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  • Author: Katherine Trebeck
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In the UK, persistent poverty exists alongside high economic prosperity, leading to significant inequalities in income and wealth, and in life chances and lifestyles, between individuals and communities. Scottish society is also deeply divided: 'wealthy and secure neighbourhoods are situated next to the most deprived and vulnerable communities [where]… inequality is tangible'.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö, Petri Rouvinen, Timo Seppälä, Pekka Ylä-Anttila
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy
  • Abstract: Available statistics tell us little about the economic consequences of increasing global dispersion of production processes. In order to shed light on the issue, we perform grass roots detective work to uncover the geography of value added in the case of a Nokia N95 smartphone circa 2007. The phone was assembled in Finland and China. In the case when the device was assembled and sold in Europe, the value-added share of Europe (EU-27) rose to 68%. Even in the case when it was assembled in China and sold in the United States, Europe captured as much as 51% of the value added, despite of the fact that it had rather little role in supplying the physical components. Our analysis illustrates that international trade statistics can be misleading; the capture of value added is largely detached from the physical goods flows. It is rather services and other intangible aspects of the supply chain that dominate. While final assembly – commanding 2% of the value added in our case – has increasingly moved offshore, the developed countries continue to capture most of the value added generated by global supply chains.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Finland
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: The financial crisis has forced a reappraisal of the regulatory architecture, globally and in the EU and its member states. Around the world, policymakers are proposing significant changes to rules governing the financial sector, with the goal of making the financial system more resilient. Given the large and visible costs of financial instability for Europe, it is natural for European policymakers to make the avoidance of financial crises a high priority. But it is also important to recognise that regulation carries a range of costs that can dilute the economic benefits of a competitive and dynamic financial services sector. The academic literature has robustly established that financial development is not only the consequence of economic growth but also a driver. If the EU is to achieve the ambitious goals for unleashing private enterprise and creating jobs set out within the Europe 2020 agenda, then it cannot afford to overlook the role of the financial system in fostering innovation and growth. As supervisory authorities consider a broad set of proposals to strengthen the regulatory infrastructure, a n important quest ion that arises is how to assess the aggregate impact of these various measures. Although each may look sensible in isolation, they could still impose a larger - than - expected burden on the financial system when take n in the aggregate. The focus of policy reforms should be on forcing financial institutions to internalise the social costs of their risk - taking decisions rather than suppressing financial innovation. Credible policies to allow the failure of financial institutions would encourage market monitoring of risk - taking, reducing the need for additional prudential regulation and minimising costs to the taxpayer in the event of bankruptcy. Policymakers should aim to put in place an objective, sustainable and flexible regulatory regime, as the design of the regulatory framework will play a significant role in the future development of both the financial industry and the wider economy. International consistency in the regulatory reform agenda is also important so as not to risk fragmentation of global capital markets, which bring significant economic benefits to companies and consumers alike. The economic and social purpose of financial markets is the efficient allocation of capital, and the regulatory agenda must be framed around this goal. At a time when the European economy is struggling to recover lost ground, changes to the regulatory regime should not unduly restrict the potential of the financial sector to contribute to the continents future prosperity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Consuelo Pacchioli
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: As an alternative to measuring the extent of market integration, 'home-bias' indicates the degree to which economic agents 'over-prefer' to transact with domestic agents rather than agents from other EU countries. Such an exclusive preference is measured against a benchmark of (ideal) market integration and is called 'home-bias'.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Liu Lirong
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: China's engagement in Africa has obliged the EU to re-evaluate its own relationship with Africa. Since 2008, in an attempt to resolve the conflicts of norms and interests, the EU has proposed establishing a trilateral dialogue and cooperation mechanism between the EU, China and Africa, which so far has not yielded any substantial results. The differences between China's and the EU's Africa policies are mainly visible in two areas: aid and security. The contradiction between their respective aid policies lies in China's 'no-strings-attached aid' versus European 'conditionality' or emphasis on 'fundamental principles'. The contradiction between their security approaches in Africa lies in China's non-interference policy and the European concept of human security. Promoting common normative values and principles is at the core of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), which is important for the EU's self-construction at present. China's non-interference policy is related to its domestic security and stability and in this context it engages in its own rhetoric. In matters of principle it is difficult for both sides to make compromises or accept limitations imposed by the other.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In the run-up to the global financial crisis, the euro area looked very much like a microcosm of the world economy. The region as a whole grew in line with its long-term trend, and its trade position with the outside world was broadly in balance. However, the euro area's aggregate position masked large variations across the member states. In some parts of the region (notably countries on the geographical periphery), demand grew consistently faster than output; in others (like Germany), the reverse was the case. Profligacy in the periphery was funded by thrift in the "core". This arrangement suited both sides.for a time at least. While countries in the periphery enjoyed debt-fuelled booms, countries such as Germany, where domestic demand was weak, could rely on exports to keep growing.
  • Topic: Debt, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Miguel Haubrich Seco
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In its external relations, the EU advances regional cooperation as a successful means of achieving peace and prosperity. In doing so, the EU promotes its own model as the most successful case of regional integration. A wide-reaching set of instruments, spanning from trade to political dialogue and aid, is used to promote regional cooperation and integration. Noneheless, regional organisations supported by the EU are far from accomplishing their set objectives. Using as a test case the Andean Community, the oldest Latin American regional organisation and a prominent case of EU support for regional integration, this paper examines the reasons behind the EU's lack of impact in promoting regional integration. Stemming from this analysis, the paper proposes a recalibration of EU policy by decoupling trade relations from political engagement and by increasing support for physical and visible integration as opposed to formal institutions detached from the perceived needs of the public.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Michele Comelli
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Once a renowned Euro-enthusiastic country, Italy has experienced a decrease in public support for European integration. Many are the reasons, including the emergence of a less idealistic vision of the EU, a general disaffection vis-à-vis politics, particularly at the domestic level, and the increasingly more vocal Euroscepticism of some political forces within the centre-right ruling coalition. The current Berlusconi government does not show the same degree of interest for European integration as previous centrist and centre-left governments. This is not to say that Italy's love affair with Europe has come to a bitter end. Italians continue to trust European institutions significantly more than national ones and would like the EU to acquire more competences. In addition, the vocal anti-EU rhetoric of some political forces within the governing coalition, and especially the Northern League, is often not matched by deeds, largely because EU policy-making is generally used as a source of leverage to obtain concessions in other policy domains. Tellingly, the Treaty of Lisbon was speedily ratified by the Italian parliament by unanimous vote - something unthinkable in most EU countries.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy, Lisbon