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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: Tommaso Emiliani
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The killing of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by a US drone strike on 3 January 2020, followed by the Iranian retaliation on US military bases in Iraq, left many Europeans wondering how – if at all – the European Union can foster de-escalation in the Middle East. The EU is presently stuck between a deepening strategic rift with its US ally and its inability to advance its independent interests and policies vis-à-vis Iran. It is now clear that Europe cannot protect its relations with Washington while also salvaging the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iranian nuclear deal. Borrowing from an old Persian proverb, Europe cannot have both God and the sugar dates.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Military Affairs, Trade, Transatlantic Relations, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East, United States of America, European Union, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Frederik Stender, Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Jakob Schwab
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This study provides early ex-post empirical evidence on the effects of provisionally applied Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on two-way trade flows between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Employing the gravity model of trade, we do not find a general EPA effect on total exports from ACP countries to the EU nor on total exports from the EU to ACP countries. We do, however, find heterogeneous effects when focusing on specific agreements and economic sectors. While the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), which concluded several years ahead of the other EPAs in 2008, if anything, reduced imports from the EU overall, the provisional application of the other EPAs seems to have at least partly led to increased imports from the EU to some partner countries. More specifically, the estimation results suggest an increase in the total imports from the EU only in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) EPA partner countries. On the sectoral level, by comparison, we find increases in the EU’s agricultural exports to SADC, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the Pacific. Lastly, in the area of manufactures trade, we find decreases of exports of the ESA and SADC countries to the EU, but increases in imports from the EU into SADC countries. While this early assessment of the EPA effects merits attention given the importance of monitoring future implications of these agreements, it is still too early for a final verdict on the EPAs’ effects and future research is needed to investigate the mid- and long-term consequences of these agreements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Manufacturing, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Africa, Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, European Union
  • Author: Mahdi Ghodsi, Hüseyin Karamelikli
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: Economic sanctions are intensively used by international institutions to enforce political objectives. Since 2006 the EU has been implementing general sanctions against the whole economy of Iran, affecting their trade relations. Since 2007, and following the imposition of sanctions by the UN Security Council, the EU has also implemented smart sanctions targeting Iranian entities and natural persons associated with its military activities. In a non-linear autoregressive distributed lag (NARDL), this paper investigates the impact of general and targeted EU sanctions against Iran on quarterly bilateral trade values between the 19 members of the euro area (EA19) and Iran between the first quarter of 1999 and the fourth quarter of 2018. The results indicate that general sanctions have strongly hampered trade flows between the two trading partners. The impact of general sanctions on the total imports of the EA19 from Iran is more than four times stronger than on the total exports of the EA19 to Iran. Moreover, the EU’s general sanctions have hampered trade in almost all sectors, except for the primary sectors. Furthermore, our study finds that the impact of smart sanctions targeting Iranian entities and natural persons is much smaller than the impact of general sanctions on total trade values and the trade values of many sectors. Smart sanctions affect the exports of most sectors from the EA19 to Iran, while they are statistically insignificant for the imports of many sectors from Iran. Thus, this paper provides evidence on the motivations behind smart sanctions, which target specific individuals and entities rather than the whole economy, unlike general sanctions, which have a negative impact on ordinary people.
  • Topic: United Nations, Sanctions, Trade, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, United Nations, European Union
  • Author: Wilfried Rickels, Alexander Proelß, Oliver Geden, Julian Burhenne, Mathias Fridahl
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Under the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), operators must surrender allowances corresponding to the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from their installations. The supply of allowances in the EU ETS decreases linearly and, all else equal, is expected to end around 2057. An earlier cut-off date is likely to follow from the European Council’s recent decision that the EU should reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Scenarios published by the European Commission even anticipate a net-negative cap in the EU ETS from 2045 onwards, generated through carbon dioxide (CO2) removals. Upholding emissions trading, in the long run, therefore entails significant use of credits resulting from atmospheric CO2 removal activities. However, in its current form, the ETS Directive does not contain any legal basis for generating CO2 removal credits. Integrating CO2 removal into the EU ETS would, thus, require fundamental amendments of the ETS Directive, waiving the currently mandatory association binding emitting activities to the adoption of emission abatement technologies. The next policy window for such amendments will open in 2021, following the decision on a more ambitious EU 2030 emission reduction target. This conceptual paper explores various design options for integrating negative emissions technologies (NETs) into the EU ETS. We discuss their potential implications for emissions trading at large and address the specificity of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS); repealing the provision that installations exclusively using biomass are not covered by the ETS Directive, BE(CCS) installations could in principle fall within the scope of the ETS Directive. Theoretically, it would be possible to consider free allocation of biogenic credits to BE(CCS) installations. Bioenergy operators could avoid having to surrender these biogenic allowances through the use of CCS and instead sell them on the EU ETS market, having implicitly received credits for the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Green Technology, Trade, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: Liza Archanskaia, Johannes Van Biesebroeck, Gerald Willmann
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: We illustrate a new source of comparative advantage that is generated by countries’ different ability to adjust to technological change. Our model introduces substitution of workers in codifiable (routine) tasks with more efficient machines, a process extensively documented in the labor literature, into a canonical 2 × 2 × 2 Heckscher-Ohlin model. Our key hypothesis is that labor reallocation across tasks is subject to frictions, the importance of which varies by country. The arrival of capital-augmenting innovations triggers the movement of workers out of routine tasks, and countries with low labor market frictions become relatively abundant in non-routine labor. In the new equilibrium, more flexible countries specialize in producing goods that use non-routine labor more intensively. We document empirically that the ranking of countries with respect to the routine intensity of their exports is strongly related to labor market institutions and to cultural norms that influence adjustment to technological change, such as risk aversion or long-term orientation. The explanatory power of this mechanism for trade flows is especially strong for intra-EU trade.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Innovation, Trade, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Chad P. Bown, Jennifer A. Hillman
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The United States, the European Union, and Japan have begun a trilateral process to confront the Chinese economic model, including its use of industrial subsidies and deployment of state-owned enterprises. This paper seeks to identify the main areas of tension and to assess the legal-economic challenges to constructing new rules to address the underlying conflict. It first provides a brief history of subsidy disciplines in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization (WTO) predating any concerns introduced by China. It then describes contemporary economic problems with China’s approach to subsidies, their impact, and the apparent ineffectiveness of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures to address them. Finally, it calls for increased efforts to measure and pinpoint the source of the problems—in a manner analogous to how the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development took on agricultural subsidies in the 1980s—before providing a legal-economic assessment of proposals for reforms to notifications, evidence, remedies, enforcement, and the definition of a subsidy.
  • Topic: Economics, World Trade Organization, Tariffs, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Maciej Bałtowski, Piotr Kozarzewski
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The paper discusses the role of the state in shaping an economic system which is, in line with the welfare economics approach, capable of performing socially important functions and achieving socially desirable results. We describe this system through a set of indexes: the IHDI, the World Happiness Index, and the Satisfaction of Life index. The characteris-tics of the state are analyzed using a set of variables which describe both the quantitative (government size, various types of governmental expenditures, and regulatory burden) and qualitative (institutional setup and property rights protection) aspects of its functioning. The study examines the “old” and “new” member states of the European Union, the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe and Asia, and the economies of Latin America. The main conclusion of the research is that the institutional quality of the state seems to be the most important for creation of a socially effective economic system, while the level of state interventionism plays, at most, a secondary and often negligible role. Geographical differentiation is also discovered, as well as the lack of a direct correlation between the characteristics of an economic system and the subjective feeling of well-being. These re-sults may corroborate the neo-institutionalist hypothesis that noneconomic factors, such as historical, institutional, cultural, and even genetic factors, may play an important role in making the economic system capable to perform its tasks; this remains an area for future research.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economy, Economic Growth, State, Economic Policy, Institutions, Trade, Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, European Union
  • 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
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The approaches of the EU and India to the connectivity between Asia and Europe largely converge. Both the Union and the country emphasize the importance of maintaining the highest international standards in infrastructure projects, share similar concerns regarding China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and implement their own ambitious transregional transport projects in their respective neighbourhood. Comprehensive cooperation on connectivity may become a key element of their strategic partnership, help promote regulatory standards, and boost economic cooperation. Better connectivity between Europe and India is also in Poland’s interest.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Trade, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, South Asia, India, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Lukasz Janikowski, Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Virtual currencies are a contemporary form of private money. Thanks to their technological properties, their global transaction networks are relatively safe, transparent, and fast. This gives them good prospects for further development. However, they remain unlikely to challenge the dominant position of sovereign currencies and central banks, especially those in major currency areas. As with other innovations, virtual currencies pose a challenge to financial regulators, in particular because of their anonymity and trans-border character.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Monetary Policy, Economic Growth, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The recent wave of financial innovation, particularly innovation related to the application of information and communication technologies, poses a serious challenge to the financial industry’s business model in both its banking and non-banking components. It has already revolutionised financial services and, most likely, will continue to do so in the future. If not responded to adequately and timely by regulators, it may create new risks to financial stability, as occurred before the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. However, financial innovation will not seriously affect the process of monetary policymaking and is unlikely to undermine the ability of central banks to perform their price stability mission.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Economic Growth, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Zbigniew Polański
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This paper contrasts the impact of the 1929 and 2008 world crises on the Polish economy. Her much better performance during the recent crisis can be explained by two groups of factors: first, by very different stabilization policies and second, by distinct structural developments (resulting both from authorities' structural policies and spontaneous processes). It is emphasized that several factors responsible for Poland's superior performance during the 2008 crisis also contributed to her economic success vis-à-vis other European Union countries.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis, Economic structure, Economic Growth, Global Financial Crisis, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Robert Stehrer, Roman Stöllinger, Sandra Leitner
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Global trade patterns are changing rapidly. Emerging economies are increasing their share of exports overall and intensifying competition in nearly all sectors. Using a gravity-based approach, this report examines the future profile of European Union (EU) world market shares at the aggregate and sectoral level. It further points towards the changing patterns of trade within the EU. Based on the results, some conclusions on EU industrial policy are drawn.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Renata Karkowska
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The goal of this study is to identify empirically how country-level development, taking into account the financial and macroeconomic environment, affect the risk profiles of the banking sector in Europe. Through a dataset that covers 3,399 European banks spanning the period 1996-2011, and the methodology of panel regression, the empirical findings document the heterogeneity of banking risk determinants. I examine the implications of bank leverage that manifest itself as spreading and growing instability. The study contributes to and combines the different strands of literature and understanding of the importance of the links between the variables. It also contributes to the literature by focusing on a group of countries from Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States that have not been studied before. The extended model provides a causal link between risk in the banking sector and the growth of the financial market and macroeconomy. I apply four measures of country-level development that are available in previous studies: share of foreign ownership in the banking sector; the financial freedom index; the real growth rate; and stock market capitalization. Using these measures, I obtain different results which highlight the fact that the effect of macroeconomic and financial development on banking sector risk-taking is ambiguous.
  • Topic: Financial Markets, Economic Growth, Banks, Trade Liberalization, Macroeconomics, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, European Union
  • Author: Xavier Cuadras-Morató
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Catalonia is one of the richest regions in Spain. Until the outbreak of the international financial and economic crisis in 2008, it enjoyed a phenomenal economic boom – which then turned into a very severe depression, from which the region began to exit only in 2014. Consolidating the recovery and making the economy more competitive and resilient, and less volatile, are some of the key challenges of economic policy in Catalonia. Also, to improve the region’s social cohesion, policymakers should make sure that economic prosperity is more widely shared, and transform it into an effective tool for social progress.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Economic Growth, Social Policy, Global Financial Crisis, Economic Policy, Trade, Recovery
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Catalonia, European Union
  • Author: Aleksander Łaszek
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Poland’s structural deficit is one of the largest in the EU. While other Member States are taking action to reduce their deficits, the Polish government has not only introduced costly projects, but has also announced additional projects that will further aggravate the state of Polish public finances. The aim of maintaining the nominal deficit under 3% of GDP, as declared by the government, is insufficient because it does not leave a margin of safety in case of an economic slowdown. In the meantime, the turbulent global economy and the structural challenges the Polish economy is facing make the scenario of an economic slowdown increasingly plausible. Dr. Aleksander Łaszek evaluates the government’s current policy through the lens of the challenges that stand a head of Polish economy, and its resilience to shocks, in the new mBank-CASE Seminar Proceedings "Economic policy, the international environment and the state of Poland’s public finances: Scenarios".
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Finance, Economic Growth, Trade, Deficit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Misha V. Belkindas
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The analysis serves as the Final Report for the DG TAXUD Project 2015/CC/131, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States”, which is a follow up to the reports published in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In this report, estimates of the VAT Gap and the Policy Gap for the year 2014 are presented, as well as revised estimates for the years 2010–2013 “due to the transmission” of Eurostat national accounts from the ESA95 to the ESA10. This update covers Croatia, which was not included in the previous updates. While it was hoped that the update would also cover Cyprus, it has not been possible due to incomplete national accounts data. The VAT Gap is a measure of VAT compliance and enforcement that provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies, as well as miscalculations. It is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), which is expressed in the report in bothabsolute and relative terms. The VTTL is the theoretical tax liability according to tax law, and is estimated using a “top-down” approach.
  • Topic: Economic Growth, Tax Systems, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Croatia, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The European Central Bank (ECB) recently became engaged in macro-prudential policies and the micro-prudential supervision of the largest Euro area banks. These new tasks should help complete financial integration, and make the Euro area more resilient to financial instability risks. However, the multiplicity of mandates and instruments involves a risk of their inconsistency which could compromise the ECB’s core price-stability mandate as well as its independence. The experience of central banks during the recent global financial crisis confirms that such risks are not purely hypothetical.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, Economic Growth, Banks, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Aleksander Łaszek, Andrzej Rzońca, Andrzej Halesiak
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Growth in the European Union since the outbreak of the global financial crisis is slower (1) than before the crisis, (2) than the trend would indicate, (3) than forecast and (4) than in the United States. The factors driving its weakness lie more on the supply side than the demand side. The loss of potential output after the crisis was exacerbated by inequalities from before the crisis; fiscal stimulus from 2007-2009, increasing public expenditure despite the lack of fiscal space; excessive liquidity support for banks; and inflexibility of the market for goods at the moment the crisis broke out. The problems with growth may deepen and become permanent if social support for anti-market parties continues to grow. Extremist parties are supported by divergence among the countries of the “old” EU and the slowdown of convergence in the new member states, as well as tendencies related to inequality, in particular the reduction of households’ mobility between income groups. The 144th mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings consist of the main paper "On Economic Growth in Europe, or, The Uncertain Growth Prospects of Western Countries" by Andrzej Rzońca and Aleksander Łaszek and the commentary "Economic Growth in Western Europe: The Investment Perspective" by Andrzej Halesiak.
  • Topic: Economic Growth, Investment, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Western Europe, European Union