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

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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Income and Tax Burden of the Middle Class in Europe


Mathias Dolls, Florian Dorn, David Gstrein, Max Lay

A strong middle class is important for political stability in democracies and can be an anchor against political extremism. With their consumption and labor input, middle class households make a significant contribution to economic growth and a prosperous society. With their taxes and other levies, the middle-income groups also contribute significantly to revenues and thus to the government budgets and the financing of EU welfare states. At the same time, the middle class has come under pressure in many countries in recent years. In many European countries, it is therefore questionable whether and to what extent the middle class will be able to bear further fiscal and financial burdens during the current crises and to meet the state’s additional financing needs to cope with major challenges such as climate change, the energy transition, the security policy shift, or demographic change.

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Immigrant Narratives in German Newspapers


Kai Gehring, Joop Adema, Panu Poutvaara

Narratives about immigrants matter for both natives and immigrants because narratives shape attitudes, political outcomes, and perceptions of discrimination. A recent and growing literature has shown that media narratives influence how people think and act as well as that specific framing of immigration matters for how migrants are perceived. However, no study has examined narratives about immigrants in a systematic way.

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