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  • 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