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  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: For years, the eurozone has been perceived as a disaster area, with discussions of the monetary union’s future often centred on a possible breakup. When the British voted to leave the European Union last year, they were driven partly by the perception of the eurozone as a dysfunctional and possibly unsalvageable project. Yet, lately, the eurozone has become the darling of financial markets – and for good reason. The discovery of the eurozone’s latent strength was long overdue. Indeed, the eurozone has been recovering from the crisis of 2011-12 for several years. On a per capita basis, its economic growth now outpaces that of the United States. The unemployment rate is also declining – more slowly than in the US, to be sure, but that partly reflects a divergence in labour-force participation trends.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: 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: Rym Ayadi, Willem Pieter De Groen
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring, which took root in Tunisia and Egypt in the beginning of 2011 and gradually spread to other countries in the southern Mediterranean, highlighted the importance of private-sector development, job creation, improved governance and a more equitable distribution of economic opportunities. The developments led to domestic and international demands on the governments in the region to implement the reforms needed to enhance business and investment conditions, modernise their economies and support the development of enterprises.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Social Movement, Reform
  • Political Geography: Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Viral V. Acharya, Sascha Steffen
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The eurozone is mired in a recession. In 2013, the GDP of all 17 eurozone countries fell by 0.5% and the outlook for 2014 shows considerable risks across the region. To stabilise the common currency area and its (partly insolvent) financial system, a eurozone banking union is being established. An important part of the banking union is the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), which will transfer the oversight of Europe's largest banks to the European Central Bank (ECB). Before the ECB takes over this responsibility, it plans to conduct an Asset Quality Review (AQR) in 2014, which will identify the capital shortfalls of these banks.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi, Ginevra Bruzzone, Miriam Cassella
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In July 2013, the European Commission adopted a new Banking Communication – the seventh since the start of the financial crisis – updating its criteria for the evaluation of state aid in the banking sector in response to the evolving economic and institutional environment. Under this Communication, any credit institution in need of recapitalisation or 'impaired asset' measures will be required, prior to any further action, to submit a plan for restructuring or the orderly winding down the bank. Moreover, whenever there is a capital shortfall, the Commission will require that, prior to any injection of public funds, not only shareholders – as has been the case so far – but also junior creditors write down or convert into equity their claims on the bank, regardless of whether the bank is under resolution, in order to minimise the need for state aid.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi, Fabrizia Peirce
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The policy debate about how best to restore growth in the flagging eurozone economy has been plagued by demands from some highly indebted member countries that the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) be loosened to leave greater room to support the economy with budgetary instruments. These demands have been met with an instant rebuff from the Commission and other financially solid members who argue that loosening the Pact would do little to restore sound growth. This question has also hindered the broader discussion on the need for and content of a renewed growth strategy for the eurozone and the European Union, no least by fuelling fresh mistrust among their member states.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Willem Pieter De Groen
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Comprehensive Assessment conducted by the European Central Bank (ECB) representsa considerable step forward in enhancing transparency ineuro-area banks' balance sheets. The most notable progress since the previous European stress test has been the hamonisation of the definition of non-performing loans and other concepts as well as uncovering hidden losses, which resulted in a €34 billion aggregate capital-chargenet of tax. Despite this tightening,most banks were able to meet the 5.5% common equity tier 1 (CET1) threshold applied in the test, whichsuggests that the large majority of the euro-area banks have improvedtheir financial position sufficiently to no longer constrainthem in financing the economy.Our own estimation based on the detailed results, however,provide a more nuanced picture, with a large numberof the banks still highly leveraged and in many cases unable to meet the regulatory capital requirementsthat will be introduced in the coming years underthe adverse stress test scenario.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Global Recession
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Denis Cenusa, Tamara Kovziridse, Veronika Movchan
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: While EU and US sanctions against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine, and Russia's counter-sanctions, are much discussed due to their evident political significance, less attention has been given to Russia's punitive sanctions against the three Eastern European states – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – that have signed with the EU Association Agreements (AA), which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) provisions. This paper therefore documents these trade policy restrictions and embargoes imposed by Russia, and provides some first indications of their impact. The immediate impact on trade flows, especially for agri-food products, has been substantial, albeit with some leakage through Belarus. The main instrument for the Russian measures has been allegations of non-conformity with Russian technical standards, although the correlation of these allegations with movements in Russia's geopolitical postures makes it obvious that the Russian technical agencies are following political guidelines dressed up as scientific evidence. These measures also push the three states into diversifying their trade marketing efforts in favour of the EU and other world markets, with Georgia already having taken significant steps in this direction, since in its case the Russian sanctions date back to 2006. In the case of Ukraine, Russia's threat to cancel CIS free trade preferences infiltrated trilateral talks between the EU, Ukraine and Russia, leading on 12 September to their proposed postponement until the end of 2015 of the 'provisional' implementation of a large part of the AA/DCFTA. This was immediately followed on 16 September by ratification of the AA/DCFTA by both the Rada in Kyiv and the European Parliament, which will lead to its full and definitive entry into force when the 28 EU member states have also ratified it. However Putin followed the day after with a letter to Poroshenko making an abusive interpretation of the 12 September understanding.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Power Politics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia
  • Author: Giovanni Grevi
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The international system is changing fast and both the European Union and Brazil will need to adapt. This paper argues that such a process of adjustment may bring the two closer together, even if their starting points differ considerably. Europe looks at the ongoing redistribution of power as a challenge, Brazil as an opportunity. Europe is coping with the detrimental impact of the economic crisis on its international profile; Brazil is enhancing its influence in its region and beyond. Their normative outlook is broadly compatible; their political priorities and behaviour in multilateral frameworks often differ, from trade to development and security issues. Despite the crisis, however, there are signals of renewed engagement by the EU on the international stage, with a focus on its troubled neighbourhood and partnerships with the US and large emerging actors such as Brazil. The latter is charting an original course in international affairs as a rising democratic power from the traditional South with no geopolitical opponents and a commitment to multilateralism. In testing the limits of its international influence, Brazil will need dependable partners and variable coalitions that go well beyond the BRICS format, which is not necessarily sustainable. This contribution suggests that the strategic partnership between the EU and Brazil may grow stronger not only as a platform to deepen economic ties and sustain growth, but also as a tool to foster cooperation in political and security affairs including crisis management, preventive diplomacy and human rights.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • 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, 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: Hrant Kostanyan, Bruno Vandecasteele
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Besides the Eastern Partnership's (EaP) bilateral and multilateral framework and the Civil Society Forum, the European Union (EU) engages with the EaP countries – Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – through multilateral parliamentary cooperation, namely within the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly (EuroNest PA).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus
  • Author: Jacques Pelkmans, Ineke Gubbels-van Hal, Lorna Schrefler
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Right from the start of the REACH debate, following the Commission proposal of October 2003, one of the more serious concerns was whether and how SMEs could cope with REACH. Indeed, there were doubts whether one of the main objectives of REACH – competitiveness of chemical and downstream companies – is consistent with the design and detailed implementation of REACH. Already in 2005, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on this aspect, insisting e.g. on lower fees for SMEs as one remedy to reduce the expected regulatory burden for smaller companies. The fear of REACH being unduly heavy and costly for SMEs has never gone away (see e.g. Gubbels Pelkmans, 2009) but merely receded in the background when the Commission and the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) were in the process of building and elaborating the REACH machinery in operational terms. This year, the problem is rearing its head again in a magnified fashion and it will not go away so easily this time.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi, Jacopo Carmassi, Ginevra Bruzzone
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The European Commission proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for banks is now under consideration before the European Parliament and the Council. The main principles and tools applicable for resolving a failing bank are contained in the June 2012 Commission proposal for a Directive on bank recovery and resolution (BRR), aimed at harmonising crisis management and resolution tools in EU member states, which is also under consideration by the European legislators. Any discussion of the new system must therefore be based on both proposals.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is still an unresolved question whether a process for financial services regulatory cooperation and convergence will be included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).From a n end-user's perspective, it could be argued that its inclusion could be an opportunity not only as regards product choice, but also to improve the consumer or investor protection regulatory environment on both sides of the Atlantic. The inclusion would also be in line with the assessments made by both the EU and the US that the G-20 agenda has been incorporated in local legislation and that both regimes are thus 'equivalent'.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Matthias Busse
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) was designed to prevent the emergence of imbalances like the large and persistent current account deficits that occurred in Spain and Ireland. But within this mechanism, a current account surplus is also viewed as a source of concern. Indeed, last year's Alert Mechanism Report (AMR), issued by the European Commission signalled an excessive current account surplus for the Netherlands and Luxembourg, while Germany just barely scraped by with a 5.9% surplus, marginally evading the 6% threshold (over a 3-year average). With the most recent report, however, Germany's status has changed. Along with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, it too has now been singled out as a euro-area country with a surplus above the upper threshold.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • 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: 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: Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The eurozone is in recession and will show negative growth in 2012; GDP will fall sharply in Greece and Portugal, and there is substantial risk that Spain and Italy will follow suit (the Commission's recent forecasts seem overly optimistic and complacent; the IMF is more downbeat). But fiscal policies are uniformly restrictive throughout the eurozone and much of the Union, and the hopes that fiscal consolidation could spur growth by improving household and business confidence are not materialising. In reality, domestic demand has been hit too hard by fiscal consolidation, and investment throughout the Union remains well below pre- crisis levels. Credit is tight due to the deteriorating quality of borrowers and the ongoing deleveraging in banking.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Thomas Mayer
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: For most of the time since the early 1950s, national savings in Germany have tended to exceed national investment, resulting in a current account surplus. Most of these excess savings have been intermediated by the domestic banking system, which has had difficulties investing these German surpluses abroad given that it is prohibited by law from taking any exchange rate risk. This tended to keep the surplus within limits most of the time (less than 1- 2% of GDP). With the advent of the euro, however, German surpluses could become much larger and seem now to have become structurally engrained at 6% of GDP, or over one-quarter of savings. Since the start of the euro crisis, German private savers have repatriated their investments – effectively unloading their exposure onto the public sector as German banks have deposited hundreds of billions of euro at the Bundesbank. These funds are being lent by the ECB to banks in the euro area periphery (at 75 bps) – ensuring effectively a negative real return.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi, Alessandro Giovannini
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Different economic and financial structures require different crisis responses. Different crises also require different tools and resources. The first 'stage' of the financial crisis (2007-09) was similar on both sides of the Atlantic, and the response was also quite similar. The second stage of the crisis is unique to the euro area. Increasing financial disintegration within the region has forced the ECB to become the central counterparty for the entire cross-border banking market and to intervene in the sovereign bond market of some stressed countries. The actions undertaken by the European Central Bank (ECB), however, have not always represented the best response, in terms of effectiveness, consistency and transparency. This is especially true for the Securities Markets Programme (SMP): by de facto imposing its absolute seniority during the Greek PSI (private sector involvement), the ECB has probably killed its future effectiveness.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Henk L.M. Kox
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In most EU member states, the business services industry has booked no productivity growth during the last two decades. The industry's performance in the other member states was weaker than that of its US counterparts. Exploring what may be causing this productivity stagnation, this policy brief reports that weak competition has contributed to the continuing malaise in European business services. The study analyzed the persistence (over time) of firm-level inefficiencies. The evidence further suggests that competition between small firms and large firms in business services is weak. Markets for business services work best in countries with flexible regulation on employment change and with low regulatory costs for firms that start up or close down a business. Countries that are more open to foreign competition perform better in terms of competitive selection and productivity.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi, Jacopo Carmassi, Carmine Di Noia
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The European Commission has published its proposals for the transfer of supervisory responsibilities to the European Central Bank (ECB), under Article 127(6) of the TFEU, providing a comprehensive and courageous 'first step' towards a European banking Union, the other steps being European deposit insurance and resolution procedures. However, on a number of issues the Commission's chosen path raises questions that should be brought out in the open and fully recognized before final deliberation by the Council.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Dirk Schoenmaker
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Cross-border banking is currently not stable in Europe. Cross-border banks need a European safety net. Moreover, a truly integrated European level banking system may help to break the diabolical loop between the solvency of the domestic banking system and the fiscal standing of the national sovereign.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Thorsten Beck
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The June 2012 European Council decided that the legal basis for the 'Single Supervisory Mechanism' should be Article 127(6) of the Treaty, and that the SSM should 'involve' the ECB. This implies only that supervision should be concentrated within the ECB. In the policy discussion it is, however, generally taken for granted that there should be 'Chinese walls' between the supervisory and monetary policy arms of the ECB. The current legislative proposal is explicit on this account.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Giacomo Luciani
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at restrictions of passage, accidents and oil transportation norms as causes of interruption in oil supplies. The key 'chokepoints' are discussed in detail: the Straits of Hormuz, Malacca, Bab el-Mandeb, the Canals of Suez and Panama, the Turkish Straits and the entrance to the Baltic Sea. It is concluded that in most cases the danger of closure can only be temporary; nevertheless, investment in bypasses and alternatives is highly desirable, and in the case of the Turkish Straits, has not been forthcoming. The discussion then turns to threats to navigation outside the chokepoints, such as piracy and oil spills in enclosed seas, particularly the Mediterranean. The final section looks at changing international norms, especially the entry into force of the requirement of double hulls for oil tankers. The paper's main conclusion is that there is no scenario of interruption of maritime oil and gas transportation that may cause a severe physical shortage of oil, in general or specifically for Europe. In almost all cases potential tensions could be easily allayed if responsible governments took the necessary steps to create alternatives (notably pipeline bypasses) or to curb illegal activities. The main factor preventing the required investment in transportation alternatives is the lack of a well-functioning market mechanism for burden sharing. Where passage must be paid for, the resulting income stream supports investment to increase capacity and accommodate growing demand.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Oil, Maritime Commerce, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • 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: 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: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: For the present UK government, full accession to the Schengen area, a passport- free travel area covering most of Europe, is a red line that it will not cross. Ireland shares a common travel area and land border with the UK and is also bound by this decision. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the UK, along with Ireland, is suffering serious economic and reputational costs as a result of its separate visa and border management policies.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland
  • Author: Hans-Joachim Dübel
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: 'Blue' or Eurobonds guaranteed via joint and several liability by the eurozone member states have been proposed as an important tool to stabilise and structure the eurozone sovereign bond markets. But in this new Policy Brief, Hans-Joachim Dübel argues the case for a partial insurance of sovereign bonds by the European Stability Mechanism. Hans-Joachim Dübel is an independent financial sector consultant based in Berlin and founder of Finpolconsult.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Berlin
  • 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: 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: Stefano Micossi, Paola Parascandolo
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: As a rule, multinational enterprises (MNEs) are taxed separately by the countries in which they operate on the basis of the income produced in each jurisdiction ('source' taxation). To this end, they must keep separate accounts for business units in each country (“separate accounting”, SA) ascribing each item of expenditure and income to each business unit on the basis – by universally accepted convention – of 'arm's-length' pricing (ALP), that is, of comparable or estimated prices for similar market transactions between unrelated companies.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Yonghyup Oh
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The euro area is facing a challenge with Greece in danger of falling into sovereign default and some of its other members, the so-called 'GIPSY' nations, finding themselves in serious financial distress. Creation of a European Monetary Fund to deal more effectively with this type of situation is gaining support. This paper draws lessons from the Asian experience that might be applied to the current European development.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Meeting Europe's 2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is even more of a challenge for the financial sector than for the EU as a whole. Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is just the opposite of what the financial sector stood for, and how it continues to be perceived by the public. The huge regulatory agenda that is on the table should tame the financial sector, but whether it will help it to meet the Europe 2020 objectives is an open question (see European Commission, 2010a).
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Evgeny Vinokurov
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: There is at present an overlapping but inadequately coordinated combination of strategic trans-continental transport corridors or axes stretching across the Eurasian landmass, centred on or around Central Asia. There are three such initiatives - from the EU, China and the Asian Development Bank, and the Eurasian Economic Community. This paper reviews these several strategic transport maps, and makes proposals for their coordination and rationalisation. So far the EU Central Asia strategy has not paid much attention to these questions. However the EU's own initiatives (the Pan-European Axes and the TRACECA programme) are in need of updating and revision to take into account major investments being made by other parties. In particular the case is made for a 'Central Eurasian Corridor' for rail and road that would reach from Central Europe across Ukraine and Southern Russia into West Kazakhstan, and thence to the East Kazakh border with China, thus joining up with and completing the West China-West Europe corridor promoted by the Asian Development Bank. There should also be a North-South corridor that would cross over this Central Eurasian Corridor in West Kazakhstan and lead south to the Middle East and South Asia. These adaptations of existing plans could become an exemplary case of cooperation between Central Asia and all the major economic powers of the Eurasian landmass.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Central Asia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Thomas L Brewer
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change, international trade, investment and technology transfer are all issues that have intersected in diverse institutional contexts and at several levels of governmental activity to form a new joint agenda. The purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of this joint agenda by identifying the specific issues that have emerged, the policies that have been adopted, especially in the EU and US, and the options that are available for further policy-making.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Selen Sarisoy Guerin, Chris Napoli
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that there are significant potential economic gains to be obtained from an EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement. The evolution of trade between the US and Canada following the signing of CUSFTA in 1989 offers a good illustration of how trade might increase after an EU-Canada FTA, as the patterns and levels of protection between the EU and Canada today are very similar to the protection that existed between the US and Canada in 1989. Although many empirical studies fail to find support for 'trade diversion' created by NAFTA (or CUSFTA) at the expense of the EU and to the benefit of the US, there is some evidence of trade diversion when detailed regional trade is examined. If indeed trade diversion has occurred due to NAFTA, then an EU-Canada FTA is welfare-enhancing for Canada. For the EU, a potential FTA can level the playing field with the US and increase the competitiveness of European firms in the Canadian market.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada
  • Author: Thomas L Brewer
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Climate change, international trade, investment and technology transfer are all issues that have intersected in diverse institutional contexts and at several levels of governmental activity to form a new joint agenda. The purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of this joint agenda by identifying the specific issues that have emerged, the policies that have been adopted, especially in the EU and US, and the options that are available for further policy-making.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • 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: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The question of whether central banks should react to stock price developments has been hotly debated. This discussion has intensified since the eruption of the credit crisis. According to some analysts, including myself, the failure of the US Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan to react to the bubbles in the stock and housing markets helps to explain the financial excesses and the subsequent crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The time is not only ripe but pressing for the EU and the states of the Western Balkans to recalibrate and reinforce the current pre-accession strategy. Trade policy should be moved beyond existing free trade commitments for all the Western Balkans to enter the customs union of the EU and Turkey. Eurozone doctrine should be adapted to realities. Rather than regarding the use of the euro by Montenegro and Kosovo as an unfortunate turn of events, the costs and benefits of unilateral adoption of the euro by not-yet member states of the region should be more openly appraised, and the option to 'euroise' recognised as a possibility. It is good that the EU has moved at the declaratory level toward s visa 'liberalisation', which means scrapping visas rather than just 'facilitation' measures. However the Commission has not yet published guidelines or timelines for this. The region should be put on track for access to the Structural Funds on terms and scales progressively approaching those from which new member states such as Bulgaria and Romania already benefit. The ratio of these aid receipts between the new member states and the Western Balkans is currently 4:1; the former are receiving more than they can handle efficiently, whereas the Western Balkans have huge unsatisfied needs. Overall the case is made for significant moves towards 'functional membership' of the whole of the region with the EU, which would be a highly useful advance, irrespective of how or when the EU overcomes its Lisbon Treaty hiatus.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania, Lisbon
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The US international investment position today should in principle be equal to the sum of past current account balances (mostly deficits). However, this is by far not the case even taking into account the balancing item 'errors and omissions'. Between 1982 and 2004, the US has accumulated a grand total of around $4.5 trillion (thousand billion). (The sum of current account deficits has been about $1 trillion smaller than the amount of net sales of US assets to the rest of the world because of the anomaly in reinvested earning.) Despite this accumulation of deficits the US net international debtor position (IIP) has deteriorated 'only' by $2.7 billion (and is now estimated – at the end of 2004, end 2005 figures are not yet available for the US IIP – at 'only' around $2.5 trillion). This implies a total of 'unearned' gains to the US of around $1.8 trillion during 22 years. The quite detailed data available for a somewhat shorter period (1989-2004) show that only a very small part of this sum, around 10-20%, can be explained by exchange rate and stock market changes.</p
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The income account of the US balance of payments has so far remained in surplus because of a very large differential in reported earnings on direct investment – US firms seem to enjoy a much higher rate of return than foreign firms in the US. There is little difference in terms of the rate of dividend payments; the difference is due to what is called 'reinvested earnings' (earnings minus dividends). Foreign firms report almost no reinvested earnings on their direct investment in the US whereas US firms report substantial reinvested earnings from their direct investment abroad, on average over $100 billion more p.a. than foreign firms report on their US investment. This anomaly is probably due to the desire of foreign firms to minimise their US taxes, whereas US firms do not face tax liabilities if they report high foreign profits to the US authorities. The procedure used to generate the data for reinvested earnings thus has a built-in bias to improve the US current account and – over time – its international investment position. The true picture is likely to be much worse.</p
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Olga Shumylo
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The negotiation of a regional trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine is the next significant step towards Ukraine's deeper integration with the West. Drawing on analyses of official and independent analytical materials and statistical data, this paper explores the form such an arrangement should take – namely, which of the existing models would be an appropriate model for EU-Ukraine trade relations: a Free Trade Agreement, a Customs Union or something along the lines of the European Economic Area Agreement.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Oxana Gutu
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The enlargement of the EU and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) have revived the debate in the 'neighbourhood countries' around the need to converge legislation with EU internal rules and regulations, known as the acquis communautaire. The political incentive of accession to the EU, which has driven legal approximation in new EU member states, is missing for ENP countries. Yet, in the case of countries like Moldova, the cost of non-compliance is significant and translates into loss of existing export markets (e.g. in Romania) and the inability to expand into new markets (SEE countries and the EU). The situation is made still worse by a poor level of economic governance. As convergence with the acquis is a huge task, the key challenge for ENP countries is to determine the priorities, sequence and degree of legal approximation. This paper argues that the optimum degree and appropriate pace of convergence need to be driven by economic rationale and the development of the trade potential of the country. Thus, to secure benefits and avoid high costs for the economy, the legal approximation agenda will be moving along clearly identified economic integration scenarios, i.e. achieving a functioning market economy; taking full advantage of EU trade preferences (GSP and APTs), preparing for an FTA with the EU and, over a considerable number of years, gradually achieving a stake in the EU's Internal Market.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Moldova, Romania
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Much has been achieved in upgrading and integrating the 'governance' of the European financial system in recent years. In parallel with the successful adoption of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP), the EU managed to reform its regulatory structure, extending what was proposed by the Lamfalussy Committee for securities markets in early 2001 to banking and insurance. The EU thus created permanent committees of securities, banking and insurance supervisors (the 'Level 3 Committees' – CESR, CEBS and CEIOPS). This rapid reform demonstrated that national authorities were capable of overcoming domestic biases, adapting the supervisory structure, and instituting a much greater degree of supervisory cooperation than had existed previously.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • 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: Luca De Benedictis, Roberta De Santis, Claudio Vicarelli
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to estimate the effect of the EU's eastern enlargement on the trade patterns of the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs)1 that joined the EU in May 2004. In particular, the paper investigates whether and how the EU free trade agreements (FTAs) with the CEECs affected centre-peripheral and intra-peripheral trade flows. It also evaluates whether the prospect of joining the EU had the added positive effects on the export flows of the CEECs that had been anticipated.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • 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: 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: Andreas Schneider
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is generally agreed that making progress towards eradicating hunger worldwide is a moral obligation for the richer countries of the world. The instrument known as food aid is widely regarded as an important vehicle for providing assistance to needy countries. However, fresh debates in the present Doha round of WTO negotiations have brought a renewed interest in food aid issues. The Doha round is designed to put development at the centre of trade negotiations, and along with agriculture, to the fore among the contentious issues to be agreed.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Ángel Ubide
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Asian crisis, the IMF has undergone a deep process of soul searching, trying to extract lessons from the experience. External criticism has been abundant, and basically all three of the IMF's main areas of work – surveillance, crisis prevention and resolution, and poverty reduction – have been called into question. Several years later, there is a feeling that not much has been achieved, and key questions remain unanswered. As the world business cycle matures, and thus the likelihood of further crises slowly increases, it is critical for the stability of the world financial system to discuss what the IMF's business model should look like.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • 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: 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: Jean-Pierre Casey, Jacques Pelkmans
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The SAPIR report (Sapir et al., 2003) is important for Europe. The justification of and search for higher economic growth in the EU ought to be on the very top of the EU agenda everywhere. Offering a very rich and useful survey of many issues related to European growth, or indeed the lack of it, the report's analysis is insightful and should be compulsory reading for policy-makers and political leaders. Sapir et al.'s policy recommendations are numerous and rightly touch economic as well as institutional aspects at EU level.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • 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: Paul Brenton, Miriam Manchin
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The economic prospects of the Mediterranean countries are currently constrained by the lack of ambition in their relationships with each other and with their major export market, the EU. These economic relationships are limited by a lack of coverage (agriculture and services are effectively excluded), by a lack of depth (substantial technical barriers to trade remain due to differences in regulatory requirements and the need to duplicate testing and conformity assessment when selling in overseas markets), and they are limited by rules (restrictive rules of origin and lack of cumulation limit effective market access). In addition, the rest of Europe, including Turkey, is integrating at a faster pace to create a Wider European Economic Space. If nothing is done to invigorate the integration process in the Mediterranean, then the region will fall (further) behind relative to other regions on the periphery of the EU, such as the Balkans and Russia and the Ukraine.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, Balkans
  • Author: Eric Philippart
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Many things have changed since the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). Despite the virtual collapse of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), the Partnership has survived, has slowly moved forward on many fronts and seems to be gathering pace on the economic side. This working paper aims at presenting the new contours of the Partnership, as well as evaluating its scope of action, logic of intervention, organisational setting and policy output from 1995-2003. A brief mid-term outlook is offered by way of conclusion.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Alfred Tovias
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The nature of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership will change with the Enlargement of the EU to include 13 additional members since all Mediterranean non-Arab countries will be in the EU but Israel. Israel will be obliged to revise its relations with the EU. The paper explores some possible policy options open to Israel. After discarding a continuation of Israel's present status in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, a second policy option gauges advantages and disadvantages for Israel of obtaining membership in the European Economic Area, i.e. full economic integration without political integration in the EU. Taking into consideration quantum political changes which have taken place in and around the EU, as well as in the Middle East, a third Israeli policy option postulates EU membership, so as not to be left behind and which would bring a "new vision" for Israel, once peace with its neighbours is in the offing, allowing for a complete change of the present terms of reference.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Alan Riley
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the US Civil False Claims Act of 1986 (hereafter CFCA) could provide the European Community with a means to effectively protect the largely decentralised revenue collection and expenditure of the Community bud get. It also offers a solution to the difficulty of creating an effective means of investigation and penalisation of cross-border fraud without having to create a Community criminal law or a European Public Prosecutor.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • 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: 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
  • Author: Joanna Apap
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Achieving an integrated Europe involves political and social unity as much as economic integration. Thus, the issue of European citizenship is central to the debate about European integration. Union citizenship needs to be distinguished from national citizen ship. Every citizen of the Union enjoys a first circle of nationality rights within a member state and a second circle of new rights enjoyed in any member state of the EU. The presence of immigrants in Europe also raises wider questions for government policy in the field of citizenship. There are various issues that arise in the European context with respect to the boundaries of citizenship. One of the main questions in this regard is the extent to which the division between European Union citizens and third country nationals will continue to prevail.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Brenton, Anna Maria Pinna
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: As in other industrialised countries, the manufacturing sector in Italy has recently experienced a substantial increase in the use of skilled relative to unskilled workers — skill upgrading. In this paper we estimate a model, based upon the notion of outsourcing, of the relative demand for skilled labour which allows identification of the roles of technological change and trade, the two main culprits, in skill upgrading. Compared to previous studies of Italy the model is applied to highly disaggregated industrial data and in addition the impact of trade is more precisely measured through the separate identification of import flows from low-wage labour abundant countries and those from OECD partners. Furthermore we also introduce a measure of trade variability. Our results show firstly that economic variables played little or no role in determining the relative demand for unskilled workers in the 1970s in Italy, reflecting the nature of Italian labour market institutions in the period. Subsequently, in the 1980s and 1990s, following some labour market reforms, we find that international competition, in terms of import penetration and the variability of trade prices, had a significant effect on the relative demand for blue-collar workers in Italy in skilled intensive sectors. In unskilled intensive sectors, such as textiles and clothing, where the impact of imports from low-wage countries might be expected to be more pronounced, we do not find a significant effect from imports but rather that the most important role has been played by technological change. The result is consistent with previous studies that indicate that Italian textile and clothing firms have remained internationally competitive by increasingly switching to high quality segments of the industry.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Joanna Apap
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: During the 1990s, Justice and Home Affairs moved, in an unexpected way, to centre stage in the European debate. Concern had been growing about immigration policy since the Maastricht Treaty institutionalised the third pillar of the European Union. This concern had been stimulated by several factors – the persistence of irregular migration and tragic incidents, such as the one in Dover in July 2000 in which 58 Chinese nationals lost their lives trying to enter illegally into the United Kingdom, the need for immigrant workers in some sectors, and the spectre of an ageing European population. More generally, the Treaty of Amsterdam, since its entry into force in 1999, represents a major development in overall Justice and Home Affairs policy, and the implementation of the treaty provisions in Justice and Home Affairs was described as the next major EU initiative after the single currency.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Brenton
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the continuing importance of borders, even within the EU, for the volume of international trade and global capital flows. It suggests that a range of factors, including the nature of the commercial, social and legal fabric of a country and the structure of consumers' preferences, act to constrain cross-border exchanges relative to internal transactions. Hence, whilst the process of globalisation may continue, there are likely to be distinct limits to the extent of economic integration. This entails that the traditional roles of governments in OECD countries in providing social welfare and regulating the market economy within national boundaries will not be seriously undermined. However, the situation may differ in developing countries where existing social and legal institutions may be compromised by globalisation rather than acting to dampen its impact.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Alexandr Hobza
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: What impact would a fiscal expansion in Germany have on the rest of the euro area? It has been generally suggested that it could go in either of two opposite directions, depending on the relative strength of two effects: the direct trade linkage and the financial market repercussions. A review of the results from four major macroeconomic models shows that the cross-country spillover effects of fiscal policy are indeed of uncertain sign and magnitude. Different models give quite different results if used in standardised simulations in terms of the sign, magnitude and time profile of the impact of a fiscal expansion in one member country (e.g. Germany) on other euro area countries. Fewer results are available concerning the potential spillover effects of structural policies, but they are similar to the ones concerning a budgetary stimulus: the magnitude of the spillover is small and varies across countries and over time.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Joanna Apap
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Various issues arise in the European context with respect to the boundaries of citizenship; one of the main questions is to what extent the division between the European Union citizens and third country nationals will increase, especially if “deepening” of the Union leads to more tightening of its external borders. This paper addresses the question of how far citizenship rights can be extended to third country migrants in the EU?
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sébastien Jean, Olivier Bontout
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper confronts a CGE model to observed evolutions in France, between 1970 and 1992, through a structural decomposition analysis. The choice of the model and the assumption of constant elasticities over time enable the structural change of the economy between two equilibria to be summarised through a set of four types of state variables, reflecting the effect of technical change, changes in factor supplies, shifts in consumption patterns, and international trade. Simulations then allow the contribution of each of these shocks to be assessed. We find that technical change had a strong positive impact on the relative wage of skilled to unskilled workers, while the impact of changes in factor supplies is strongly negative. The effect of international trade is far less important. However, if we take into account a trade-induced effect on productivity, then we find that trade substantially increased wage inequalities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, France
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: More than two years after its inception, the ECB is still perceived as lacking transparency by many academics and market participants. Our analysis, based on a series of indicators, suggests instead that the ECB is, at least on paper, one of the most transparent and accountable central banks. The discrepancy between theory and public perception suggests that much remains to be done within the given institutional framework to improve the transparency of the ECB. What is the best way to achieve this goal? Several suggestions have been put forward, such as publishing the detailed minutes of the ECB Governing Council meetings. This would result in shifting the true debate to informal meetings of the Governing Council, while formal meetings would only record pre-packaged consensus with no or little discussion. In our view, the best way to make the ECB more accountable is to engage it in substantive discussions about its policy. The ECB should provide more information about the background analysis that leads to policy decisions. For example, the ECB should transform its 'staff projections' into true inflation forecasts and it should be more open about the arguments that shape the internal debates, which precedes decisions. Accountability cannot be ensured by the ECB alone. An important role has to be played by its counterparts, such as the European Parliament, the Council of EU Finance Ministers and the public at large.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: György Szapáry
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper raises some specific issues concerning the choice of exchange rate regime in transition countries during the run-up to EU/EMU membership. It argues that there is no "one-size-fits-all" exchange rate regime that accession countries should uniformly adopt. It also argues that the Maastricht criterion on inflation is inconsistent with the catching-up process because of the Balassa-Samuelson effect and that this inconsistency will encourage a "weighing-in" syndrome: like the boxer who refrains from eating for hours prior to the weigh-in only to consume a big meal once the weigh-in is over, the candidate country will maintain very tight monetary policy and resort to all sorts of techniques (freezing of administered prices, lowering of consumption taxes, etc.) to squeeze down inflation prior to accession only to shift back gears after it has joined the EMU. Indeed, the convergence of short-term interest rates to EMU levels that will come with accession will automatically mean a loosening of monetary policy after the country has become a member of the monetary union. That loosening will be reinforced if the country had previously allowed its exchange rate to appreciate against the euro. The result of this stop-go cycle is that the efficiency of economic management will suffer. It would be better to recognize the principle of the Balassa-Samuelson effect explicitly in the Maastricht criteria by giving more room for maneuver than the one provided by the present rule. The paper makes suggestions on how the Maastricht criterion on inflation could be adjusted and discusses their merits. It concludes that a reasonable compromise would be to define the permissible inflation deviation in reference to the average inflation rate of the euro zone, not the three EU members with the lowest inflation rate.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Lionel Fontagné, Amina Lahrèche-Révil
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The growing globalisation of OECD economies, associated to the progresses in European integration, tends to increase the mobility of capital and to deepen the pressure on tax policies. On the one hand, tax policies are tied by the Stability Pact criteria: the limit imposed on budget deficits leaves little scope for tax rates to decrease. On the other hand, the growing mobility of capital tends to increase the elasticity of tax bases to tax rates, hence reducing the autonomy of governments in increasing taxes.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Francesca di Mauro
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Economic integration between the EU and the CEECs has proceeded at high speed over the 90's, with the main channels of such integration being trade and FDI. Some authors believe that the 'commercial transition' is now complete and that a new, deeper phase of integration has started, with growing flows of FDI in the region. Following a gravity-type approach, in this paper I tackle two difficult issues surrounding the EU-CEECs integration: has FDI in the CEECs region substituted EU exports, therefore harming employment at home? Has FDI in the CEECs region been redirected away from similarly attractive countries, such as Spain and Portugal? By using a unique database on FDI broken down by country and by sector, which allows more detailed qualifications than possible in previous work, the answers to these two questions appear to be negative.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Portugal
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that there might be non-monotonic relationship between the strength of the domestic framework for fiscal policy and the interest of a country to use an external anchor to achieve price stability. Countries with a strong domestic framework, e.g. low public debt, little pressure for excessive expenditure and an efficient tax system, would anyway enjoy low inflation rates and therefore have little need for an external anchor. Countries with high debt or very weak institutions would greatly benefit from an external anchor to save them from the extreme inflation rates they would otherwise have to endure because the market knows that the temptation for them to inflate public debt away is so strong. By contrast, countries with moderately weaknesses might be in a situation where they need some inflation to supplement government revenues with seigniorage, but the inflation resulting from the interaction with the market, which knows about this, is still moderate.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Brenton, Bob Anderton, Eva Oscarsson
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to identify the contribution of trade and technological change to the increase in inequality between skilled and unskilled workers in Sweden since the 1970s. An empirical approach is adopted which allows for the outsourcing of the low-skill parts of the production chain within industries to low-wage locations and is applied to detailed industry and trade data, the latter distinguishing between low-wage sources of imports and OECD countries. Another feature of the study is the use of data on patents to capture technological change. The paper finds that, in contrast to previous studies, trade with low-wage countries may have contributed to the rise in inequality in Swedish manufacturing. Here we identify this effect through changes in relative import prices and through changes in import penetration measured in volume terms. Changes in import penetration measured in value terms, which have been used in previous studies, are not found to be significant. In addition imports seem to have had a larger effect on inequality in high-skill intensive sectors rather than the low-skill sectors. The empirical results also suggest that the increased use of technology also played a role in creating greater inequality between skilled and unskilled workers in Sweden with the magnitude of this impact increasing in the 1990s.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden