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  • Author: Silvia Nenci, Marina Mancini
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: According to the “Eurobarometer” survey (Eurobarometer No 54), conducted in November and December 2000 among more than 16,000 citizens of the European Union, 55% (-3% in comparison with spring 2000) of Europeans support the single currency, whilst 37% do not. The Member States in which support is strongest are Italy (79%), Luxembourg (75%), Belgium (72%), Greece (70%), Ireland (69%), Spain (68%) and the Netherlands (64%). The majority of public opinion is against the Euro in Sweden (26%), the United Kingdom (21%), Denmark (41%) and Finland (45%). Looking at Italy, results show that 79% of citizens are in favour of the Euro (-2% in comparison with previous six months), 17% are against it (+ 3%) and the remaining 4% are indifferent.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Finland, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg
  • Author: Catherine L. Mann
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The global and dynamic e-commerce marketplace will increasingly impact the nature of national and international economic and government relations. This paper highlights three areas where the United States and European Union (EU) governments differ in their approaches as to how best to serve their domestic constituencies: treatment of trade flows, approach to tax regimes, manner of protecting personal data. Because the Internet marketplace is global but policy jurisdictions remain local, policy conflicts can develop. Policymakers on both sides need to harness technology and promote incentives for the private sector to help solve problems caused by the jurisdictional overlap. In addition to cross-border jurisdictional overlap, problems within a country can develop from issue convergence and policy overlap. That is, because the e-commerce marketplace is so integrated, the policy toward handling one issue, even within the national context, has implications for the policy set that is available to policymakers on other issues. Therefore, policies within a country must be more carefully meshed with each other with an eye toward consistency in the face of the forces of electronic commerce..
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: C. Fred Bergsten
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The initial postwar challenge from East Asia was economic. Japan crashed back into global markets in the 1960s, became the largest surplus and creditor country in the 1980s, and was viewed by many as the world's dominant economy by 1990. The newly industrialized countries (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore) followed suit on a smaller but still substantial scale shortly thereafter. China only re-entered world commerce in the 1980s but has now become the second largest economy (in purchasing power terms), the second largest recipient of foreign direct investment inflows, and the second largest holder of monetary reserves. Indonesia and most of Southeast Asia grew at 7 percent for two or more decades. The oil crises of the 1970s and the financial crises of the late 1990s injected temporary setbacks but East Asia has clearly become a third major pole of the world economy, along with North America and Western Europe.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, Israel, Taiwan, East Asia, Asia, North America, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong
  • Author: Ansgar Belke, Rainer Fehn
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses whether differences in institutional structures on capital markets contribute to explaining why some OECD-countries, in particular the Anglo-Saxon countries, have been much more successful over the last two decades in producing employment growth and in reducing unemployment than most continental-European OECD-countries. It is argued that the often-blamed labour market rigidities alone, while important, do not provide a satisfactory explanation for these differences across countries and over time. Financial constraints are potentially important obstacles against creating new firms and jobs and thus against coping well with structural change and against moving successfully toward the “new economy”. Highly developed venture capital markets should help to alleviate such financial constraints. This view that labour-market institutions should be supplemented by capital market imperfections for explaining differences in employment performances is supported by our panel data analysis, in which venture capital turns out to be a significant institutional variable.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Brenton
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: EU trade policies and the environment in which they are determined are now considerably different from when the EU came into being in the 1950s. With the exceptions of agriculture and textiles and clothing, tariffs and quantitative restrictions on trade in goods have been reduced to historically very low levels. But trade policy is now about much more than border restrictions upon trade in goods. Trade in services and the impact of national differences in regulatory regimes are now firmly on the trade policy agenda. This paper describes the current multilateral and preferential trade policies of the EU. It highlights the increasing importance of regulatory issues and the fact that some of these are being addressed outside of both multilateral and standard bilateral free trade agreements. This reflects the mixed motives behind EU trade policies and that for trade with certain regions the typical political economy factors framing trade policy are no longer relevant. For example, liberalisation of transatlantic trade, in the limited form at present of mutual recognition of conformity assessment, is being strongly driven by large corporate business. This trend suggests that the pyramid of preferences usually used to depict EU trade policies is becoming very distorted.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Carsten Hefeker
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: What policy objective should a common central bank in a heterogeneous monetary union pursue? Should it base its decisions on the EU-wide average of inflation and growth or should it instead focus on (appropriately weighted) national welfare losses based on national rates of inflation and growth? We find that a central bank that minimises the sum of national welfare losses reacts less to common shocks and that this can lead to higher average union-wide expected welfare, if the variability of common shocks is large relative to the inflation bias. But for countries with a transmission mechanism close to the average, welfare can actually be lower in this case. The inflationary bias depends on the interaction between the transmission mechanism and distortions in labour markets.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kimberly A. Clausing
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Multinational firms are an increasingly important part of international economic integration. In recent years, foreign direct investment has been increasing at a rate that exceeds both the rate of growth of international trade and that of income. For many countries, the sales of affiliates of multinational firms have long dwarfed the value of trade. For example, in 1997, European Union country firms exported $283 billion in products to the United States. In the same year, affiliates of E.U.-based multinational firms sold $816 billion worth of products in the United States, almost three times the value of exports.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Paul Brenton, John Sheehy, Marc Vancauteren
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: With trade in industrial products between the EU and the CEECs now essentially free of tariff and non-tariff restrictions, the principal impact of accession to the EU on trade flows will be through access to the Single Market of the EU. A key element of this will be the removal of technical barriers to trade. In this paper we try and highlight the importance of technical barriers to trade between the EU and the various CEECs, distinguishing sectors according to the different approaches to the removal of these barriers in the EU: mutual recognition, detailed harmonisation (old approach) and minimum requirements (new approach). We utilise two sources of information on technical regulations: a sectoral classification from a previous study of the impact of the Single Market and our own detailed translation of EU product related directives into the relevant tariff codes. The analysis suggests that the importance of technical barriers varies considerably across the CEECs. The adjustment implications of access to the Single Market are likely to be greatest for those most advanced in their accession negotiations.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Jorge Núñez Ferrer
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes the development of the negotiations from the birth of the Agenda 2000 proposals to the end of the Berlin European Council Summit and discusses the consequences of the outcome. The study shows to what extent net contributions to the EU budget and narrow national interests dominated the negotiations, at the expense of the original aims of the reforms (to prepare the Union for enlargement and for the next round of WTO negotiations), which were practically forgotten. This type of behaviour is by no means unique. On the contrary, it has been recurrent in the history of the EU. Estimates of future expenditures and own resources show that the Berlin European Council conclusions will prove to be far from satisfactory.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Migration, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Berlin
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In what has been described as its most important vote this year, the U.S. Congress will soon decide whether to provide permanent normal trade relations to China. A vote is required because, after 14 years of negotiations, China is poised to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO). Assuming China concludes its bilateral negotiations with the European Union by June or July, entry is likely before the end of the year. The cornerstone principle of the World Trade Organization is that members provide each other unconditional Most Favored Nation trade status, now called Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) in U.S. trade law. Current U.S. law precludes granting PNTR to China; as a result President Clinton has asked Congress to amend the law. A negative vote would have no bearing on China's entry into the World Trade Organization, but it would mean that U.S. companies would not benefit from the most important commitments China has made to become a member. Gaining the full range of benefits is particularly important in light of the large and growing deficit the United States faces in its trade with China (Figure 1). A positive vote would give U.S. companies the same advantages that would accrue to companies from Europe, Japan, and all other WTO member states when China enters the World Trade Organization. It would also provide an important boost to China's leadership, that is taking significant economic and political risks in order to meet the demands of the international community for substantial additional economic reforms as a condition for its WTO membership. A positive vote would strengthen bilateral economic relations more generally. That may help place a floor on the broader bilateral relationship, which continues to face critical challenges on security issues, stemming largely from tensions between China and Taiwan, and on human rights issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia