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Policy Contribution

In sickness and in health: protecting and supporting public investment in Europe

The long-term decline in gross public investment in European Union countries mirrors the trend in other advanced economies, but recent developments have been different: public investment has increased elsewhere, but in the EU it has declined and even collapsed in the most vulnerable countries, exaggerating the output fall.

By: and Date: February 7, 2014 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The provisions in the EU fiscal framework to support public investment are very weak.The recently inserted ‘investment clause’ is almost no help. In the short term, exclusion of national co-funding of EU-supported investments from the fiscal indicators considered in the Stability and Growth Pact would be sensible.

In the medium term, the EU fiscal framework should be extended with an asymmetric ‘golden rule’ to further protect public investment in bad times, while limiting adverse incentives in good times. During a downturn, a European investment programme is needed and the European Semester should encourage greater investment by member states with healthy public finances and low public investment rates. Reform and harmonisation of budgeting, accounting, transparency and project assessment is also needed to improve the quality of public investment.

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Blog Post

Understanding (the lack of) German public investment

An array of data suggests that there is a general lack of investment by all branches of the German government, despite running budget surpluses for several years. This blog post plots the progression of the public investment problem, and explores which regions, which sectors, and which levels of government have been most affected.

By: Alexander Roth and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 19, 2018
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Upcoming Event

Jul
2
12:00

Assessing the EU’s fiscal architecture: a presentation by the European Fiscal Board

This event will discuss the 2019 Fiscal Stance, which assesses the current macroeconomic situation and offers advice for the future.

Speakers: Niels Thygesen, Agnès Bénassy-Quéré and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Opinion

Fiscal rules and the role of the Commission

The proposals on fiscal frameworks and rules in the recent CEPR Policy Insight on euro-area reform showcase the multiple dimensions of the fundamental dilemmas we are confronted with in the governance of the euro area. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on Euro Area Reform, looks at the challenges to the central role of the Commission that have arisen as the rules-based fiscal framework has been severely compromised.

By: Thomas Wieser Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 22, 2018
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Opinion

Greece must capitalise on its growth momentum

Better-than-expected growth performance reflects the underlying positive changes in the Greek economy – but net investment is in fact negative, while Greece has various institutional weaknesses. Further improvements must be made regarding Greece’s attractiveness to foreign direct investment. A new (at least precautionary) financial assistance programme would improve trust in continued reforms and also address eventual public debt financing difficulties.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 26, 2018
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Opinion

Will U.S. tax reform lure U.S. companies away from China?

What will be the results of the changes to the U.S. tax system in China? Will the new U.S. corporate tax rate cause Chinese firms to shift their operations to the U.S. to enjoy the new tax benefits? Read Alicia García-Herrero's opinion on President Donald Trump’s tax reform.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 26, 2018
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Opinion

China's “matryoshka” approach for debt-to-equity swaps could be good for banks, but bad for investors

The Chinese banking sector has enhanced its clean-up mechanism by introducing debt-to-equity swaps for the resolution of problem loans. While this allows banks to offload their stressed assets at a very low cost, it does not prevent banks’ exposure when we look closer at the so-called "state-owned funds" who are shareholders in the debt-to-equity swaps.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Gary Ng Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: March 8, 2018
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External Publication

Reconciling risk sharing with market discipline: A constructive approach to euro area reform

This publication, written by a group of independent French and German economists, proposes six reforms which, if delivered as a package, would improve the Eurozone’s financial stability, political cohesion, and potential for delivering prosperity to its citizens, all while addressing the priorities and concerns of participating countries.

By: Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Markus K. Brunnermeier, Henrik Enderlein, Emmanuel Farhi, Marcel Fratzscher, Clemens Fuest, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Philippe Martin, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Hélène Rey, Isabel Schnabel, Nicolas Véron, Beatrice Weder di Mauro and Jeromin Zettelmeyer Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 17, 2018
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Blog Post

Why US investors earn more on their foreign assets than Germans

The United States benefits from large yields on its foreign assets relative to foreign liabilities, while in most continental European countries foreign assets and liabilities yield almost the same. Risk factors can explain only a small part of this difference; tax, intellectual property and financial sophistication issues might contribute to the high yields on US foreign assets.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: December 1, 2017
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Policy Brief

Beyond the Juncker and Schäuble visions of euro-area governance

Two diametrically opposed visions of the euro-area architecture have been put forward. Departing from both Juncker’s and Schäuble’s proposals, the author identifies new ideas to develop the euro-area governance

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: December 1, 2017
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Working Paper

Returns on foreign assets and liabilities: exorbitant privileges and stabilising adjustments

Large stock of foreign assets and liabilities could foster international risk diversification. US, British and Japanese investors earn high yields on FDI assets, which might also relate to tax, intellectual property and financial sophistication issues. Valuation changes on net foreign assets had a stabilising impact.

By: Zsolt Darvas and Pia Hüttl Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: November 29, 2017
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Past Event

Past Event

An independent assessment of the EU’s fiscal framework: a presentation by the European Fiscal Board

This event will feature a presentation of the European Fiscal Board.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Mateusz Szczurek and Niels Thygesen Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: November 6, 2017
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Past Event

Past Event

Fiscal aspects of the Energy Transition

Relative prices of different energy carriers are affected by a number of fiscal instruments. At this event, we will hold a discussion on, how fiscal instruments can be adjusted to better accommodate the energy transition.

Speakers: Jos Delbeke, Karen Pittel, Ian Parry, Gregor Pett and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 17, 2017
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