Efficient retail payments are associated not only with lower direct costs but also with indirect benefits, and ultimately – with enhanced economic growth. This column presents research on different retail payment habits in the Eurozone. A correlation exists between the forms of payment in a country and its recent economic fortune. There are a number of methods to promote more efficient payments. The biggest challenge to increase the efficiency of retail payments in Europe is the heavy regulation and barriers to entry of new payment methods.
Iftekhar Hasan, Tuomas Takalo, Friday, January 24, 2014
Charles F Manski, Sunday, August 18, 2013
Economists usually think of taxation as inefficient. This column argues that the anti-tax rhetoric evident in much lay discussion of public policy draws considerable support from the prevalent negative language of professional economic discourse. Optimal income taxation doesn’t have to employ the pejorative concepts of inefficiency, deadweight loss and distortion; and this column argues that it is high time for economists to discard them and make analysis of taxation and public spending distortion-free.
Elke Jahn, Regina T. Riphahn, Claus Schnabel, Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Economic policymakers across Europe have sought to increase labour market flexibility by promoting the use of temporary employment. This column points to a possible trade-off between efficiency and equity when deregulating labour markets, suggesting that flexible forms of employment can be both a boon and a bane for labour markets and for society as a whole.
Xavier Freixas, Friday, September 7, 2012
Xavier Freixas talks to Viv Davies about the recent changes in the European banking resolution regime. They discuss the tension between ex ante incentives and ex post efficiency in banking. Freixas argues that the best way to analyse a bank resolution situation is to think of it as a bargaining game between the bank's shareholders and the treasury. The interview was recorded by phone on 6 September 2012.
Thomas Philippon, Friday, December 2, 2011
Has the financial industry become less efficient? This lead commentary in the Vox debate on the financial sector argues that, despite all of its fast computers and credit derivatives, the current financial system is no better at transferring funds from savers to borrowers than the financial system of 1910.
Anupam B Jena, Jonathan S Skinner, Amitabh Chandra, Sunday, June 19, 2011
How much healthcare to provide and how to pay for it are two questions at the heart of the public sector. This column argues that by using comparative effectiveness research, policymakers can better understand those healthcare initiatives that work and those that do not. In doing so, the research can give rise to the often-cited but rarely-seen efficiency gains.
Antonio Cabrales, Haydée Lugo, Monday, April 4, 2011
Are lotteries more efficient than voluntary contributions in funding public goods? The authors of CEPR DP8319 argue that they can be, as long as the lottery proceeds go to worthy causes that induce 'warm glow' altruistic preferences in lottery players.