and Andreas Steinmayr

How does migration impact the labour market, public finance and the political landscape? In EconPol’s latest policy report network members Anthony Edo, Lionel Ragot, Hillel Rapoport, Sulin Sardoschau and Andreas Steinmayr, CEPII, show that immigration can create winners and losers in the host country’s native workforce by affecting the skill composition of receiving economies and changing wage dispersion. But cultural concerns emerge as the key driver of scepticism towards immigration. A deeper understanding of these concerns is a precondition for designing policies that foster a positive atmosphere and combat negative attitudes towards immigrants and extreme voting.

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Cover EconPol Policy Report 4/2017

Economic Effects of Brexit on the European Economy

Gabriel Felbermayr, Clemens Fuest, Jasmin Groeschl and Daniel Stöhlker

On 29 March 2017, the UK Government notified its exit to the EU in accordance with Article 50 of the EU Treaty.1 Brexit is therefore officially initiated. On 29 April, the Heads of State and Government of the European Council adopted the guidelines for negotiations between the EU and the UK in accordance with Article 50 TEU. Negotiations between the EU27 and the UK on the important issues of exit and discussions on future political and economic relations between the EU27 and the UK have begun in July 2017 and have proven difficult since then.

 

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Cover EconPol Policy Report 3/2017

The Nature of Shocks in the Eurozone and Their Absorption Channels

Cinzia Alcidi, Mathias Dolls, Clemens Fuest, Carla Krolage and Florian Neumeier

We investigate the degree of (a)symmetry of macroeconomic fluctuations within the euro area (EA). Our findings indicate, first, a high degree of co-movement of cyclical GDP across EA member states. However, the amplitudes of national business cycles appear to vary notably, meaning that booms and recessions differ with regard to their severity across EA member states. Second, the co-movement of cyclical unemployment is somewhat less pronounced than that of cyclical GDP and the sensitivity to common shocks is even more heterogeneous, suggesting that differences in labour market conditions play an important role with regard to the vulnerability to common shocks. Turning to potential stabilization mechanisms, we find that in general, the private sector has a huge potential to absorb asymmetric shocks. However, in international comparison, the shock-absorption capacity of the private sector in the EA is rather weak. Recent evidence suggests that promoting capital market integration may improve the private sector’s shock absorption capacity.

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 Cover EconPol Policy Report 02 2017

The German Current Account Surplus: Where Does It Come From, Is It Harmful and Should Germany Do Something about It?

Gabriel Felbermayr, Clemens Fuest and Timo Wollmershäuser

In the international economic policy debate Germany is criticized heavily for its current account surplus. This paper describes the factors that have led to the surplus and discusses the policy implications. The current account surplus is mainly a result of higher savings, driven by an ageing population. The claim that the German surplus causes economic damage either in Germany or in other countries is not well founded. But Germany faces growing political pressures related to the threat of protectionism, the risk that a growing creditor position may lead to political backlash, and the fact that European Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedures imply that current account surpluses should not exceed six percent of GDP. To reduce the surplus Germany should focus on a corporate tax reform to boost private investment.

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