Fabiano Schivardi, Tom Schmitz, 01 October 2019

Productivity growth in southern Europe has been lower than in other developed countries. The column argues that this has in large part been caused by slow adoption of information technology, compounded by inefficient management. Without improvements in management practices, increased IT spending will not close the productivity gap.

Paolo Manasse, Dimitris Katsikas, 01 February 2018

The basic ingredients of the policy prescriptions in response to the euro area debt crisis were quite similar across Southern Europe. This column explores the economic, political, and institutional factors that differentially affected the success of these prescriptions from country to country. Policy timing and sequencing, the balance between fiscal consolidation and structural reforms, and external constraints all play crucial roles. Future reform programmes should be calibrated to the distinct economic, social, and political features of targeted countries.

Gita Gopinath, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Loukas Karabarbounis, Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, 28 September 2015

Joining the Eurozone was once a near unquestionably good idea. Now, the costs of joining the monetary union are under close scrutiny. This column takes a slightly different tack, presenting an alternative perspective on how joining the euro has impacted productivity in southern Europe. It turns out that capital wasn’t allocated efficiently across firms after cheap borrowing at low interest rates, impacting total factor productivity.

Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi, 22 April 2010

The fiscal crises faced by countries in southern Europe have led many commentators to group them together in their analysis. This column argues that the causes of these overvalued currencies and twin deficits are different. For Greece and Portugal the problem is insolvency; for Ireland and Spain, illiquidity. Italy has a higher savings rate and its foreign imbalances are much smaller.

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