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  • Author: Andrew Martin
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper will be a chapter in Euros and Europeans: Monetary Integration and the European Social Model, Andrew Martin and George Ross, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2004. Over time, the impact of EMU on the European social model (ESM) is likely to depend most fundamentally on its effects on unemployment. If EMU makes possible a significant reduction in unemployment, it poses no threat to the ESM. However, EMU is likely to keep unemployment at high levels. This expectation hinges on two propositions: 1) in order to bring unemployment back down after an extended period of disinflation has kept growth below its potential and unemployment high, a period of economic growth above its long-run potential – a growth spurt – is necessary, and 2), the EMU macroeconomic policy regime, as interpreted and implemented by the ECB, blocks such a growth spurt. The first part of the paper describes the policy regime, arguing that the ECB's implementation of it so far and the bank's rationale for doing so indicate an unwillingness to permit the growth spurt needed to significantly reduce unemployment. Its rationale invokes the orthodox view that monetary policy has no long run effects on growth and employment. This view is challenged by an alternative view, described in the second part. The alternative rests mainly on an empirical analysis of cases in which disinflation was and was not followed by growth spurts during the 1980s and 1990s. Showing that in the long run unemployment was lower without higher inflation where monetary policy permitted growth spurts than where it did not, this analysis suggests that the ECB's orthodoxy is fundamentally flawed and that adherence to it will perpetuate Europe's high unemployment.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael J. Oliver, Hugh Pemberton
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite considerable interest in the means by which policy learning occurs, and in how it is that the framework of policy may be subject to radical change, the “black box” of economic policymaking remains surprisingly murky. This article utilizes Peter Hall's concept of “social learning” to develop a more sophisticated model of policy learning; one in which paradigm failure does not necessarily lead to wholesale paradigm replacement, and in which an administrative battle of ideas may be just as important a determinant of paradigm change as a political struggle. It then applies this model in a survey of UK economic policymaking since the 1930s: examining the shift to “Keynesianism” during the 1930s and 1940s; the substantial revision of this framework in the 1960s; the collapse of the “Keynesian-plus” framework in the 1970s; and the major revisions to the new “neo-liberal” policy framework in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Katerina Linos
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How can international organizations shape national welfare states? The answer depends on why national governments comply with international organization mandates. International relations scholarship offers two competing compliance models. Enforcement theories emphasize states' utilitarian calculus and predict that states' policy preferences determine implementation, while managerial theories attribute non-compliance to states' capability limitations and emphasize institutional variables. This paper examines the implementation of EU social policy directives through a new quantitative dataset and qualitative case studies of implementation in Greece and Spain. Three proxies for national social policy preferences – low labor costs, high unemployment and early national social legislation – predict implementation delays. At the same time, factors unrelated to national preferences on particular directives have at least as large an impact on timely implementation. Thus, a national bureaucracy's capacity and the absence of veto players reduce implementation delays. These findings suggest that capabilities influence compliance at least as much as preferences, but through mechanisms different from the ones emphasized in existing work. Although international organizations may not be especially successful in overcoming past policy legacies in favor of future commitments, they can reorient the axes of contestation from left-right to supra-sub national and thus shape national policies.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Iain Begg
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Although the launch of the euro went better than many expected, sluggish growth, persistent unemployment and growing disenchantment with key elements of the economic governance system have led to demands for change, especially in policy coordination. This paper examines the criticisms of economic policy in the EU and the mechanisms through which it is coordinated, and considers how the EMU policy system might be reformed. It points to problems and paradoxes in the way economic governance operates, notably those surrounding its ability to deliver a coherent policy mix that brings together monetary fiscal and supply-side policies. The paper concludes with a discussion of whether gouvernment économique might offer a way forward.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dean Baker, John Schmitt, Andrew Glyn
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the last twenty five years, there has been a sharp divergence in trends in the unemployment rate among OECD countries, with some seeing much larger increases in unemployment than others. This divergence is usually explained by institutions that lead to labor market inflexibility – generous unemployment benefits, employment protections, and strong unions – in countries with high unemployment rates. This paper examines the evidence for this view. It shows that there is no simple bivariate relationship between standard measures of labor market institutions and unemployment rates across countries. It then critically examines several of the most often cited studies that support the labor market inflexibility view. It finds that these studies present relatively weak and to some extent contradictory support for the labor market inflexibility view. Finally, the paper presents the results of a set of tests designed to replicate some of the earlier multivariate analyses with more current data. These tests consistently fail to find robust evidence to support the labor market inflexibility view.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Volker Schneider, Frank M. Häge
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Is the state on the retreat? We examine this question through an analysis of changing patterns of government involvement in infrastructure provision, which is generally considered to be one of the primary functions of the modern state. Based on an analysis of the extent of privatization of infrastructure companies between 1970 and 2000 across twenty-six OECD countries, we find that there is indeed a general trend towards less public infrastructure provision visible in all of the countries and that the main factors associated with the extent of privatizations are EU membership and government ideology. We argue that the trend of privatizing infrastructure companies was triggered by a change of the prominent economic discourse in the 1970s and that a rightist party ideology and EU membership fostered the adoption and implementation of these ideas in domestic settings.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Miguel Sebastian
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Europe has been the driving force of economic policy in Spain over the last four decades and the key factor behind the modernization and globalisation of the Spanish Economy. The accession to the EEC in 1986 was a crucial step in the process of economic and political integration.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Neugart, Donald Storrie
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A striking feature of OECD labor markets in the 1990s has been the very rapid increase of temporary agency work. We augment the equilibrium unemployment model as developed by Pissarides and Mortensen with temporary work agencies in order to focus on their role as matching intermediaries and to examine the aggregate impact on employment. Our model implies that the improvement in the matching efficiency of agencies led to the emergence and growth of temporary agency work. We also show that temporary agency work does not necessarily crowd out other jobs.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marcia Meyers, Janet Gornick
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A new model of work and family life is emerging out of contemporary debates on social citizenship and the characteristics of the “woman-friendly” welfare state. The dual-earner/ dual-carer model refers to a social and economic arrangement in which men and women engage symmetrically in both paid work in the labor market and in unpaid work in the home. Parents' ability to balance family and market responsibilities, and to allocate employment and childcare-giving equally between mothers and fathers, could be facilitated by a package of state policies. Three areas of supportive policy – all invarious states of development across Europe – include: (1) family leave schemes that provide job protections and wage replacement for parents of young children; (2) affordable, high quality early childhood education and care, to a limited extent for very young children and to a much larger extent for children aged three to school-age; and (3) labor market regulations aimed at shortening the standard work week and strengthening re-muneration for reduced-hour employment. In this paper, we review European policy provisions, and then turn our attention to the United States case. We suggest that embracing the vision of the dual-earner/ dual-carer society may help to draw diverse but unified support for family policy development in the United States.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Brian Burgoon, Phineas Baxandall
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Given the underdeveloped attention to political and policy origins of aggregate work time patterns in the work-time literature, and the lack of any significant attention to work-time in the broader comparative political economy literature, this paper has pursues a broad mandate: to bring more politics into the study of work-time, and work-time into the study of politics. Using data allowing better comparison among OECD countries, we argue that study of working time needs to consider annual hours per employee and per working-age person, shaped by a range of social as well as direct work-time policies. We also argue that union interest in work-time reduction is more ambiguous than customarily supposed, with union interests likely mediated by a range of other conditions, especially female labor market participation and female union membership. Finally, we argue that attention to party systems and policy clusters should begin with consideration of Social Democratic, Liberal and Christian Democratic worlds of work time. We support these arguments with cross-section time-series study of 18 OECD countries, and brief qualitative studies of work-time in Finland, the United States, and the Netherlands.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Netherlands