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Blueprint

An anatomy of inclusive growth in Europe

This Blueprint offers an in-depth analysis of inequalities of income and wealth in the EU, as well as their causes and consequences. How evenly are the benefits of growth distributed in our economies, and what does this mean for fairness and social mobility? How could and should policymakers react?

By: and Date: October 27, 2016 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Key findings

Contrary to many perceptions, income inequality in the EU has fallen over the past two decades. In the EU as a whole, and in most EU members, absolute poverty is rare and income inequality is low. Strong welfare states have offered protection against inequality.

However, income inequality has in some cases increased, measured on a country-by-country basis. Unemployment remains high in a number of member states, while the intergenerational divide between the young and the old has widened. Social mobility is weak, in particular in the more unequal economies of southern Europe, limiting opportunities for the children of poor and disadvantaged families.

High inequality can fuel political disenchantment, and may have played a part in the Brexit vote. High inequality and poverty can boost protest votes in referenda and elections.

Technological change and robotisation will not necessarily increase inequality. However, many routine physical and cognitive tasks will be automated, and workers will need creative and social skills.

The link between education and income is weaker in Europe than the USA. In most EU countries, the “skills premium” associated with higher levels of education is falling. However, there is a strong link between family wealth and children’s educational attainment – especially in more unequal countries.

It is national governments, not the EU, who can plausibly act. Inclusive growth needs to be at the top of the policy agenda, but relevant powers in welfare and education are largely at national level.

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Parliamentary Testimony

European Parliament

Combating inequalities as a lever to boost job creation and growth

This presentation was delivered in Brussels at the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) of the European Parliament on 29 May 2017.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Parliament, Testimonies Date: June 20, 2017
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Upcoming Event

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Perspectives on Universal Basic Income

At this event, we will discuss the possible benefits but also the possible disadvantages of Universal Basic Income.

Speakers: Grégory Claeys, Olli Kangas, Professor Philippe Van Parijs and Prof. Dr. Hilmar Schneider Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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After rapid increases in unemployment and large wage reductions, Greece’s labour market is showing signs of recovery. Certain sectors of the economy are showing strong employment growth, which could hint at a broader economic recovery.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 14, 2017
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By: Silvia Merler Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Global Economics & Governance Date: June 12, 2017
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Past Event

Past Event

Fiscal frameworks in Europe: background and perspectives

On 1-2 June Bruegel together with Danmarks Nationalbank and the Copenhagen Business School will organise a conference about fiscal frameworks in Europe. The conference will re-evaluate fiscal frameworks in Europe in light of experience gathered since the formation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The implications for the design of fiscal policy stemming from […]

Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Danmarks Nationalbank Date: June 1, 2017
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Past Event

Past Event

Inclusive growth: global and European lessons for Spain

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Speakers: Cristina Cabrera, Zsolt Darvas, Maria Demertzis, Alejandra Kindelán, Robert Lawrence and Federico Steinberg Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Global Economics & Governance Location: Calle Los Madrazo 36-38 Madrid Date: May 31, 2017
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External Publication

The future of globalization

This brief reviews the main features of the recent globalization, attempts to explain its persistence over the centuries and why it is likely to persist in the indefinite the future, examines the causes and prospects of the new protectionism, and concludes by drawing policy implications.

By: Uri Dadush Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: May 29, 2017
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By: Pia Hüttl Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: May 22, 2017
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Do we understand the impact of artificial intelligence on employment?

Artificial intelligence is already transforming the world of work, but the future is hard to predict. Some see most jobs at risk of automatisation, while others argue robots will only take on a narrow range of tasks in the coming decades. Nevertheless, we need a broad debate to prepare the appropriate economic policy response to the new industrial revolution.

By: Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: April 27, 2017
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Policy Contribution

The global decline in the labour income share: is capital the answer to Germany’s current account surplus?

Analysing the major divergences between the three largest euro-area countries in terms of unit labour costs and current accounts, to the broader debate on labour income shares. Data suggests that capital and labour have been complements.

By: Bennet Berger and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: April 26, 2017
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By: Silvia Merler Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 24, 2017
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