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21.09.2017
 
Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik

 

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Economic Policy Center

Italy’s Labor Market still in Crisis Mode

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In their Kiel Policy Brief 107 the authors Klaus Schrader and Marta Ulivelli analyse the shortcomings of the Italian economy with a focus on Italian labour market developments. They address the widespread fear that Italy could turn into a second Greece and could trigger some kind of domino effect. Although the analysis of the Italian economy shows that Italy is performing better than Greece, it becomes evident that Italy is losing ground towards the majority of the EU countries. The Italian labour market mirrors the lingering crisis: Mass unemployment, missing  perspectives for the young people, a low labour force participation and a dwindling competitiveness. The authors endorse the labour market reforms which had been initiated in the aftermath of the economic and finical crisis: enhancing labour mobility, increasing incentives to work, improving the labour market integration of unemployed, youths and women as well as  reorganizing the Italian labour administration. But the authors also emphasize that the reform process still needs to be completed to achieve the desired turnaround of the labour market and the economy as a whole. However, a delay of labour market and further structural reforms would hamper structural change and thereby diminish the prospects for economic growth that is required for the sustainability of Italy’s enormous debt burden. more …


 

Baltic Sea Trade in times of Globalization

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Against the backdrop of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Finland the Kiel Institute's economists Claus-Friedrich Laaser and Klaus Schrader analyze the trade relations in the Baltic Sea Region in their contribution for the edited volume "The economic state of the Baltic Sea region" by Kari Liuhto (Centrum Balticum, Turku). The authors especially discuss two recent challenges to the Baltic Sea Region's trade: the impaired trade relations with Russia in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis since 2014, and the looming Brexit and its consequences for EU trade. From their analyses of regional and sectoral trade patterns they conclude that the Baltic Sea neighbors’ trade does not focus on the tiny Baltic Sea Region but on large and wealthy markets even in far distant regions. In  the era of globalization the Baltic Sea serves as a bridge between regions, it does not appear as an internal market of its own. In this way the Baltic Rim countries are following a tradition of the medieval trade association of the "Hanse" which also linked far distant trade regions with each other. Therefore, these countries should be advocates of free trade in times of re-emerging  protectionism, disintegration and economic sanctions. more ...

 


Hospital remuneration across federal states: Considering costs or distorting competition?

geld_spritzeThe report Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik No. 10 analyzes whether differences in the base rates between federal states in Germany can be attributed to systematic cost differences. Results of the statistical analysis suggest that only hospital-specific and structural characteristics of regions account for a portion of the variance in base rates. The current cost structure of hospitals is not reflected by the state-level differentiation of base rates which for the most part seems to be arbitrary. According to economic theory of regulation and incentives, political decision makers should continue to pursue a convergence of base rates towards a national rate. more …

 


What should be the Core of EU Competencies?

EU-FlaggenIn his Kiel Policy Brief 106 Jürgen Stehn, economist at the Kiel Institute,  asks, in how far the White Paper on the Future of Europe of the European Commission sketches promising scenarios for a future European integration process. Against the backdrop of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome the author shows that the EU Commission fails at the task to define and justify European core competencies on basis of an appropriate reference system. more … 

 


International Arbitration without Disadvantage for Respondent States

WaageSelf-interested and biased arbitrators are often held responsible for the legitimacy crisis of investor-state dispute settlement. Analyzing UNCTAD data, in his Kiel Policy Brief 105  the Kiel Institute’s researcher Peter Nunnenkamp finds no compelling evidence that arbitrators are systematically biased since the late 1990s. Many disputes are handled by unbiased tribunals, and state-appointed arbitrators are no less pro-state than investor-appointed arbitrators are pro-claimant. Furthermore, even biased tribunals decide more often in favor of respondent states that in favor of private investors. However, the author also observes that it is harder for developing countries, compared to high-income countries, to fend off claims for compensation. more … 

 

Greece still in the Crisis Mode

Flaggen-FotoliaFor eight years, Greece has remained in the crisis mode but the rescue from economic decline is still not yet within sight. In their Kiel Policy Brief 103 the Kiel Institute’s researchers Klaus Schrader, Claus-Friedrich Laaser und David Benček highlight the Greek prospects to overcome the crisis by until the end of the third economic assistance program. They show that in other EU crisis countries the programs have more or less achieved their goals while in Greece the missing ownership by the Greek decision makers and the Greek society has become a serious obstacle to the reform process. As a consequence, growth expectations have not been met and the sluggish recovery and the backward-oriented structural change do not promise a return to the former high income level of the past. The authors still regard the third assistance program as a great opportunity for Greece to overcome the crisis but the program will not work without the development of ownership. more … 

 

Cut the Unemployment Insurance Contribution!

BundesagenturIn his Kiel Policy Brief 104 the Kiel economist Alfred Boss shows that in Germany the system of unemployment insurance has been in surplus since 2011. The reserves amounted to Euro 11 bn at the end of 2016. The  author reveals that only a small part of the surplus is due to the cyclical stance of the German economy. For the most part, the surplus is rather of structural origin. Against this backdrop the author concludes that the rate of contribution to the unemployment insurance should be reduced from 3.0 to 2.7 p.c. very soon. This reduction would avoid an increase of the overall rate of contribution to social security in 2017 and would foster employment growth. more … 


Kiel Subsidy Report: All-time Peak of German Subsidies

PaketAccording to the newly published Kiel Subsidy Report of the Kiel Institute (IfW) the subsidies in Germany granted by the federal layer, the federal states, communities and special budgets reached an all-time peak with 168.7 Bill. Euro since the Kiel Institute surveys subsidy data. The sum of subsidies in 2015 surpassed the level of 2007 before the financial crisis by 27.5 Bill. Euro, and that of the last peak in 2010 by 2.5 Bill. Euro. For the budgetary year 2016 the financial grants from the federal budget will increase drastically by 18.8 per cent. more ...