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  • Author: Diego Valiante
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Evidence shows that financial integration in the euro area is retrenching at a quicker pace than outside the union. Home bias persists: Governments compete on funding costs by supporting 'their' banks with massive state aids, which distorts the playing field and feeds the risk-aversion loop. This situation intensifies friction in credit markets, thus hampering the transmission of monetary policies and, potentially, economic growth. This paper discusses the theoretical foundations of a banking union in a common currency area and the legal and economic aspects of EU responses. As a result, two remedies are proposed to deal with moral hazard in a common currency area: a common (unlimited) financial backstop to a privately funded recapitalisation/resolution fund and a blanket prohibition on state aids.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mikkel Barslund, Søren Arnberg
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper aims to estimate the crowding-out effect of the Danish mandatory labour market pension reforms begun in 1993 on the level of total household savings for renters. The effect is identified via a large panel of individual administrative records utilising the differences in speed, timing and sectoral coverage of the implementation of the reform in the period 1997 to 2005. Little substitutability was found between current mandatory labour market pension savings and private voluntary savings. Each euro paid into mandatory labour market pension accounts results in a reduction in private savings of approximately 0 to 30 cents, depending on age. This low rate of substitution is only, to a minor extent, explained by liquidity constraints. The results point to mandatory pension savings having a large effect on total household savings. Thus, pension reforms that introduce mandatory savings have macroeconomic implications.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Reform
  • Political Geography: Denmark
  • Author: Miroslav Beblavý, Marcela Veselkova
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In this Working Paper, based on nearly 20 papers produced by the Centre for European Policy Studies, Slovak Governance Institute and the Conference Board Europe, we examine whether the current trends in the areas of education and skills are pushing the European Union, towards convergence or polarisation. We cover a wide range of questions related to this main issue. No easy answers, but several cross-cutting messages emerged from the research. We demonstrated that there is increasing complexity in what a 'low-skilled' person is and how well (or poorly) s/he fares in the labour market. There are undoubtedly powerful forces pushing for more polarisation, particularly in the labour market. Our research confirmed that early childhood education plays an important role, and it also appears to be increasingly uncontested as a policy prescription. However, the other frequently emphasised remedy to inequality - less selection in secondary education, particularly later division of children into separate tracks - is more problematic. Its effectiveness depends on the country in question and the target group, while education systems are extremely difficult to shift even on a long-term basis. A different, more-nuanced type of warning to policy-makers is delivered in our research on returns to higher education by field of study, which showed hidden rationality in how students choose their major.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Clara Portela
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study analyses the use by the European Union of the novel concept of 'targeted sanctions' in the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy. It examines two sets of sanctions regimes featuring different degrees of efficacy: in Myanmar and Zimbabwe, the EU wielded measures in support of human rights and democracy objectives in the absence of a United Nations mandate, while it supplemented UN sanctions to stop nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea. The study highlights a number of facilitators of, or hindrances to, the efficacy of sanctions, such as the degree of support by regional powers or the presence of UN legitimation. It concludes that the EU sanctions regimes could be optimised by using more robust measures, designing them on the basis of ex ante assessments, enabling faster upgrades, monitoring their impact and adjusting them regularly and improving outreach efforts.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Regional Cooperation, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, United Nations, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Arno Behrens, Jonas Teusch, Caroline Coulie
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of decarbonisation of the energy sector on employment in Europe. Setting the stage for such an assessment, the paper provides an analysis of possible pathways to decarbonise Europe's energy system, taking into account EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2020 and 2050. It pays particular attention to various low-carbon technologies that could be deployed in different regions of the EU. It concludes that efficiency and renewables play a major role in any decarbonisation scenario and that the power sector is the main enabler for the transition to a low-carbon economy in Europe, despite rising electricity demand. The extent of the decline in the share of fossil fuels will largely depend on the existence of carbon capture and storage (CCS), which remains a major source of uncertainty.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas Barnebeck Andersen, Nikolaj Malchow-Møller, Jens Nordvig
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Has inflation targeting (IT) conferred benefits in terms of economic growth on countries that followed this particular monetary policy strategy during the crisis period 2007-12? This paper answers this question in the affirmative. Countries with an IT monetary regime with flexible exchange rates weathered the crisis much better than countries with other monetary regimes, predominantly countries with fixed exchange rates. Part of this difference in growth performance reflects differences in export performance during the initial years of the crisis, which in turn can be explained by real exchange rate depreciations. However, IT seems also to confer other benefits on the countries above and beyond the effects from currency depreciation.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Denmark
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The EMS crisis of the 1990 s illustrated the importance of a lack of confidence in price or exchange rate stability, whereas the present crisis illustrates the importance of a lack of confidence in fiscal sustainability. Theoretically the difference between the two should be minor since, in terms of the real return to an investor, the loss of purchasing power can be the same when inflation is unexpectedly high, or when the nominal value of government debt is cut in a formal default. Experience has shown, however, that expropriation via a formal default is much more disruptive than via inflation.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Ansgar Belke, Anne Oeking, Ralph Setzer
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The significant gains in export market shares made in a number of vulnerable euro-area crisis countries have not been accompanied by an appropriate improvement in price competitiveness. This paper argues that, under certain conditions, firms consider export activity as a substitute for serving domestic demand. The strength of the link between domestic demand and exports is dependent on capacity constraints. Our econometric model for six euro-area countries suggests domestic demand pressure and capacity-constraint restrictions as additional variables of a properly specified export equation. As an innovation to the literature, we assess the empirical significance through the logistic and the exponential variant of the non-linear smooth transition regression model. We find that domestic demand developments are relevant for the short-run dynamics of exports in particular during more extreme stages of the business cycle. A strong substitutive relationship between domestic and foreign sales can most clearly be found for Spain, Portugal and Italy, providing evidence of the importance of sunk costs and hysteresis in international trade.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the announcement of the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, in 2012, the government bond spreads began a strong decline. This paper finds that most of this decline is due to the positive market sentiments that the OMT programme has triggered and is not related to underlying fundamentals, such as the debt-to-GDP ratios or the external debt position that have continued to increase in most countries. The authors even argue that the market's euphoria may have gone too far in taking into account the same market fundamentals. They conclude with some thoughts about the future governance of the OMT programme.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ana-Maria Fuertes, Elena Kalotychou, Orkun Saka
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Paul De Grauwe ' s fragility hypothesis states that member countries of a monetary union such as the eurozone are highly vulnerable to a self – fulfilling mechanism by which the efforts of investors to avoid losses from default can end up triggering the very default they fear. The authors test this hypothesis by applying an eclectic methodology to a time window around Mario Draghi ' s " whatever it takes " (to keep the eurozone on firm footing) pledge on 26 July 2012 . This pledge was soon followed by the announcement of the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program me (the prospective and conditional purchase by the European Central Bank of sovereign bonds of eurozone countries having difficulty issuing debt) . The principal components of eurozone credit default swap spreads validate this choice of time frame . An event study reveals significant pre – announcement contagion emanating from Spain to Italy, Belgium, France and Austria. Furthermore, time – series regression confirms frequent clusters of large shocks affecting the credit default swap spreads of the four eurozone countries but solely during the pre – announcement period. The findings of this report support the fragility hypothesis for the eurozone and endorse the Outright Monetary Transactions programme.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Belgium, Italy
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014. While the contrived collision between these projects has tragically induced Russia to break all the established international security norms by waging war against Ukraine, the present paper deals essentially with trade policy issues. The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiations currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union. The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014. While the contrived collision between these projects has tragically induced Russia to break all the established international security norms by waging war against Ukraine , the present paper deals essentially with trade policy issues . The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiation s currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union. The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Ansgar Belke, Timo Baas
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Member countries of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) initiated wide-ranging labour market reforms in the last decade. This process is ongoing as countries that are faced with serious labour market imbalances perceive reforms as the fastest way to restore competitiveness within a currency union. This fosters fears among observers about a beggar-thy-neighbour policy that leaves non-reforming countries with a loss in competitiveness and an increase in foreign debt. Using a two-country, two-sector search and matching DSGE model, we analyse the impact of labour market reforms on the transmission of macroeconomic shocks in both non-reforming and reforming countries. By analysing the impact of reforms on foreign debt, we contribute to the debate on whether labour market reforms increase or reduce current account imbalances.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Politics, Labor Issues, Reform
  • Author: Jørgen Mortensen
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper first takes a step backwards with an attempt to situate the recent adoption of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union in the context of discussions on the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and the 'Maastricht criteria', as fixed in the Maastricht Treaty for membership in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in a longer perspective of the sharing of competences for macroeconomic policy-making within the EU. It then presents the main features of the new so-called 'Fiscal Compact' and its relationship to the SGP and draws some conclusions as regards the importance and relevance of this new step in the process of economic policy coordination. It concludes that the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union does not seem to offer a definitive solution to the problem of finding the appropriate budgetary-monetary policy mix in EMU, which was already well identified in the Delors report in 1989 and regularly emphasised ever since and is now seriously aggravated due to the crisis in the eurozone. Furthermore, implementation of this Treaty may under certain circumstances contribute to an increase in the uncertainties as regards the distribution of the competences between the European Parliament and national parliaments and between the former and the Commission and the Council.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anna-Elisabeth Thum, Miroslav Beblavý, Galina Potjagailo
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Adult learning is seen as a key factor for enhancing employment, innovation and growth, and it should concern all age cohorts. The aim of this paper is to understand the points in the life cycle at which adult learning takes place and whether it leads to reaching a medium or high level of educational attainment. To this end we perform a synthetic panel analysis of adult learning for cohorts aged 25 to 64 in 27 European countries using the European Labour Force Survey. We find, as previous results suggest, that a rise in educational attainment as well as participation in education and training happens mostly at the age range of 25-29. However, investment across the life cycle by cohorts older than 25 still occurs: in most countries in our sample, participation in education and training as well as educational attainment increases observably across all cohorts. We also find that the decline with age slows down or is even reversed for older cohorts, for both participation in education and educational attainment. Finally, we can identify a Nordic model in which adult learning is achieved through participation in education and training, a Central European model in which adult learning occurs in the form of increasing educational attainment and a liberal model in which both approaches to adult learning are observable.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mikkel Barslund, Thomas Barnebeck Andersen, Casper Worm Hansen, Thomas Harr, Peter Sandholt Jensen
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This Working Document provides an estimate of China's impact on the growth rate of resource-rich countries since its WTO accession in December 2001. The authors' empirical approach follows the logic of the differences-in-differences estimator. In addition to temporal variation arising from the WTO accession, which they argue was exogenous to other countries' growth trajectories, the authors exploit spatial variation arising from differences in natural resource wealth. In this way they can compare changes in economic growth in the pre- and post-accession periods between countries that benefited from the surge in demand for industrial commodities brought about by China's WTO accession and countries that were less able to do so. They find that that roughly one-tenth of the average annual post-accession growth in resource-rich countries was due to China's increased appetite for commodities. The authors use this finding to inform the debate about what will happen to economic growth in resource-rich countries as China rebalances and its demand for commodities weakens.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Anna-Elisabeth Thum, Marten von Werder
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This report reviews national and private initiatives to allow the elderly to continue their participation in the Finnish labour market and provides an analysis of the labour market and living conditions of seniors. We are interested in how those over 50 can be engaged in various forms of employment and lifelong learning. We find strong evidence that Finland generally provides good institutional conditions for active ageing. The quick and early ageing process was tackled by the fundamental pension reform that already prolonged retirement substantially and will probably facilitate later retirement as the attitudes concerning retirement change. On the other hand, Finland still seems to lack behind the other Nordic welfare states, has considerable problems in providing the same health conditions to low educated people in physically demanding occupations and could - with respect to family pension in particular - invest further effort in reforming the pension system. While many of the reforms Finland has conducted seem to be favourable and transferable to other European countries that still face the steepest phases of ageing in their societies, a reluctance towards changing attitudes that we observe in Finland, shows that organizing active ageing is a long-term project.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Health, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Anna-Elisabeth Thum, Nicolas Contreras, Elisa Martellucci
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This report aims at understanding how persons aged 50 years and older are and can be integrated into the working society in Belgium. We are interested in how people in this age group can be induced to engage in various forms of employment and lifelong learning. Based on secondary literature, descriptive databases as well as interviews with experts and focus groups, we find that the discussion on active ageing in Belgium is well advanced with numerous contributions by academics, stakeholders, social partners, the public administration and interest groups. The wish to retire at 60 is widely shared but at the same time the majority of Belgium's elderly are able and would be willing to work under specific conditions. Therefore, we recommend that Belgium should invest in more flexible systems including a revision of the tax scheme, such as the part-time retirement system proposed by the insurance company Delta Lloyd. An equally relevant recommendation would be to ensure that public employment agencies, employers and agencies that provide training encourage all workers to work and learn regardless of their age.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, Belgium
  • Author: Bernard Delbecque
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that it should be possible to complement Europe's Economic and Monetary Union with an insurance-type shock absorption mechanism to increase the resilience of member countries to economic shocks and reduce output volatility. Such a mechanism would neither require the establishment of a central authority, nor would it lead to permanent transfers between countries. For this mechanism to become a reality, however, it would be necessary to overcome certain technical problems linked to the difficulty of anticipating correctly the position of an economy in the business cycle.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrea Renda, Oliver Fritsch, Claudio M. Radaelli, Lorna Schrefler
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the quality of impact assessments in the European Commission and the United Kingdom for the period 2005-2010. We coded 477 impact assessments for the UK and 251 for the European Commission, using a detailed scorecard - adjusted to reduce the bias evidenced by previous usages of this instrument.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper finds evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) in the eurozone during 2010-11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt-to-GDP ratios, and was the result of negative market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland
  • Author: Elena Gnedina, Evghenia Sleptsova
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Ukraine has long been castigated for its noncommittal attitude to cooperation with the EU, this being part of its 'multi-vector' foreign policy. Such a policy was widely attributed to the failings of domestic elites, which delay reform for fear of losing rents and power. This CEPS Working Document suggests, however, that the recent setback in EU-Ukraine relations highlights more complex reasons behind this. First, it asserts that a pro-European vector is not a self-evident choice for Ukraine, which is economically interdependent with both Russia and the EU. Second, it finds that the economic crisis has made the EU less attractive in the short term. In good times business was looking to Europe for opportunities to develop. But in times of crisis, it is looking to Russia for cheap resources to survive. Despite these unfavourable short-term trends, the authors conclude that an association agreement with the EU stands out as the only alternative that promises to put the shaky Ukrainian economy back on track towards long-term sustainable economic growth.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper tests the hypothesis that government bond markets in the eurozone are more fragile and more susceptible to self-fulfilling liquidity crises than in stand-alone countries. We find evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) in the eurozone during 2010-11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt-to-GDP ratios and fiscal space variables, and was the result of negative self-fulfilling market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010. We argue that this can drive member countries of the eurozone into bad equilibria.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Dirk Schoenmaker
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The eurozone is caught in a 'diabolical loop' in which weak domestic banking systems damage sovereign fiscal positions and conversely, in which risky sovereign positions disproportionately threaten domestic banking stability. A European-level banking system could go a long way towards breaking this unfortunate loop and stabilising the eurozone. This would require a European safety net for cross-border banks.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper presents a simple model that incorporates two types of sovereign default cost: first, a lump-sum cost due to the fact that the country does not service its debt fully and is recognised as being in default status, by ratings agencies, for example. Second, a cost that increases with the size of the losses (or haircut) imposed on creditors whose resistance to a haircut increases with the proportional loss inflicted upon them.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrea Renda, Fabrizio Cafaggi
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Private governance is currently being evoked as a viable solution to many public policy goals. However, in some circumstances it has shown to produce more harm than good, and even disastrous consequences as in the case of the financial crisis that is raging in most advanced economies. Although the current track record of private regulatory schemes is mixed, policy guidance documents around the world still require that policy-makers give priority to self-and co-regulation, with little or no additional guidance being given to policymakers to devise when, and under what circumstances, these solutions can prove viable from a public policy perspective. With an array of examples from several policy fields, this paper approaches regulation as a public-private collaborative form and attempts to identify possible policy tools to be applied by public policy-makers to efficiently and effectively approach private governance as a solution, rather than a problem. We propose a six-step theoretical framework and argue that IA techniques should: i) define an integrated framework including both the possibility that private regulation can be used as an alternative or as a complement to public legislation; ii) involve private parties in public IAs in order to define the best strategy or strategies that would ensure achievement of the regulatory objectives; and iii) contemplate the deployment of indicators related to governance and activities of the regulators and their ability to coordinate and solve disputes with other regulators.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jonas Teusch
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the interplay between shale gas and the EU internal gas market. Drawing on data presented in the 2012 International Energy Agency's report on unconventional gas and additional scenario analyses performed by the Joint Research Centre, the paper is based on the assumption that shale gas will not fundamentally change the EU's dependence on foreign gas supplies. It argues that attention should be shifted away from hyping shale gas to completing the internal gas market. Two main reasons are given for this. First, the internal gas market is needed to enable shale gas development in countries where there is political support for shale gas extraction. And second, a well-functioning internal gas market would, arguably, contribute much more to Europe's security of supply than domestic shale gas exploitation. This has important implications for the shale gas industry. As it is hard to see how subsidies or exemptions from environmental legislation could be justified, shale gas development in Europe will only go ahead if it proves to be both economically and environmentally viable. It is thus up to the energy industry to demonstrate that this is the case.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Famine
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes two claims that have been made about the Target2 payment system. The first one is that this system has been used to support unsustainable current account deficits of Southern European countries. The second one is that the large accumulation of Target2 claims by the Bundesbank represents an unacceptable risk for Germany if the eurozone were to break up. We argue that these claims are unfounded. They also lead to unnecessary fears in Germany that make a solution of the eurozone crisis more difficult. Ultimately, this fear increases the risk of a break-up of the eurozone. Or to paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, what Germany should fear most is simply its own fear.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Richard Youngs, Michael Emerson, Christian Egenhofer, Nathalie Tocci, Giovanni Grevi, Jean-Pierre Cassarino
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Conceptually, Global Matrix advances in a systematic and structured inter-disciplinary (matrix) framework a research agenda for examining the stance of major world actors on the key policy dimensions to world politics (political ideologies, economics, migration, climate change, security and world view); drawing out evidence of cross-cutting linkages (between sectors and among major actors); and evaluating the evolution and adequacy of existing multilateral institutions in relation to the emerging multi-polarity, and formulating recommendations.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Economics, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Organization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Africa, Brazil, Korea
  • Author: Giacomo Luciani
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The paper discusses the link between security of oil supplies and the functioning of international oil markets. It is argued that wide and frequent variations in price are in themselves a source of insecurity for individual consumers and national economies alike. Furthermore, the impossibility of predicting future prices discourages investment and increases the fragility of the system. The paper puts forward several policy proposals to reduce excessive price fluctuations and improve security of supply at reliable prices.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Dirk Rübbelke, Stefan Vögele
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change tends to negatively affect the power sector, inter alia, by causing cooling problems in power plants and impairing the water supply required for hydro-power generation. In future, when global warming is expected to increase, autonomous adaptation to climate change via international electricity markets inducing reallocations of power generation may not be sufficient to prevent supply disruptions. Furthermore, the consequent changes of supply patterns and electricity prices might cause an undesirable redistribution of wealth both between individual power suppliers and between suppliers and consumers. This study ascertains changes in European power supply patterns and electricity prices caused by ongoing global warming as well as related redistribution of wealth for different climate change scenarios. Our results confirm that autonomous adaptation in the power sector should be complemented by planned public adaptation in order to preserve energy security and to prevent undesired distributional effects.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes four key drivers behind the adjustment difficulties in the periphery of the eurozone: The adjustment will be particularly difficult for Greece and Portugal, as two relatively closed economies with low savings rates. Both of these countries combine high external debt levels with low growth rates, which suggest they are facing a solvency problem. In both countries fiscal adjustment is a necessary condition for overall sustainability, but it not sufficient by itself. A sharp cut in domestic consumption (or an unrealistically large jump in exports) is required to quickly establish external sustainability. An internal devaluation (a cut in nominal wages in the private sector) is unavoidable in the longer run. Without such this adjustment in the private sector, even continuing large-scale provision of official funding will not stave off default. Ireland's problems are different. They stem from the exceptionally large losses in the Irish banks, which were taken on by the national government, leading to an explosion of government debt. However, the Irish sovereign should be solvent because the country has little net foreign debt. Spain faces a similar problem as Ireland, although its foreign debt is somewhat higher but its construction bubble has been less extreme. The government should thus also be solvent, although further losses in the banking system seem unavoidable. Italy seems to have a better starting position on almost on all accounts. But its domestic savings rate has deteriorated substantially over the last decade.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Spain, Ireland
  • Author: David Kleimann
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The first 16 months of the EU's common commercial policy (CCP) in the post-Lisbon period provide indicative insights into how the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers interpret their respective roles under the new legal framework introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. This paper analyses the amendments, the institutional capacities to respond to the reform challenges and the evolving institutional balance applying to Lisbon-era common commercial policy. Against this backdrop, the paper gives an overview of the changing dynamics of EU trade and investment policy in a context of enhanced politicization resulting from the European Parliament's involvement in the decision-making process. Particular importance is given to the question whether enhanced EP involvement in decision-making has the potential to lead to a scenario resembling the policy process in the United States, where congressional responsibility for trade and investment policy has resulted in the capture of the policy agenda by special interest groups and snail-paced policy progress (if any) in recent years. Accordingly, the paper scrutinizes the political preferences that the European Parliament is introducing into current European trade policy debates as well as the framework legislation and trade agreements. Finally, it is argued that parliamentary involvement in making common commercial policy has the potential to narrow the gap between European public political preferences and perceptions, on the one hand, and actual EU trade policies on the other, and to place EU trade and investment policies on a foundation of renewed public political support. In the author's view, however, it is imperative that such an achievement is based on well-informed, responsible, sustainable and clearly communicated policy proposals from the MEPs, who respond to and seek to balance the multiplicity of interests of CCP stakeholders in European civil society and respect the Union's international obligations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Claudio Vicarelli, Marco Fioramanti
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The recent economic and financial crises have shown the weakness of EU economic governance. A process of strengthening macroeconomic and fiscal surveillance started in the course of 2010; among other proposals, the European Commission suggested a new binding criterion of debt reduction: debt-to-GDP ratio is to be considered sufficiently diminishing if its distance with respect to the 60% of GDP reference value has reduced over the previous three years at a rate of the order of one-twentieth per year.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Felix Roth, Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D., Thomas Otter
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The financial crisis has affected trust in national and European governmental institutions in different ways. This paper analyses the determinants of trust in the national and European institutions over the last decade and comes to the conclusion that inflation reduces citizens' trust only when the economy runs smoothly. In times of crisis, citizens do not worry about inflation but rather about jobs and the effects of a recession. Declining trust in national governments is related to an increase in unemployment in the EU-15 in all time periods, whereas trust in the European Commission and the European Parliament seems to be strongly associated with the situation in the real economy (unemployment and growth of GDP per capita) only in times of crisis. Yet in the EU-27, falling levels of trust in the national and European governmental institutions during times of crisis seem to be primarily related to an increase in government debt. In an EU-15 country sample, this negative relationship appears to be driven by countries that owe a larger share of their increase in government debt to aiding/bailing out their financial sector and the implementation of significant austerity measures.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rouzbeh Parsi
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the past two years the Iranian domestic political scene has undergone a major upheaval where many established norms and institutional frame-works have been abandoned or seriously weakened. A new baseline and sense of normalcy has yet to be established.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Insurgency, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Miroslav Beblavý
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In this paper, we examine two questions related to the sustainability of the major, neoliberal, economic and social reforms in the new EU member states, namely the flat income tax and private pension pillars. First, we look at the relationship between the political consensus/controversy at the time major policy reforms were passed and the future sustainability of these reforms after a change of government. Second, we explore what we call a paradox of reverse sustainability, whereby the flat income tax has been more politically resilient during the global financial and economic crisis than private pensions, even though ex ante expectations and the literature would lead us to expect the opposite.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses public support for the euro in Germany. Drawing from the results of regular Eurobarometer surveys, it finds that the ongoing financial and sovereign debt crisis has reduced support for the euro among German citizens, but not dramatically so – at least not yet. In the 1990s, the German public was sceptical towards the euro. But since the introduction of euro banknotes and coins, a clear majority of citizens supports the euro – despite the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Moreover, on average, support for the euro is at a similar level in Germany as it is elsewhere in the euro area.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Felix Roth, Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D., Lars Jonung
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the evolution of public support for the euro from 1990 to 2011, using a popularity function approach, focusing on the most recent period of the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Exploring a huge database of close to half a million observations covering the 12 original euro area member countries, we find that the ongoing crisis has only marginally reduced citizens' support for the euro – at least so far. This result is in stark contrast to the sharp fall in public trust in the European Central Bank. We conclude that the crisis has hardly dented popular support for the euro while the central bank supplying the single currency has lost sharply in public trust. Thus, the euro appears to have established a credibility of its own – separate from the institutional framework behind the euro.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anna-Elisabeth Thum, Miroslav Beblavý, Marcela Veselkova
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In this Working Document we look at which OECD countries deliberately attempt to reproduce social stratification through educational policies, and which countries put greater emphasis on intervening in the stratification process. First, we examine the relationship between education and welfare policies as measures of intervention in this process: do countries intervene in both education and welfare – driven by a 'stratification culture'? Or is there a trade-off between intervention in education and welfare, with certain countries prioritising one over the other?
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Author: Noriko Fujiwara
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This Working Document complements the CEPS Policy Brief, Understanding India's climate agenda, and elaborates on three key issues related to the country's energy challenges: access to energy, the future emissions trajectory and energy subsidies. This study looks into the making and framing of the country's domestic climate agenda from a political economy perspective. As long as both GDP and primary energy demand keep growing at the current rates, it may be concluded that the country's future, absolute greenhouse-gas emissions are also likely to grow but remain relatively low. Moreover, India's emissions intensity is expected to continue declining in line with the recent voluntary pledge by the Indian government. The study takes note of the national action plan launched in India, and the adoption of a flexible approach in international negotiations while maintaining a preference for several core principles, including equity. Lastly, the study explores the possibility for addressing issues such as international and intra-national equity in the context of the long-term EU–Indian partnership.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes the key economic variables and mechanisms that will determine the adjustment process in those euro area countries now under financial market pressure. (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy = GIPSY) The key finding is that the adjustment will be particularly difficult for Greece (and Portugal) because these are two relatively closed economies with low savings rates. Both of these countries are facing a solvency problem because they combine high debt levels with low growth and high interest rates. Fiscal and external adjustment is thus required for sustainability, not just to satisfy the Stability Pact. By contrast, Ireland and Spain face more of a liquidity than a solvency problem. Italy seems to have a much better starting position on all accounts. Fiscal adjustment alone will not be sufficient to ensure sustainability. Without significant reductions in labour costs, these economies will face years of stagnation at best. Especially in the case of Greece, it is imperative that the cuts in public sector wages are transmitted to the entire economy in order to restore competitiveness, and thus ensure that export growth can become a vital safety valve. Without an adjustment of wages in the private sector, the adjustment will become so difficult that failure cannot be excluded.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland
  • Author: Diego Valiante
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Investors have a longer memory than the sell‐side of the market. To regain their trust, intensive work needs to be done in the coming years. The new European Commissioner of the Internal Market, Michel Barnier, will play a pivotal role here. In the area of capital markets, he will need the support of a determined European Parliament, a strong commitment from the Council and Member States, as well as active contributions from the CESR/ESMA , other Level 3 Committees/Authorities and national supervisors. We believe that participants in capital markets share the same goal: to make them as efficient and effective as possible. The ability to collect savings and allocate them to investment, and to allow all participants to defray risk, is at the heart of any successful modern economy. This requires effective regulation that not only mandates common standards, but also promotes accountability, responsibility and transparency, while at the same time encouraging innovation. Effective regulation must not impose undue costs, if markets are to remain efficient and effective. However, we should be conscious that the crisis has been so deep that there is a collective need to go back to the basic principles of financial regulation and supervision.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Caterina Giannetti, Nicola Jentzsch, Giancarlo Spagnolo
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Asymmetries can severely limit the cross-border border expansion of banks, if entering banks can only obtain incomplete information about potential new clients. Such asymmetries are reduced by credit registers, which distribute financial data on bank clients. Asymmetrically distributed information and adversely selected pools of borrowers constitute severe barriers for foreign banks when they enter new markets. In many instances, these problems force banks to either form 'alliances with incumbents' or simply enter through mergers and acquisitions (M). Yet such entry modes do not automatically lead to intensified competition as they may leave the number of competitors unchanged. Thus, institutions that reduce information asymmetries in credit markets (thereby encouraging entry through branches) may be very important if the objective is strengthening competition in addition to market integration. Recently, these institutions – credit registers – have received greater attention among academics and policy-makers in Europe, although there is still a remarkable lack of understanding of their empirical impact on banking.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ilaria Maselli
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: 'Flexicurity' might be defined as a mix of flexible contractual arrangements, income support measures, active labour market policies and lifelong learning. The successful shift in approach of the Danish and Dutch labour markets from passive to active labour market policies, and to flexicurity, has attracted considerable attention among academics and policy-makers. The objective of this Working Document is to contribute to the debate with the creation of a composite indicator to measure flexicurity, based on the definition provided in the European Commission's Communication on Flexicurity (COM(2007)359). Our indicator confirms that preferences in the balance of flexibility and security are highly heterogeneous among countries; a finding that supports the 'pathway' approach as proposed by the European Commission. A second important conclusion is that the idea of flexibility being in favour of employers and security being in favour of employees needs to be overcome. Flexicurity is 'both for both', although it does not apply uniformly to all age groups but is two and three times greater for older and younger workers respectively.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Roderick Kefferpütz, Félix Krawatzek
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The modernisation of Russia has been a topic of vigorous debate for centuries. It has also been an intensely divisive issue among Russia's elite, and since President Dmitry Medvedev came to power, modernisation has become the leitmotif of the presidency. The global economic crisis hit Russia hard, meaning that the status quo in political, economic and social terms is no longer acceptable. However, there are a number of competing visions on modernisation within the Russian political elite and society as a whole. This Working Document aims to illustrate the diversity of and competition for the dominance of views on Russia's future. In a second step, authors Félix Krawatzek, Visiting Researcher at CEPS and Roderick Kefferpütz, Associate Research Fellow, analyse the obstacles to a successful realisation of the ambitious modernisation agenda and outline the implications for the new EU-Russia modernisation partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Felix Roth, Anna-Elisabeth Thum
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Using new international comparable data on intangible capital investment by business within a panel analysis from 1995-2005 in an EU-15 country sample, we detect a positive and significant relationship between intangible capital investment by business and labour productivity growth. This relationship is cross-sectional in nature and proves to be robust to a range of alterations. Our empirical analysis confirms previous findings that the inclusion of business intangible capital investment into the asset boundary of the national accounting framework increases the rate of change of output per worker more rapidly. In addition, intangible capital is able to explain a significant portion of the unexplained international variance in labour productivity growth and when incorporating business intangibles, capital deepening becomes an even more significant source of growth. The relationship is slightly stronger in the time period 1995-2000 and seems to be driven by the coordinated countries within the EU-15.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Selen Sarisoy Guerin
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Several policy-relevant issues regarding the EU's bilateral investment treaties (BITS) are addressed in this paper. First and foremost, we explore the question of whether EU's BITs have a significantly positive impact on outflows or not. Second, we ask the question which member states and which BIT partners have had a significant experience after the implementation of the BIT. In our sample we find that both OECD BITs and EU BITs have a statistically significant and positive impact on FDI outflows. This result is robust to the inclusion of variables such as privatisation proceeds that control for the level of economic reform, the level of trade linkages, the level of democratic freedom and a measure of risk of expropriation among other standard controls. We control for endogeneity in our estimations by using the fixed-effects estimator as our preferred estimator on a large panel dataset. We also test the strict exogeneity of our results by using a method suggested by Baier and Bergstrand (2007) and we find no feedback effect in our sample.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Trust in the ECB, as measured by the standard Eurobarometer (and other) surveys has fallen to an unprecedented low – especially in the larger euro area countries. The authors find that up to the start of the recession in 2008, trust in the ECB was little affected by business cycle variables such as growth and inflation. This changed radically with the recession, with trust in the ECB becoming correlated quite closely with growth. However, even the recovery of growth in 2009 was not sufficient to restore trust in the ECB to previous levels. This finding implies that European citizens seem to have placed a heavy share of the blame on the European Central Bank for the real economic downturn caused by the financial crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jørgen Mortensen
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper provides evidence on past growth of productivity, analysing the evolution of labour productivity, capital deepening and multi-factor productivity. Based on a literature review of recent studies, it shows that economic growth is increasingly attributable to the accumulation of intangible capital and that consequently, an increasing share of conventionally measured rise in labour productivity has, in fact, been ploughed back into the economy as intangible capital formation. In addition, it shows that on average for the developed countries examined, the growth of total factor productivity has been the main determinant of the increase in living standards over the 50 years from 1960 to 2010. It also demonstrates a striking slowdown in the growth of both productivity and living standards during this period. Looking ahead, it argues that the period 2010 to 2030 is likely to see a considerable expansion of tangible and intangible capital formation and lower growth of multi-factor productivity. The paper therefore concludes that over the next 20 years the scope for growth in living standards in the developed economies will be very limited, on average around half a percent per annum, with serious consequences for social conditions and a likely aggravation of inequalities.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Human Welfare, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian von Hirschhausen, Johannes Herold, Sophia Rüster
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper summarises the findings of work package 5.3 of the SECURE project, with regard to the role of carbon capture, transport and storage (CCTS) for the future European supply security of coal. The real issue in European supply security with respect to coal is the absence of an economically and politically sustainable use of coal for electricity, liquefaction, gasification, etc. Whereas earlier papers delivered for work package 5.3 on the coal sector indicated that there are few risks to the European energy supply of (steam) coal, there is an implicit supply security threat, i.e. that coal will no longer be an essential element of European energy supply because the CCTS rollout will be delayed or not be carried out at all. This thesis is substantiated in this subsequent paper, with more technical details and some case study evidence.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Miroslav Beblavý
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the Slovak experience with euro adoption from the point of view of perceived versus actual inflation and with a focus on a specific set of non-tradable prices. It examines whether Slovak consumers experienced or perceived (or both) an unusual price jump at the time of euro adoption and the possible explanations for such a phenomenon.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Slovakia
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores three areas in which the experience of the Great Depression might be relevant today: monetary policy, fiscal policy and the systemic stability of the banking system. We confirm the consensus on monetary policy: deflation must be avoided. With regard to fiscal policy, the picture is less clear. We cannot confirm a widespread opinion according to which fiscal policy did not work because it was not tried. We find that fiscal policy went to the limit of what was possible within the confines of sustainability, as they existed then. Our investigation of the US banking system shows a surprising resilience of the sector: commercial banking operations (deposit-taking and lending) remained profitable even during the worst years. This suggests one policy conclusion: At present the authorities in both the US and Europe have little choice but to make up for the losses on 'legacy' assets and wait for banks to earn back their capital. But to prevent future crises of this type, one should make sure that losses from the investment banking arms cannot impair commercial banking operations. At least a partial separation of commercial and investment banking thus seems justified by the greater stability of commercial banking operations.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper presents a simple, basic model to compute the welfare consequences of the introduction of a tariff on the CO 2 content of imported goods in a country that already imposes a domestic carbon tax. The main finding is that the introduction of a carbon import tariff increases global welfare (and not just the welfare of the importing country) if there is no (or insufficient) pricing of carbon abroad. A higher domestic price of carbon justifies a higher import tariff. Moreover, a higher relative intensity of carbon abroad increases the desirability of high import tariff imposed by the home country because a border tax shifts production to the importing country, which in this case leads to lower environmental costs.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Author: Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The financial crisis had a significant impact on the levels of trust that citizens place in the system and its institutions. Recent data from Eurobarometer show a significant fall in confidence on the part of European citizens in the EU's institutions. For the first time since its creation, a majority of European citizens no longer trust the European Central Bank. However, confidence levels in national governments have actually risen, supporting a contrasting trend between confidence levels in European and national institutions. This decrease in confidence towards the ECB is flanked in the case of Germany by strong anti-capitalist sentiments and a sharp decline in support for the social market economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Sébastien Peyrouse
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Agriculture constitutes one of the main sectors in the economies of Central Asia: cotton production and export, mainly in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and to a lesser extent in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan; a booming grain sector in Kazakhstan; and a long tradition of vegetable cultivation throughout the region. The agrarian question is a sensitive one since the population is still predominantly rural in four of the five republics (all except Kazakhstan) and because food safety is not ensured in the two poorest states (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). Land reform would be a priority for the growth of investment, increased productivity, and, consequently, the reduction of rural unemployment and poverty. However, pressed by the choice of cotton versus self-sufficiency in food production, the Central Asian states remain hesitant. They must also manage many structural problems, including high levels of corruption in the agrarian administrative organs, the opacity of decisionmaking structures for the export of production, quasi-slavery in some impoverished rural areas, child labour, and serious environmental problems related to the overuse of the soil.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The financial crisis has damaged citizens' trust in public institutions, especially the confidence that European citizens invest in the European institutions. The results of major public opinion surveys show a severe decrease in citizens' trust in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis with a slight recovery nine month later. In particular, citizens' net trust in the European Central Bank hit an historical low point in the aftermath of the financial crisis with a majority of people distrusting that institution. A variety of other surveys also show that confidence levels in the free market economy have decreased in most of the largest economies and demand for stronger state regulation has increased on both sides of the Atlantic. The key question now is whether this loss of confidence is a temporary or permanent phenomenon, which would have important consequences for the economy and for the proper working of the European institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cecilia Frale
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of the ongoing housing bust and oil price boom on the US and European economies. It finds that large house price movements (changes in construction investment) are useful to predict exceptionally bad and good times for the US economy, but not for most large European countries. In Europe housing market developments have led to extreme values of GDP, mainly in the UK, Spain and some Nordic countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer, Arno Behrens, Jorge Núñez Ferrer
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study focuses on the financial resources needed to fight global climate change and the implications for the EU budget. The authors apply four different methodologies to estimate global financing requirements and attempt to determine the resources that will be needed at the EU level to meet the EU's climate change objectives. The study analyses current climate change spending of the EU budget, identifies shortcomings and indicates possibilities for correcting them. It also assesses the potential of the EU emissions trading scheme to raise additional resources to finance coordinated actions at the EU level aimed at fighting climate change. Finally, it provides three case studies of national public expenditure related to climate change in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Andrea Beccarini
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: With inflation increasing all over the world, central banks have to consider with some care how quickly to re-establish price stability. A key issue in this context is the short-run cost in terms of foregone output and higher unemployment. The aim of this paper is to determine the 'sacrifice ratio' for the Euro Area and for the United States. The main findings are: the cost of reducing inflation is in most cases higher in the US than in the EA. For example, reducing (headline) inflation by 1% point requires a decline of output of 1.4% in the EU, but 2.3% for the US. Considering core inflation, the sacrifice ratio in terms of output is somewhat higher for the Euro Area (around 4) compared to 3.2 for the US. However, the sacrifice ratios in terms of unemployment are always much larger for the US. Reducing headline inflation by 1% requires an increase in unemployment of little more than 1% in the EA, compared to 8% in the US.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The question of whether central banks should target stock prices so as to prevent bubbles and crashes from occurring has been hotly debated. We analyse this question using a behavioural macroeconomic model. This model generates bubbles and crashes. We analyse how 'leaning against the wind' strategies, which aim to reduce the volatility of stock prices, can help in reducing volatility of output and inflation. We find that such policies can be effective in reducing macroeconomic volatility, thereby improving the trade- off between output and inflation variability. The strength of this result, however, depends on the degree of credibility of the inflation-targeting regime. In the absence of such credibility, policies aiming at stabilising stock prices do not stabilise output and inflation.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Cecilia Frale, Jørgen Mortensen
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The recent surge in commodity prices and the European Central Bank's decision in June to raise interest rates to combat inflation have ignited a debate about the appropriateness of raising interest rates during a phase of weakening activity. In addition, it is relevant to examine the approaches to measuring the rate of inflation, to consider the advantages and drawbacks of these methods, and finally to throw new light on the possible influence of monetary policy on the fundamental trends in prices.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Felix Roth
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper points out that education should be the central objective of the post-2010 Lisbon Process. Compared to other OECD countries, the member states of the European Union perform poorly when it comes to key indicators of innovative potential, such as the percentage of students enrolled in tertiary education and the educational quality of Europe's students. Education makes a three-fold contribution to a country's economic health. First it is beneficial for employment rates, second it is a key driver for long-term economic growth and third it appears to be beneficial for social cohesion. It will be crucial for European countries to attain higher levels of tertiary education and increase the quality of their education.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The downturn in the US housing market has attracted a lot of attention as it has sparked a global financial crisis. It is generally assumed that the eurozone does not face a similar problem. This paper shows that this assumption is wrong. The euro area average index of real housing prices has risen almost as much as that of the US and is now (as that of the US) about 40% above its 30-year average. This is similar to the overvaluation of Japanese real estate at the height of the Japanese bubble, which was then followed by over a decade of continuous decline. Over the last 30 years, the euro area index for real housing prices has tended to follow that of the US quite closely. The lag is now much shorter than in the 1970s or 1980s. The euro area market is thus likely to turn soon as well. One feature of housing price cycles that tends to be forgotten is their extraordinary length: many last for more than ten years. This persistence means that the downswing, which now seems to have started, is likely to last at least until the next decade. Within the euro area, there are large divergences: cases of 'froth' (Spain, for example) co-exist alongside cases of declining prices (Germany). These divergences have persisted for over a decade and have led to important macroeconomic disequilibria. The paper also develops an indicator of 'housing overhang', which shows by how much demand for new construction has to decline to bring the supply of housing back to normal levels. This indicator suggests that there is virtually no housing overhang in the eurozone on average and that it is of a manageable magnitude in the US. Spain and Ireland, however, face a massive housing overhang and thus probably a sharp deceleration of construction demand.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Stefano Bertozzi
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The European Commission has recently rekindled the debate about a possible future ruling on economic immigration, including the conditions and procedures for entry and residence, the principle of Community preference and the rights of third-country workers.The purpose of this paper is to recapitulate the main phases of Community action in the area of legal migration for economic reasons, starting with the political mandate given to the European Commission by the Tampere European Council. It moves on to outline the EU's current legislative programme to introduce policy instruments in 2007–09 for regulating the migration of specific categories of workers, some of which are aimed at easing the entry of highly skilled workers. It underscores the case for cohesive EU action in this controversial area in view of the need to improve the economic competitiveness of the EU and the risks posed by its ageing population.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Veenendaal, Herman Stolwijk, George Gelauff
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The budget of the European Union nearly always raises much commotion. Many member states anxiously guard their net payment positions: don't they pay too much for the EU compared to what they receive from the EU? Yet, from an economic perspective the subsidiarity principle is much more important: Should the funds be allocated by the Union or by the individual member states? From that angle, a number of fundamental reforms of European agricultural policy and structural actions (support to lagging regions) suggest themselves. These reform options may more than halve the EU budget. In addition they happen to bring the net payment positions of member states closer together.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Arjan Lejour, Henk Kox, Roland de Bruijn
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The proposed ServicIn March 2004, the European Commission proposed a directive on the internal market in services. Its aim is to boost the EU's internal market in services by reducing regulation-based impediments to trade and investment in services. A previous CPB study The free movement of services within the EU concluded that bilateral trade in commercial services may increase by 30-60 per cent. This equals an increase of total intra-EU trade (i.e. including trade in goods) of 2 to 5 per cent. For foreign direct investment in commercial services the EU proposal may lead to an increase by 20 per cent to 35 per cent.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mohamed Hedi Bchir, Lionel Fontagné, Sébastien Jean
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the background of the Doha Round of trade negotiations, this study proposes a CGE assessment of multilateral liberalisation of market access for non-agricultural products. The scenarios considered include the so-called 'Girard proposal' (with alternative choices for the coefficient involved), the removal of tariff peaks and complete liberalisation. This study is the first to take into account the difference between bound and applied tariffs, while considering all the enforced preferential trade arrangements and computing tariff cuts at the detailed product level (HS-6 classification). Although the liberalisation of market access for non-agricultural products is found to be welfare-enhancing at the world level, cross-country distributive effects prove significant. A soft liberalisation would not significantly reduce applied duties in developing countries, owing to their considerable binding overhang. By contrast, a deep liberalisation would entail fierce price competition among those developing countries that are largely specialised in similar sectors and in the same product quality range.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: Dimitris Psaltopoulos, Eudokia Balamou
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper presents a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) model for conducting an assessment on the potential impacts of trade agreements on several multifunctionality indicators in Greek agriculture. More specifically, two SAM models were constructed, one for Greece and one for local economy of Archanes (Crete), an agriculturally dependent NUTS IV area, which has demonstrated a noticeable record in terms of the implementation of Pillar 2 policies. Along these lines, five alternative scenarios were specified with regards to anticipated EU policy reactions under different future outcomes of the Doha round negotiations. In broad terms these scenarios range from a status quo (2003 CAP reform) hypothesis to full decoupling, taking also into account the possibility of further reductions in domestic (EU) support as well as developments on Pillar 2 funding. Results suggest that under the scenarios examined, the effects of policy reform upon multifunctionality indicators are rather mixed and surely not extremely worrying. Effects of the status quo scenarios seem to be optimistic in terms of projected economy-wide output and employment at both national and regional level. On the other hand, Scenario 1(bis) generates negative results in terms of farm output and employment (for Archanes), land-use abandonment projections are marginal at the national and rather moderate at the regional level, while environmental repercussions are negative at the national level. The regional analysis has also shown that the impacts of Scenarios 2, 2b and 3 are rather worrying in terms of all categories of projections, with the exception of “Total Output”. Taking account of the specification of Scenario 3, this finding generates rather justified reservations on the “ability” of Pillar 2 policies to ameliorate for economic activity contraction caused by a decrease in Pillar 1 support in Archanes economy.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study analyses how public R financing impacts the labour demand of companies. To our knowledge, no previous studies have distinguished the impact between a firm's global and domestic employment. Our company-level panel data covers a period from 1997 to 2002. The statistical method employed in the study takes into account the possibility that receiving public support may be an endogenous factor. Our results suggest that public R financing increases both group-level and domestic R employment. We also analysed the impact of public R funding on employment other than in the R area, and found that it is not affected by public funding. It is possible, however, that such funding has an impact in the longer term.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Erik Canton, Bert Minne, Ate Nieuwenhuis, Bert Smid, Mark van der Steeg
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Long-run per capita economic growth is driven by productivity growth. Major determinants of productivity are investments in education and research, and the intensity of competition on product markets. While these ideas have been incorporated into modern growth theories and tested in empirical analyses, they have not yet found their way to applied macroeconomic models used to forecast economic developments. In this paper, we discuss various options to include human capital, R and product market competition in a macroeconomic framework. We also study how policy can affect the decisions to build human capital or to perform research, and how competition policy impacts on macroeconomic outcomes. We finally sketch how these mechanisms can be implemented into the large models used at the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Netherlands
  • Author: Heikki Lehtonen, Jussi Lankoski, Jyrki Niemi
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper provides first results of the sector-model approach to analysing the effects of alternative policy scenarios on the multifunctional role of Finnish agriculture. In terms of environmental non-commodity outputs, this study focuses on nutrient runoffs, landscape diversity and biodiversity. As regards other non-commodity outputs, the paper considers rural socio-economic viability. The results suggest that, on the whole, reform of the common agricultural policy is not likely to result in any drastic decline of agricultural production in Finland. The amount of green fallow will increase considerably when agricultural support payments are decoupled from production, and as a result the remaining cultivated agricultural land will become biologically richer. The agricultural labour force is likely to decrease substantially irrespective of agricultural policy. The study concludes that the credibility of the production economics and biological relationships of the economic model determine the validity of the results of the many indicators examined. Further, the economic logic of microeconomic simulation models provides a consistent assessment of the many aspects of multifunctionality.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Pekka Sulamaa, Mika Widgrén
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study simulates the economic effects of eastern enlargement of the EU and an EU-Russian free trade area. The main emphasis of the paper is on the effect this would have on the Russian economy. The simulations were carried out with a GTAP computable general equilibrium model, using the most recent GTAP database 6.0 beta, which takes the former Europe agreements between the EU-15 and the eight new Central and Eastern European member states into account. The results confirm the earlier findings that a free trade agreement with the EU is beneficial for Russia in terms of total output but not necessarily in terms of economic welfare when measured by equivalent variation. The main reason behind this is the deterioration that would occur in Russia's terms of trade. Improved productivity in Russia would, however, make the free trade agreement with the EU advantageous.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sjef Ederveen, Albert van der Hoorst, Paul Tang
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: A stronger focus on jobs and growth is part of an effort to renew the Lisbon strategy. Yet the view that economic expansion contributes to maintaining Lisbon's other goals of social cohesion as well as the environment is somewhat optimistic. First, there are structural trade-offs among the central elements of the Lisbon strategy. Escaping these trade-offs temporarily is sometimes possible but requires policy changes. Second, higher productivity (growth) may not provide more structural room for governments to manoeuvre. It leads to higher tax receipts but also to higher public expenditures since public sector wages and social security benefits are linked to productivity. In contrast, more employment (jobs) is associated with a smaller public sector. But to engineer the increase in employment, changes in welfare state arrangements are needed. In other words, focussing solely on the sick child will probably harm the other children.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Kari E. O. Alho, Ville Kaitili, Mike Widgrén
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Economic convergence of the EU's new member countries (NMCs) towards the incumbent EU countries (EU-15) is of paramount importance for both partners, not only in terms of real income but also in nominal terms. In this study we build a dynamic, computable general equilibrium model, starting from the Balassa-Samuelson two-sector framework, then modify and enlarge it (with, among other things, endogenous capital formation, consumption behaviour and labour mobility) to address several other issues such as uncertainty, welfare and sustainability in terms of foreign indebtedness. At the same time we make flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) endogenous in order to evaluate the impact convergence has on the EU-15 and the inter action between the two regions through FDI. We find that in a general equilibrium setting, fears of adverse effects resulting from a relocation of EU-15 manufacturing to the NMCs are not well founded.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Namkee Ahn
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: We document in this paper the financial consequences of widowhood using both cross-section and panel data from the European Community Household Panel. The research reveals that there are large differences across countries. For example, widowed persons in Greece and Portugal have the lowest income – less than a half that of those widowed in Austria. Cross-country differences decrease somewhat if we consider household income net of housing costs, owing to the higher share of home ownership in low-income countries. Further, the income reduction upon widowhood is generally larger for widows than it is for widowers. The difference in income between the genders is largest in Denmark, Spain, Austria and Finland, where widower s enjoy an income that is more than 30% higher that of widows. The main culprit of the differences in income between widows and widowers lies in pension regulations. As today's elderly women an d those approaching old age spent their working years in an era where women worked at home, raised children and did not participate in the labour market, many depend mostly on survivorship pensions as their main source of income. Yet in most countries this kind of pension tends to be much lower than the applicable old-age pension, owing to the prevailing pension laws. Consequently, the financial situation of widows is unlikely to improve in the medium term unless pension regulations change.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Greece, Denmark, Spain
  • Author: Kari E. O. Alho
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper presents an alternative derivation of the gravity equation for foreign trade, which is explicitly based on monopolistic competition in the export markets and which is more general than previously seen in the literature. In contrast with the usual specification, our model allows for the realistic assumption of asymmetry in mutual trade flows. The model is estimated for trade in Europe, producing evidence that trade flows and barriers do indeed reveal strong asymmetry. We then carry out a simulation, based on the estimated model, of the general equilibrium effects (through trade) of the UK's possible entrance into the economic and monetary union.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Martina Brockmeier, Marianne Kurzweil, Janine Pelikan, Petra Salamon
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The WTO agricultural negotiations of the Doha round are a key issue in the public debate. This paper analyses the effects of different options to improve market-access on the basis of a GTAP model, comparing the impact of the Harbinson proposal and the Swiss formula on trade balances. An extended version of the GTAP model is used to first project a base run that includes factors arising from Agenda 2000, EU enlargement, the EBA agreement and the EU's mid-term review. The policy simulation run additionally includes the WTO negotiations. Here, the model is differentiated between three experiments. While the first experiment simply implements the Harbinson proposal, the second one additionally takes into account an adoption of the EBA agreement by all industrialised countries. In the third experiment, the tariff cuts are based on the Swiss formula using a coefficient of 33 instead of the tiered approach of the Harbinson proposal.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wusheng Yu, Hans G. Jensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The July package of the Doha Round of trade negotiations stipulates that a tiered-formula approach should be used to significantly reduce market access barriers across countries, implying that the EU would have to make larger cuts to its high external tariffs, in comparison with many other WTO members such as the US. This paper provides a preliminary assessment of the likely impact of the tiered-formula reform approach on EU agricultural sectors. Numerical simulations of a multilateral market-access reform scenario show that such cuts would lead to across-the-board decreases in intra-EU trade flows, as compared with a baseline projection. While intra-EU trade flows would decrease, the EU's trade with the rest of the world would increase. Yet such increases would not be symmetric – imports into the EU would increase more than exports, resulting in larger external trade deficits or smaller external trade surpluses in many EU agricultural products. Further, the resulting adjustments in member states' production and net trade positions are not equal: the new member states would generally lose part of their export shares in the EU market to external competitors, as highlighted in the cases of bovine meat and dairy products.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Marie-Laure Michaud
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, EU institutions have been increasingly concerned with the issues of unemployment reduction and job creation. The EU has recommended that member states develop welfare systems that moderate the negative effects of market relationships on the one hand, and enhance the efficiency of market performance on the other.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jorgen Drud Hansen, Morten Hansen
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: For almost a decade all three Baltic countries have witnessed substantial deficits on the current accounts of the balance of payments. This paper discusses whether this situation should be a matter of concern. Recent literature on the sustainability of balance of payments deficits is reviewed and put into a Baltic context. The main conclusion is that the recurrent large deficits in the Baltic countries pose a risk for the fixed exchange-rate policies until the countries adopt the euro. In the longer term, large deficits will influence the time path of convergence of living standards between the Baltic countries and the EU as a whole.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: David Kernohan, Dean A. DeRosa
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Economic growth rates in the Gulf region have languished in recent years and need to be raised to accommodate the rapidly growing populations and social aspirations of the region. Using a simple model of world trade, this report investigates the economic impacts of the new customs union of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the GCC and European Union. The quantitative results suggest that the new customs union and proposed EU-GCC free trade agreement both appreciably expand trade and improve economic welfare in the GCC countries, with little significant economic impact on the EU. As expected, the FTA results in larger GCC economic gains than the customs union because it affords GCC consumers greater opportunity to enjoy imports at internationally competitive prices. Although welfare gains under the proposed FTA closely approximate those under open regionalism (concerted trade liberalisation on a most favoured nation basis), reducing the 5% GCC common external tariff to about 3% as part of the FTA negotiations would not only ensure near-maximum trade performance and welfare gains but also add further to the attractiveness of the GCC countries as a location for foreign direct investment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Treaties and Agreements, Population
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Francesco Daveri
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Magazines and newspapers often refer to or even take for granted the economic decline of the EU, particularly when contrasting the EU data with US data. The first part of this paper poses the question of whether IT – as often alleged – is really the only cause for the EU's productivity slowdown. The conclusion is that it is not. The non-IT part of the economy has not only contributed to the slowdown but appears to have crucially contributed to the EU-US growth gap as well. There is thus little reason for the EU to target IT-diffusion as an intermediate goal, as implied by the Lisbon strategy. The second part of the paper, after showing that the growth slowdown comes from the reduction of non-IT capital deepening and the lack of acceleration in total factor productivity growth, argues that the slowdown of capital deepening will continue. The scarce resources available for enhancing growth should concentrate on providing incentives to R and innovation at large, rather than financing traditional infrastructures. This is at odds with the goals pursued by the EU within the framework of the European Growth Initiative.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Namkee Ahn, Juan Ramón García, Juan Francisco Jimeno
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Among the working-age population, one of the most damaging individual experiences is unemployment. Many previous studies have confirmed the devastating effects of unemployment on individual well-being, both pecuniary and non-pecuniary. Using the data from the European Community Household Panel survey, we examine the factors that affect unemployed workers' well-being with respect to their situations in their main vocational activity, income, housing, leisure time and health in Europe.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jørgen Mortensen
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The present paper discusses the implications of the recent institutional crisis in the EU provoked by the failure of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) to impose the sanction on Germany and France provided for in the Stability and Growth Pact, along with Article 104 and the associated protocol of the Maastricht Treaty. The paper situates the debate concerning the application of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) in a broader evolution of the struggle between two schools of thought concerning macroeconomic policy–making in the European Union: the school calling for a strengthening of competences at the EU level (federal economic government) and the school arguing for preserving national competences for budgetary policy even in the face of the transfer of competence for monetary policy to the European Central Bank (ECB). The paper argues that the SGP represents an acceptable comprise between the two views of the schools in so far as it establishes rules to be respected without actually transferring competence to the Council in the field of budgetary policy. Consequently, the SGP has not and does not add to the 'democratic deficit' within the EU institutional framework. The paper argues, nevertheless, that the excessive deficit procedure (EDP) puts too strong an emphasis on the government budget deficit and suggests that emphasis on the sustainable level of public debt would ensure a stronger basis for assessing whether a given budget deficit may be considered excessive or not.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Christoph O. Meyer
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This working document focuses on the dynamics and scope of strategic culture–building in the context of the European Union's aspirations to develop a European security and defence policy (ESDP). It argues that the notion of strategic culture can be useful in assessing the context in which the ESDP will develop further as well as its performance in matters of conflict prevention, management and resolution. Nevertheless, in order to be conceptually and empirically useful, strategic culture needs to be disaggregated into collective norms about the means and ends of security policy, as well as its different carriers such as political elites, societies and armed forces. The paper examines the convergence thesis and suggests three theories to explain convergence informed by realist, constructivist and regional theories of political change. Yet the paper also argues that these forces can affect national strategic cultures differently, depending on the countries' geopolitical positions, the institutional stickiness of domestic ideas, values and norms, and the degree to which such norms are subject to partisan or societal contention. On this basis, the paper advances some hypotheses about the actual extension of the convergence process, which will need to be validated by further empirical study.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Evgeny Vinokurov
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Kaliningrad oblast of Russia is currently an important focal point of discussions between the European Union and Russia. Although small in terms of geography and population, Kaliningrad has grown in importance due to the EU enlargement process. Since the break–up of the Soviet Union, the oblast has become an exclave of Russia, and it is now set to also become an enclave within the EU. This paper examines the state of Kaliningrad's economy and trade. The economic crisis that took place in Russia in the 1990s had severe consequences for Kaliningrad, as old patterns of production and trade were disrupted. Since 1999, however, the regional economy has grown with impressive speed. Kaliningrad's Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status has played a crucial role in determining its new patterns of production and trade specialisation. The paper argues that the SEZ regime has made the region's economic growth faster but also vulnerable.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sjef Ederveen, Laura Thissen
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study poses the question about whether labour market institutions can explain unemployment rates in the ten new European Union member states. In five out of the ten new member states, unemployment rates lie above the average in the 15 member states of the European Union (EU-15) that comprised the EU prior to May 2004. The study finds that labour market institutions in the acceding countries are less rigid than in the EU-15. Moreover, labour market institutions explain only a minor part of unemployment in the new EU member states. This does not mean that these countries have no labour market problems. Just as in the EU-15, a great deal of heterogeneity exists among the acceding countries. In some of them, labour market reforms could prove a key issue in improving employment performance. The main worry is the poor labour market performance in Poland and the Slovak Republic, where unemployment has risen to almost 20%. The main reasons for this growth are i) postponed restructuring in combination with tight monetary policy; ii) poor governance; and iii) an increasing labour force.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zsolt Darvas, Gyorgy Szapary
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is generally recognised that countries wanting to join a monetary union should display the optimal currency area properties. One such property is the similarity of business cycles. We therefore undertook to analyse the synchronisation of business cycles between the EMU-12 and the eight new EU members from Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs), for which the next step to be considered in the integration process is entry into the EMU. In contrast to the usually analysed GDP and industrial production data, we extend our analysis to the major expenditure and sectoral components of GDP and use several measures of synchronisation. The main findings of the paper are that Hungary, Poland and Slovenia have achieved a high degree of synchronisation with EMU for GDP, industrial production and exports, but not for consumption and services. The other CEECs have achieved less or no synchronisation. There has been a significant increase in the synchronisation of GDP and also its major components in the EMU members since the start of the run-up to EMU. While this lends support for the existence of OCA endogeneity, it cannot be unambiguously attributed to it because there is also evidence of a world business cycle. Another finding is that the consumption-correlation puzzle remains, but its magnitude has greatly diminished in the EMU members, which is good news for common monetary policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paolo Guerrieri, Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, Stefano Manzocchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to identify the degree of information technology (IT) adoption in individual European economies and to analyse the determinants of IT investment among a panel of EU countries. We first analyse the dynamics of IT investment expenditure in 15 European countries from 1992 until 2001 and, by means of a cluster analysis, we draw a picture of IT diffusion in Europe. By clustering the European countries according to their shares of IT spending over GDP, we identify three fairly stable groups of fast, medium and slow adopters. We then build an econometric equation of the determinants of IT investment to use with panel data in estimations for five European economies over the period of 1980 to 2001. We consider aggregate IT investment as well as separate investment in hardware or software. Financial conditions, income growth and comparative advantage turn out to affect IT investment, but we find that the determinants of hardware investment only partially overlap with those of software.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ansgar Belke, Rainer Fehn, Neil Foster
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Anglo-Saxon countries have been successful in the 1990s concerning labour market performance compared to the former role models of Germany and Japan. This reversal in relative economic performance might be related to idiosyncracies in financial markets, with bank-based financial markets as in Germany and Japan being possibly inferior to stock-market based financial markets in turbulent times and when approaching the economic frontier. A cleavage is related to venture capital markets which are flourishing in Anglo-Saxon but not in German-type financial markets. Venture capital is crucial for financing structural change, new firms and innovations and therefore possibly also nowadays for employment growth.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Leonor Coutinho
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the analysis of fiscal policy in the new open economy macro-economics literature, in view of increasing interest in the question of transmission and coordination of policies across countries, stirred by developments in this literature and by the formation of the euro area. The analysis focuses on two main points: (i) the identification of welfare spillover effects to third countries; and (ii) the assessments made so far of the potential gains from pursuing non-cooperative and cooperative fiscal stabilisation policies. Regarding welfare spillovers, some additional results are derived to examine whether the exchange rate regime (flexible or fixed) matters for the size of these spillovers, and whether the type of policy pursued (balanced-budget or debt-financed) matters. Fixed exchange rates only seem to postpone the costs from the short to the long run, but the type of policy is crucial in determining the welfare impact of fiscal expansions. With respect to policy coordination, attention is drawn to the need to reflect on a potential role for fiscal policy as a stabilisation tool, and on possible interactions between fiscal and monetary policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Leonor Coutinho
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses alternative monetary policy rules for the ECB, using a two "country" model of the euro area and the US, that assumes monopolistic competition, sticky prices and optimizing agents. The alternative rules analyzed for the ECB are ranked by their ability to stabilize consumption, output, and inflation and maximize consumers' welfare. The analysis contributes toward understanding the trade-offs faced by policymakers in open economies and provides some support for the current design of the ECB's operational framework. The results suggest that stabilizing money-growth, in addition to inflation, gives an additional degree of freedom to stabilize output. Although price stability is likely to remain the primary objective of the ECB, monetary policy must "without prejudice of price stability (...) support the general economic policies in the Community..." (Article 2). Hence monitoring money, under certain assumptions about the shocks hitting the economy, may deliver a better outcome in terms of output stabilization which should allow the ECB to fulfill its secondary but nonetheless important commitment.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Roberto Perotti
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper studies the effects of fiscal policy on GDP, prices and interest rates in 5 OECD countries, using a structural Vector Autoregression approach. Its main results can be summarized as follows:1 ) The estimated effects of fiscal policy on GDP tend to be small: positive government spending multipliers larger than 1 tend to be the exception; 2) The effects of fiscal policy on GDP and its components have become substantially weaker over time; 3) Under plausible values of the price elasticity, government spending has positive effects on the price level, although usually small; 4) Government spending shocks have significant effects on the nominal and real short interest rate, but of varying signs; 5) In the post-1980 period, net tax shocks have positive short run effects on the nominal interest rate, and typically negative or zero effects on prices; 6) The US is an outlier in many dimensions; responses to fiscal shocks estimated on US data are often not representative of the average OECD country included in this sample.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Carlos Santiso
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Should European Union (EU) member states 're-nationalise' foreign aid? Considering the dismal record of the aid managed by the European Commission, this is a legitimate question that European leaders nevertheless seem unwilling to address seriously. Like in America, there is heightened debate across Europe on the purpose of the aid it provides to developing countries. The current debates on poverty reduction, debt relief and, more broadly, the effectiveness of development assistance have brought renewed light on foreign aid.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Paul Brenton
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Much of the attention on the economic aspects of the forthcoming enlargement of the EU have concentrated upon the high-profile issues which are linked to the level of relative economic development in the acceding countries; the perceived threat of large-scale migration and the budgetary costs arising from implementation of EU agricultural and regional policies. This paper briefly discusses that these are not insurmountable problems and stresses that the main difficulties from the next enlargement may arise from the effective inclusion of the acceding countries into the Single Market, the microeconomic hub of the EU. We discuss that the process of regulatory harmonisation will become more difficult in an EU of 25 or more members, which entails greater emphasis on the principle of mutual recognition as the main tool for ensuring freedom of movement of goods and services. However, mutual recognition has its limits and is likely to be less effective the more diverse the countries involved.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Brenton, Bob Anderton, Eva Oscarsson
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper brings together and analyses the results of empirical analyses which, in contrast to most other studies, find that trade has been a significant cause of labour market inequality in various industrialised countries. The approach is based upon the concept of outsourcing – whereby the low-skill parts of the production chain are 'outsourced' to low-wage countries. A distinguishing feature of the empirical work is the use of highly detailed trade data, which allow imports from high- and low-wage countries to be separately identified at the industry level. Using cost minimisation framework, we show that imports from low-wage countries have made a significant contribution to the decline in the wage-bill share and/or relative employment of less-skilled workers in the UK, the USA, Sweden and Italy. We also show how the country-specific characteristics of outsourcing can lead to quite different inequality outcomes in different countries. In line with other studies, we also find that technology has played an important role in causing the increase in inequality in many countries. However, there is also some evidence that some of the rapid increase in the application of new technologies in recent decades has been trade-induced through mechanisms such as 'defensive innovation'.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper shows that countries with weak banking system and fiscal institutions, might benefit from the presence of foreign banks, which can constitute a commitment and transparency device. Foreign banks can also reduce the probability of self-fulfilling speculative attacks. A strong presence of foreign banks can make a currency peg feasible in the first place by rendering it more resistant to speculative attacks. The European experience is instructive in this respect. In all of the candidate countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC) the banking system is now dominated by foreign banks. This is now taken for granted, but it is unusual if one looks at the existing EU-15 members, where foreign banks play a marginal role in even the smallest economies.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: María Garcia-Vega, José A. Herce
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: After properly modelling growth externalities and using spatial econometric techniques we investigate whether economic integration promotes interdependent growth among countries. We conclude that this has been indeed the case for advanced OECD countries and that, for those countries belonging to the EU, through successive enlargements, the effect has been even stronger. More precisely, if every (trade) partner of a given country experiences an extra growth of 1 percentage point, this economy will profit from an extra 0.5 point, and if this country belongs to the EU it will have an additional increase of its rate of growth of 0.2 points. Both figures can be interpreted as growth externalities with the latter suggesting that an integration process like the one followed by the EU has an (positive) effect on growth.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Brenton, Miriam Manchin
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: A key element of the EU's free trade and preferential trade agreements is the extent to which they deliver improved market access and so contribute to the EUs foreign policy objectives towards developing countries and neighbouring countries in Europe, including the countries of the Balkans. Previous preferential trade schemes have been ineffective in delivering improved access to the EU market. The main reason for this is probably the very restrictive rules of origin that the EU imposes, coupled with the costs of proving consistency with these rules. If the EU wants the 'Everything but Arms' agreement and free trade agreements with countries in the Balkans to generate substantial improvements in access to the EU market for products from these countries then it will have to reconsider the current rules of origin and implement less restrictive rules backed upon by a careful safeguards policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans