Rethinking African solar power for Europe

Emanuele Massetti, Elena Ricci, 23 July 2014

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The DESERTEC Foundation has suggested that up to 20% of power demand in Europe can be obtained by connecting African deserts to European cities (Figure 1). The idea is to build a large number of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants in Middle Eastern and Northern African (MENA) countries, and to transmit electricity to Europe by means of very efficient high-voltage direct-current cables.

Topics: Energy, Environment
Tags: Africa, climate change, concentrated solar power, deserts, energy security, Europe, Middle East, photovoltaic, Renewable energy, solar, wind

European banks: Between a rock (need of more capital) and a hard place (low profitability)

Marco Onado, 23 February 2014

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The financial crisis has put to the forefront the long-debated issue of banks’ capital adequacy, showing that banks were much more fragile than they (and their regulators) pretended, also because they were allowed to push their leverage to levels much higher than any industrial company, or even a hedge fund, has never dreamt of.

Topics: Global crisis
Tags: bank leverage, Europe, post-crisis equilibrium

Clarifying the debate about deflation concerns

Mickey Levy, 21 February 2014

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A common theme among many economic policymakers, financial market participants, and the media is that rich industrialised nations face a high risk of deflation, and that deflation always harms economic performance and so must be combatted with aggressive macroeconomic stimulus. Such broad assessments are misleading, and under certain circumstances may lead to misguided policies.

Topics: Global crisis, Monetary policy
Tags: deflation, disinflation, Europe, eurozone, Japan, quantitative easing, US

Efficient retail payments: An untapped source for reviving growth in Europe?

Iftekhar Hasan, Tuomas Takalo, 24 January 2014

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Retail payments are an inherent part of most adults’ daily life in Europe. But promotion of efficient retail payments is seldom an inherent part of European growth agendas. It should be.

Topics: Microeconomic regulation, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: economic growth, efficiency, Europe, retail

Scrapping subsidies during the Global Crisis – Evidence from Europe

Nina Leheyda, Frank Verboven, 5 December 2013

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Many governments around the world have introduced scrapping schemes during the last financial and economic crisis. In Europe, they were especially popular during the year 2009. Governments aimed to counteract the sharply declining demand for cars, while at the same time promoting cleaner cars with lower CO2 emissions.

Topics: Environment
Tags: Cash for clunkers, Europe, global crisis, scrapping subsidies

Public investments for long-term economic growth: the case of health

Michael Stolpe, 22 March 2013

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Crisis or not, healthcare cries out for large-scale public investments that lock in what appears to be an historic trough in government borrowing costs in many of the world’s advanced countries.

Topics: Health economics
Tags: Ageing, Europe, investment, Japan, US

European labour-market reform

John Driffill, 8 March 2013

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Unemployment continues to rise in the Eurozone and is increasingly drawing attention to its sluggish labour markets. There is a lingering suspicion that these markets are not flexible enough; that wage growth (real and in money terms) does not respond sufficiently to unemployment.

Topics: Europe's nations and regions, Labour markets
Tags: EU, Europe, unemployment

Investigating the effect of exchange-rate changes in Japan, China, east Asia, and Europe

Willem Thorbecke, 26 February 2013

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Policymakers are concerned about currency wars and competitive devaluations. Many complain that trading partners are artificially lowering their exchange rates through quantitative easing and managed exchange rates in order to gain price competitiveness for their exporters.

Topics: Exchange rates
Tags: China, Europe, Eurozone crisis, Japan, US

Youth unemployment in Europe: More complicated than it looks

Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, 13 October 2012

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Hardly a day goes by without a reminder of youth unemployment rates in excess of 50% in Greece, Spain, Italy, and other parts of the European periphery. Sometimes the reminders are in the form of rants by economists or pundits about the moral deficiency of EZ demands for austerity and the risks of a lost generation of young people.

Topics: Labour markets, Macroeconomic policy, Poverty and income inequality
Tags: Europe, jobs, US, youth unemployment

On work hours in the US and Europe

Hans Holter, Indraneel Chakraborty, Serhiy Stepanchuk, 18 May 2012

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According to recent research, Americans work 30% more than Europeans (Prescott 2004 and Rogerson 2006). This was not the case in early 1970s when Western Europeans worked more than Americans. What accounts for the large differences between countries today?

Topics: Frontiers of economic research, Labour markets
Tags: America, divorce, Europe, inactivity, Labour force participation, taxes, work

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