Economic Development and Growth

Economic Development & Growth

What makes countries’ economies grow towards a developed status is a subject of much debate, with competing approaches vying to assert their superiority. Free markets or state-led? National champions or free enterprise? Diversification or competitive advantage? This EconPol topic area cuts through dogmas and philosophies to find which factors actually drive economic growth, under what circumstances, and which ones make it sustainable.  It looks at strategies, policies, and initiatives aimed at enhancing productivity, promoting innovation, and creating favorable conditions for economic progress, and examines the role of various drivers of economic development, such as investment, entrepreneurship, technological advances, human capital development, and institutional frameworks. It also explores the challenges and opportunities associated with economic growth, including income inequality, environmental sustainability, and the distribution of resources.

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Europe’s Middle-Technology Trap


Anita Dietrich, Florian Dorn, Clemens Fuest, Daniel Gros, Giorgio Presidente, Philipp-Leo Mengel and Jean Tirole

Companies in the EU spend much less on R&D than their competitors in the US and focus their innovation activities on mid-tech rather than high-tech sectors (IT hard-ware, software, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals). Reforms of EU innovation policy are necessary to avoid the “mid-tech trap,” i.e., the traditional dominance of the same companies, especially from the automotive sector.

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Enhancing Objectivity and Decision Relevance: A Better Framework for Evaluating Cohesion Policies

Friedrich Heinemann, Zareh Asatryan, Julia Bachtrögler-Unger, Carlo Birkholz, Francesco Corti, Maximilian von Ehrlich, Ugo Fratesi, Clemens Fuest, Valentin Lang, Martin Weber

By international comparison as well as compared to other EU policies, the EU’s Cohesion Policy evaluation system is far developed and institutionalized. This report analyses the remaining gaps and shortcomings in the Cohesion Policy evaluation system against principles established by the OECD and others and provides recommendations on how to further improve it.

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Pandemics, Payments and Fiscal Policy: Lessons from Four Years after the Outbreak of Covid-19


Gerome Wolf

The outbreak of an unprecedented global health crisis about four years ago put the very foundations of our communities, economies and politics to the test. Policymakers had to learn and react fast to limit human and economic costs at the same time. This article highlights the importance of existing markets, technological features such as payments systems and economic decisions at the transactional level in combating the spread of a contagious disease while stabilizing aggregate economic activity.

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