Economic and Fiscal Policy

Economic & Fiscal Policy

Foremost on industry bosses’ mind and the general public attention alike, economic policy is one of the key areas of EconPol analysis. Fiscal policy, in turn, as a major enabler of economic policy, is another pillar of exploration. Devising the right policies to boost economic growth, assure price stability, and safeguard sustainable public finances is an art in itself, and different for every country and economy. This EconPol section examines policies that impact taxation, government spending, budgetary allocations, and public debt management. Additionally, it investigates the challenges and trade-offs faced by policymakers in balancing competing goals and responding to economic shocks and crises.

Related articles

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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European Defence Spending in 2024 and Beyond

How to Provide Security in an Economically Challenging Environment

Florian Dorn, Niklas Potrafke, Marcel Schlepper

To improve defence capabilities, Europe has to increase defence spending immediately and also to create fiscal space for a permanent rise in defence spending. Many European countries have collected a considerable peace dividend since the end of the Cold War. In the same period, welfare states have expanded to a degree not backed by the general economic development. This Policy Report shows that if European NATO countries shifted around one percent of non-defence expenditure towards defence, this would be sufficient to meet the NATO 2%-target.

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The Role of Fiscal Policy Measures in Mitigating the Effects of the Covid-19 Crisis in Germany


Michael Christl, Silvia De Poli, Tine Hufkens, Andreas Peichl, Mattia Ricci

The Covid-19 pandemic hit Germany hard in 2020. Driven by the need to limit close contact and the resulting strict lockdown measures, economic activity fell sharply. To counter the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the German government introduced several policy measures. While the macroeconomic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is well documented, evidence on the distributional impact on household income at the micro level is more limited. Our analysis shows that German households experienced a loss of over 3 percent of market income in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Reform of the EU Economic Governance – Why and How?


Clemens Fuest, George Economides and Apostolis Philippopoulos, Iain Begg, George Kopits, Paul Dermine and Martin Larch, Wolfram F. Richter, Vesa Kanniainen, Vivien A. Schmidt, Torben M. Andersen, Sebastian Blesse, Florian Dorn and Max Lay, Anne-Laure Delatte

Europe is facing a whole new set of challenges: The cost of living is rising, war is on our doorstep, and an environmental turnaround is needed. How should the EU framework for economic governance change to make Europe stronger, more sustainable and more resilient? The European Commission has recently developed guidelines for a reformed economic governance framework. In March 2023, the European Council endorsed these guidelines. They aim at strengthening national ownership and facilitating the enforcement of projects. At the same time, they are intended to enable strategic investments and set a framework to reduce the high level of public debt. However, such economic policy coordination efforts at the EU level and the individual governance reform proposals open new debates. To what extent do they correspond to the real needs and interests of the EU? And do they take into account country-specific economic, structural and social problems of the member states?

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Taxation and Innovation: How R&D Tax Credit Schemes Foster Innovation in the Private Sector


Oliver Falck, Anna Kerkhof, Christian Pfaffl

Innovations form the backbone of sustained economic growth and, as such, they play a key role in safeguarding prosperity. Governments, aware of this, invest heavily in public research at universities and research institutes, and strive to create ideal conditions for private sector research and development (R&D), usually through specific R&D tax credit schemes or direct funding.

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