May 2019

Jokivuolle, Pennacch, 31 May 2019

Much of financial regulation has been focusing on adequately pricing risk taking by lenders. This column argues that a multinational deposit insurance system such as the proposed European Deposit Insurance Scheme has important advantages, but can also create conflicts among its member nations due to potential deposit insurance subsidies that differ across nations. The authors suggest alternative design features that could minimise these subsidies and make a multinational deposit insurance system more mutually agreeable.

Bandiera, Rasul, 31 May 2019

The award is given to the best European economist under 45. This year, Oriana Bandiera of LSE and Imran Rasul of UCL share the prize. They talk to Tim Phillips about their work, and #whateconomistsreallydo.

Ritschl, 30 May 2019

Germany’s Jewish population share in 1933 was less than 1%. Nevertheless, Nazi propa­gan­da believed in the existence of fabulous riches, with some estimates rising as high as 20% of national wealth. This column uses taxation data collected for the Allied military govern­ments after 1945 to revisit these claims. Under plausible assumptions, the Jewish-owned share of Germany’s private real capital stock broadly matched the population share, with an upper-bound estimate of 1.6%. 

Servaes, 30 May 2019

Performance fee-based contracts, which aim to align the interests of the fund manager with that of the investor, have been controversial in mutual funds markets, and are once again under review in Europe. This column presents empirical evidence showing that performance fee contracts do not improve fund performance, particularly in instances where contracts fail to specify a benchmark for results.

Crowley, 30 May 2019

As a trade war of unprecedented scope and magnitude engulfs the world’s two largest economies, this column introduces a new Vox eBook that seeks to shed light on the origins of the conflict, the current impacts on economic activity around the world, and the likely consequences for the future of globalisation. It concludes that the prospects for the future of the multilateral trading system look grim.  

Born, Müller, Schularick, Sedláček, 29 May 2019

It is hard to calculate the current cost of Brexit, because there is no obvious counterfactual. The original version of this column, first published in November 2017, calculated the cost by letting a matching algorithm determine which combination of comparison economies best resembles the pre-referendum growth path of the UK economy. The results suggested a loss of 1.3% of GDP, or close to £300 million per week, since the vote took place. Subsequent updates using the latest OECD data suggest that the negative drag from the Brexit vote now appears to be roughly £350 million a week, but under current OECD forecasts we can expect the output loss to increase to about 4% of GDP by end-2020.

Huizinga, Laeven, 29 May 2019

A high procyclicality of banks’ loan loss provisioning is undesirable from a financial stability perspective, as it implies that bank capitalisations are more negatively affected at the trough of the business cycle, exactly when capital market conditions for banks are at their weakest. This column finds that provisioning procyclicality in the euro area is about twice as high as in other countries. This has important implications for the supervision of euro area banks going forward.

Hagemejer, Mućk, 29 May 2019

Fragmentation of production has made it difficult to assess the contribution of exports to economic growth. This column decomposes growth into value added absorbed at home and that exported. Empirical results show that economic growth in Central and East European countries after 1995 was mainly driven by exports. The pace of convergence in Europe for exported value added was around four times faster than for domestic value added.

Honohan, 28 May 2019

Many significant aspects of the Irish macro-financial crisis of 2008-13 are not well known, some remain disputed, and some are often misunderstood. This column contributes to filling these gaps. It argues that while the crisis cannot be blamed on membership of the euro area, as Ireland’s fiscal and regulatory policies in the first decade of the system fell far short of what was needed to stay safe, management by Europe of the euro area crisis as a whole was also poor. It also draws some wider lessons for the appropriate conduct of central banking in small countries.

Bughin, Pissarides , Hazan, 28 May 2019

Artificial intelligence promises economic growth as well as creating fear for those whose jobs it may replace. This column takes a wider approach to examining how AI and other technologies will affect citizens’ welfare beyond just their income. It argues that the new technologies are intrinsically neither good nor bad, it is how they are deployed and how the transition is crafted that conditions the welfare dynamics of societies. 

Michel, Sovinsky, Proto, Oswald, 27 May 2019

Although the negative impact of conspicuous consumption has been discussed for more than a century, the link between advertising and individual is not well understood. This column uses longitudinal data for 27 countries in Europe linking change in life satisfaction to variation in advertising spend. The results show a large negative correlation that cannot be attributed to the business cycle or individual characteristics.

Erhardt, Haenni, 27 May 2019

Firm entry is widely viewed as a central driver of economic growth, so understanding the role of culture in explaining differences in entrepreneurial activity is important. Using Swiss data on individuals’ cultural origins going back to the 18th century, this column compares the entrepreneurial activity of individuals who live in the same municipalities but who have their cultural origins on different sides of the language border. It finds that individuals with ancestry from the German-speaking side founded 20% more firms than those with ancestry from the French-speaking side. Yet, the cultural origin of the founder does not affect firm-level outcomes such as bankruptcy or revenues.  

Keane, 26 May 2019

Launched in 2006, Medicare Part D allows beneficiaries to enrol in subsidised drug coverage plans sold by private insurers, but navigating the different plans can be complex and lead to sub-optimal choices. This column uses Medicare administrative data for 2006-2010 to understand the quality of consumer decision-making in the Part D marketplace. It finds that the vast majority of elderly place too much weight on premiums relative to out-of-pocket costs, care a great deal about the particular combination of plan features, and are highly likely to choose the same plan every year regardless of changes in prices and alternatives.

De Fiore, Hoerova, Uhlig, 25 May 2019

Money markets are an important source of short-term funding for banks, which rely heavily on them to cover their liquidity needs. But as this column shows, when money markets do not function smoothly, banks may have to deleverage or increase their holdings of liquid assets, leading to a decline in lending and output. This decline can be mitigated by central banks if they increase the size of their balance sheets.

Tabellini, 25 May 2019

Recent waves of immigration in the US and Europe have triggered debate around the economic and political impact. This column uses evidence from migration of Europeans to the US in the first half of the 20th century to show that large cultural differences can incite anti-immigrant sentiment despite their positive economic impact. Therefore, policymakers should give due attention to cultural assimilation and cohesion policies.

El-Dardiry, Overvest, Bijlsma, 24 May 2019

Digitalisation is transforming human life – from the way we interact with each other to the way we work, relax, and create. R&D within companies is no exception. This column lays out pathways for policymakers to successfully adapt R&D policies to these changes based on three guiding principles: direct policies towards spillovers, make policies technology-neutral, and do not favour superstars over challengers.

Rachel, 24 May 2019

How we spend our time is changing rapidly. This column argues that an important driver is leisure-enhancing innovation, aimed at capturing our time, attention, and data. Leisure-enhancing technologies can help account for both the rise in leisure hours and the decline in productivity observed across the industrialised world. Their nature carries important implications for the long-run viability of the platforms’ business models, for measurement of economic activity, and for welfare. 

Iyer, 24 May 2019

In India’s recently concluded 2019 national elections, under 10% of the candidates were women. This column examines the potential reasons behind this, and argues that improving women’s knowledge, self-confidence, voice, and mobility could have significant effects on their political participation. It finds no evidence of a role model effect whereby women winning in elections encourages future women candidates, however, and the evidence on whether quotas can improve future women’s political participation is inconclusive.

Landais, 24 May 2019

Women earn less than men after they start a family. Can better policies close the gap? Camille Landais of LSE tells Tim Phillips about new research comparing six countries. 

Czibor, Jiménez-Gómez, List, 23 May 2019

Experimental economists must tackle the generalisability and applicability of the evidence they produce. This column discusses principles to enhance these when designing and conducting experiments or reporting findings. Good practice is especially important when policy recommendations are made based on experimental results.

Alcidi, Gros, 23 May 2019

The relationship between high public debt and low interest rates is once again at the forefront of debate. This column shows that countries with high debt levels pay a risk premium. This creates the potential for self-reinforcing loops of high debt and high risk premia, which can become explosive. 

Ravallion, 22 May 2019

Even when the central government is committed to a jobs guarantee, rationing of work opportunities can arise under decentralised implementation in poor places. This column examines India’s efforts to implement such a scheme and finds that there are two main drivers of this rationing: local administrative costs and local corruption. Partial administrative reforms by the centre can have perverse effects. Deeper policy reforms are needed to assure that stipulated rights for poor people are attained in practice.

Brañas, Cabrales, Mateu, Sánchez, Sutan, 22 May 2019

Pre-negotiation interactions, such as shared meals, are viewed as a valuable means to build trust and rapport so as to improve the outcomes of the negotiation. Even tax authorities acknowledge this – business meals tend to be tax-deductible, at least in part. This column puts this folk wisdom to the test using a controlled negotiation simulation experiment with MBA students. It finds that there is no difference in negotiation outcomes whether or not pre-negotiation socialising took place.

Delatte, Garg, Imbs, 21 May 2019

The ECB's unconventional monetary policy package implemented in February 2012 changed collateral requirements. This column examines the effects in the French credit market, using data on corporate loans. Credit indeed increased after the liquidity injection, exclusively driven by supply. There was also strategic risk-taking by a group of banks, an unintentional implication of the policy.

Yang, Ni, 21 May 2019

Concerns have been raised that outward foreign direct investment may reduce domestic employment and lead to the ‘hollowing-out’ of the manufacturing industries at home. This column uses a unique dataset of Japanese firms’ overseas activities to show that going abroad does not necessarily lead to a reduction of domestic employment. Investment by Japanese firms into other Asian countries has a positive impact on domestic job creation and a negative impact on job destruction, whereas the impact of investment into European and North American countries is negative for both job creation and destruction in Japan.

Ahmad Fontán, Beck, D'Hulster, Lintner, Unsal, 20 May 2019

The banking systems in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe are dominated by subsidiaries of multinational banks, many with parent banks from the EU. This column analyses the effects of regulatory and supervisory changes within the EU and euro area on host regulation and supervision in these countries and on their cooperation with home supervisors and resolution authorities in Western Europe. It also offers some recommendations for authorities both at the EU level and in the small host countries.

Farmer, Nicolò, 20 May 2019

The economies of many countries are operating close to full capacity, but unemployment and inflation are both low. Using data from the US, UK and Canada, this column compares differences in the macroeconomic behaviour of real GDP, the inflation rate and the yields on three-month Treasury securities in the three countries. It shows that the Farmer monetary model, closed with a belief function, outperforms the New Keynesian model, closed with the New Keynesian Phillips curve. The data fit the multiple equilibria emphasised in the Farmer model well, rather than the mean-reverting processes assumed by the New Keynesian model. 

Dar, De Janvry, Emerick, Kelley, Sadoulet, 19 May 2019

Networks are important for transmitting knowledge among farmers, but it is not always easy or appropriate to identify the best farmers which whom to seed a new technology. The column shows that side-by-side demonstration plots for a new variety of rice are successful at inducing learning. This method makes it less important to identify the farmers best positioned to spread information and has the potential to target individuals who are not connected to influential farmers.

Basco, Mestieri, 19 May 2019

Trade in intermediates (or ‘unbundling of production') and trade in capital have become increasingly important in last 25 years. This column shows that trade in intermediates generates a reallocation of capital across countries that exacerbates world inequality in both income and welfare. Unbundling of production hurts middle-income countries but helps those with high productivity. Trade in intermediates also increases within-country inequality, and this increase is U-shaped in the aggregate productivity level of the country. 

Gulati, Panizza, Weidemaier, Willingham, 18 May 2019

One way for a government to reassure investors of its willingness to repay is to give them a priority claim to state assets. It remains to be seen, however, whether such commitments are viewed as credible by market participants. This column investigates how markets responded to two such commitments. A commitment by the government of Spain did not affect yield spreads, while one by the government of Puerto Rico did. This may be because, as a sub sovereign, Puerto Rico faced higher constraints on its ability to renege. 

Akresh, Halim, Kleemans, 18 May 2019

Does investment in schools promote higher educational attainment—and do the effects improve students’ later lives and those of the next generation? This column examines the impact of over 61,000 primary schools built by the Indonesian government between 1973 and 1979, almost doubling the number in the country. The evidence shows that the men and women who accessed education provided by the construction programme benefited from significant improvements in their educational and later life outcomes. So too did their children.

Baccini, Impullitti, Malesky, 17 May 2019

The recent success of China and Vietnam over the past three decades has triggered a debate over ‘state capitalism’ as a viable growth and development model. This column studies the effect of the 2007 WTO accession on the productivity, profitability, and survival rates of state-owned and private Vietnamese firms. The findings reveal that state-owned enterprises have hampered the efficiency gains brought about by globalisation. An analysis suggests that productivity gains from trade five years after WTO entry might have been 66% higher in the absence of state-owned firms.

Borella, De Nardi, Yang, Clement, 17 May 2019

Behind the headline economic growth in the US over the last five decades lie clear patterns of widening wealth inequality. This column shows that white, less-educated Americans born in the 1960s are worse off than the generation born 20 years previously, based on wage changes, increased medical costs, and shorter life expectancy. This disparity could be worth as much as $132,000.

Harrison, 17 May 2019

Did the KGB manage its informers using the iron fist or the invisible hand? Mark Harrison tells Tim Phillips how the state motivated and disciplined its secret workforce.

Ager, Herz, 16 May 2019

The transition from high to low fertility rates is regarded as one of the most important determinants of sustainable long-run growth. But despite its importance, there is still an ongoing debate about its causes and timing. This column demonstrates that a sustained shift from agriculture to manufacturing contributed to the fertility decline in the American South at the turn of the 20th century. 

Black, Devereux, Lundborg, Majlesi, 16 May 2019

The wealth of parents and that of their children is highly correlated, but little is known about the different roles genetic and environmental factors play in this. This column compares outcomes for adopted children in Sweden and those of their adoptive and biological parents and finds there is a substantial role for environment in the transmission of wealth and a much smaller role for pre-birth factors. And while human capital linkages between parents and children appear to have stronger biological than environmental roots, earnings and income are, if anything, more environmental. 

Nagaoka, 15 May 2019

Standard essential patents are patents that are needed in order to comply with a particular standard. Technologies protected by such patents are granted on the condition that rights holders commit to licensing the patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms. This column surveys three key issues that arise under these licensing agreements: hold-up, reverse hold-up, and ex-ante negotiation. The discussion highlights how patent award procedures affect the incentives for firms to invest in R&D. 

Slemrod, Ur Rehman, Waseem, 15 May 2019

Governments typically seek to reduce tax evasion by increasing the odds of catching tax evaders or by raising the punishments. Using social and psychological motivations may offer another approach to promoting tax compliance. This column analyses two Pakistani initiatives – public disclosure of income taxes and a recognition-and-rewards programme for top taxpayers – and shows that, to the extent that they are effective in influencing private and social behaviour, they potentially offer a cost-effective complement to standard tax-evasion measures. 

Kleven, Landais, Posch, Steinhauer, Zweimüller, 14 May 2019

Despite considerable convergence over time, substantial gender inequality persists in all countries. This column examines the labour market consequences of having children for women and men in six developed countries that span a wide range of policies and norms. The analysis reveals some striking similarities across countries, but also sharp differences in the magnitude of the effects. It goes on to discuss the potential role of family policies and gender norms in explaining the cross-country evidence.

Bolt, van Oordt, 14 May 2019

What drives the volatility of Bitcoin? This column explains a theoretical framework to link exchange rates to currency creation, speculative behaviour, and real growth in goods and services transactions. It suggests that the exchange rate will be less sensitive to speculators' beliefs when a virtual currency becomes more established as a means of payment. 

Chinco, Fos, 14 May 2019

Noise makes financial markets possible. The column investigates an overlooked source of noise, namely, that in modern markets it is computationally infeasible to predict how even simple, rational trading rules interact to create net demand for a stock. For example, empirical data suggest that we can predict whether a stock will be affected by an exchange-traded fund portfolio rebalancing cascade, but not how.

Blanchard, Summers, 13 May 2019

The changes in macroeconomic thinking prompted by the Great Depression and the Great Inflation of the 1970s were much more dramatic than have yet occurred in response to the events of the last decade. This column argues that this gap is likely to close in the next few years as a combination of low neutral rates, the re-emergence of fiscal policy as a primary stabilisation tool, difficulties in hitting inflation targets, and the financial ramifications of a low-rate environment lead to important changes in our understanding of the macroeconomy and in policy judgements about how to achieve the best performance.

Michaillat, Saez, 13 May 2019

Academics and policymakers alike have debated how to structure an optimal stimulus package since the Great Recession. This column revisits the arguments related to the size of the multiplier and the usefulness of public spending, and offers a blueprint for future stimulus packages. It finds that the relationship between the multiplier and stimulus spending is hump-shaped, and that a well-designed stimulus package should depend on the usefulness of public expenditure. The output multiplier is not a robust statistic to use, and instead the ‘unemployment multiplier’ should be used. 

Chen, Persson, Polyakova, 13 May 2019

Poorer people have worse health at birth, are sicker in adulthood, and die younger than richer people. Apart from socioeconomic status, exposure to informal health expertise may also affect health. Using data from Sweden, this column examines whether having a health professional in the family has an effect on health. It concludes that differences in exposure to informal health expertise can account for some of the observed patterns of health inequality, even in an environment with universal health insurance and equal formal access to healthcare.

Booth, Lee, 11 May 2019

The gender pay gap in South Korea is the highest in the OECD and South Korean women are under-represented in public life. This column uses data from a long-running TV quiz show to examine whether these gender gaps may be due to differences in male and female attitudes to competition.The results suggest that South Korean girls are increasingly hindered by psychological stress and risk aversion as the pressure from competition increases, and also tend to be less confident in their knowledge than boys. The findings stand in contrast to those from similar studies in the US, possibly due to differences in cultural values.

Ahir, Bloom, Furceri, 11 May 2019

According to the latest IMF projections, the global economy is now projected to grow at 3.3% in 2019, down from 3.6% in 2018. This is partly due to rising uncertainty in many parts of the world. This column shows how these statements are in line with the latest reading of the World Uncertainty Index, which shows a sharp increase in the first quarter of 2019. The increase in uncertainty observed in the first quarter could be enough to knock up to 0.5% of global growth over the course of the year. 

Kremer, Snyder, Mashwama, 10 May 2019

Consumers pay more for many pharmaceuticals in the US than in most other countries. This column investigates the welfare implications of such price discrimination using demand curves for HIV pharmaceuticals. A ban on price discrimination exacerbates the potentially large deadweight loss in the market for either a drug or a vaccine. However, this loss is ameliorated by a small government subsidy.

Bircan, Saka, 10 May 2019

Government ownership of banks can help solve credit market failures and stabilise the supply of credit over the business cycle. However, it can also end up serving political interests and lead to a misallocation of financial resources. This column provides new evidence that state-owned banks systematically engage in tactical redistribution of credit in line with the political incentives of those in power. Analysing the geographical distribution of all lending and economic activity in Turkey, it shows that the central government may use commercial lending by state-owned banks to support allies in local elections.

Bown, 10 May 2019

Who will be the biggest loser in this trade war? Chad Bown tells Tim Phillips why it could be the WTO's dispute resolution system, and why we should worry if this happens.

Frankel, 09 May 2019

Stephen Moore, President Trump’s pick for the Federal Reserve Board, has been pro-cyclical in his recommendations for monetary policy, opposing stimulus when the economy needed it and favouring stimulus when the economy did not. This column argues that Moore’s switch to urging monetary stimulus when Trump took office fits into a wider pattern among of pro-cyclical positions among leading Republicans, not just in monetary policy, but also fiscal and regulatory policy.

Bratsberg, Moxnes, Raaum, Ulltveit-Moe, 09 May 2019

In the aftermath of the eastern enlargement of the EU, Norway experienced one of the largest immigration shocks of the 21st century. This column uses data from the episode to examine the general equilibrium response of wages, labour costs, and industry employment to such shocks. One finding is that although real wages in some occupations decline, the aggregate welfare effects on natives are close to zero as natives switch to higher-wage occupations. The welfare effect on the existing population of immigrants, on the other hand, is negative as they have a comparative advantage in low-wage occupations.

Bulow, 09 May 2019

Bank stress tests in the US were an important tool for bailing out banks in the Great Recession. As this column points out, however, because the tests use regulatory rather than market measures of asset values and risk they have almost nothing to do with whether a bank will be economically solvent under test conditions. This column argues that the thousands of pages of post-crisis bank regulation have largely ignored perhaps the two most needed reforms: measuring asset values and risks in an economically realistic way. Reforming the stress tests is necessary for clearly and credibly placing responsibility for future banking losses in the private sector and for improving incentives for both managing old risks and for investing in new ones. 

Bonfiglioli, Crinò, Gancia, 08 May 2019

Recent studies documenting the increase of industrial concentration have raised concerns about an era of monopolies, growing profit shares, and low economic dynamism. Using US data, this column investigates the concentration of import sales by country of origin. The results show that among foreign firms selling to the US, the concentration of sales has remained stable by origin country, but it has fallen when pooling firms from all origins. This suggests that intensified competition in international markets coexists with growing concentration among national producers.

Jedwab, Johnson, Koyama, 08 May 2019

The Black Death killed 40% of Europe’s population between 1347 and 1352, but little is known about its spatial effects. The column uses variation in Plague mortality at the city level to explore the short-run and long-run impacts on city growth. After less than 200 years the impact of Black Death mortality in cities was close to zero, but the rate of urban recovery depended on advantages that favoured trade.

Aron, Muellbauer, 07 May 2019

Mobile money has transformed the landscape of financial inclusion in developing and emerging market countries, leapfrogging the provision of formal banking services. This column explains how mobile money potentially helps ameliorate several areas of market failure in developing economies, including saving, insurance, and the empowerment of women. It illustrates these effects using examples from a burgeoning empirical literature and concludes that the system-wide effects of mobile money may be even greater than current studies suggest.

Freeman, Huang, Li, 07 May 2019

Incentive systems that pay workers bonuses based on performance targets are widely used to increase productivity, but they can incur costs to firms from workers gaming the system. This column studies the introduction of one such non-linear incentive system by a major Chinese insurance firm. It finds that the system increased productivity and lowered turnover rates sufficiently to outweigh the gaming costs, and appears to have benefitted both workers and the firm.

Giavazzi, Portes, 07 May 2019

Alberto Giovannini was an influential macroeconomist and financial economist who thought about financial markets with a unique combination of sound theory and deep practical experience. He was also an early CEPR Research Fellow appointment and had great enthusiasm for the mission of CEPR. This column pays tribute to a much-loved man who combined intellectual gravity with great energy and a positive outlook that he communicated to all.

Buti, Dieckmann, Döhring, Marc, Reuter, 07 May 2019

The sharper-than-expected economic slowdown in the euro area last year was driven by a confluence of weaker export demand and sector- and country-specific factors within the euro area. This column introduces the European Commission’s Spring 2019 Forecast, which projects a moderate rebound over the course of this year as global demand bottoms out and some temporary negative factors fade. This will depend on domestic demand holding up despite the stark slowdown in manufacturing, however, and the baseline scenario is subject to downside risks, some of which could be triggered by misguided economic policies. Economic policy should therefore stand ready to react to a sharper and more protracted slowdown should it occur. 

Yashiro, Benkovskis, Tkacevs, 06 May 2019

EU cohesion policy aims to narrow gaps in economic development through large regional support funds. This column presents new research on the impact of such funds on firms’ performance, focusing on the experience of Latvia, one of the largest recipients relative to its size. The findings indicate that larger and more productive firms are more likely to receive support funds, but it is not clear if their productivity improves as a result. Access to such funds must be facilitated to allow smaller and less productive firms, which have a great need for investment and a larger room for productivity catch-up, to be included in the pool of potential recipients.

Bilir, Chor, Manova, 06 May 2019

Understanding how host-country financial conditions influence the global operations of multinational firms is important for encouraging FDI. Using US data, this column show that more financially developed economies have more entry by multinational affiliates and higher aggregate affiliate sales to the local market, back to the US and to third destinations, particularly in more financially vulnerable sectors. Yet at both aggregate and affiliate levels, the share of local sales in total sales is smaller, while the shares of US and third-country sales are bigger. 

Davis, Haltiwanger, 05 May 2019

Young firms live a financially precarious life, often dependent on self-funding tied to the value of the business owners’ homes. This column uses data from the US to show that housing market fluctuations play a major role in driving medium-term changes in young firm employment shares. As young firms hire a disproportionate number of younger and less-educated workers, these groups are disproportionately affected by house price fluctuations. 

Rohner, Saia, 05 May 2019

It is widely believed that education is a crucial factor in curbing political violence, but establishing causal evidence of this notoriously difficult. This column uses a large-scale school construction programme in Indonesia and newspaper reports of violence to tackle this problem. The results show that the construction of primary schools led to statistically significant reductions in conflict that grew larger over time. 

Beck, Rojas-Suarez, 04 May 2019

The Global Crisis originated in the financial systems of advanced countries, so it is unsurprising that the Basel III international standards focused on the stability needs of these countries. This column assesses the implications of Basel III for emerging markets and developing economies. It also outlines the recommendations from a task force of current and former senior officials from central banks in these countries on how to make Basel III work for them.  

de Melo, Nicita, 04 May 2019

Developing countries often struggle to access international markets. One reason is that trade regulatory frameworks are becoming more complex, and that contemporary economic integration strategies need to confront policy measures that are well beyond the scope of traditional trade policy. This column discusses those policy measures and options for integrating them into developing countries' strategies.

Papageorge, Ronda, Zheng, 04 May 2019

Socio-emotional skills are generally believed to improve labour market outcomes. Using British and US longitudinal datasets, this column studies externalising behaviour – usually linked to aggression and hyperactivity – and internalising behaviour – linked to anxiety and depression – and how they relate to an individual’s earnings over the long term. It shows that for both genders, externalising behaviour lowers educational attainment but is associated with higher earnings.

Portier, 03 May 2019

Business economists argue that the length of an expansion is a good indicator of when a recession will hit. Using both parametric and non-parametric measures, this column finds strong support for the theory from post-WWII data on the US economy. The findings suggest there is good reason to expect a US recession in the next two years.

Egger, Erhardt, 03 May 2019

When economists model changes in tariffs, their models make assumptions about the impact of those changes. The column argues that those assumptions are often contradicted in the real world and proposes an approach that relaxes these restrictions. Estimates using this approach show that customary models may severely underestimate the impact of recent tariff increases.

De Nardi, 03 May 2019

MariaCristina De Nardi tells Tim Phillips that non-college-educated Americans born in the 1960s are dying younger, earning less, and paying more for healthcare than in their parents' generation.

van der Klaauw, Ziegler, 02 May 2019

Although temporary jobs are often characterised by lower pay, advocates of temporary work argue that taking up such jobs can increase the chances to find regular work in the long run. This column reviews evidence on the effectiveness of a labour market ‘speed date’ programme in the Netherlands, where unemployed job seekers are matched with temporary work agencies. The speed dates are effective in reducing the costs of unemployment insurance but, in the long run, temporary work does not serve as a stepping stone towards regular employment. 

Schlenker, Taylor, 02 May 2019

Understanding beliefs about climate change is important, but most of the measures used in the literature are unreliable. Instead, this column uses prices of financial products whose payouts are tied to future weather outcomes in the US. These market expectations correlate well with climate model outputs between 2002 and 2018 and observed weather data across eight US cities, and show significant warming trends. When money is at stake, agents are accurately anticipating warming trends in line with the scientific consensus of climate models.

Bénassy-Quéré, Brunnermeier, Enderlein, Farhi, Fratzscher, Fuest, Gourinchas, Martin, Pisani-Ferry, Rey, Schnabel, Véron, Weder di Mauro, Zettelmeyer, 02 May 2019

In January 2018, CEPR published a Policy Insight recommending euro area reforms which received broad support as well as some criticism. In this column, the authors argue that the problems that prompted their paper are still there, new problems are on the horizon, and the current state of the policy conversation on euro area reform is disappointing. They also identify priorities that should be at the centre of discussions on reform.

Gunter, Riera-Crichton, Vegh, Vuletin, 01 May 2019

Based on evidence from the industrial world, and particularly Europe, tax hikes have a significant negative effect on economic activity. The column shows that this empirical finding does not hold for a broader sample. In the developing world, higher taxes may be an effective way to raise revenues without reducing GDP. This is especially true in countries with low provision of public goods or commodity-dependent countries.

Corbi, Papaioannou, Surico, 01 May 2019

The recent political crisis in the euro area has brought the design of fiscal policy to the forefront of public debate, with many arguing that EU-level transfers are necessary for the ‘completion’ of EMU. This column uses extensive data from a Brazilian federal transfer scheme to show that transfers can play a valuable stabilisation role in a currency union.

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