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  • Author: Tarek A. Hassan, Laurence van Lent, Stephan Hollander, Ahmed Tahoun
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: Using tools from computational linguistics, we construct new measures of the impact of Brexit on listed firms in the United States and around the world: the share of discussions in quarterly earnings conference calls on costs, benefits, and risks associated with the UK’s intention to leave the EU. Using this approach, we identify which firms expect to gain or lose from Brexit and which are most affected by Brexit uncertainty. We then estimate the effects of these different kinds of Brexit exposure on firm-level outcomes. We find that concerns about Brexit-related uncertainty extend far beyond British or even European firms. US and international firms most exposed to Brexit uncertainty have lost a substantial fraction of their market value and have reduced hiring and investment. In addition to Brexit uncertainty (the second moment), we find that international firms overwhelmingly expect negative direct effects of Brexit (the first moment), should it come to pass. Most prominently, firms expect difficulties resulting from regulatory divergence, reduced labor mobility, trade access, and the costs of adjusting their operations post-Brexit. Consistent with the predictions of canonical theory, this negative sentiment is recognized and priced in stock markets but has not yet had significant effects on firm actions.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, Brexit, Global Political Economy, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, European Union
  • Author: Sandy Brian Hager
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: This paper offers new theoretical and empirical insights to explain the resilience of the U.S. Treasuries market as a safe haven for global investment. Going beyond the standard systemic explanation, the paper highlights the importance of domestic politics in reinforcing the safe haven status of U.S. Treasury securities. In particular, the research shows how a formidable “bond” of interests unites domestic and foreign owners of the public debt and works to sustain U.S. power in global finance. Foreigners who now own roughly half of the U.S. public debt have something to gain from their domestic counterparts. The top one percent of U.S. households that dominate domestic ownership of the U.S. public debt have considerable political clout, thus alleviating foreign concerns about the creditworthiness of the U.S. federal government. Domestic owners of the U.S. public debt, in turn, have something to gain from the seemingly insatiable foreign appetite for U.S. Treasury securities. In supplying the U.S. federal government and U.S. households with cheap credit, foreign investors in U.S. Treasuries help to deflect challenges to the top one percent within the wealth and income hierarchy.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, Inequality, Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Michael Dauderstädt, Jose Enrique de Ayala, Domenec Ruiz Devesa, Vicente Palacio, Vicente Palacio
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: The new European Parliament (EP) elected in May 2014 is facing a state of emergency in Europe. As 2014 draws to a close, austerity policies and the threat of populism are jeopardizing the present and the future of the European project. Unemployment rates in Europe are double the unemployment rate in the US and growth in the Eurozone is expected to fall below 1% in 2015. Although “the worst of the crisis” would appear to be behind us, Europe continues to be vulnerable to further economic shocks going forward. In fact, the EU could well be teetering on the brink of a third recession, the immediate threats on the horizon being current deflationary trends and a growing periphery crisis that is already manifest in Greece and could well spread to France and Italy. There is much uncertainty about the short- and medium-term future. It is not clear whether institutions such as the EP or the European Central Bank (ECB) will exercise their powers to the limit in order to counterbalance those of the governments of Member States and the Council, whether and when Germany will step up and assume a more active role in Eurozone stimulus, whether some kind of reform of the Lisbon treaty is in the cards or what kind of solutions will be provided to countries like Greece whose economies remain on the verge of collapse. ECB Governor Mario Draghi’s July 2014 speech in Jackson Hole, during which he strongly emphasized job creation rather dwelling on inflation and alluded to the possibility of implementing demand-side policies, structural reforms linked to a rise in 5 productivity, and enhancing competitiveness on a basis other than lower labour costs, was a very good sign. More recently, ECB authorities announced a new round of quantitative easing (QE) to take place in early 2015, and EC President Jean Claude Juncker made a commitment to devote €315 billion to infrastructure as part of his investment plan. Although we cannot expect a radical shift in economic policy any time soon, at least a minimal “Brussels consensus” if the EU is ever to put itself on the sure track towards a sustained recovery, structural reforms will need to be accompanied by fiscal stimulus. The time looks ripe for revising the economic policies that failed to achieve the objectives for which they were devised: pulling Europe out of the crisis and accelerating growth and employment. The time also looks ripe for a deep political and institutional shift: restoring the role of EU institutions – mainly the EP and the Commission – in forging the destinies of European citizens. If we accept the viewpoint that the EP is the institution that best embodies the concept of a European democracy built on the will of average citizens, the question we must subsequently ask ourselves whether the incoming EP elected in May 2014 will be able to bring about the change of tack that Europe needs. If viewed from a strictly quantitative perspective, the final outcome of the May elections was less damaging than originally feared. The European People’s Party once again won a majority (with 221 seats compared to 265 in 2009), and the breakdown for the rest of the parties and groups, in order of representation, was: the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (191/184); the Conservatives and Reformists (70/51); the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (67/84); the Greens (50/55); the European United Left (52/35), the Non-attached Members group (52/27) and the anti-Union Europe of Freedom and Democracy (48/32). Voter turnout across the EU fell very slightly from the 43% registered in 2009 to 42.5% in May, but did not break the crucial “psychological barrier” of 40%. 6 Table 1. Current distribution of seats and Parliamentary Groups in the EP (2014- 19 legislature) Source: Europarl http://www.europarl.europa.eu/elections2014-results/en/electionresults-2014.html If one takes a tally of only the seats now held by the traditional “big three” (the European People’s Party, the Socialists and the Liberal-Democrats), it is obvious that the pro-European forces still enjoy a solid majority in the EP – a very welcome majority in the sense that it signals that a majority of European voters continue to believe in a more united Europe, even in the context of the current economic, social and institutional crisis. The good news, therefore, is that there may be a sufficient “critical mass” in favour of going forward with the integration process rather than reversing it. Moreover, if the big three are successful in building ad hoc alliances with other parties such as the European Left and the Greens regarding a social and economic platform for a better Europe, it might even be possible to muster a majority willing to go even further in a federalist direction. However, these new distribution figures reveal only a small part of the entire story. Firstly, they should not keep us from recognizing the qualitative significance of the rise of a heterogeneous group of anti-integration and anti-European forces in the EP that represent a growing number of Europeans willing to cast their votes for Eurosceptic, nationalistic, populist, or xenophobic parties. The rising tide of Eurosceptics and Europhobia within the EP could well be perceived as a potential Trojan horse that could eventually undermine the stability of the EU and its very existence. Even if divided by 7 country, ideology, opportunity and other criteria and unable (or unwilling) to forge strong, sustained parliamentary coalitions, taken together, these forces hold 170 out of 751 seats in the current EP – an impressive 22%. The number of MEPs of the French National Front increased from 3 in 2009 to 24 in 2014, the new German right-wing antiEuro party Alternative for Germany (AFD) won 7 seats, and UKIP - which won the popular vote in Britain - moved up to 24 (from 13 in 2009). The situation is more worrying if we take into consideration that an overwhelming number of European citizens (almost 58%) did not go to the polls to vote. Had they chosen to make their voices heard, their vote would have supposed a turning point for Europe in one direction or another. Secondly, Euroscepticism and Europhobia are also having a considerable impact on the national politics of Member States (MS), and the most alarming examples of this phenomenon have surfaced in the major, “hard core” countries upon which European construction heavily depends such as France, Italy, Germany, or even for that matter, the UK. What these diverse parties ultimately have in common is their fierce defence of national sovereignty. They have reached the point of setting national policy agendas throughout the EU. As of the end of November 2014, the National Front was still ahead in voter intention polls in France, the AFD was gaining support according to polls conducted in Germany, and similar surveys in the UK showed that support for the anti-immigration UKIP was holding strong. The rise of UKIP is putting David Cameron’s government under intense pressure to hold a referendum on Britain’s exit from the EU. The victory of Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party in the May EP elections does not obscure the fact that the fiercely populist and Eurosceptic Five-Star movement remains the largest party in the Italian Chamber of Deputies since February 2013. Sweden’s xenophobic Democratic Party could hold the key to governance in that country after the March 2015 elections. For the first time, a majority of citizens in both France and Germany regard the EU as a problem. Parallel to these developments, the anti-Muslim street demonstrations are becoming more and more frequent in Germany and the Netherlands. Should the economic situation in Europe worsen, the diverse range of tensions originating in northern and southern MSs, not to mention the tensions between them, could ratchet support for populist movements to dangerously high levels.
  • Topic: Economics, Europe Union, Election watch, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Germany, Brussels
  • Author: Erkan Erdogdu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is a European Commission initiative aimed at facilitating the diversification of the routes and sources of gas imported into Europe. This paper is devoted to the analysis of Turkey's role in this initiative. Following a summary of the current economic and energy situation in Turkey, the paper presents recent developments in the SGC and an analysis of Turkey's role in the EU's SGC vision. It concludes that although the newly-built infrastructure within the SGC framework will probably serve Azerbaijani and Turkish interests first in their future relations with the EU, rather than the other way round, as had been initially hoped by the EU, it still addresses the EU's basic strategic interests, namely, the diversification of gas supply routes and suppliers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Netherlands
  • Author: David G. Blanchflower, David N. F. Bell
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the amount of slack in the UK labor market and finds the downward adjustments made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to both unemployment and underemployment invalid. Without evidence to support its assessment of the output gap, the MPC reduces the level of unemployment based on its claim that long-term unemployment does not affect wages. The authors produce evidence to the contrary and present arguments on why the MPC's halving of the level of underemployment in the United Kingdom is inappropriate. Bell and Blanchflower set out arguments on why they believe the level of slack is greater than the MPC calibrates. Consistent with that is the fact that real wages in the United Kingdom continue to fall.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Katherine Trebeck, Malcolm Sayers
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: We live on a fragile planet which is under increased human stress, to the extent that we are transgressing several of the planetary boundaries as mapped out by the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC). We share this planet with over seven billion fellow human beings, too many of whom face extraordinary challenges in building a life free of poverty, indignity, powerlessness and fear. While a small number of people are using the most resources, simultaneously too many are unable to lead lives in which they can flourish and live with dignity.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Bruce Muirhead
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Since its widespread settlement by Europeans in the 1840s, New Zealand (NZ) has been an agricultural economy. As has been pointed out “there [has been] no serious challenge to the fundamental precept that the country's economy rested on an agricultural foundation” (Macdonald and Thomson 1987, 231), and dairy has been a significant focus of that base. Dairy production was introduced to New Zealand with the clear intent to establish New Zealand as an adjunct to the economic needs of Britain (Hawke 1985). Indeed, the closeness of the relationship between “the Britain of the south” and the metropolitan centre is one of the fundamental characteristics of any environmental history of NZ agriculture (Pawson 2008). This would persist in a material sense for more than a century, until the United Kingdom joined the European Community (EC) in 1973.
  • Topic: Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand
  • Author: Fatih Eren
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: The United Kingdom (UK) is the most experienced country regarding the theories, policies, strategies and practices of urban regenerations in the world. This study firstly outlines UK’s urban regeneration experience and then discusses how Turkey can benefit from this experience in the best way. The global financial crisis emerged in 2008 forced the UK to go a change in its national urban regeneration policy. Therefore, this paper has been divided into two parts as UK’s urban regeneration policy before and after 2010.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Financial Crisis, Urban
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: US and Iranian strategic competition is heavily drive by four key factors–the success or failure of sanctions, the im0pact of that competition on the flow of Gulf energy exports, the success or failure of efforts to limit Iran's nuclear options and the broader prospect for arms control, and the prospects for accommodation of regime change. In recent years, the key variable has been ways in which sanctions on Iran have changed US and Iranian competition since the fall of 2011, and helped lead to a tentative set of Iranian agreements with the UN's P5+1--the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany--in November 2013.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Oil, Regime Change, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, Middle East, France, Germany
  • Author: Andrea Renda, Oliver Fritsch, Claudio M. Radaelli, Lorna Schrefler
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the quality of impact assessments in the European Commission and the United Kingdom for the period 2005-2010. We coded 477 impact assessments for the UK and 251 for the European Commission, using a detailed scorecard - adjusted to reduce the bias evidenced by previous usages of this instrument.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe