nep-eec New Economics Papers
on European Economics
Issue of 2010‒03‒13
nine papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Analysis of Shocks Affecting Europe: EMU and some Central and Eastern Acceding Countries By Nabil Ben Arfa
  2. Trade, instititutions and export specialization. By Crabbé, Karen; Beine, Michel
  3. European Integration and Social Convergence: A Qualitative Appraisal By Nicole Attia; Valr0069e Br0065nger
  4. On the institutional design of burden sharing when financing external border enforcement in the EU By Claus-Jochen Haake; Tim Krieger; Steffen Minter
  5. Learning from Latin America's Experience: Europe's Failure in the "Lisbon Process" By Tausch, Arno; Heshmati, Almas
  6. The Effect of Foreign Investments on European Regional Productivity By Davide Castellani; Fabio Pieri
  7. The Financial Crisis and the Regulation of Credit Rating Agencies: A European Banking Perspective By Utzig, Siegfried
  8. GDP nowcasting with ragged-edge data: a semi-parametric modeling By Laurent Ferrara; Dominique Guegan; Patrick Rakotomarolahy
  9. In Search of a Method for Measuring the Output Gap of the Swedish Economy By Hjelm, Göran; Jönsson, Kristian

  1. By: Nabil Ben Arfa (University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis; Faculty of Law, Political Science, Economic and Management; C.E.M.A.F.I; Macroeconomics and International Finance Center)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the synchronization of business cycles and economic shocks between the euro area and acceding countries. We therefore extract the business cycle component of output by using Hodrick-Prescott filter. Supply and demand shocks are recovered from estimated structural VAR models of output growth and inflation using long run restriction (Blanchard and Quah). We then check the (A) symmetry of these shocks by calculating the correlation between euro area shocks and those of the different acceding countries. We find that several acceding countries have a quite high correlation of demand shocks with the euro area however supply shocks are asymmetric; the correlation between euro area and central and east European countries (CEECs) is negative. We therefore conclude that joining the European Monetary Union is not yet possible: central and east European countries have to make structural changes to join the European Monetary Union.
    Keywords: Central and East European countries, Euro area, SVAR models, Hodrick- Prescott filter, Symmetric-asymmetric shocks
    JEL: E32 F42
    Date: 2009–03
  2. By: Crabbé, Karen; Beine, Michel
    Abstract: This paper studies whether trade integration between the EU15 and Central Europe has led to more export specialization in Central Europe. Moreover, we analyze the impact of institutional reforms in Central Europe on export specialization. The empirical analysis is set up for thirteen Central European countries over the period 1989-2000. Our results indicate that a reduction in tariffs between EU15 and Central Europe led to increased export specialization in Central Europe. In addition to trade integration, we show that institutional reforms and in particular enterprise reforms contributed to export specialization.
    Keywords: trade integration; tariffs; Herfindahl index; exports; institutions;
    Date: 2009–03–24
  3. By: Nicole Attia (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CEMAFI (Centre dEtudes en Macroc006fnomie et Finance Internationale)); Valr0069e Br0065nger (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CEMAFI (Centre dEtudes en Macroc006fnomie et Finance Internationale))
    Abstract: Although with the Maastricht Treaty, European construction took a remarkable step forward, the robust pillar of the single currency started to shake the other one: the social welfare systems. The main goal of this contribution is to study the evolution of Social Protection in Europe by questioning the existence of a convergence between the different social welfare systems and the impact of the Treaty of Maastricht on this process. The evolution of the social protection concept in Europe, the reforms implemented in the most important domains of social protection: pensions, health and employment are analyzed. A common philosophy clearly appears. The welfare State is receding, calling more and more upon market mechanisms. Furthermore, the traditional binary typology is changing and countries are becoming more similar in their financing methods. We can thus say that a process of social convergence seems well and truly underway in the European Union.
    Keywords: Welfare-state, Social welfare, Convergence, European Union
    JEL: H53 O52 I38
    Date: 2009–03
  4. By: Claus-Jochen Haake (University of Paderborn); Tim Krieger (University of Paderborn); Steffen Minter (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: Illegal immigration affects not only EU member states at the Mediterranean Sea but also more Northern states due to open internal borders and onward migration. Northern member states may free-ride on border countries’ enforcement efforts, leading to a sub-optimal level of border control. While neither a centralized nor a coordinated policy appears to be feasible, we show that employing an expected externality mechanism leads to voluntary preference revelation with respect to immigration policy under several (but not all) scenarios. This policy measure requires, however, the EU Commission to take on a very active role as moderator between member states, which at the same time must accept the Commission to play this role.
    Keywords: illegal migration, immigration policy, border enforcement, interregional transfers, European Union, expected externality mechanism
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2010–01
  5. By: Tausch, Arno (University of Innsbruck); Heshmati, Almas (Seoul National University)
    Abstract: The current paper investigates the cross-national relevance of Latin American "dependencia theory" for five dimensions of development (democracy and human rights, environment, human development and basic human needs satisfaction, gender justice, redistribution, growth and employment) on a global scale. It tries to confront the very basic pro-globalist assumptions of the "Lisbon process", the policy target of the European leaders since the EU's Lisbon Council meeting in March 2000 to make Europe the leading knowledge-based economy in the world with a "Latin American perspective". A realistic and politically useful analysis of the "Lisbon process" has to be a "Schumpeterian" approach. First, we analyze the "Lisbon performance" of the world economy by multivariate, quantitative means, looking into the possible contradictions that might exists between the dependent insertion into the global economy and other goals of the "Lisbon process". Dependency from the large, transnational corporations, as correctly predicted by Latin American social science of the 1960s and 1970s, emerges as one of the most serious development blockades, confronting Europe. Secondly, we analyze European regional performance since the 1990s in order to know whether growth and development in Europe spread evenly among the different regions of the continent. It emerges that dependency from the large transnational corporations is incompatible with a balanced, regional development. Finally, we discuss cross-national and historical lessons learned from the views of dependency and Schumpeterian perspectives for current policy-making in Europe, and opt for an industrial policy approach in the tradition of former EU-Commission President (1985-1995) Jacques Delors.
    Keywords: Lisbon process, European Union, Latin America, Dependency theory
    JEL: J01 O52 O54 P50
    Date: 2010–02
  6. By: Davide Castellani; Fabio Pieri
    Abstract: Differences in productivity among regions have been mainly attributed to agglomeration economies, technology and human capital, while almost no evidence has been provided on the role of internationalization. In this paper we build unique measures of outward and inward foreign direct investment (FDI) counts at the NUTS 2 level and we assess the relationship between regional productivity and foreign investments in the Enlarged Europe. Regions with larger flows of foreign investment projects show higher productivity levels, but this correlation fades down as we control for a set of relevant regional characteristics. However, inward and outward FDIs exert a positive and significant effect on regional productivity growth. We also find that the type of investment matters. In particular, inward and outward investments in R&D have a positive effect on regional productivity, while incoming investments in Sales activities are detrimental for productivity growth..
    Keywords: Regional productivity, foreign investments, Europe.
    JEL: F23 O47 O52 R11
    Date: 2010–02–01
  7. By: Utzig, Siegfried (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Credit rating agencies (CRAs) bear some responsibility for the financial crisis that started in 2007 and remains ongoing. This is acknowledged by policymakers, market participants, and by the agencies themselves. It soon became clear that, given the depth of the crisis, CRAs would not be able to satisfy policymakers by eliminating flaws in their rating methods and improving corporate governance. Although the CRAs were more or less unregulated before the outbreak of the financial crisis, after the crisis started, politicians became increasingly vocal in demanding regulation. Initially, these demands were confined to a more binding form of self-regulation. But as the crisis progressed, the calls for state regulation grew ever louder. It became apparent after the November 2008 G-20 summit in Washington that state regulation could no longer be avoided. <p>In Europe, the course had been set in this direction even before then. Since European policymakers saw the crisis as evidence that the Anglo-Saxon approach to the financial markets had failed, they believed they were now strongly placed to have a decisive influence on shaping a new international financial order. It is remarkable to note the shift in European policy from a self-regulatory approach, which was comparatively liberal in international terms, to quite rigorous state regulation of CRAs. Both the European Commission and the European Parliament drew up far-reaching plans. Although European policymakers knew that only globally consistent regulation would be appropriate for a new world financial order, their initial draft legislation was geared more toward stand-alone European regulation. While the final version of the European Union Regulation on Credit Rating Agencies focuses firmly on the European arena, the key point for all market participants is that this is unlikely to have an adverse effect on the global ratings market. It must nevertheless be recognized that the scope of the selected regulatory approach is extremely narrow. Certainly, it has the potential to improve the corporate governance of CRAs and prevent conflicts of interests. But it can do nothing to address the repeated calls for greater competition or for CRAs to be made liable for their ratings.
    Keywords: regulation credit rating agencies; europe credit rating agency; european bank financial crisis; financial crisis; credit rating agency
    JEL: G18 G21 G24
    Date: 2010–01–26
  8. By: Laurent Ferrara (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Banque de France - Business Conditions and Macroeconomic Forecasting Directorate); Dominique Guegan (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Patrick Rakotomarolahy (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: This paper formalizes the process of forecasting unbalanced monthly datasets in order to obtain robust nowcasts and forecasts of quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate through a semi-parametric modeling. This innovative approach lies in the use of non-parametric methods, based on nearest neighbors and on radial basis function approaches, to forecast the monthly variables involved in the parametric modeling of GDP using bridge equations. A real-time experience is carried out on euro area vintage data in order to anticipate, with an advance ranging from 6 to 1 months, the GDP flash estimate for the whole zone.
    Keywords: euro area GDP • real-time nowcasting • forecasting • non-parametric methods
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Hjelm, Göran (National Institute of Economic Research); Jönsson, Kristian (National Institute of Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper describes and evaluates measures of trend (or potential) output in order to improve the measuring and understanding of the current state of the Swedish economy. The target group of the paper is primarily policy makers and analysts in Sweden and international organisations who study the Swedish economy and give recommendations concerning appropriate stabilization policies. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the ones of neither the National Institute of Economic Research nor the Ministry of Finance.
    Date: 2010–02–01

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