Lorenzo Caliendo, Giordano Mion, Luca David Opromolla, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 23 January 2016

Reorganisation doesn’t always create a more efficient and effective firm. This column assesses the extent to which a firm’s physical productivity varies as a result of reorganisation. The results suggest significant variation. For policymakers, studying and understanding the internal organisational responses of firms to firm-specific and economy-wide shocks is essential to understanding the level and distribution of productivity in an economy.

Daniel Dias, Mark Wright, 13 November 2015

Measured as a percentage of its GDP, Greece’s debt is higher than that of Portugal and Ireland. This column discusses a range of new techniques for measuring the debts of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. It argues that plausible alternative measures of indebtedness suggest that Greece is anywhere from as much as 50% more indebted than Portugal and Ireland to as little as half as indebted. The most reasonable measures imply that Greece is far less indebted than is commonly reported.

Aerdt Houben, Jan Kakes, 30 July 2013

Financial cycles have increasingly diverged across members of the Eurozone. National macroprudential tools are thus key to managing financial imbalances and protecting Europe’s economic integration. This column discusses research suggesting that reasonable macroprudential policies by the GIIPS countries in the euro’s first decade would have helped avoid much pain in Italy, Portugal and Spain. Greece’s public debt problems were far too large and its banks could not have been shielded with macroprudential policies.

Zsolt Darvas, 05 September 2012

The need to rebalance the debts of several Eurozone members is a major root of the current crisis. This column argues that a purely intra-euro rebalancing strategy has its limits and that a weaker euro would help. It urges the European Central Bank to adopt looser monetary policy, which is anyway justified in a highly recessionary environment.

Tito Boeri, 20 July 2012

Solving the EZ crisis will almost certainly involve some financial transfers in exchange for some loss of sovereignty. This column suggests a guiding principle for which policies should be under EZ control. Transfers of authority to supranational bodies must make a no-further-bailout clause credible.

Serguey Braguinsky, Lee Branstetter, André Regateiro, 10 September 2011

Portugal was the third member to join the unenviable club of bailed-out Eurozone countries. This column explores one of the central weaknesses of the Portuguese economy – its low productivity. It finds that this is in part the result of the shrinking size of Portugal’s companies, which is in turn caused by distortions in its labour market that need to be fixed.

Daniel Gros, 24 August 2011

Eurobonds are being touted as the silver bullet to resolve the Eurozone crisis. This column argues that the Eurobonds proposal fails on legal, political, and economic grounds. It says that, whatever the variant, Eurobonds only make sense in a political union—and given the vast differences in national political systems and their quality of governance, any political union created on paper will not work in practice.

Alessandro Turrini, 10 August 2011

Many says southern Europe's low productivity is at least partly attributable to labour-market dualism. Despite that academic view, none of these economies have replaced existing labour contracts with a single contract. The column describes what the recent reform deal in Portugal might achieve.

Harald Hau, 27 July 2011

Last week, the European heads of government added €109 billion to the existing €110 billion rescue plan for Greece. As Europe’s financial sector would have otherwise taken a huge hit, this column address the question: How did the financial sector manage to negotiate such a gigantic wealth transfer from the Eurozone taxpayer and the IMF to the richest 5% of people in the world?

Roel Beetsma, Benjamin Bluhm, Massimo Giuliodori, Peter Wierts, 01 July 2011

Fiscal policy in EU countries is suffering from a calamity of credibility. The fiscal figures get steadily worse as governments move from planning to implementation to retrospective reporting. In order to regain its reputation, this column argues that the EU should improve its fiscal institutions and the EU countries should take more ownership of EU fiscal rules.

Karl Whelan, 09 June 2011

In a recent Vox column, Hans Werner Sinn of the prestigious Institute for Economic Research claims that the German Bundesbank is effectively propping up banks across the Eurozone’s periphery. He adds that doing this risks a major crisis. Here, Karl Whelan of University College Dublin argues that Professor Sinn’s analysis is incorrect and that his policy prescriptions are extremely unhelpful and even dangerous.

Charles Wyplosz, 29 April 2011

Restructuring is a taboo word in Brussels. This column argues that debt restructuring may be a viable option for some of the countries on Europe’s highly indebted periphery.

Paolo Manasse, 05 April 2011

The meeting of the European Council on 24-25 March focused on shoring up the battered Eurozone infrastructure through the European Stability Mechanism. This column argues that the mechanism is seriously flawed. It says it is unlikely to withstand the shock of a severe financial crisis and may even spread the damage to high-debt countries, while leaving the Eurozone in the grip of paralysing vetoes.

Heiko Hesse, Brenda González-Hermosillo, 10 March 2011

Just how much systemic risk remains in the advanced economies? This column uses Markov-switching techniques to examine volatility in equity, interbank, sovereign credit-default swaps, and foreign-exchange markets. It finds that while overall systemic stress emanating from interbank spreads and foreign-exchange volatility has subsided, there are still pockets of systemic risk, particularly in sovereign credit default swaps and equity markets – and this is especially the case for Europe’s periphery.

Albert Marcet, 04 March 2011

Albert Marcet of the London School of Economics explains to Viv Davies why predictions of potential Spanish sovereign default are misguided. Marcet presents his views on Spain’s fiscal sustainability, its unemployment and housing problems, the autonomous regions and the recapitalisation of the cajas. He also discusses debt and fiscal coordination in the eurozone and comments on his new role as scientific chair of the Euro Area Business Cycle Network (EABCN). The interview was recorded in London in February 2011. [Also read the transcript]

Zsolt Darvas, Jean Pisani-Ferry, André Sapir, 28 February 2011

It is well over a year since concerns over debt sustainability in Greece began spilling out to the rest of the Eurozone. The crisis continues. This column presents a three-part plan aiming to clean up the banks, reduce Greece’s public debt, and foster growth in the peripheral economies.

Monika Merz, Andreas Haufler, Wolfram Richter, Bernd Lucke, 24 February 2011

The European rescue fund is steeped in controversy. This column argues that both the fund and the case to keep it permanently are unjustified. It says that they create the wrong incentives and that they will only further intensify the debt crisis in Europe, at the risk of undermining the foundations of the EU itself. It calls on the German government to act.

Hans-Werner Sinn, 19 February 2011

According to their government accounts, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain only need €310 billion. This column argues that analysts calling for a larger fund must have something else in mind, for example, using EU capital to reduce national debt via debt buybacks. While debt buybacks are reasonable, granting EU loans for this purpose is not.

Daniel Gros, Thomas Mayer, 11 February 2011

It is almost a year since commentators began suggesting the idea of a European Monetary Fund. This column, by two of the main proponents, argues that since then the Eurozone has created an emergency funding mechanism, but not a Fund. Europe’s leaders urgently need to take steps towards creating a credible mechanism that can deal with overly indebted countries.

Uri Dadush, Bennett Stancil, 06 February 2011

The recent fiscal problems in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain have left the single currency in need of rescue. But this column argues that this is only part of the problem. Until leaders deal with the core issues – the periphery’s lost competitiveness and misaligned economic structures – Europe’s rescue will ultimately fail.

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