Europe's nations and regions

Holger Breinlich, Elsa Leromain, Dennis Novy, Thomas Sampson, Ahmed Usman, 10 October 2018

How did the stock market react to the Brexit referendum of June 2016? This column shows that initial stock price movements on the day after the Leave vote were driven by fears of an economic slowdown in the UK and by a sharp devaluation of the pound. Later movements following two speeches by Theresa May in October 2016 and January 2017 were more closely correlated with potential future changes to tariffs and non-tariff barriers on UK-EU trade. This indicates that these speeches led investors to update their assessment of the likelihood of a hard Brexit.

Paul Romer, 07 October 2018

For many, corruption and political cronyism are seen as an inevitable part of Greek politics. This column argues that the same could have been said in the 1970s about Hong Kong, now a beacon of low corruption. Hong Kong managed this turnaround by appointing a non-elected governor accountable to the UK government. Greece could achieve the same by calling on the EU and start counting the benefits.

Jonathan Portes, 04 October 2018

A report by the UK Government’s independent Migration Advisory Committee draws on new research on the impact of immigration to the UK, particularly on migration, training, and the public finances. This column presents some of the findings from the report.

Benjamin Born, Gernot Müller, Moritz Schularick, Petr Sedláček, 30 September 2018

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. An update using the latest OECD data suggests that the negative drag from the Brexit vote now appears to be roughly £350 million a week.

Ronald Davies, Joseph Francois, 01 October 2018

With increasing frustration over the situation as ‘Brexit Day’ approaches, some political pundits are suggesting that an Irish exit from the EU would benefit Ireland. This column assesses the macroeconomic impact of a range of scenarios and argues that while any version of Brexit, with or without Irexit, worsens the Irish economic situation relative to the status quo, economically speaking the best option for Ireland is to stay within the fold of the EU while hoping for and working towards the best in terms of post-Brexit UK economic integration with Europe.

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