The gross general government debt-to-GDP ratios in many advanced economies have reached the highest levels in peacetime history and continue to grow, putting into question sovereign solvency in these economies.
US President-Elect Donald Trump made critical statements about low European defence spending during the election campaign - signaling an expectation that Europe should contribute more to the cost of its security. Indeed, most European NATO members have spending well below the 2% target that NATO membership entails. Reaching this target could cost the EU27 NATO members 96 billion USD per year.
One of the consequences of the global financial crisis has been rapid growth in public debt in most advanced economies. This Policy Contribution assesses the size of public debt in advanced economies and considers the potential consequences of sovereign insolvency.
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?
What’s at stake: there has been quite some discussion recently on whether we should rethink the framework of fiscal policy in order to make it more appropriate and effective in a world where demand seems to be chronically anemic, inflation is low and the interest rates are likely to stay close to zero (if not negative) for a long time. According to some of the authors, in the Eurozone these concerns are particularly pressing.
In this Policy Contribution, Maria Demertzsis and Guntram B. Wolff discuss three progressive steps for strengthening the fiscal framework at the euro-area level. These lead to less interference in national fiscal policymaking thanks to a more credible no-bailout clause, increased risk sharing and different degrees of provision of euro-area-wide public goods and fiscal stabilisation.
What’s at stake: In a low r-star environment, fiscal policy should be accommodative at the global level. Instead, even in countries with current account surplus and fiscal space the IMF appears to have trouble advocating fiscal expansion. This also raises a political economy puzzle regarding the persistence of the current policy mix of tight fiscal and easy money.
The current European fiscal framework is inefficient and relies on indicators that are badly estimated. How can the rules be improved and what can a European fiscal council add to this?
As the economy moves online, it becomes more difficult for national tax authorities to collect revenue. How great is the impact, and what should corporate taxation look like in the digital age?
What’s at stake: The reluctance to use fiscal policy as a stabilizing tool in the current deflationary environment has been puzzling to many and a number of authors are now putting forward possible explanations.
What’s at stake: The Panama Papers leaked last week raised important questions about the role of tax havens. We explain the mechanics of tax evasion and review the most important lessons to take away from the leaks.
The current inefficient European fiscal framework should be replaced with a system based on rules that are more conducive to the two objectives of public debt sustainability and fiscal stabilisation.