Grégory Claeys, 24 May 2018

In their recent Policy Insight, the team of French and German authors suggest introducing sovereign bond-backed securities to play the role of safe asset in the euro area. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on euro area reform, argues that an improved euro area architecture would, in the long run, make all euro area sovereign bonds safer, and thus make the provision of safe assets through untested and potentially disruptive sovereign bond-backed securities unnecessary.

Paul Schmelzing, 24 May 2018

Growth rates have been stubbornly low since the financial crisis, and many have noted that the interest rate environment has been weakening since the 1980s. This column places recent episodes in the context of longer-term economic history, going back to the 14thcentury. Trends over recent decades are generally in line with a long-term ‘suprasecular’ trend of declining real rates. Negative real rates could become a more frequent phenomenon, and indeed constitute a ‘new normal’.

Jeffry Frieden, 23 May 2018

For the euro area to be stable and move forward productively, substantial improvements in its operation are required. This column, part of the VoxEU Euro Area Reform debate, argues that the proposals in the recent CEPR Policy Insight are necessary if the euro area is to avoid another catastrophic crisis and that they would go a long way towards addressing the legitimate concerns of citizens in both the core and periphery of the euro area.

Aaditya Mattoo, Joshua P. Meltzer, 23 May 2018

The EU’s privacy regulation threatens developing country exports of data-based services by making data transfers more difficult. Traditional trade rules and regulatory cooperation cannot resolve this conflict. The column argues that the way forward would be to design trade rules that reflect the bargain struck in the EU-US Privacy Shield. Data destination countries would promise to protect the privacy of foreign citizens in return for source countries promising not to restrict data flows.

Alexandra L. Cermeño, 23 May 2018

Knowledge hubs are generally located in large and dynamic population clusters, but there is little empirical evidence on what has driven the location of services in the economy, particularly the knowledge-intensive ones that form these hubs. This column describes how the geography of services across the US has been influenced by the interaction between county and industry characteristics. The presence of large markets enhanced the agglomeration of services mainly through linkages with other services and manufacturing firms. 

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