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  • Author: Mehdi Lahlou
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic has turned into a global economic crisis with severe social effects in the least developed countries, particularly in Africa. Pre-existing challenges related to widespread poverty, demographic growth, food insecurity and governance issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic. While migration remains one of the key elements of the partnership agenda between Africa and the European Union, the aggravating socioeconomic situation in the African continent due to the impact of COVID-19 and its implications for migration dynamics requires going beyond business-as-usual approaches. The renewed scenario calls for a more comprehensive and development-oriented approach to migration, requiring new policy initiatives addressing the wider set of conditions that, beyond constituting developmental challenges in their own right, also drive migration in North Africa as well as in Sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, European Union, Mobility, Asylum, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, North Africa
  • Author: Petar Jolakoski, Branimir Jovanovic, Joana Madjoska, Viktor Stojkoski, Dragan Tevdovski
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: If firm profits rise to a level far above than what would have been earned in a competitive economy, this might give the firms market power, which might in turn influence the activity of the government. In this paper, we perform a detailed empirical study on the potential effects of firm profits and markups on government size and effectiveness. Using data on 30 European countries for a period of 17 years and an instrumental variables approach, we find that there exists a robust relationship between firm gains and the activity of the state, in the sense that higher firm profits reduce government size and effectiveness. Even in a group of developed countries, such as the European countries, firm power may affect state activity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Political Economy, Profit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Landesmann, Isilda Mara
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: The South-North migration corridor, i.e. migration flows to the EU from Africa, the Middle East and EU neighbouring countries in the East, have overtaken the East-West migration corridor, i.e. migration flows from Central and East European countries to the EU15 and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). This is likely to dominate migration flows into the EU+EFTA over the coming decades. This paper applies a gravity modelling approach to analyse patterns and drivers of the South-North migration corridor over the period 1995-2020 and explores bilateral mobility patterns from 75 sending countries in Africa, the Middle East and other EU neighbours to the EU28 and EFTA countries. The study finds that income gaps, diverging demographic trends, institutional and governance features and persisting political instability, but also higher climate risks in the neighbouring regions of the EU, are fuelling migration flows along the South-North corridor and will most likely continue to do so.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Migration, Labor Issues, European Union, Human Capital, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sonali Chowdhry, Gabriel Felbermayr
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: In 2011, the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (EUKFTA) entered into force. With its focus on non-tariff barriers (NTBs), it is a leading example of a deep new generation agreement. Using detailed French customs data for the period 2000 to 2016, we investigate how exporters of different size have gained from the agreement. Applying a diff-in-diff strategy that makes use of the rich dimensionality of the data, we find that firms with larger pre-FTA sizes benefit more from the FTA than firms at the lower end of the size distribution, both at the extensive (product) and the intensive margins of trade. The latter finding is in surprising contrast to leading theories of firm-level behavior. Moreover, we find that our main result is driven by NTB reductions rather than tariff cuts. In shedding light on the distributional effects of trade agreements within exporters, our findings highlight the need for effective SME-chapters in FTAs.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Treaties and Agreements, Tariffs, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, South Korea, European Union
  • Author: Thomas Brand, Fabien Tripier
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: Highly synchronized during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the Euro area and the US have diverged in the period that followed. To explain this divergence, we provide a structural interpretation of these episodes through the estimation for both economies of a business cycle model with financial frictions and risk shocks, measured as the volatility of idiosyncratic uncertainty in the financial sector. Our results show that risk shocks have stimulated US growth in the aftermath of the Great Recession and have been the main driver of the double-dip recession in the Euro area. They play a positive role in the Euro area only after 2015. Risk shocks therefore seem well suited to account for the consequences of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the subsequent positive effects of unconventional monetary policies, notably the ECB’s Asset Purchase Programme (APP).
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, Global Recession, Finance, Europe Union, Economic Growth, Risk
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Okko-Pekka Salmimies
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finland is preparing a Strategic Programme for the Circular Economy this autumn. It offers an opportunity to strengthen policy coherence between domestic policies and different aspects of foreign policy relevant when promoting a circular economy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Scandinavia
  • Author: Fabio Bulfone
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The Great Recession renewed calls for a return of state activism in support of the European economy. The widespread nationalization of ailing companies and the growing activism of national development banks led many to celebrate the reappearance of industrial policy. By reviewing the evolution of the goals, protagonists, and policy instru- ments of industrial policy since the postwar period, this paper shows how state intervention never ceased to be a crucial engine of growth across the EU. It argues that the decline of the Fordist wage-led production regime marked a turning point in the political economy of industrial policy with the transition from inward-looking to open-market forms of state in- tervention. The main features of open-market industrial policy are then discussed referring to the cases of the internationalization of national champions in public service sectors and the proliferation across the EU of industrial clusters. Finally, the paper reviews postcrisis in- stances of state intervention and highlights how, rather than breaking with past tendencies, the Great Recession further accelerated the shift towards open-market industrial policy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Integration, Industry
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rudolf Furst
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Euro-Japanese rapprochement stimulates the Japanese interest in the new EU member states, which are then matched with Japanese investments and Japan’s global trade strategy. The V4 countries benefit from their geographical position, existing infrastructure and political stability, industrial tradition, and low labour costs, emphasizes Rudolf Fürst.
  • Topic: Economics, Bilateral Relations, Labor Issues, European Union, Political stability, Industry
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Alice Gambarin, Osman Ismail
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: This report explores the short-term effects of Covid-19 on the financial sustainability of the creative industries in the UK. Along with the tourism sector, Creative Industries (CIs) are among the most affected by the current Covid-19 crisis. Creative workers, one of the more vulnerable sectors of the workforce, are already seeing devastating impacts on their income, not only in turnover terms, but also in their charitable contributions and sponsorship. Leaving behind the more fragile part of the sector could cause irreparable socio-economic damage. We find that the Creative Industries are projecting a combined £77bn turnover loss over the course of 2020 compared to 2019 (-31%). This is expected to translate into a GVA shortfall of £29bn in 2020 compared to 2019 (-26%), over half of which is in London. In 2020, CIs are projecting a 122,000 drop in employment among employees (despite the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - JRS) and a further 287,000 job losses among self employed workers, compared to 2019 levels. In total, 409,000 CIs jobs are considered at risk, 27% of which are in London and 20% are in the South East.
  • Topic: Economics, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Socioeconomics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: The European music sector has a major impact on the economies of the EU and the UK. In 2018 the recorded music industry supported an €81.9 billion contribution to EU27 and UK GDP, according to a study by Oxford Economics, commissioned by IFPI. This was larger than the GDP of nine of the 28 EU Member States in that year. Of this contribution, €37.5 billion was generated by the music sector itself through its output, wages and tax payments. To give a sense of scale, this was 1.5 times larger than that made by the wine-making and brewing sectors. The European music sector also had a significant indirect impact on the labour market and fiscal position around Europe. We estimate the music sector supported 2 million jobs across the EU27 and UK, which meant that 1 in every 119 jobs in the 28 countries were dependent on the sector’s activities to some degree. All of this economic activity also benefited public finances, with the sector supporting a total contribution of €31.0 billion to EU27 and UK tax revenues, equivalent to 19.4% of the entire EU budget for the same year. In addition to this, we also conservatively estimate that the European music sector earned €9.7 billion in export revenue in 2018 from customers around the rest of the world. These earnings are 13% higher than all exports of European GI-protected wines to non-EU countries (including champagne).
  • Topic: Economics, Culture, Music, popular culture, Job Creation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Amat Adarov, Robert Stehrer
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: The paper studies the drivers of productivity at country and sectoral levels over the period 2000-2017 with the focus on the impact of capital accumulation and structure. The analysis confirms an especially important role of ICT and intangible digital capital for productivity growth, particularly in the manufacturing sectors. While backward global value chain participation and EU integration are also found to be instrumental for accelerating productivity growth, the impact of inward foreign direct investment is not robustly detected when the data is purged from the effects of special purpose entities and outlier countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, European Union, Digital Economy, Capital Flows, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Stefan Jestl, Roman Römisch
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the economic effects of a reallocation of Cohesion Policy expenditures across EU countries. We evaluate a shift from stronger (i.e. older) Member States to less-developed EU economies (i.e. CEE countries) and vice versa. On top of that, we also assess the effects of a general reduction in the Cohesion Policy budget. For evaluation, we construct a demand-driven macroeconomic model which spans country models of 21 EU economies and is calibrated based on empirical data for the period 1995-2018. Our results suggest that a shift of Cohesion Policy funds to more (less) developed countries would result in a higher (lower) overall economic performance. However, the reallocation would affect economic outcomes in EU economies unevenly. In addition to direct effects on demand and production, it is pivotal to take into account indirect effects via trade as well. As a result, Cohesion Policy seems to be confronted with a trade-off between long-run convergence and short-run economic performance.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, European Union, Economic Growth, Investment, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Roman Römisch
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: This paper develops a simple method to consistently break down world input-output tables to regional input-output tables. They are used to estimate Cohesion Policy-induced demand spillovers in the EU, covering the years 2007-2018. Results indicate that Cohesion spillovers from less developed regions to other regions exceed 40% of their initial EU support in some cases. In addition, spillovers from the more developed regions are equivalent to 24% of their initial EU support. This shows that the existing trade and investment linkages across the EU regions are strong and not only run from less developed to more developed regions but also vice versa. Our results are good news for the net paying regions in the EU. Taking into account capacity growth effects, Cohesion Policy spillovers might well be a multiple of the pure demand spillovers estimated in this paper. Thus, for net paying regions, Cohesion Policy is not only an act of European solidarity but also a rational long-run economic growth policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, European Union, Investment, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefan Jestl, Ambre Maucorps, Roman Römisch
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of the EU Cohesion Policy (CP) on the economic growth of 276 European NUTS-2 regions between 2008 and 2016. Using a structural equation model (SEM) consisting of both a measurement component (with two latent variables) and a structural component, we estimate the impact of CP funding on the growth of GDP per capita across EU regions. The estimation also enables us to predict changes in the growth of GDP per capita based on a scenario of CP funding reallocation between member states. Overcoming the limitations of traditional linear regression, SEM modelling proves to be a promising method for impact evaluation, also allowing for the inclusion of indirect causal paths and feedback loops to depict, for example, cross-border economic spillover effects.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, European Union, Economic Growth, Investment, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia Grübler, Oliver Reiter
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: Political debates and economic analyses often focus on single free trade agreements and their potential economic effects on participating trading partners. This study contributes to the literature by shedding light on the significance of trade agreements in the context of countries’ positions in worldwide trade agreement networks, by combining network theory with gravity trade modelling. We illustrate, both numerically and graphically, the evolution of the global web of trade agreements in general, and the network of the European Union specifically, accounting for the geographical and temporal change in the depth of agreements implemented. Gravity estimations for the period 1995-2017 distinguish the direct bilateral effects of trade agreements from indirect effects attributable to the scope of trade networks and countries’ positions therein.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Profit, Models
  • Political Geography: Europe, Austria
  • Author: Mahdi Ghodsi, Mohammad Sharif Karimi, Robert Stehrer
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: Until 2012, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) used its policy rate to stabilise the rial’s exchange rate and, given a persistent current-account surplus, had accumulated sizeable currency reserves. In 2012, however, international sanctions against Iran intensified and the value of the rial halved against the US dollar. Since then Iran has followed a dual interest rate policy, with both a market rate and an official rate applied by the CBI to major imports. In recent years, as sanctions have cut access to foreign reserves, the gap between the two rates has widened substantially. Given these important changes in the exchange rate regime, this paper investigates the impact of the real exchange rate on the trade balance in Iran over the period 1997-2017. For this purpose, an asymmetric model is used, as the speed of the effects of changes in the exchange rate can be asymmetric. The results of the nonlinear autoregressive distributed lag model (NARDL) indicate that this is indeed the case. Results are generally consistent with the Marshall-Lerner condition: an exchange rate depreciation improves the trade balance, whereas an appreciation worsens it. However, the trade balance reacts more strongly in the short run to depreciations of the rial than to appreciations. Although the government could easily improve the trade balance in the short run through currency depreciation, policymakers should in the longer run promote non-oil exports to reduce dependency on oil and to diversify the economy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Exchange Rate Policy, Central Bank, Models
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran
  • Author: Mahdi Ghodsi, Robert Stehrer
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: Eight multilateral rounds of negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and international agreements under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have contributed significantly to the reduction of tariffs among WTO members. However, over the years legitimate reasons for the imposition of non-tariff measures (NTMs) within regulations have triggered their extensive use. Among these measures, technical barriers to trade (TBTs) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures allow countries to impose restrictions on the import of low-quality products suspected of harming domestic consumers’ health, plant life or the environment. Such trade policy instruments may lead to higher standards in the import market, in addition to improving market efficiency through information requirements such as mandatory labelling. This paper analyses two types of regulative and standard-like NTMs – TBTs and SPS measures – and the quality improvement of traded products that is driven by their imposition, which might be a general underlying motive for the adoption of such regulations. Based on a model framework involving both the supply and the demand side of trade and using four types of measures of these NTMs, this paper assesses the impact of TBTs and SPS measures on the quality of traded products. A dummy variable measuring the existence of these NTMs and a count variable indicating their stringency are used in the analysis. Moreover, two other variables indicate flows of NTMs imposed in each year and stocks of these NTMs accumulated over years. The results indicate that TBTs and SPS measures do indeed imply a higher quality of traded products, which is also consistent with the model when NTMs enter as a specific trade cost. Stringent TBTs with more regulations imposed in each year (i.e. flows of count TBTs) have the largest impact on the quality of traded products. However, for SPS measures only the existence of a regulation (i.e. the dummy variable on flows of SPS measures) on a traded product has the strongest impact on its quality.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, WTO, Non-Tariff Measures, GATT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Lisa Ann Richey, Maha Rafi Atal
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS), Copenhagen Business School
  • Abstract: As the global Covid-19 pandemic spread through Europe and North America, companies raced to communicate how they were responding to the crisis. Advertising that focuses on a company’s response to humanitarian crises is hardly new. Every holiday season features a parade of brands touting their seasonal partnerships with charitable causes. Yet these exercises in “Covid-branding” struck a particular nerve with both consumers and media commentators because so many of the brands stuck to the same script.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Communications, Advertising
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Anthony Edo, Jacques Melitz
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: The scale of the rise in personal wealth following the Black Death calls the life-cycle hypothesis of consumption into consideration. This paper shows for the first time that the wealth effect of the Black Death on the price level continued in England for generations, up to 1450. Indeed, in absence of consideration of the wealth effect, other influences on the price level do not even appear in the econometric analysis. The separate roles of coinage, population, trade, wages and annual number of days worked for wages all also receive attention and new results follow for adjustment in the labor market.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Infectious Diseases, Population, Trade, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Europe, England
  • Author: Aymeric Ortmans, Fabien Tripier
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: This paper studies how the announcement of the ECB’s monetary policies stopped the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to the European sovereign debt market. We show that up to March 9, the occurrence of new cases in euro area countries had a sizeable and persistent effect on 10-year sovereign bond spreads relative to Germany: 10 new confirmed cases per million people were accompanied by an immediate spread increase of 0.03 percentage points (ppt) that lasted 5 days, for a total increase of 0.35 ppt. For periods afterwards,the effect falls to near zero and is not significant. We interpret this change as an indicator of the success of the ECB’s March 12 press conference, despite the “we are not here to close spreads” controversy. Our results hold for the stock market, providing further evidence of the effectiveness of the ECB’s March 12 announcements in stopping the financial turmoil. A counterfactual analysis shows that without the shift in the sensitivity of sovereign bond markets to COVID-19, spreads would have surged to 4.2% in France, 12.5% in Spain, and 19.5% in Italy by March 18, when the ECB’s Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme was finally announced.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, Markets, Central Bank, COVID-19, Banking
  • Political Geography: Europe