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European Banks’ Sovereign Debt Home Bias: Voluntary or Involuntary?

Horváth, Bálint, Huizinga, Harry, Ioannidou, Vasso, (2015), “European Banks’ Sovereign Debt Home Bias: Voluntary or Involuntary?”, Voxeu, 31 July When banks invest heavily in sovereign debt, and in domestic sovereign debt in particular, the result is a debt home bias. This column presents evidence of a partially voluntary and partially involuntary sovereign debt home bias among large European banks. This bias is stronger if the sovereign is risky and shareholder rights are strong or the …Read More

Why Social Investments Bring Multiple Benefits

Woess, Josef, Buxbaum, Adi, (2015), “Why Social Investments Bring Multiple Benefits”, Social Europe Journal, 28 July Austerity measures put social cohesion at immense risk and restrain the growth dynamic in Europe. Furthermore, these measures have massively damaged the confidence of citizens in European and national institutions. Failing to solve problems such as high unemployment or a lack of social infrastructure is a very expensive option, associated with massive costs for individuals and society. …Read More

Spare tire? Stock markets, banking crises, and economic recoveries

Levine, Ross, Lin, Chen, Xie, Wensi, (2015), “Spare tire? Stock markets, banking crises, and economic recoveries”, Voxeu, 29 July Some have argued that the stock market serves as a ‘spare tire’ during banking crises by providing an alternative corporate financing channel. This column examines the claim using data for 36 countries spanning 20 years. The findings support the three core predictions of the spare tire view, suggesting that countries can insulate parts of their economy …Read More

Innovation, income inequality, and social mobility

Aghion, Philippe, Akcigit, Ufuk, Bergeaud, Antonin, Blundell, Richard, Hemous, David, (2015), “Innovation, income inequality, and social mobility”, Voxeu, 28 July In recent decades, there has been an accelerated increase in top income inequality, particularly in developed countries. This column argues that innovation partly accounts for the surge in top income inequality and fosters social mobility. In particular, the positive effect of innovation on social mobility is due to new innovators. Relevant Posts Dabla-Norris, Era, Kochhar, Kalpana, Suphaphiphat, Nujin, Ricka, Frantisek, Tsounta, Evridiki, (2015),“Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality …Read More

Policy consequences of public income volatility

Robinson, James, Torvik, Ragnar, Verdier, Thierry, (2015), “Policy consequences of public income volatility”, Voxeu, 27 Ιουλίου As the Eurozone continues to struggle to recover from the economic fallouts of the 2008 crisis, and with Greece on the edge of exiting the currency union, it hardly needs to be said that politics has played a significant role both in the creation of the original crisis and in impeding an optimal solution to it. Since the 1970s economists have …Read More

Europe’s Gravest Threat: Doctrines Diverged

Hanska, Max, (2015), “Europe’s Gravest Threat: Doctrines Diverged”, LSE blog, 23 July Europe’s fiscal and economic crisis has revealed rifts in, what is often assumed to be a common understanding of the ‘European Project.’ Nowhere did the fact that different nations understand the ‘European Project’ quite differently come to a fore as explicitly as during 17 hour negotiations over a 3rd ESM programme for Greece—and particularly, in what different European nations view as …Read More

Debt miracle: Why the country that borrowed the most industrialised first

Ventura, Jaume, Voth, Hans-Joachim, (2015), “Debt miracle: Why the country that borrowed the most industrialised first”, Voxeu, 27 July Towering debts, rapidly rising taxes, constant and expensive wars, a debt burden surpassing 200% of GDP. What are the chances that a country with such characteristics would grow rapidly? Almost anyone would probably say ‘none’.And yet, these are exactly the conditions under which the Industrial Revolution took place in Britain. Britain’s …Read More

Understanding past and future financial crises

Olivier Gourinchas, Pierre, Obstfeld, Maurice, (2015), “Understanding past and future financial crises”, Voxeu, 21 July What explains the different effects of the crisis around the world? This column compares the 2007–09 crisis to earlier episodes of banking, currency, and sovereign debt distress and identifies domestic-credit booms and real currency appreciation as the most significant predictors of future crises, in both advanced and emerging economies. It argues these results could help policymakers determine the …Read More

From Systemic Banking Crises to Fiscal Costs: Risk Factors

Amaglobeli, David, End, Nicolas, Jarmuzek, Mariusz, Palomba, Geremia, (2015), “From Systemic Banking Crises to Fiscal Costs: Risk Factors”, IMF Working Paper/WP/15/166, Fiscal Affairs Department, July This paper examines the risk factors associated with fiscal costs of systemic banking crises using cross-country data. We differentiate between immediate direct fiscal costs of government intervention (e.g., recapitalization and asset purchases) and overall fiscal costs of banking crises as proxied by changes in the public debt-to-GDP ratio. We find that both …Read More

Minimum Wage or Living Income?

Skideslky, Robert, 92015), “Minimum Wage or Living Income?”, Project Syndicate, 16 Ιουλίου Most rich countries now have millions of “working poor” – people whose jobs do not pay enough to keep them above the poverty line, and whose wages therefore have to be subsidized by the state. These subsidies take the form of tax credits.The idea is a very old one. England implemented its “Speenhamland” system – a form of …Read More