by Richard Baldwin, Daniel Gros (December 3, 2015)
After five years of crisis there are now signs that the eurozone economy is recovering, but it is far from being back to normal. The authors of this CEPS Commentary sound a note of caution: although progress has been made with the banking union and new institutions like the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), more needs to be done. The eurozone crisis may be in remission now but when interest rates start to rise, or if confidence evaporates again due to global shock, the systemic cracks could reappear at an alarming rate.
by Roberta De Santis, Jona Lasinio C. (September, 2015)In a globalized framework, environmental regulations can have a decisive role in influencing countries’ comparative advantages. The conventional perception about environmental protection is that it imposes additional costs on firms, which may reduce their global competitiveness with negative effects on growth and employment. However, some economists, in particular Porter and Van der Linde (1995), argue that pollution is often associated with a waste of resources and that more stringent environmental policies can stimulate innovations that may over-compensate for the costs of complying with these policies. This is known as the Porter hypothesis and suggests the existence of a “double dividend”, for both economic and environmental aspects, related to environmental regulation. In this paper, we adopt a macroeconomic approach to investigate the impact of different environmental instruments on the economy as a whole. We investigate the environmental policy impacts on a sample of European economies in 1995-2008. Our findings suggest that the “narrow” Porter Hypothesis cannot be rejected and that the choice of the policy instruments is not neutral. In particular, market based environmental stringency measures look as the most effective to stimulate innovations and productivity.
by Alho, Kari E.O. (August, 2015)
Specifying a structurally built NKM model for EMU, and identifying in it the determinants of the potential output and the short-run cyclical factors, we consider structural reforms and monetary and fiscal policies in the euro area. Especially, we analyse whether structural reforms are deflationary or boost the economy in the short run and create spillovers within the euro
area under the zero lower bound (ZLB) of the interest rate. We find that a structural reform towards a more competitive economy by lowering the mark ups in the goods and labour market is beneficial both in the short and long run, and both under normal and the ZLB situation in the financial markets. Coordination of reforms within the euro area is also called for, because the spillovers from reforms are typically negative. The national governments searching for an optimal structural policy can delegate the stabilization efforts to the ECB in a long-run equilibrium, but in the short run this separation does not hold in general. We find that in a recession the reform policy is typically curtailed, while in a boom it initially exceeds the long-run equilibrium of reform activity. Proper fiscal policy can alleviate this problematic feature in structural reform policies.
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