April 2018

Fontagné, Santoni, 30 April 2018, 4077 reads

Country-pairs self-select in regional trade agreements, and this endogeneity biases the estimation of the impact of such agreements within a gravity framework. This column uses a framework for predicting which countries should engage in RTAs based solely on economic determinants, including global value chains, and compares this ‘natural’ geography of agreements with the actual geography. The results suggest that the endogenous geography of RTAs is shaped by the development of GVCs.

Ductor, Goyal, Prummer, 30 April 2018, 4139 reads

Economics has come under scrutiny for its gender inequality. This column presents evidence that female economists form different co-authorship networks which are related to lower research output. The impact of differences in risk-taking on decisions on co-authorship can explain the observed patterns, while discrimination and preferences for same gender collaboration cannot account for them. 

Winters, 30 April 2018, 2351 reads

Brexit is due to be completed in less than a year, which will have a fundamental impact on the UK's trading relationships with the rest of the world. In this Vox Talks, Alan Winters discusses how modern trade agreements are made, and why they are harder to negotiate than many assume. In order to avoid huge disruptions of trade, the UK must negotiate new agreements across the globe - a task made more difficult by the need to harmonise the sometimes contradicting regulations of different countries.

Tol, 29 April 2018, 18442 reads

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences remains the most prestigious award in the field. This column uses novel data to map the academic genealogy of laureates in economics. Results show that Nobelists are connected, falling into four disjoint graphs, with new winners often being closely related to previous winners. Among a pool of likely candidates for future prizes, more than half trained under a laureate.

Impullitti, Licandro, 29 April 2018, 6995 reads

Globalisation discontents blame trade for destroying jobs and slashing wages, while its supporters rebut that trade openness generates aggregate gains that can potentially benefit all. However, assessing the gains from trade represents a long-standing challenge for economists. This column argues that that accounting for firms' innovation responses doubles the gains from trade obtained in static quantitative models.

Kuran, Rubin, 28 April 2018, 5600 reads

Poor people pay much more for credit than wealthier people because they are believed to be more likely to default, but this might not always be the case if the enforcement of repayment is biased in favour of wealthy people. This column uses evidence from Ottoman Istanbul to show that where courts favoured the rich and wealthy, these groups faced higher relative borrowing costs. Those with the greatest capacity to invest in capital and entrepreneurial activities thus paid the most for credit, possibly contributing to the slowdown of economic growth in the region.

Gobbi, Goñi, 28 April 2018, 3672 reads

We know inheritance practices have an impact on inequality, social mobility, and economic growth, but the effect on fertility decisions has often been ignored even though such decisions can affect the economic impact of inheritance. This column uses data on the British aristocracy to provide evidence of the two-way link between inheritance and fertility decisions on the extensive margin. This allows us to understand modern inheritance practices, such as trusts, that restrict successors.

Lang, Mendes Tavares, 27 April 2018, 8051 reads

Globalisation stirs a diverse range of sentiments and views: some credit globalisation for boosting economic well-being while others blame it for worsening inequality. This column examines the effect of globalisation on income among and within countries, and shows that globalisation is associated with income convergence across countries and income divergence within countries. Targeted redistributive policies and investments in education are needed to ensure that the benefits of globalisation are enjoyed by all.

Brunelin, de Melo, Portugal-Perez, 27 April 2018, 6964 reads

Rules of origin play a crucial role in preferential trade agreements, and they can also deny intended market access for preference receivers. This column examines a relaxation by the EU of the origin requirements for selected products from Jordan, which is intended to create 200,000 job opportunities for Syrian refugees. While the relaxation decision may have an effect on the refugee crisis in Jordan, further simplifications in RoO requirements are called for.

Djankov , Nikolova, 26 April 2018, 6298 reads

While the existing scholarship has explained long-run institutional development across countries with a variety of different factors, the literature remains largely silent on the role of religion. Using survey data, this column shows that deep-rooted theological differences between Orthodoxy, and Catholicism and Protestantism affect life satisfaction and other attitudes and values in large parts of Europe today. Although totalitarian governments suppressed religious activities, they preserved those aspects of Orthodoxy – such as tradition and communitarianism – which were helpful for advancing the communist doctrine.

Mody, 25 April 2018, 6188 reads

Since Emmanuel Macron’s election as French president in May 2017, hope has lingered that a mythical friendship between France and Germany will help complete the gaps in the euro area architecture. As this column discusses, however, history provides no basis for such an expectation. National interests, always central to the decision calculus, have diverged even further. French leaders have a pressing task at hand: they need to rejuvenate their own economy and build domestic social cohesion. This may take a generation or more. 

Buti, Giudice, Leandro, 25 April 2018, 5669 reads

The debate on deepening EMU is entering a critical stage. This column, contributing to VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate argues that while the proposals in a recent CEPR Policy Insight are both timely and attractive, the mix seems unbalanced and carries significant risks. The focus of the proposals on reducing fiscal risks could lead to financial distress, ultimately requiring more, not fewer, rescues.

van den End, Hoeberichts, 25 April 2018, 6357 reads

Persistent low interest rates prompt the question of whether the natural, or equilibrium, rate of interest has similarly shifted downwards. This column uses data for seven OECD countries to explore how low interest rates have affected potential output. The results lend support to concerns that a prolonged period of low real interest can reduce the natural rate. This causality can run through both real and financial channels.

Wood, 25 April 2018, 7719 reads

Two decades ago, the economics profession concluded that trade with developing countries was not seriously hurting unskilled workers in developed countries. This column argues that the debate from which that consensus emerged came to an end prematurely. Even now, the evidence does not permit any firm conclusion about the contribution of globalisation to the economic misfortunes of less-educated people in developed countries. Had there been less consensus among economists, more might have been done, sooner, to mitigate the social costs of globalisation.

Arezki, Boucekkine, Frankel, Laksaci, van der Ploeg, 24 April 2018, 6757 reads

After years of high commodity prices, a new era of lower ones, especially for oil, seems likely to persist. This will be challenging for resource-rich countries, which must cope with the decline in income that accompanies the lower prices and the potential widening of internal and external imbalances. This column presents a new VOXEU eBook in which leading economists from academia and the public and private sector examine the shifting landscape in commodity markets and look at the exchange rate, monetary, and fiscal options policymakers have, as well as the role of finance, including sovereign wealth funds, and diversification.

Cesa-Bianchi, Pesaran, Rebucci, 24 April 2018, 7680 reads

During 2016-17, market analysts and policymakers grappled with the puzzling coexistence of subdued market volatility and heightened policy uncertainty and geopolitical risk. The rise in world growth expectations can explain some but by no means all of the decline in market volatility during this period. This column argues that excess optimism about future growth prospects might have fuelled the decline in volatility. This would imply that gradual unwinding of such expectations could bring more bursts of market volatility, as we have begun to witness since the start of 2018.

Watt, 23 April 2018, 3508 reads

There is currently both an economic and a political window of opportunity for reform in the euro area. This column, which forms part of VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the proposals in the recent CEPR Policy Insight and makes recommendations for extensions and alternatives.

Teulings, Ossokina, 23 April 2018, 4809 reads

Concerns are often raised about increasing spatial segregation by education level in societies. This column uses a study in the Netherlands to show that as preferences for locally provided public goods with a high fixed cost, such as train stations, differ widely between educational groups, spatial sorting by education and an increase in local density can actually raise the social benefits from investments in such infrastructure. However, since the highly educated benefit disproportionally, this leads to serious political economy problems.

Brutscher, Heipertz, Hols, 23 April 2018, 6478 reads

Despite an extensive literature examining the optimal financing mix, little work exists on firms’ preferences over specific debt financing characteristics. This column uses experimental data from Europe to analyse the link between different external financing characteristics and investment decisions. The findings suggest that modest improvements in financing terms can more than double the probability of investment. Investment decisions are particularly sensitive to interest rates and collateral requirements.

Charnoz, Lelarge, Trevien, 22 April 2018, 8996 reads

Research has shown that lower communication costs can act as a centralising force, prompting workers tend to rely more on the help of others and to specialise on a narrower set of tasks. This column reveals how reduced travel times resulting from a new high-speed rail transport in France fostered functional specialisation across different units of firms and greater centralisation. The findings highlight the mechanisms determining the level and distribution of productivity in an economy, and their redistributive impact both between and within firms

Gagliarducci, Onorato, Sobbrio, Tabellini, 22 April 2018, 3508 reads

During WWII the BBC was actively engaged in fostering opposition to the German occupation throughout Europe. This column uses data on variations in radio signal strength during the war to analyse the role played by the BBC’s “Radio Londra” programme in civilian and partisan resistance against the Nazi-fascist regime. The findings suggest that BBC radio played a significant role in coordinating resistance activities against foreign occupation, but only a minor role in mobilising the civilian population against the fascist regime.

Bowles, 21 April 2018, 31844 reads

Few economists doubt that Marx flunked economics, a judgement mostly based on his labour theory of value. But this column argues that Marx’s representation of the power relationship between capital and labour in the firm is an essential insight for understanding and improving modern capitalism. Indeed, this insight is incorporated into standard principal–agent models of labour and credit markets.

Lansing, Markiewicz, 21 April 2018, 10516 reads

The increase in US income inequality since 1970 largely reflects gains made by households in the top 20% of the income distribution. The framework presented in this column shows that households outside of this group have suffered significant losses from forgone consumption, measured relative to a scenario that holds inequality constant. A substantial mitigating factor for these losses has been the dramatic rise in government redistributive transfers, which have doubled as a share of US output over the same period.

Demir, Javorcik, 20 April 2018, 3532 reads

Firms have responded to increased competitive pressures due to globalisation in various ways. This column suggests another margin of adjustment – provision of trade credit. It shows that extending trade credit attenuates the price response to increased competition. Ignoring the trade credit channel leads to an underestimation of the full effects of changes in market competition on exporters.

Buch, Bussière, Goldberg, Hills, 20 April 2018, 4874 reads

The channels through which one country’s monetary policy affects the international economy are still not that well understood. This column presents findings from latest project of the International Banking Research Network, which reveal that monetary policy spillover effects via bank lending are significant across countries in both conventional and unconventional periods. While the results provide some support to the bank lending and portfolio channels traditionally studied in the literature, they also suggest that other bank-level frictions matter.

De Backer, Miroudot, Rigo, 19 April 2018, 4053 reads

Multinational enterprises that produce goods rely on services to organise their value chain, so barriers to investment in services are likely to affect their production. The column uses a new and comprehensive OECD database to measure the share of services in the exports of multinational enterprises, and also in the output of their foreign affiliates. The results suggest that policymakers may need to focus more on the services that support manufacturing industries.

Farhi, Martin, 19 April 2018, 3199 reads

One criticism of the recent CEPR Policy Insight on euro area reform is its supposed silence on the role of the ECB. In this column,  which we add to VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, two of the authors of the Policy Insight argue that the reforms proposed in it actually have significant implications for the ECB’s role, in a way that would make it easier for the ECB to fulfill its mandate.

Cavallo, Powell, 19 April 2018, 3134 reads

The rate of economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean in coming years is predicted to be below that of the rest of the world and substantially below that of the fast-growing countries of emerging Asia. This column looks at the drivers behind these growth gaps. To converge more rapidly to higher-income status, the region needs not only to boost investment but critically to raise investment efficiency.

Bordo, Monnet, Naef, 18 April 2018, 3268 reads

Central bank cooperation has once again become a central issue amid the Global Crisis and the persistence of global imbalances, but there are few examples of successful cooperation schemes that survived the test of time. This column argues that the Gold Pool of 1961-1968 offers a unique example of integrated financial cooperation between major central banks. It failed not due to members freeriding, but because they did not have to abide by any rules-based policies to prevent imbalances.

Brutscher, Kappeler, 18 April 2018, 4948 reads

Adequate infrastructure is essential for growth. Since the financial crisis, however, public sector infrastructure investment in the EU has been scaled back. This column uses data from a recent survey to explore the causes of Europe’s infrastructure gaps. The results suggest that more coordination and planning are needed for infrastructure projects, both at the EU and national levels. Efforts to attract private investors also need to continue.

Xafa, 18 April 2018, 4380 reads

The Brexit vote was a clear setback in the effort to integrate European capital markets. It slowed down the implementation of the Capital Markets Union agenda to avoid pre-empting the Brexit negotiations, and risks an inefficient break-up in the activities of clearing houses that deal in euro-denominated securities. This column, the second in a two-part series, argues that there is a strong case for the Capital Markets Union project to continue with the remaining EU27 members after Brexit, including stronger central oversight.

Legge, Lukaszuk, Evenett, 17 April 2018, 5416 reads

While the Trump administration’s proposed tariff increases on Chinese imports have grabbed the headlines, few realise that other trading partners have also raised tariffs on Chinese trade. This column examines the effects of the EU removing China from its General System of Preferences in 2012. As a result of the move, $242 billion worth of EU imports from China were subject to higher tariffs, raising EU customs revenue by an estimated $4 billion.

Xafa, 17 April 2018, 3553 reads

The European Commission launched its Capital Markets Union project in 2015 to help unlock funding for investment through deeper and more integrated capital markets. This column, the first in a two-part series, argues that progress has been slow and that a more ambitious vision is needed to achieve true Capital Markets Union.

Schoenmaker, 17 April 2018, 3544 reads

Deposit insurance, like any insurance scheme, raises moral hazard concerns. Such concerns arising from European deposit insurance can be alleviated through a country-specific component in the risk-based premium for deposit insurance and limits on sovereign bond exposures on bank balance sheets. This column, which forms part of VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues, however, that proposals to maintain national compartments in a new European Deposit Insurance Scheme are self-defeating, as such compartments can be destabilising in times of crisis.

De Bonis, Marinelli, Vercelli, 16 April 2018, 3398 reads

There is no consensus on how to measure competition in the banking system, though the 'Boone indicator' of profit elasticity with respect to marginal costs has recently provided reliable results. This column uses a dataset of 125 years of bank balance sheets to calculate this indicator for the Italian banking system. It shows that regulatory changes have driven bank competition, an insight that is supported by other indicators.

Bassanini, Cingano, 16 April 2018, 5253 reads

Structural reforms can trigger and sustain economic growth, but they can also present transitory costs that policymakers seek to avoid during economic downturns. This column analyses the short-term response of employment levels to product and labour market reforms. While reforms entail non-negligible transitory employment losses on average, the losses are smaller for reforms implemented during economic upswings and in countries with significant labour market dualism.

Jiang, Keller, Qiu, Ridley, 15 April 2018, 9488 reads

China’s government mandates that foreign investors in certain industries form joint ventures with a domestic Chinese partner. The column uses a dataset accounting for all joint ventures in China from 1998 to 2007 to show that this policy is successful in its aim of encouraging technology transfer from foreign investors to domestic operations. It finds empirical evidence for the existence of at least three channels through which this transfer takes place.

Ashworth, Hotz, Maurel, Ransom, 14 April 2018, 4580 reads

An important determinant of wages is how much human capital one possesses. This column considers the effect of schooling and early career work experience on later life wages, and whether these effects have changed across recent cohorts of men in the US. It finds that the returns to an additional year of schooling are significantly overstated when early career work experience is not accounted for, as are the returns to a high school diploma or bachelor’s degree. In addition, the returns to an additional year of working while in high school or college are larger than to the returns to an additional year of schooling.

Yashiro, Benkovskis, Masso, Tkacevs, Vahter, 13 April 2018, 6551 reads

Participation in global value chains provides emerging economies with opportunities for fast-track development and technological upgrading. This column argues that countries need to diversify their exports into knowledge-intensive products and services that generate high value added to make the most out of learning by exporting. Countries that specialise in standardised, generic products or services may not enjoy sufficient improvements in productivity, even if such exports channel knowledge transfer.

Vihriälä, 13 April 2018, 3321 reads

The smooth functioning of the EMU requires risk sharing. This column, which joins VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues, however, that its best use is not in the support of fiscal expansion in recession countries, but in ensuring the liquidity of solvent sovereigns under market pressure. Giving the ESM/EMF access to central bank financing should be explored as a means to facilitate it.

Beck, Martinez Peria, Obstfeld, Presbitero, 12 April 2018, 4533 reads

Research has shown that financial inclusion is closely linked to economic development and growth. However, more work is needed to establish the magnitude and channels of this effect and to pinpoint the types of financial services that have a stronger payoff without threatening financial stability. This column tackles these questions by presenting new evidence from a recent IMF-DFID conference on financial inclusion. It also suggests avenues for future research on the topic.

Angelini, 12 April 2018, 4650 reads

It has recently been argued that high non-performing loan stocks can limit banks’ lending ability, and thus impair the effectiveness of monetary policy. This column questions this claim and argues for a more nuanced view. It points to the lack of a serious theoretical analysis of the relationship between non-performing loan stocks and credit dynamics. Policy should focus on maximising the ‘cure rate’ rather than eliminating non-performing loans entirely.

Valinskytė, Ivanauskaitė, Kulikauskas, Krėpšta, 12 April 2018, 4734 reads

The leverage ratio requirement should supplement microprudential the risk-based capital requirements framework to serve as a backstop that ensures sufficient levels of equity in banks. However, the 3% level for this ratio should not be treated as the end-goal, as recent research on optimal capital levels points to substantially higher leverage ratios. This column examines the relationship between risk-based and leverage ratio requirements, and the motivation for the macroprudential use of leverage ratio requirements.

Claeys, Sapir, 11 April 2018, 4127 reads

It is only in the last decade that the EU has had an active policy to reintegrate workers who lost their jobs as a result of globalisation, through the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. This column assesses the performance of the Fund and makes three recommendations to improve its effectiveness. To be more successful, the Fund should improve its monitoring and widen the scope of its usage.

Steinwender, 11 April 2018, 8047 reads

Flows of information, though critical for the efficient functioning of markets, are often limited in reality, potentially distorting trade flows and price patterns. This column uses the transatlantic telegraph connection of 1866 to explore how changes in information frictions affected cotton markets in the US and UK. The results show that information frictions decrease average trade flows and the volatility of trade, leading to substantial welfare losses.

Dullien, 11 April 2018, 3159 reads

The recently published CEPR Policy Insight by a team of French and German economists proposes a package of reforms to make progress on risk sharing and risk reduction in the euro area. This column, which forms part of VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues that while many of the package’s elements make sense, it leaves too many questions open and fails to address a number of central problems of EMU architecture.

Dalgaard, Kaarsen, Olsson, Selaya, 10 April 2018, 37021 reads

Although spatial differences in economic development tend to be highly persistent over time, this is not always the case. This column combines novel data on Roman Empire road networks with data on night-time light intensity to explore the persistence and non-persistence of a key proximate source of growth – public goods provision. Several empirical strategies all point to the Roman road network as playing an important role in the persistence of subsequent development.

Honkapohja, Mitra, 09 April 2018, 4946 reads

The Global Crisis and Great Recession dealt a blow to inflation targeting as a good monetary policy framework, and several prominent economists and central bankers have suggested that price-level targeting could help in bringing the economy back to normal. This column argues that although a newly established policy regime could well have low initial credibility, this may not be a problem as credibility can improve over time and lead to convergence toward the target equilibrium.     

Fasani, Frattini, Minale, 09 April 2018, 5822 reads

The lack of differentiation between refugees and other immigrants in immigration data presents major problems for researchers looking at refugee integration. This column uses novel European data to investigate factors affecting the integration of asylum seekers into host labour markets. The results suggest that allowing free residential mobility and reducing uncertainty in refugee status determination processes could improve future labour market outcomes.

Bini Smaghi, 09 April 2018, 5006 reads

A team of French and German economists recently proposed on this site a series of reforms to strengthen the euro area's institutional framework. This column, which joins VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues that while the proposals  form a useful basis for discussion, they are nevertheless subject to important shortcomings.

Williams, 08 April 2018, 8369 reads

Macroeconomic models are an essential part of a monetary policymaker’s toolkit. In this column, taken from a VoxEU ebook, the author gives his personal assessment of the usefulness of DSGE models currently in use at the Federal Reserve and identifies three key issues that the next generation of DSGE models will need to address to be more relevant for policymakers.

Gallego, Malamud, Pop-Eleches, 08 April 2018, 3703 reads

The potential risks and benefits to children of using computers are likely to depend on parental involvement. Based on a study in Chile, this column examines two factors that may affect parents’ ability to monitor their children’s internet use – lack of information and lack of influence. Providing parents with specific information about their children’s internet use was found to affect behaviour, while helping parents directly control their children’s internet access did not.

Schnabel, Véron, 07 April 2018, 4367 reads

Many EU-level reports have highlighted a European Deposit Insurance Scheme as a necessary component of banking union, but none of these options has met sufficient consensus among euro area countries. The authors of this column, which joins VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, propose to end the deadlock with a design that is institutionally integrated but financed in a way that is differentiated across countries.

Francesconi, Parey, 07 April 2018, 4468 reads

Women earning substantially less than men in all advanced economies, despite the considerable progress women have made in labour markets worldwide. This column explores the recent experience of university graduates in Germany soon after their graduation. Men and women enter college in roughly equal numbers, but more women complete their degrees. Women enter university with slightly better high school grades but leave with slightly lower marks. Immediately after university completion, male and female full-timers work very similar number of hours, but men earn more across the pay distribution. The single most important proximate factor that explains the gap is field of study at university.

Tarlea, 07 April 2018, 3585 reads

Preferential trade agreements don’t happen overnight – they require lengthy negotiations. This column examines the effect the process of negotiating an agreement has on trade between the negotiating parties. The results suggest that during prolonged negotiations, the expectation of the agreement, or uncertainty before the signing of the agreement, undermine bilateral trade growth.

Restoy, Zamil, 06 April 2018, 3918 reads

The shift from incurred to expected loss provisioning under IFRS 9 is one of the most important changes in the history of financial reporting of banks, and materially alters the way banks value loans and calculate credit loss provisions. This column outlines the major changes and associated implementation challenges and identifies steps that market participants and supervisors can take to facilitate high-quality implementation of the accounting standard.  

Portes, 06 April 2018, 18586 reads

Much public and policy concern has focused on the distributional impacts of immigration – in particular, potential negative impacts on employment and wages for low-skilled workers. This column summarises evidence and draws conclusions from the now considerable literature on the impact of migration to the UK on the economy and labour market, including the potential economic impacts of Brexit-induced reductions in migration.

Esteves, Geisler Mesevage, 06 April 2018, 2561 reads

The social costs of corruption in government have made policies to reduce it a priority. This column uses the example of the expansion of the British rail network in the 1840s to show that conflict-of-interest rules and transparency requirements are insufficient to prevent corruption. Faced with a major administrative reform to insulate the provision of public infrastructure from private interests, MPs traded votes to ensure their interests prevailed.

Micossi, 05 April 2018, 4058 reads

A recent report by a group of French and German economists proposed a set of reforms to improve euro area’s financial stability, political cohesion, and potential for delivering prosperity to its citizens. This column, which joins VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, discusses some specific aspects of the proposals that in the author’s view deserve further clarification, and considers the overall implications of the proposals for financial stability of the euro area.

Nicita, Olarreaga, da Silva, 05 April 2018, 17324 reads

There are growing signs that a trade war is possible, and that the multilateral trading system may not be able to prevent it. This column asks what would happen with tariffs around the world if countries were to move from cooperative tariff setting within the WTO to non-cooperative tariff setting outside the WTO. It argues that that the resulting trade war with countries exploiting their market power would lead to a 32-percentage point increase in the tariff protection faced by the average world exporter.

Kolsrud, Landais, Spinnewijn, 04 April 2018, 4851 reads

Household consumption is central to economic and welfare analysis, but it remains difficult to fully measure at an empirical level. Using evidence from Sweden, this column argues the case for using registry-based data to estimate consumption expenditures, particularly at the tails of income distributions. It also argues that previous suggestions that recent rises in income inequality haven’t been matched by rises in consumption inequality may be misguided.

Gerlach, 04 April 2018, 7811 reads

It was generally expected that the new US administration’s economic policies would lead to an appreciation of the US dollar. Yet the opposite has happened. This column argues that a large part of the fluctuations of the US dollar against the euro since the election of President Trump can be tied to movements in the relative attractiveness of holding US dollars versus the euro.

Mimir, Sunel, 03 April 2018, 5315 reads

The Global Crisis originated in developed economies but was also a large shock to emerging market economies. Based on this event, this column argues that emerging market central banks should take into account domestic and external financial variables such as bank credit, asset prices, credit spreads, the US interest rate and the real exchange rate, not just effects on inflation and real economic activity. A stronger anti-inflationary stance is needed when monetary policy aims to maintain financial stability.

Frenken, van Waes, Smink, van Est, 03 April 2018, 7193 reads

The success of Airbnb and Uber has heralded the rise of online platforms and marketplaces for goods and services. This column identifies public interests that are common to most sharing and gig platforms, and presents a policy framework based on four basic policy options: enforce existing regulations, enact new regulations, deregulate, or tolerate.

Issing, 02 April 2018, 6252 reads

The independence of central banks has again become a prominent subject in academia, politics and the media. However, this time, in contrast to the past, critical voices dominate. This column, taken from a recent VoxEU eBook, asks how this turnaround in opinion can be explained, and whether the independence of central banks will survive.

Walentin, Westermark, 02 April 2018, 4932 reads

The Great Recession has spawned a vigorous debate regarding the potential benefits of stabilising the real economy. This issue takes on additional importance as the current economic situation in some countries, including the US, seem to imply an interesting monetary policy trade-off between stabilising the inflation and the unemployment level. This column summarises research indicating that stabilising the real economy raises the long-run level of output.

Mayda, Ortega, Peri, Shih, Sparber, 01 April 2018, 6724 reads

The H-1B programme allows high-skilled foreign nationals to temporarily work in the US. This column explores how changes in H-1B policy affect the quantity and characteristics of workers entering the country through the programme. The results suggest that reductions in the cap on H-1B workers have particularly hindered the employment of the highest ability foreign-born workers and have not led firms to hire more Americans.

Gálvez, Tiffenberg, Altszyler, 01 April 2018, 7003 reads

The belief that men possess greater cognitive abilities than women is a longstanding and well-documented stereotype, with studies showing that both boys and girls as young as six can view ‘brilliance’ as a predominantly male trait. This column explores the contribution of the film industry in the West to perpetuating this stereotype. An analysis of over 10,000 film transcripts reveals the persistent presence of the ‘brilliance = male’ stereotype over the past half a century, including in movies specifically aimed at children.

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