Europe's nations and regions

Fredrik NG Andersson, Lars Jonung, 30 May 2016

The volume of credit to Swedish households has grown twice as fast as incomes since the mid-1990s. This has resulted in both rising house prices and rising household debt. This column argues that these trends expose Sweden to important economic vulnerabilities. Curbing these vulnerabilities will require prompt action by the authorities.

Giancarlo Corsetti, Lars P Feld, Ralph S.J. Koijen, Lucrezia Reichlin, Ricardo Reis, Hélène Rey, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, 27 May 2016

The large wave of refugees arriving from the Middle East and Northern Africa is one of the major challenges facing the EU today. In this column, the authors of the 2nd Monitoring the Eurozone report outline their proposal for one measure to help deal with the refugee crisis – EU refugee bonds. EU-wide bonds are an appropriate way to finance the response to the crisis due to the immediate costs for some countries and the future benefits for others of integrating refugees.

Jean-Marc Fournier, 26 May 2016

The limits of the European Single Market have often been highlighted. This column argues that although implicit barriers remain, the Single Market has delivered substantial benefits to member countries. New empirical evidence is presented of the trade and FDI gains that Central and Eastern European countries have enjoyed since joining the Single Market. On top of making regulations more competition-friendly, regulatory harmonisation can boost the economic links between countries. 

Manuel García Santana, Josep Pijoan-Mas, Enrique Moral-Benito, Roberto Ramos, 23 May 2016

Spain enjoyed substantial growth in the decade prior to the Global Crisis, despite declining aggregate productivity. Recent research blames the poor productivity on different forms of a ‘financial resource curse’. This column argues that resource misallocation was particularly severe due to corruption and crony capitalism. This suggests future growth will require serious political reforms. 

Jonathan Portes, 16 May 2016

Migration is the most important issue for many likely voters in the upcoming UK referendum on EU membership, despite the fact that the economic impacts on the UK of recent EU migration appear to have been relatively benign. This column looks at these impacts, the implications of the UK’s “renegotiation” of its relationship with the EU, and post-Brexit policy options. A vote to Remain will unequivocally be a vote for the status quo in this area. A vote to Leave, however, will take us into new territory for UK immigration policy, with potentially significant consequences.

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