Loukas Karabarbounis, Brent Neiman, 22 June 2018

Comparing US GDP to the sum of standard measures of payments to labour and imputations of payments to capital results in a large and volatile residual term. Using US data, this column argues that this ‘factorless income’ does not entirely reflect economic profits or unmeasured investment flows. Instead, it emerges due to a gap between the cost of capital that firms actually face and the Treasury yields typically used to calculate capital rental rates. These results are important for policy and for understanding historical macroeconomic trends. 

Pamela Campa, Michel Serafinelli, 22 June 2018

Attitudes towards work and gender simultaneously shape, and are shaped by, the conventions, practices, and policies in a given place and time. This column explores how politico-economic regimes affect attitudes towards gender roles and labour, exploiting the rise and fall of the Iron Curtain. Results show that women in state-socialist regimes tended to have less negative and less traditional views of work and labour force participation.

George Papaconstantinou, 21 June 2018

The policy discussion on euro area reform has entered a critical phase. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on euro area reform, attempts a ‘what if’ experiment based on the proposals in the recent CEPR Policy Insight. Focusing on the Greek case, it looks at the counterfactual case of such proposals having already been implemented at the outset of the crisis and examines their potential role in preventing the outbreak of the crisis or mitigating it once it was underway.

Patty Duijm, Dirk Schoenmaker, 21 June 2018

The European economy is recovering, and banks are thinking once more about mergers. This column demonstrates that, while cross-border mergers have been predicted before, most European bank mergers have consistently been domestic. Regulatory hurdles and relatively low concentration in some of the countries of Europe suggest this may continue.

Martin Ravallion, Dean Jolliffe, Juan Margitic, 20 June 2018

When the poorest gain, the lower bound, or ‘floor’, of the distribution of living standards rises. Using microdata spanning the last 30 years, this column argues that the floor in the US has been sinking, alongside rising top incomes. The floor would have fallen further without public spending on food stamps, which helped protect the poorest in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

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