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  • Author: Paul Christopher Manuel
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The notion of Portuguese exceptionalism resonated with the European political and economic elite for some two hundred years: there was a widespread belief that Portuguese society and government existed outside of European understandings of society, politics and authority relations. In the thirty-five years since the 25 April 1974 Carnation Revolution, the Portuguese political system has developed new mechanisms for debate, elections and policy adoption. Portugal is currently completely integrated into Europe as a member of the European Union, with a democratic government and a developing economy. Portugal's return to the overall pattern of European democratic institutions in the years following the 25 April 1974 revolution can be understood as a much needed corrective of both Portuguese authoritarianism and its associated notions of lusotropicalism: that is, democracy and Europe have replaced corporatism and the Portuguese overseas empire as two of the key defining elements of contemporary Portuguese identity. It was certainly a long historical struggle from monarchy to democracy: the contemporary Portuguese political system is currently dynamic, democratic, durable and European.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Francesca Bignami
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: European countries have experienced massive structural transformation over the past twenty-five years with the privatization of state-owned industries, the liberalization of markets, and the rise of the European Union. According to one prominent line of analysis, these changes have led to the Americanization of European regulatory styles: previously informal and cooperative modes of regulation are becoming adversarial and litigation-driven, similar to the American system. This article explores the Americanization hypothesis with a structured comparison of data privacy regulation in four countries (France, Britain, Germany, and Italy) and a review of three other policy areas. It finds that European regulatory systems are converging, but not on American-style litigation, rather on an administrative model of deterrence-oriented regulatory enforcement and industry self-regulation. The explanation for this emerging regulatory strategy is to be found in government responses to market liberalization, as well as the pressure created by the governance process of the European Union.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Italy
  • Author: Marino Regini, Sabrina Colombo
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The “European social model” includes a welfare regime with generous social expenditure; high employment or income protection; a well-developed system of industrial relations; and involvement of social partners in policymaking. Within the Italian social model, however, one can find three major dividing lines. The first one stems from the coexistence of different models in different areas of the country. Second, an occupation-based principle in pensions and in unemployment benefits coexists with a citizenship-based one in health and education. Finally, core workers enjoy high job and income security, whereas outsiders are highly dependent on the market. These three dividing lines substantially endanger the legitimacy and social acceptance of the Italian social model: each of them profoundly affects the perceptions of workers and citizens, leading to widespread criticism of even those aspects that clearly benefit them and, at the same time, to fierce opposition to the several attempts at reforming it.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Sebastian Royo
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Is globalization forcing non-“Coordinated Market Economies” such as Spain to converge on an Anglo-American model? This paper seeks to build on the hypotheses generated by the literature on “Varieties of Capitalism” to analyze the challenges of developing and sustaining coordination while adjusting for economic change. In particular it seeks to explore ways in which subnational factors promote the ability of socioeconomic actors to develop public-private institutions. By focusing on a particular autonomous region of Spain, the Basque Country, this paper will explore the role of institutional arrangements at the regional level in determining national adjustment. In the Basque Country the relative power and the particular interests of the regional state have been central factors in promoting distinctive patterns of coordination. At the same time, actors' preferences and policy outcomes have been constrained by the differences in the quality and configuration of institutional frameworks, political deals, and the existing economic structure.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Spain
  • Author: Malgorzata Runiewicz-Wardyn
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: There are significant differences in the innovative capacities between the economies of the United States and European Union. The US was able to gain and maintain technological leadership, whereas most of the EU member states (with the exception of some Scandinavian economies) still lag behind in the competitiveness and innovation rankings.
  • Topic: Economics, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Sofía Perez, Jonathan Westrup
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes major changes in the regulation of the financial sector in Europe over the last three decades. Focusing on the pattern of change across five countries (Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), the paper identifies two major periods of regulatory change: first, the shift away from postwar patterns of credit regulation in the 1970s and 1980s, and second, the intensification of state supervisory powers and the introduction of new regulatory structures from the 1990s to the present. In both cases, the authors point to the way in which different models of financial sector regulation affect the political consequences of macro-economic policy for political elites as an explanation for choices that governments have made in the regulatory arena. More specifically, while regulatory change in the first period may be largely explained by the way in which different postwar models of credit regulation impinged upon a government's political ability to impose disinflation, choices in favor of different regulatory structures in the second period (single regulator in Britain and Germany versus multiple regulators in the other countries) can be related to differences in the area of pension reform. By focusing on the political implications that different modes of financial regualtion can have for elected officials in the context of different macroeconomic scenarios, the authors offer an explanation of regualtory change that differs from accounts which emphasize the primacy of financial market forces in driving such change.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Thilo Bodenstein, Achim Kemmerling
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: We investigate the distribution of European Union (EU) Structural Funds across EU regions. We draw from literature concerning the political economy of national intergovernmental grants, and regarding the EU's two-tiered bargaining process. Bargaining over the distribution of Structural Funds takes place between regions and their respective national governments, but is also influenced by bargaining that occurs on an intergovernmental level. We test our claims with a data set containing the distribution of Objective-1 and Objective-2 funds across EU regions, as well as other economic, institutional and electoral variables. Adjusting for selection bias, we find that the official allocation criteria are not sufficient determinants for explaining the distribution of regional transfers. For Objective-2 they may even be said to bear the opposite sign. Moreover, federalist regions and those with stronger electoral competition receive significantly more transfers than other regions.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Luis Moreno
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite the fact that the Nordic welfare model has become less exceptional in recent times, it continues to offer numerous examples for “best practices” in social policy provision, together with a high degree of welfare political legitimacy. This paper explores Nordic “benchmarking” as reference to the case of welfare development in Spain. In the general process of convergence of the European welfare states towards the middle, the Spanish case stands out as the one Mediterranean EU country which has gone further in incorporating inputs and traits of the social-democratic Nordic world of welfare capitalism. While Spain's welfare state has become more liberal in macroeconomic policies, and social policymaking has followed a pattern of universalization of welfare entitlements and provision, there has been a detachment from the Bismarckian principle of income maintenance. This paper deals with Spain's evolution in two main areas, which have distinctively characterized Nordic welfare in contemporary times: fiscal resources, and female employment. The analytical purpose of the first section is to ponder the claim as to whether or not Spanish welfare has intensified a socioeconomic path in the direction of the Nordic model. Subsequently, Spain's societal changes and welfare reforms are reviewed with relation to the two areas identified as having the greatest impact in the future evolution of Spain's welfare: conciliation of work and family life, and the territorial politics of welfare provision. Concluding remarks speculate on the hypothesis that countries with fragmented political institutions and a decentralized state organization, such as Spain, may move faster and be more responsive in the development of new welfare Polices. Likewise, the emergence of gender and family issues into the political arena is also regarded as generating pressure for major changes in Spain's Mediterranean welfare, and possibly intensifying its Nordic path or component.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Markets, Migration, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Éloi Laurent, Jean-Paul Fitoussi
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In this paper, we try to point out some important weaknesses of the contemporary French social-economic model, focusing on relevant elements of comparison with Nordic countries. In doing so, we rely on the idea that large and small countries differ in terms of growth and governance strategies. Hence, while a look at the “Nordic model” can be a good way to reveal of some of France's major problems, it is also an ambiguous template for reform. The paper starts by examining the question of growth strategy (macroeconomic management and structural reforms), then goes on to investigate governance strategy (trust, confidence, governance quality) and finally explores the issues of diversity and integration policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Political Economy, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ellen Verbake, Thomas A. DiPrete
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The distribution of well-being in society and comparisons of well-being across societies depend both on the amount of inequality at the national level and also on the national average level of well-being. Comparisons between the U.S. and western Europe show that inequality is greater in the U.S. but that average GDP/capita is also greater in the U.S., and most Americans have higher standards of living than do Western Europeans at comparable locations in their national income distributions. What is less well-known is that (depending on the country) much or all of this gap arises from differences in the level of working hours in the U.S. and in Western Europe. Crossnational comparisons of well-being have typically relied on the methodology of generalized Lorenz curves (GLC), but this approach privileges disposable income and cash transfers while ignoring other aspects of welfare state and labor market structure that potentially affect the distribution of well-being in a society. We take an alternative approach that focuses on the value of time use and the different distributions of work and family time that are generated by each country's labor market and social welfare institutions. We show that reasonable estimates of the greater contribution to well-being from non-market activities such as the raising of children or longer vacations overturn claims in the literature that the U.S. offers greater well-being to more of its citizens than do Western European countries.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Netherlands
  • Author: Gabriel T. Swank, Tim Büthe
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Antitrust regulation and the related merger review are essential for making a market economy work. Merger review is also among the most prominent powers of the European Commission in the Common Market of the EU. How did this supranational actor come to acquire such power? And what explains the variation in the Commission's decisions in some of the trans-atlantically most controversial merger review cases in recent years? In this paper, we develop a modified neofunctionalist theory as a historical institutionalist theory of institutional change that integrates elements of rational choice and social constructivism. We argue that it provides a superior explanation of (1) the institutional development of the European Commission's competence over antitrust matters and merger review from the 1950s negotiations over the Treaty of Rome through the changes of 2004 and (2) the Commission's decisions in some of the most prominent cases, where a high level of politicization makes a neofunctionalist explanation least likely.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Éloi Laurent
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In this paper, I examine how the specific nature of economic integration in the European Union has affected member states' redistribution policies over the last two decades. More precisely, I attempt to detail the effect of social-tax competition between member states within social models, processes that I label “races to bottoms.” In this framework, I identify the emergence of an informal set of rules effectively constraining national redistribution policies in different ways, given the diversity of tax-social compacts in the EU. Because these rules are implicit and their effect generally underestimated, I gather them under the notion of “shadow” social Europe. Having empirically assessed the impact of this dynamic on the “continental,” the “Nordic,” the “eastern” and the “liberal” social-tax compact, I finally try to present a normative perspective and some policy options on this matter.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefan Collignon
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper models unemployment as a general equilibrium solution in labor and capital markets, while the natural rate hypothesis explains unemployment simply as a partial equilibrium in the labor market. It is shown that monetary policy can have long-run effects by affecting required returns on capital and investment. If monetary policy is primarily concerned with maintaining price stability, the interaction between wage bargaining and the central bank's credibility as an inflation fighter becomes a crucial factor in determining employment. Different labor market institutions condition different monetary policy reactions. With centralized wage bargaining, a central bank mandate focusing primarily on price stability is sufficient. With an atomistic labor market, the central bank must also consider output as a policy objective.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: JoãoOliveira Soares, Carlos M.F. Monteiro, Cristina del Campo
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: It is well-known that there are significant differences among the European Union regions, which have been heightened due to the most recent enlargement in 2004. This paper aims to analyze this diversity and propose a classification of European Regions (EU) that is adjusted to the different axes of socioeconomic development and, simultaneously, is useful for European regional policy purposes. The data used in this paper were published by the European Union Statistical Office (Eurostat) and correspond to the main statistical indicators of NUTS2 (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) regions in the EU. Multivariate statistical techniques allowed the identification of clusters of socioeconomic similarity, which are contrasted with the classes considered in the financial proposal of the European Commission (EC) for the period 2007-2013. It was found that each of the two main groups of the EC classification – convergence regions and competitiveness and employment regions – comprises at least two significantly different groups of regions, which differ not only in their average income but also in other indicators associated with their particular weaknesses. Also, it has been revealed that two other groups–phasing-in regions and phasing-out regions –, beyond their inexpressive denomination, lack homogeneity, being spread throughout different clusters.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Carl Dahlström
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When harsh cuts were introduced in the Swedish welfare state in an agreement between the centre-right government and the opposition Social Democrats in 1992, there were astonishingly few disagreements between the political parties as to which social groups should carry the burdens of the cuts. The conventional wisdom on welfare state retrenchment would lead us to expect a clash of interests, especially considering the strength of interest groups in Sweden and the different constituencies of the five parties included in the agreement. This paper explains why that did not happen. It argues that the role that key officials played in shaping the 1992 retrenchment agreement in Sweden was decisive in averting potential political conflicts. In a crisis, politicians depend on advice from officials as politicians need complex information, often under pressure of time. This paper argues that key state officials, through their advice, defined both the character of the crisis and the range of possible solutions. As the number of options was restricted, key officials were able to define what cuts were reasonable. Within this framework, politicians looked for practical solutions and, to a large extent, disregarded conflicts of interest. This paper also suggests that the content of such advice depends on what is called the loyalty of key officials, which depends on the terms of their employment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pepper D. Culpepper
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When should we ever expect to see durable moves toward greater wage bargaining coordination? Moving to sustained coordinated wage bargaining presupposes that unions and employers can both be convinced that wage bargaining is in fact a game in which both actors prefer coordination. This can only happen when these social actors come to accept as true an idea of the economy in which their coordination through wage bargaining institutions will give them better outcomes than would bargaining through decentralized institutions. This paper argues that the process of developing common knowledge changes institutional preferences among employers. It was the development of common knowledge that changed employer preferences about the attractiveness of institutions for wage coordination in Ireland in Italy. In both cases, the development of common expectations required the emergence and joint ratification of a common set of references, in what I call common knowledge events. These events led organized employers to change their previous position about acceptable institutions of wage bargaining. This change made possible the institutionalization of coordinated wage bargaining in both countries. As demonstrated through counterfactual analysis of the Australian case, the emergence and ratification of such a common view is the necessary condition for the emergence and survival of coordinated wage bargaining institutions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Australia/Pacific, Ireland
  • Author: Annette Elisabeth Töller
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In looking at the Europeanization of the German Bundestag, the paper brings together two different debates: the well-established debate on the democratic legitimacy of the European Union sees national Parliaments as guarantor of one branch of a “dual” legitimacy. The more recent debate on “Europeanization” addresses the impacts that European integration has had on its Member States. Analyzing the Europeanization of the German Bundestag, the paper identifies and analyzes three dimensions: legislative Europeanization – the extent to which legislative decision making by the German Bundestag has been influenced by European stipulations over the last twenty years; institutional Europeanization – how the Bundestag as an institution reacted to this loss of function by establishing institutional and procedural provisions for influencing the government's Euro-politics; and strategic Europeanization – the ways in which individual MPs started more recently to develop euro-political strategies that go beyond controlling the national government. The paper shows that the Bundestag only hesitantly reacted to the increasing loss of function s through legislative Europeanization by establishing effective institutional and procedural provisions for controlling the government's Euro-political activities. What is more, the establishment of institutions does not guarantee their effective use. All in all, Euro- politics continues to remain the activity of few MPs. These few, however, have more recently started to europeanize their strategies. The empirical findings support the claim that the traditional concept of chains of legitimacy is inadequate, both in conceptual and in empirical terms. With regard to the democratic legitimacy of EU governance, this indicates that, apart from major reform projects, especially with regard to everyday legislation, not too great a burden should be placed on national Parliaments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Steffen Hillmert
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper proposes a comparison of skill formation in Germany and Britain over the last decades. Taking historical trends into account, the two cases can be regarded as representing different types of skill production regimes. Institutional features include a relatively low degree of standardization of training and a larger amount of on-the-job training in Britain. In Germany, post-compulsory training has been conducted predominantly within the dual system of vocational training, underlining the vocational specificity of a large part of the labor market. As a consequence, international differences in individual skill investments, transitions from school to work and other life-course patterns can be observed. At least in Britain, however, the situation seems to have changed considerably during the 1990s. The paper argues that the divergence in more recent developments can still be understood as an expression of historical path dependency given the traditional connections between the post-compulsory training system and the broader societal context in which it is embedded. These concern, in particular, links with the system of general and academic education as the basis for – and also a possible competitor with – vocational training; links with the labor market as they are indicated by specific skill requirements and returns to qualifications; and, links with the order of social stratification in the form of the selective acquisition and the social consequences of these qualifications. The links manifest themselves as typical individual-level consequences and decisions. Founded on the basis of these distinctions, the aim of this paper is to investigate the preceding conditions for recent developments in the qualification systems of Britain and Germany, which have adapted to specific challenges during the last decades.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Wolfgang Schroeder, Stephen J. Silvia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper challenges the conventional explanation for declining density of German employers associations. The dominant account asserts that German trade unions have taken advantage of increased globalization since the 1980s – which has made internationally active enterprises more vulnerable to production disruptions – to extract additional monopoly rents from multinational employers via aggressive collective bargaining. Small firms have responded to the increased union pressures by avoiding member ship employers associations, which has produced the density declines. Data, however, disconfirm the conventional explanation; compensation increases have actually become increasingly smaller over the decades. This paper presents an alternative explanation that is consistent with the data. We argue that it is the large product manufacturers rather than the trade unions that have greatly increased price pressures on parts suppliers, which has led to a disproportionate number of suppliers to quit employers associations. The paper also discusses these findings in light of the “varieties of capitalism” literature. It points out that this literature has depicted national models as too homogeneous. The decision of several German employers associations to offer different classes of membership represents an accentuation of variety within national varieties of capitalism.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Reimut Zohlnhöfer
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: According to parts of the literature, blame avoidance opportunities, i.e. the necessity and applicability of blame avoidance strategies, may differ among countries according to the respective institutional set-ups and between governing parties according to their programmatic orientation. In countries with many veto actors, a strategy of "Institutional Cooperation" among these actors is expected to diffuse blame sufficiently to render other blame avoidance strategies obsolete. In contrast, governments in Westminster democracies should resort to the more unilateral strategies of presentation, policy design and timing. At the same time, parties of the left are expected to have an easier time implementing spending cuts while right parties are less vulnerable when proposing tax increases. Evidence from the politics of budget consolidation in Britain and Germany does not corroborate these hypotheses. Instead, it seems that party competition conditions the effects institutions and the partisan complexion of governments have on the politics of blame avoidance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe