Marco Annunziata, 20 March 2013

The Cyprus rescue package has elicited sharp reactions. This column argues that a tax on deposits is logical given the limited options, but guaranteed deposits should be spared on fairness and systematic grounds; a 15% tax on big deposits would be enough. Contagion is unlikely since Cyprus is different. Italian and Spanish savers are already alert to surprises such as the 1992 Italian bank deposit tax.

Charles Wyplosz, 18 March 2013

The Cyprus bailout package contains a tax on bank deposits. This column argues that the tax is a deeply dangerous policy that creates a new situation, more perilous than ever. It is a radical change that potentially undermines a perfectly reasonable deposit guarantee and the euro itself. Historians will one day explore the dark political motives behind this move. Meanwhile, we can only hope that the bad equilibrium that has just been created will not be chosen by anguished depositors in Spain and Italy.

John Driffill, 08 March 2013

How do we solve worryingly high unemployment across Europe? In a time of crisis, would reform actually exacerbate unemployment? This column argues that labour markets – especially in southern Europe – have to be reformed, presenting policy prescriptions to that effect. If we are to break the back of sluggish labour markets, policymakers need to learn from Europe’s success stories.

Nicolas Véron, 05 March 2013

The EU was once a champion of global financial regulatory convergence. What happened? This column argues that the EU should drop its lacklustre inertia and pursue Basel III because, in the end, it’s in its interests to comply. EU policymakers ought to aim at enabling the adoption of a Capital Requirements Regulation that would be fully compliant with Basel III.

Hylke Vandenbussche, Jozef Konings, 30 January 2013

The rise of international production sharing – ‘global value chains’ – has transformed international commerce and pushed economists into new territory. This column argues that there is evidence to suggest that old-fashioned protection can have an unexpected negative effect on firms that are part of a global value chain. In an increasingly globalised world, exporters’ success seems to positively depend on the free entry of imports rather than the other way round.

Giorgio Basevi, 23 January 2013

Is European economic recovery being delayed by political procrastination? Are electoral cycles hindering a return to growth? This column argues that by synchronising European nations’ electoral cycles (along with those of the European Parliament), Europe can avoid its current slow and jittery approach. Creating a synchronised Europe-wide voting period would do away with overlapping national electoral cycles. A common national and European voting period would reduce political uncertainty, ensuring quicker policymaking response times for a smoother, quicker route to recovery.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, Per Wijkman, 04 November 2012

Today, most of Europe is free from dictatorships and conflict. Yet, these spectres loom in neighbouring states and nearby regions. This column suggests that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the EU, was perhaps a call to action. Can the EU, preoccupied as it is with a growing Eurozone crisis, encourage peace and democracy in its neighbourhood? And what are the lessons we can learn from recent EU policy history?

Cameron Hepburn, 30 October 2012

The EU’s Emissions Trading System includes all flights to, from and within Europe as eligible for regulation – something that has faced strong opposition from the US and China. With Airbus’s orders from China falling, the pressure has grown from within Europe. This column argues that for reasons of economic principle, legality and practicality, the EU should stand its ground.

Patrick Messerlin, Sébastien Miroudot, 07 September 2012

Public spending on large-scale projects is often a way of sneaking in protectionism through the back door and there are many cases of outright corruption. With the EU and US pushing hard for more open public procurement elsewhere in the world, this column asks just how open these markets are, particularly in the EU, which claims to have the most open market in the world.

Cezary Wójcik, Christian Fahrholz, 31 October 2011

With the sovereign debt crisis spreading across Europe, there is no shortage of suggestions on how to save the Eurozone. This column says exit rules are the silver bullet. It argues that exit rules would decrease the probability of a breakup of the Eurozone by enhancing market discipline, increasing the political bargaining power of EZ members vis-à-vis the profligate countries, enhancing internal discipline in the profligate countries, and reducing market uncertainty.

Charles Wyplosz, 16 September 2011

Europe’s debt crisis is unfolding while Japanese and US debt problems are on hold. The problem of public debt in advanced economies will be with us for decades. This column introduces a new Geneva Report on the World Economy that addresses the nuts, bolts, and worries surrounding the issue.

Barry Eichengreen, Jürgen von Hagen, Charles Wyplosz, Jeffrey Liebman, Robert Feldman, 16 September 2011

The 13th CEPR/ICMB Geneva Report on the World Economy takes a long-term perspective on debt sustainability, arguing that fiscal stabilisation is easier the faster the economy is growing.

Michael Devereux, Albert van der Horst, Simon Loretz, Leon Bettendorf, 20 March 2011

The European Commission has launched proposals to radically reform corporate income tax in the EU, with a system known as the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax base. This column suggests that this reform would have significant effects on individual member states, but only small effects at the aggregate level in terms of employment, GDP or efficiency. It adds that if tax rates were also harmonised and the tax base included an allowance for corporate equity, the economic benefits could be far greater.

Assaf Razin, Jackline Wahba, 04 March 2011

Do immigrants just move for the benefit systems? This column argues that the effect of the welfare state on immigration and its composition depends on whether the destination country's migration policy is “free” or “managed”, and on whether the source country is developed or developing.

Ivan Cherkashin , Svetlana Demidova , Hiau Looi Kee, Kala Krishna, 19 February 2011

Trade preferences, such as those removing restrictions on Madagascar’s exports to the US, have long been a controversial policy. Some argue that it removes incentives for firms to become more competitive as they simply divert their trade to the preferred market. This column argues using counterfactual simulations that trade preferences can increase trade for the provider country, the receiver country, and other trading partners as well.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, Per Wijkman, 03 January 2011

Fifteen years after the Dayton Peace Accords, unresolved conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina have deadlocked its political system and crippled economic growth. In their second column on the Balkans, the authors argue that to prevent the country from falling apart – with dire consequences for the region – increased engagement by both the EU and the US is needed.

Geoffrey Underhill, 23 December 2010

Many policymakers have reacted to both the financial crisis and the recent Eurozone sovereign debt problems as though they were unexpected. This column argues that we knew more than enough to anticipate both problems, that the evidence was easily accessible. The institutional and political weaknesses of the Eurozone were hardly a mystery.

Raphael Auer, Andreas Fischer, 05 December 2010

Over the past two decades, Western European trade has become increasingly integrated with emerging economies. This column uses a novel empirical technique to show that import competition from East Asian low-wage countries – in particular China – has dampened inflation in five Western European nations. Increased integration with Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe, meanwhile, has had little effect on inflation.

Jacques Melitz, 16 November 2010

Earlier this year, the fiscal situation in Greece caused turmoil across Europe. This column examines why the financial difficulties of several state governments in the US are not having similar impacts on its economy.

Volker Nitsch, Helge Berger, 02 November 2010

What can policymakers do to redress the global imbalances? This column presents evidence from 18 European countries over the past 60 years. It finds that while permanently fixed nominal exchange rates often result in large and lasting trade imbalances, these imbalances usually reflect a difference in trade competitiveness that can be addressed through structural and macroeconomic policies.

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