Europe's nations and regions

Pricing and EZ membership: Evidence from Latvia

Alberto Cavallo, Brent Neiman, Roberto Rigobon, 22 August 2014

What happens to prices when a country joins a currency union, and do prices behave differently in a pegged exchange rate regime? This column sheds lights on these questions by using evidence from Latvia, whose currency was pegged to the euro before the country became a Eurozone member on 1 January 2014. The authors find that clothing retail prices in Latvia completely converged to those in other Eurozone countries.

How to jumpstart the Eurozone economy

Francesco Giavazzi, Guido Tabellini, 21 August 2014

The stagnating Eurozone economy requires policy action. This column argues that EZ leaders should agree a coordinated 5% tax cut, extension of budget deficit targets by 3 or 4 years, and issuance of long-term public debt to be purchased by the ECB without sterilisation.

The economics of density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall

Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Stephen Redding, Daniel M. Sturm, Nikolaus Wolf, 20 August 2014

Economic activity is highly unevenly distributed across space. Understanding what drives the agglomeration and dispersion is important for many economic and policy questions. This column describes a theoretical model of internal city structure incorporating agglomeration and dispersion and heterogeneity in local fundamentals. The authors use the division and reunification of Berlin as a natural experiment. Their findings show that both heterogeneity in locational fundamentals and agglomeration forces are important in shaping a city’s internal structure.

Are foreign takeovers getting domestic cherries or lemons?

Farid Toubal , Bruce Blonigen, Lionel Fontagné, Nicholas Sly, 15 August 2014

The concerns of economic nationalists about cross-border takeovers are rooted in the idea that foreign enterprises extract the most valuable assets from top performing domestic firms. Practical concerns about economic efficiency of cross-border M&A markets hinge on whether takeovers transfer underperforming domestic economic resources toward more productive uses at foreign enterprises. How then to reconcile these concerns when forming policies about cross-border activity? It’s all in the timing.

Disintegrated nations, integrated Europe: Alesina-Spolaore logic applied

Edoardo Campanella, 12 August 2014

Separatism is on the rise in Europe. This column argues that, while the Eurozone Crisis is certainly reinforcing regional tensions, the underlying causes are globalisation and the deepening of the European project. Independence campaigners want access to the larger European market, while unfettering their regions from the centralised control of national governments. Renegotiating the terms of the relationship between national and regional governments is preferable to resorting to political threats or the use of force.

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