EU policies

Paolo Manasse, 27 January 2015

This column discusses and evaluates the new guidelines issued by the European Commission regarding the Stability and Growth Pact. These do not change the existing rules, but work to improve transparency, encourage fiscal discipline, and underline that fiscal adjustments should vary based on the circumstances a country finds itself to be in. But by operating within to the existing rules, the new guidelines conform to austerity bias and complexity of implementation.

Paolo Manasse, 27 January 2015

With the large Syriza victory in Greece, thoughts turn to forthcoming debt restructuring talks. This column argues that Greece is unlikely to get a large restructuring. Using a Rubinstein bargain approach to generate a back-of-the-envelope estimate, Greece would get some breathing room but not much. Rather than running a structural primary surplus of the order of 5% of potential output, as envisaged in the IMF projection, Greece could get away with a number close to 3.75%.

Philip R. Lane, 26 January 2015

There has been spectacular growth in cross-border financial linkages over the last 20 years.  Moreover, boom-bust cycles in international financial flows have contributed to financial instability and financial crises in a number of countries. While the coverage of international financial datasets has sharply improved in recent years, this column introduces CEPR Policy Insight 77, explaining that the currently available data lacks the detailed information (in particular, the matrix of cross-border sectoral exposures) to provide a sufficient basis for risk surveillance and monitoring. Accordingly, a high priority for policymakers is to implement current proposals to improve the scope and quality of international financial data.

Johannes Stroebel, Joseph Vavra, 26 January 2015

Rising prices have long been a concern of monetary policymakers due to wealth effects on spending. This column presents evidence that local demand effects from  house price increases result in significant local price inflation. Households living in locations with rapidly increasing real estate prices will also face rapidly increasing costs of goods purchased in local stores.

Emily Nix, Nancy Qian, 26 January 2015

Race is usually treated as a fixed, exogenous characteristic in academic studies and policy discussions, but a growing body of evidence calls this assumption into question. This column presents evidence from historical US census data that more than 19% of black males ‘passed’ as white, around 10% of whom later ‘reverse-passed’ to being black. Passing was associated with geographic relocation and with better political-economic and social opportunities for whites relative to blacks, providing prima facie evidence that passing was endogenous.

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