nep-eec New Economics Papers
on European Economics
Issue of 2006‒12‒04
five papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Monetary Policy before Euro Adoption: Challenges for EU New Members By Filacek, Jan; Horvath, Roman; Skorepa, Michal
  3. The Lisbon process, re-visited. A reality check of the European social model. By Tausch, Arno
  4. The Role of External Auditors and International Accounting Bodies in Financial Regulation and Supervision. By Ojo, Marianne
  5. Long-term labour productivity and GDP projections for the EU25 Member States : a production function framework By Carone, Giuseppe; Denis, Cécile; Mc Morrow, Kieran; Mourre, Gilles; Röger, Werner

  1. By: Filacek, Jan; Horvath, Roman; Skorepa, Michal
    Abstract: This article analyzes the main issues for monetary policy in new EU member states before their euro adoption. These are typically rooted in the challenge of fulfilling concurrently of the Maastricht inflation and exchange rate criterion, as these countries are experiencing equilibrium real exchange rate appreciation. In this article we first distinguish between the wording, written interpretation and “revealed” interpretation of the inflation and exchange rate criteria. Then we discuss the options for monetary policy in the period of fulfilment of these criteria in terms of its transparency, its continuity with the previous monetary policy regime, the choice of central parity for the ERM II, the setting of the fluctuation bandwidth, the probability of fulfilment of both criteria and the impact on economic stability.
    Keywords: monetary policy; euro adoption; ERM II; EU
    JEL: E58 F42 F33 E52
    Date: 2006–09–25
  2. By: Chilosi, Alberto
    Abstract: The paper considers the status of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the light of the new Financial Perspective 2007-2013. Even if in theory the ENP could have been a valid substitute for enlargement, it does not seem to have reached its aim of providing the perspective of a real substitute for full membership. Considering the figures of the new Financial Perspective 2007-2013, the issue of market access, and the internal power dynamics of the EU, we see that it is hardly conceivable that the ENP could ever give to its neighbours the same economic advantages that membership gives to the poorer members of the EU. The consideration of some related basic issues of EU institutional reform concludes the paper.
    Keywords: European Union; Neighbourhood Policy; market access; enlargement; Financial Perspective
    JEL: F59
    Date: 2006–11–25
  3. By: Tausch, Arno
    Abstract: This article portrays a bleak picture of European realities. Analyzing world social, gender, ecological and economic development on the basis of the main 9 predictors, compatible with the majority of the more than 240 published studies on the cross-national determinants of the “human condition” around the globe, we first present results of 32 equations about development performance in 131 countries with available data. We come to the conclusion that while there is some confirmation for the “blue”, market paradigm as the best and most viable way of world systems governance concerning economic growth, re-distribution and gender issues, the “red-green” counter-position is confirmed concerning such vital and basic indicators as life expectancy and the human development index. We also show that Europe’s crisis is not caused by what the neo-liberals term a “lack of world economic openness” but rather, on the contrary, by the enormous amount of passive globalization that Europe – together with Latin America – experienced over recent years. Our combined measure of the velocity of the globalization process is based on the increases of capital penetration over time, on the increases of economic openness over time, and on the decreases of the comparative price level over time: the United States, Mexico, larger parts of Africa and large sections of West and South Asia escaped from the combined pressures of globalization, while Eastern and Southern Latin America, very large parts of Europe, Russia and China were characterized by a specially high tempo of globalization. The “wider Europe” of the EU-25 is not too distantly away from the social realities of the more advanced Latin American countries. From the viewpoint of world systems theory such tendencies are not a coincidental movement along the historic ups and downs of social indicators, but the very symptom of a much more deep-rooted crisis, which is the beginning of the real re-marginalization and re-peripherization of the European continent. We finally also show the relevance of these assumptions for the analysis of European regional inequality. Established economics teaches us that for economic gaps to be bridged, a process of convergence sets in that was described by Bela Balassa and Paul Samuelson, independently from each other, more than 4 decades ago, and which is called ever since the “Balassa-Samuelson effect”. But a reversal of what was once known as the Balassa/Samuelson effect has set in, with falling prices of non-tradables in the highly developed European center countries. Our macro-quantitative calculations show that considering other important intervening factors, like development levels and human capital formation, the ultraliberal thinking inherent in the recent “Bolkestein directive” that should lead to a considerable lowering of price levels in the formerly “non-tradable” sectors of services in Europe would be certainly compatible with some aspects of growth and better employment (and thus also gender relations), but our three main other indicators of globalization, i.e. high foreign saving, “economic freedom” and high MNC penetration ratios, are still very systematically linked with severe deficits in the social sphere, whatever the research design chosen. And in addition, powerful forces of agglomeration propel Europe in the direction of further regional income concentration and inequality, thus blocking the hopes of the poorer segments of the East European new member countries. A process of catching up development seems under these conditions a very remote hope indeed.
    Keywords: Cross-Section Models; Income Distribution; Prices; Business Fluctuations; and Cycles – General; International Economic Order; Inequality; Economic Integration: General
    JEL: F15 C21 F5
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Ojo, Marianne
    Abstract: The emergence of powerful financial conglomerates operating at a global level has led to unified supervision of financial services in the UK and Germany. These changes in regulatory structures have a higher potential of better utilisation through the involvement of external auditors. The crucial role played by external auditors in banking regulation and supervision has been highlighted in bank collapses like BCCI and Barings. According to the Basel Core Principles for effective Banking Supervision 1997, an effective banking supervisory system should consist of both “on-site” and “off-site” supervision. Off-site supervision involves the regulator making use of external auditors. On-site work is usually done by the examination staff of the bank supervisory agency or commissioned by supervisors but may be undertaken by external auditors. Following Enron's collapse, debates focussed around why the UK had avoided its Enron. Many argued that it was because the US approach to accounting regulation was rules-based in comparison to the principles-based system of the UK . In addition to adopting an independent standard setting, the International Accounting Standards Board's second principle is aimed at principles as opposed to rules based standards. All public trading companies in the European Union would have to apply new international standards from 2005 in consolidated financial statements ( EC Regulation 1606/2002) and huge efforts are now being made towards global convergence.
    Keywords: international; accounting; organisations; external; auditor; financial; supervision
    JEL: M4
    Date: 2006–03
  5. By: Carone, Giuseppe; Denis, Cécile; Mc Morrow, Kieran; Mourre, Gilles; Röger, Werner
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of long run labour productivity and GDP growth rate projections (until 2050) for each of the 25 EU Member States and provides a detailed overview of the forecast methodology used. These projections were undertaken in order to provide an internationally comparable macroeconomic framework against which to assess the potential economic and fiscal effects of ageing populations. The projections presented in this paper, using a common production function methodology for all 25 countries, show the GDP growth rate effects of an assumptions-driven extrapolation of recent trends in employment and labour productivity. These base case projections reflect the working assumption of “no policy change”.Various sensitivity tests are carried out to check the GDP per capita impact of some factors which have been excluded from the baseline scenario for reasons of simplicity or because of a lack of consensus in the academic literature. Some of the interesting conclusions that emerge from these sensitivity tests include : • Firstly, the GDP per capita impact of changes in the participation rate assumption used in the projections is much greater than for assumed changes in the share of part-time employment (i.e. in average hours worked per worker). • Secondly, the negative effect of a change in the age-structure of the population is fairly limited, although it is accepted that the labour productivity of an individual is likely to decline after the age of 55. A very strong fall in the productivity of older workers compared with that of prime-age workers would be required to significantly depress total labour productivity. Such an outcome, on the basis of current evidence, appears rather unlikely. • Thirdly, changing the TFP growth rate targets (e.g. use of the 1990’s average instead of the long-term 1970-2004 average) could strongly affect the projections. • Finally, an assumption of productivity convergence in levels substantially alters the projections for most EU10 countries but leaves the EU15 almost unchanged. JEL classific
    Keywords: Productivity; ageing; long-term projections; production function; labour productivity; older workers
    JEL: J1 O47 J21 H55 J26 D24
    Date: 2006–08

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