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  • 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: Martin Ademmer, Nils Jannsen, Saskia Mösle
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: In this paper, we exploit exogenous variation in navigability of the Rhine river to analyze the impact of weather-related supply shocks on economic activity in Germany. Our analysis shows that low water levels lead to transportation disruptions that cause a significant and economically meaningful decrease of economic activity. In a month with 30 days of low water, industrial production in Germany declines by about 1 percent, ceteris paribus. Our analysis highlights the importance of extreme weather events for business cycle analysis and contributes to gauging the costs of extreme weather events in advanced economies. Furthermore, we provide a specific example for an idiosyncratic supply shock to a small sector that amplifies to an economically meaningful effect at the macroeconomic level.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Supply Chains, Weather
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Andreas Backhaus
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the potential for skilled labor migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe. It utilizes representative surveys from Ghana and Kenya to shed light on the quality and distribution of skills in the labor markets of these countries. Skills in both countries are found to be unevenly distributed, with significant parts of the labor force being essentially unskilled. Similarly designed surveys from France, Germany, and the UK further allow comparing skills and formal education between the African and the European countries. On average, the labor force in the sub-Saharan African countries is less skilled and less educated than the European labor force. Importantly, even at the same levels of formal education, workers in Ghana and Kenya are substantially less skilled than workers in Europe. The paper further considers a number of hypothetical scenarios for skilled labor migration from the African to the European countries. It is demonstrated that the European countries would have to recruit workers from the very top end of the African skill distribution to match European demands for skills. In turn, the average worker from the African labor markets would fit only into the low end of the European skill distribution where employment rates are low. Hence, more regular and skilled labor migration from African countries will unlikely be a remedy for skill shortages in Europe unless migrants are positively selected on their skills. In that case, however, additional opportunities for skilled labor migration would risk a brain drain from African countries that could harm economic development there. Improving the quality of education in sub-Saharan Africa on a broad scale remains indispensable for mutually beneficial migration between Africa and Europe.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Migration, Labor Issues, Migrant Workers, Skilled Labor
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Europe, Ghana, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Gregory Claeys
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Memo to the president of the European Central Bank. Grégory Claeys, Maria Demertzis and Francesco Papadia present the challenges that the next ECB president will face during the upcoming mandate, reinventing monetary policy in a system riddled with uncertainties.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Balternsperger
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This report, requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, analyses the EU’s potential to be a global centre of excellence for research as a driver of its future growth in a complex global S&T landscape, and how EU public resources can contribute to this
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia Hamann, Sara Jakob
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: For many young people in France, President Macron’s reforms failed to alleviate their social anxieties. Unemployment remains high, employment conditions precarious, and what started as a protest against new fuel taxes quickly spilled over to other reform areas including social policy. Macron will need to gain the youngsters’ trust ahead of the European Parliament election – not least because its outcome will decisively shape his domestic credibility, and consequently, his political fate
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Lindsay Gorman
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: pal story of 1989 in Europe is a story about technology – of radio and information crossing the East-West divide to bring down the Berlin Wall. Indeed, the post-communist narrative became that more connectivity and more connection meant more freedom and more democracy. It was on the wave of this narrative that the Internet became the world’s ultimate connector.1 It has brought globalization and international commerce in an unprecedented and unimaginable way, given activists a platform and a megaphone, and made information about democratic governance available to anyone with a router. Or almost anyone.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Science and Technology, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Joseph Halevi
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: The paper highlights the position of German authorities, showing that they were quite lucid about the fundamental weaknesses inherent in a process that separated monetary from fiscal policies by giving priority to the centralization of the former. Instead of repeating the well known critiques levelled against the EMU – for which readers are referred to the unsurpassed treatment by Stiglitz, the essay highlights the splintering of Europe in the way in which it has unfolded during the 1990s and in the first decade of the present millennium. In particular the early economic and political origins of the terminal crisis of Italy are located between the late 1980s and the 1990s. France is shown to belong increasingly to the so-called European periphery by virtue of a weakening industrial structure and persistent balance of payments deficits. The paper argues that France regains its central role by political means and through its weight as an active nuclear military power centered on maintaining its imperial interests and posture especially in Africa. The first decade of the present millennium is portrayed as the period in which a distinct German economic area had been formed in the midst of Europe with a strong drive to the east with an increasingly powerful gravitational pull towards the People’s Republic of China.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Political Economy, History, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Asia, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Martin T. Braml, Gabriel Felbermayr
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: The world runs a trade surplus with itself: Exporters report larger values of exports than what importers report as imports. This is a logically impossible but well known empirical fact. Less well known, in recent years, more than 80 percent of the global surplus is a trade surplus that the EU has with itself. In this paper, we show that this self-surplus of the EU amounts to a striking 307 billion Euro in 2018. It persists in goods, services, and secondary income accounts. It also exists within the Euro Area, and is strongest between neighboring countries. Around the 2004 Eastern Enlargement the EU’s self-surplus quadrupled. Balance of payments data from the United Kingdom appear highly distorted. We argue that the phenomenon is not only due to measurement error. Rather, a large fraction of the EU’s self-surplus puzzle seems related to fraud in value added tax. The loss in tax income could amount to as much as 64 billion Euro per year.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, European Union, Trade, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrea Maccanico
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EU is involved in economic diplomacy since the establishment of the Single Market and the ensuing negotiations for trade and economic partnership agreements conducted by the EU’s Directorate-General for Trade (DG Trade) for all EU member states (MSs). European economic diplomacy (EED) is a new EU venture that aims to improve the coordination between EU institutions and MSs in an effort to enhance their economic and trade relations and strengthen their ability to compete with major countries such as the US, China and Russia.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Governance, Institutions, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union