Since the very beginning of European integration, the role of openness in promoting firm productivity has been recognised by European leaders. Recent evidence on Italian firms supports this view.
Germany’s traditional specialisation in manufacturing makes China and India direct competitors. What happened to Italy as China moved up the technology ladder will happen to Germany. The key to growth lies in getting out of China’s way and finding alternative forms of high-value-added employment.
Data from the period 1870-1930 shed light on the economics of women’s political empowerment. They suggest that declining earnings gaps and evolving family culture should foster future extensions of women’s political rights. The constant increase of marital instability, however, may push the other way.
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Many nations are imposing gender quotas on top-level jobs. Recent research suggests that such policies do not have a positive knock-on effect on gender balance in lower positions.
Changes in openness to trade can disrupt the inflation forecasting on which many nations' monetary policies depend. New research suggests an innovative time-series openness measure that addresses some of the shortcomings of existing measures.
Singapore has had congestion charging since 1975. London introduced one in 2003. Does urban congestion charging make sense?
Anti-competitive behaviour raises prices and private enforcement action allows ‘victims’ to recover some of the losses. Calculating the losses is not straightforward since the victims may pass-on some of the higher prices for inputs to their customers who then become indirect victims. The EU should allow adjustment for this passing-on and give legal standing to those indirectly affected.
Germany has finally gotten aboard the train of labour market, supply-side oriented reforms initiated by Europe’s success stories -- Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, and the UK. Italy and France would do well to follow suit
The Spanish member of the Consortium has started publishing.
The ECB’s opacity, lack of open debate and refusal to decide by voting bear at least some responsibility in the declining support for the euro. This makes the ECB an easy target for politicians looking for scapegoats. For the good of the Euro-area citizens, the ECB ought to change its ways.
Medical advances in the early part of the twentieth century, especially those concerning child-bearing, increased the fraction of women’s lives that could be devoted to the labour market. They account for the threefold increase in the labour force participation of married women with children between 1920 and 1970 in the US.
Why are children working? Eliminating trade-linked jobs does not change the circumstances that cause children to work. Empirically, children are less likely to work in countries with more international trade.
Trade openness matters, so the measurement of trade restrictiveness matters. Commonly used measures, however, are deeply flawed. New research, using theory-based measures, has generated two new global databases on the restrictiveness of trade policy at the most disaggregated level.
Inheritance tax revenues have long been declining in all OECD countries, both in terms of total revenues and GDP. This trend is explained by the secular decline of wealth inequality, and is also influenced by differential rates of tax avoidance and by the evolving composition of wealth.
Should governments help residents of depressed regions move towards more prosperous areas? Evidence from Katrina evacuees suggests that such efforts are likely to fail. The fortunes of long-term evacuees are almost completely unrelated to the characteristics of the cities to which they relocated.
Some worry that developing countries don’t have much to gain under the Doha Round because they will lose their preference margins. In fact, such preferences are not as generous as they appear. Our estimates suggest that across-the-board tariff cuts give greater market access to many developing countries.
US firms typically have better management practices than their European counterparts. This ‘management gap’ has a direct impact on productivity differences. Policies on competition, labour market flexibility and education are key to closing the gap.
Most of the justifications for politically popular Employment Protection Legislation (EPL) ring hollow. Governments ought to tackle adverse selection, risk aversion, and unequal bargaining power issues with more finely tuned tools.
Governments channel increasingly large amounts of development aid through NGOs and attempt to control them with policies such as matching grants, tax deductions, and tying grants to past performance. Such instruments may induce competition, but competition between NGOs is a double-edged sword.
The US is to blame for the recent breakdown of the WTO negotiations. The US could get the talks back on track by switching its agricultural support to direct, non-trade-distorting income support for farmers.
Empirically, wages have declined for unskilled labour in rich countries. This should be addressed and trade may play a role, but protectionist trade policies are not the answer. More imaginative thinking is required.
Recent estimates of Habsburg Empire trade suggest that borders matter as long as ethno-linguistic networks matter. The EU needs to find a new deal on language policy, if it is to achieve a truly common market.
Technology will force private health insurance to disappear; social pressure to provide equal access to care will remain. The inevitable result will be that health care systems everywhere will provide universal coverage and be publicly run.
When the IMF was a monitor of borrowers’ policies, dominance of the IMF Board by creditor countries was natural, but an institution whose main role is to facilitate global consultations and arbitrate currency disputes needs a more balanced shareholder structure.
Autocracies are bad, but are sometimes economically successful. Empirical analysis provides lessons on how to institutionalise good government in a wider context.
The Italian government has approved a short-sighted economic and financial planning document, which is politically expedient but not in the interests of the country.
Recent advances in economics have opened a gap between research and real-world applications. This essay – written for LaVoce’s 5th anniversary – discusses how sites like LaVoce are bridging the research-reality gap.
Using a large dataset of military conflicts, trade created by regional trade agreements is shown to be pacifying, but greater overall openness has the opposite effect. Logically, this means that bilateral trade pacifies bilateral relations, but raises the chance of conflict with third countries.
Like other developed regions, the EU has a far higher share of skilled workers in its labour force than does the world as a whole. That suggests that Europe should be tilting its immigration policies towards the unskilled. So why are we seeing a trend in the opposite direction?
EU rigidities are well known, but low US energy productivity and low social mobility (probability of the poor breaking out of poverty) are less often noted. Structural reforms are necessary if the US is to emulate European successes on social mobility and energy efficiency.
After the 1997 crisis, Asia embarked on gradual and prudent reforms that are yielding considerable benefits for the region and the world. Further reform in Asia is needed, but we should allow Asia to continue gradually and prudently.