vrijdag 31 juli 2009

Maybe Medicare Was a Tactical Error

For progressives who now want universal health insurance, Medicare may have been a mistake — tactically, anyway.Read the complete Economix blogpost here.

Migratie en integratie in België.......

Eco-santé: OCDE 2009: comment la Belgique se positionne

Les dépenses de santé totales représentaient en Belgique 10.2% du PIB en 2007, soit 1 point de pourcentage de plus que la moyenne des pays de l’OCDE (8.9%).
Lisez la note de l'OCDE ici.

The Blue Dogs’ Final Dilemma

Read Daniel Henninger's column on healthcare reform in the US here.

Are We What We Search?

Read the complete article in the NYTimes here.

Employers and health reform summary

As the largest source of health insurance for non-elderly Americans, U.S. employers have an extremely large stake in health reform. In 2007, employers provided insurance coverage to 62.9% of Americans under the age of 65. Further, the $532 billion employers contributed to health insurance premiums for their workers accounts for roughly a quarter of total national health spending...
Read the complete article here.

donderdag 30 juli 2009

Policy options to reduce Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions

A side effect of the economic downturn since 2008 is that Ireland may meet its Kyoto Protocol commitment for 2008-2012 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but that its longer term targets for 2020 and beyond are still stringent. This paper addresses both the political challenge and the economic implications of moving to a low-carbon state. The cost of reducing carbon emissions varies widely and heavy costs could be incurred. A soundly based policy framework that keeps costs down is thus essential, while being mindful of effects on the economy and the vulnerable; the pause in economic growth provides an opportunity for long-term planning. The criteria for policy are primarily threefold: regulatory certainty, including protection from short-term political interference; clearly defined incentives that ensure a credible, long-term price of carbon; and a transparent, dynamic and fair process with which the public can engage. The roles of various policy instruments are discussed, including regulatory and market-based instruments, subsidies and taxation.
Read the complete report here.

Headline Support for the Financial Sector and Upfront Financing Need

Find the IMF's summary table here (including Belgium).

Check out the IMF Update on Fiscal Stimulus and Financial Sector Measures here.

Fiscal stimulus in the G-20 countries

Find the IMF's summary table here.

De Belgische overheid, meer bepaald de afdeling justitie

Kris Peeters is niet gek

OVERHEIDSINTERVENTIES IN DE AUTO-INDUSTRIE — Doet Vlaanderen gekke dingen door Volvo Gent te steunen? Niet als je vergelijkt met wat er in het buitenland allemaal gebeurt om noodlijdende autofabrieken kunstmatig in leven te houden, vindt JO VAN BIESEBROECK.Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.

The ten principles of economics, translated by the stand up economist

Watch it on youtube here.

Illuminating outline

The Nordic model Economies that are open to the world and offer greater worker involvement are attracting attention - but benefits are hard to replicate elsewhere, write Richard Milne and Andrew Ward in the FT. Read the complete article here.

The crushing responsibility of economists

By Paul De Grauwe in the FT

A few economists warned about the risk of a financial crisis, but the least one can say is that they were not taken seriously by most of the economics profession. Why is that? Why did so many, especially the best and the brightest in the profession, not see the warning signals that were there?

Economic theories affect the way we see and interpret economic data. If we believe that financial markets are efficient and capable of self-regulation, we are likely to interpret a bubble-like movement in real estate and equity prices as evidence of the marvels of free markets.

If we believe, as macroeconomists do, that consumers and producers are rational and fully informed agents, we do not worry that large debt build-ups will be harmful because this build-up must be the result of rational and fully informed decisions that will lead to a new equilibrium.

Thus an economic theory can work as a framing device conditioning us to interpret the facts in a way that is consistent with the theory. Psychologists call this a “confirmation bias”.

It should not be like that. After all, economics is a science (or should be one). And in science, theories should be formulated in such a way that they can be refuted. The main preoccupation of scientists should then be to try to refute these theories.

But that is not the way macroeconomics has evolved during the last two decades. Instead it has become a system of beliefs, some will say a religion, about rational and fully informed agents operating in efficient markets. This belief has become so strongly held that it has fallen victim to the confirmation bias. As a result, it has stopped being science.

The present crisis creates opportunities. The accumulation of facts that refute the mainstream macroeconomic models has become so strong that only the most fundamentalist believers will want to cling to these theories.

The crisis also creates the opportunity to develop better models. This will be the hard part because the world the macroeconomists will have to model is one crowded by agents who have trouble understanding the way the economy functions.

It is also a world in which the interaction between these imperfectly informed individuals regularly creates collective movements of euphoria and panics. These phenomena are hard to model. Yet this is what macroeconomists will have to do if they want to regain respectability as scientists.

Clearly the financial crisis is not only due to the delusions of macroeconomists. The delusions were quite widespread among bankers, supervisors, media and policymakers. Yet society expects the community of scientists to be less prone to delusions than the rest. In that sense the responsibility of the economics profession is crushing.

Is Europe lagging behind the US in university technology licensing?

European universities produce high-quality scientific research, but they licence it to industry far less than US universities. This column introduces new survey evidence on university licensing and assesses the gap between the US and Europe. It highlights European universities’ shortcomings in generating technology transfer revenue, despite their desire to do so.
Read the article here.

Stresstest wijst op zwakte Belgische banken

Lees meer op Econoshock, hier.

De 20 beste ideeën om de klimaatcrisis te bestrijden

De krant The Guardian en het Manchester International Festival stelden een internationaal expertpanel samen over klimaatverandering. Het panel moest meer bepaald op zoek naar ideeën om de klimaatcrisis te bestrijden.
Lees die ideeën op Econoshock hier.

woensdag 29 juli 2009

De Belgische politiek .......

Fundamental paper for health care

The other day I claimed that most published economic papers are imitations with slight adjustments and that in all there are maybe not more than 50 seminal papers which will stay relevant for ever.

For health economics there is probably no paper more important than
For those who still need to read it, they have now some background info as well:

Why is supply and demand so confusing?

For those who teach principles of economics, this post by Scott Sumner is worth contemplating.Scott does a good job explaining why the model of supply and demand is not always as straightforward as it seems. Why? I would put the answer as follows: Supply and demand curves are always drawn "holding other things constant." The key question when considering any possible shift in these curves is which other things are being held constant in the situation at hand.

Greg Mankiw's Blog (July 28, 2009)

Impôt vert

Comme tout impôt, la taxe carbone est, a priori, impopulaire. Pour que ce nouveau prélèvement ait une chance d'être accepté, il doit, comme les autres, répondre à trois critères : il doit être simple, juste et efficace.
Lisez l'article d'opinion ici.

dinsdag 28 juli 2009

Médicaments : des génériques 80 % moins chers que les originaux ?

La fédération belge des fabricants de médicaments génériques veut négocier une baisse de tarifs - jusqu'à 80 % - directement avec l'Etat et l'Inami. Les mutuelles y voient surtout une manière d'éviter des mesures plus radicales envers, à l'instar des Pays-Bas où les assureurs privés ont obtenu d'importantes baisses de prix pour leurs affiliés. Lisez l'article complet dans Trends/Tendances ici.


How the Financial Crisis Affects Pensions and Insurance and Why the Impacts Matter

Summary: This paper discusses the key sources of vulnerabilities for pension plans and insurance companies in light of the global financial crisis of 2008. It also discusses how these institutional investors transit shocks to the rest of the financial sector and economy. The crisis has re-ignited the policy debate on key issues such as: 1) the need for countercyclical funding and solvency rules; 2) the tradeoffs implied in marked based valuation rules; 3) the need to protect contributors towards retirement from excessive market volatility; 4) the need to strengthen group supervision for large complex financial institutions including insurance and pensions; and 5) the need to revisit the resolution and crisis management framework for insurance and pensions. Read the complete IMF working paper here.

Do Workers' Remittances Promote Economic Growth?

Summary: Over the past decades, workers' remittances have grown to become one of the largest sources of financial flows to developing countries, often dwarfing other widely-studied sources such as private capital and official aid flows. While it is undeniable that remittances have poverty-alleviating and consumption-smoothing effects on recipient households, a key empirical question is whether they also serve to promote long-run economic growth. This study tackles this question and addresses the main shortcomings of previous empirical work, focusing on the appropriate measurement, and incorporating an instrument that is both correlated with remittances and would only be expected to affect growth through its effect on remittances. The results show that, at best, workers' remittances have no impact on economic growth. Read the complete IMF working paper here.

At your own risk

No economic theory can perform the feats its users expect of it. Economics is unlikely ever to be good at predicting the future. Too much of what happens depends on what people expect to happen.
Read the FT article here.

Titres-services : un ver est dans le fruit

Lisez l'article d'opinion ici.

Eurofound: Measures to tackle undeclared work in the European Union

This overview report and the accompanying knowledge bank represent an important first step in producing a comprehensive learning hub, where social partners can pool and share knowledge on how to tackle undeclared work, review evaluations of policy initiatives and explore their feasibility and transferability to other sectors and areas. It is hoped that having identified the gaps in understanding in this database, a more proactive and concerted effort can now be taken to address these shortcomings. If pursued, this database has the potential to become the prime global site for pooling expertise on the fight against undeclared work.

Read the complete report here.

maandag 27 juli 2009

Energie en Milieu

Rebalancing the world economy: America

Can America wean itself off consumption? The first of a series on how the world’s four biggest economies must change to ensure sustainable global growth. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

A long way to go

The global recession is coming to an end, but the ingredients of a lasting recovery are still missing. Read the complete column in The Economist here.

VRIND 2009: Vlaamse Regionale Indicatoren

Sinds 1994 schetst VRIND aan de hand van talrijke beleids- en omgevingsindicatoren een zo volledig mogelijk beeld van de Vlaamse samenleving.

Lees het volledige rapport hier.

An Incoherent Truth

Read Krugman's column on healthcare reform here.

Evaluating restructuring plans for systemically important banks

Bank restructuring is a source of disagreement on both sides of the Atlantic, and no clearly preferred policy approach has emerged. This column compares the costs to taxpayers of using recapitalisation, asset guarantees, and asset sales. In many circumstances, asset sales are an inferior tool.
Read the Vox column here.

vrijdag 24 juli 2009

Mijn persoonlijke kerncentrale

Lees het stuk op Econoshock hier.

Idea: Globalisation

Globalisation is the more or less simultaneous marketing and sale of identical goods and services around the world. So widespread has the phenomenon become over the past two decades that no one is surprised any more to find Coca-Cola in rural Vietnam, Accenture in Tashkent and Nike shoes in Nigeria. The statistic that perhaps best reflects the growth of globalisation is the value of cross-border world trade expressed as a percentage of total global GDP: it was around 15% in 1990, is some 20% today and is expected by McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm, to rise to 30% by 2015. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Lines in the sand

Climate change could ignite wars in volatile regions. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Why US housing prices will resume growing soon

Read the complete article from VOXEU here.

Winners and losers of the next CAP reform

Read the complete article from VOXEU here.

More multipliers (double super wonkish)

Read Krugman's piece on Keynesian multipliers here.

Google Searches as an Economic Indicator

Should the rich finance healthcare reform?

Comments from Greg Mankiw's blog on Obama's healthcare reforms here.

Industriels contre Verts : la bataille du lobbying

Lisez l'article dans Le Monde ici.

Can he make it better?

Barack Obama pushes plans for reforming health care in America.

To read the article from the Economist, click here.

Armoede en ongelijkheid....

Mieux partager les fruits de la croissance

LE MONDE_ Le débat sur un partage plus équilibré de la valeur ajoutée et des fruits de la croissance a été récemment ranimé par la remise des rapports de l'Insee, de Jean-Philippe Cotis au président de la République, et du Conseil d'analyse économique (CAE), de Gilbert Cette, Jacques Delpha et Arnaud Sylvain au premier ministre. Le diagnostic est désormais posé. Mais quelles propositions faire sur cette base ? Comment assurer une meilleure redistribution aux salariés des richesses produites par l'économie tout en assurant un financement adéquat des entreprises ?
Lisez l'article complet ici.

woensdag 22 juli 2009

Oeso's jaarrapport over België: Een commentaar

Lees het commentaarstuk van Koen Algoed hier.

De Gebreken van aziel en migratie

"Dit is de tweede 'eenmalige' regularisatie sinds 1999, dus waarom zou er geen derde komen? Bovendien zal dit verhaal zich herhalen, tenzij de regering ook bereid is tot andere ondersteunende maatregelen, om een duurzame lokale verankering in de illegaliteit te voorkomen. "

Lees het volledige opiniestuk van Dirk Vanheule hier.

Paid sick days and unemployment

Health Insurance No One Needs

EVERYONE who wants universal health coverage (me included) finds irresistible the rallying cry that all Americans should have the same health benefits that members of Congress have. But Congress’s health insurance — that is, the heavily subsidized preferred provider plan that most members have — is not an ideal model, because it is quite rich. As with other fee-for-service plans, it does little to encourage people to be smart health care shoppers. Read the complete article here.

Building a society for all ages

More of us are living longer than ever before. This is not a new phenomenon – life expectancy has been growing steadily for over a century, but the UK has just passed a demographic tipping point. In 2007 for the first time in the UK there were more people over State Pension age than children; an ageing society is no longer coming tomorrow – it is here with us today...
To read the report from the HM Government (UK), click here.

Should the rich finance healthcare reform?

Choosing to finance health care reform by taxing the rich is bad economic policy, bad health policy, bad budget policy and poor leadership...
Read the column here.

The case for government reform now

Read the complete article in the McKinsey Quarterly here.

maandag 20 juli 2009

Rescue, recovery, reform

The current financial crisis has been the most challenging for policymakers around the world. This column introduces the 79th Annual Report of the Bank for International Settlements, discusses the risks posed by the massive policy initiatives undertaken in response to the crisis, and offers suggestions for systemic reforms.
Read the column here.

Absent an International Agreement, World Greenhouse Gas Emissions Likely to Grow 30 Percent by 2030

The U.S. Department of Energy's International Energy Outlook (which counts only carbon dioxide) finds low- and middle-income countries accounting for 9 billion of a likely 11 billion tons in annual CO2 emissions growth by 2030.

Read the article from the DLC here.

Why Toxic Assets Are So Hard to Clean Up

Securitization was maddeningly complex. Mandated transparency is the only solution.

Read this WSJ article here.

Productive Parents

Reform (think-tank, UK) proposes necessary changes to the current parental leave provision to make it flatter, fairer and more flexible.

Reform recommends a new approach that rebalances maternity pay towards low income families, makes it available to fathers and gives freedom over parental leave. It advocates a much more flexible approach to the workplace by taking employers out of the various state payment schemes and instead allowing employees to work flexibly during the first year – keeping in touch with the workplace as much as they like. And in a time when public finances are tight, these changes could be undertaken within current levels of expenditure, or even with reduced expenditure, and unnecessary bureaucracy abandoned.

Read the complete Reform Bulletin here.

Read the report "Productive Parents" here.

Largest poll of unemployed Muslim women reveals they want to work

A new Quilliam report contains the largest poll to date of unemployed South Asian Muslim women. The report, Immigrant, Muslim, Female: Triple Paralysis?, shows that contrary to popular stereotypes, most (57%) of the UK’s unemployed Muslim female immigrants want to work but are held back by a lack of support from their families and insufficient practical support from the Government. In so doing, given the high rates of migration through marriage, Britain is under-utilizing a vast resource for boosting integration and national cohesion, and preventing extremism in the next generation.
Read the complete Quilliam's press release here.

Hyperion Power Generation

Hyperion Power Generation, een bedrijf uit de VS heeft de oplossing voor uw energieprobleem: een kerncentrale op dorpsniveau. Naar eigen zeggen kan het ding 25000 gezinnen van stroom voorzien voor een periode van minstens 5 jaar. Het ding is maar even groot als uw tuinhuis, hoeft geen menselijke operator, heeft geen beweeglijke delen en wordt beschouwd als zeer veilig. De module wordt verzegeld in de fabriek en zo afgeleverd in uw achterbuurt. Ze moet pas worden geopend na 5-7 jaar om opnieuw te “vullen” met een “uranium kern” omgeven met waterstof. De module wordt in uw tuin begraven in een laag beton zodat dieven, terroristen of uw buurman ze niet kan “stelen”. De module genereert ongeveer 27 MW aan energie. Kandidaten?
(Econoshock.be, 19/07/09)

Financement des pensions : un choix politique !

Retrouvez ici la Carte Blanche (Le Soir, 20/07/09) de Bertrand Montulet Docteur en sociologie, chercheur qualifié aux Facultés Saint-Louis, chargé de cours invité à l’ULB.

La pollution réduit le QI des enfants

Cette étude suggère que la pollution ne concerne pas que les voisins des usines crachant des fumées. L'atmosphère urbaine recèle donc des dangers qu'on ignore.
Pour lire l'article complet, cliquez ici.

vrijdag 17 juli 2009

Where the New Deal went badly wrong

Harold Cole of Penn and Lee Ohanian of UCLA argue that FDR's meddling with markets did more harm than good, lengthening the Great Depression by some seven years. "Indeed, the New Deal is best seen as a cautionary tale for those prepared to rush to regulate the economy. Read the complete article from the Milken Institute here.

Danny Pieters on social security reform in Belgium

Watch the interview here.

De Belgische politiek en economie.....

De vergrijzing......

De opwarming van de aarde........

Efficiency and beyond

The efficient-markets hypothesis has underpinned many of the financial industry’s models for years. After the crash, what remains of it? Read the complete article here.

The other-worldly philosophers

Although the crisis has exposed bitter divisions among economists, it could still be good for economics. Our first article looks at the turmoil among macroeconomists. Read the complete article here.

National Long-Term Care Insurance: How Much Would It Cost?

About two-thirds of those over 65 will need some long-term care before they die. Howard Gleckman looks at a key question at the heart of the debate over long-term care insurance: how much will premiums cost?
Read the article here.

Give Up A Benefit, Gain Jobs

In this Washington Post commentary, Leonard Burman makes a modest proposal: workers should agree to a cap on tax-free health insurance provided by their employers. This would lead to higher wages and partially protect employees from layoffs.
Read the article here.


Jan Denys over de nadelen... en voordelen van zwartwerk in tijden van crisis. Lees het volledige opiniestuk in De Tijd hier.

Lessons for the future: Ideas and rules for the world in the aftermath of the storm, Part II

What should we conclude about the implications of the global crisis for the future of the world economy? This column, the second of a two-part series, outlines the exit strategies required for fiscal and monetary policy. It says that the crisis ought to be seen as a temporary period of turmoil, rather than a paradigm-shifting event. Read the second part of the column here.

Lessons for the future: Ideas and rules for the world in the aftermath of the storm, Part I

It’s time to start drawing conclusions about the global crisis. This column, the first of a two-part series, assesses the causes and nature of the problems. Although the crisis originated in financial market failings, policymakers are much to blame. Regulatory failure amplified private sector errors, and poorly planned policy responses exacerbated the troubles. Read the first part of the column here.

Health Care spending: Pets versus People

Read the complete item from Greg Mankiw's blog here.

Learning lessons from private schools

The right and wrong ways to get more poor youngsters into the world’s great universities. Read the complete article here.

What went wrong with economics

Read the complete article in The Economist here.

The Joy of Sachs

Read Krugman's column here.

donderdag 16 juli 2009

How Much Do Doctors in Other Countries Make?

Read the complete article here.

Top 25 Economics Blogs

The Wall Street Journal's economics bureau sifted through the sea of economics blogs and determined the top 25, with five honorable mentions. (Listed in alphabetical order.) Read the complete article here.

Why We Must Ration Health Care

You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much? Read the complete article here.


Groot nieuws deze week. Een restauranthouder uit Antwerpen kan de Lange Wapper tegenhouden. Als de Raad van State het advies van de auditeur in de zaak volgt, dan zal het minstens drie jaar langer duren vooraleer de Sinjoren hun Lange Wapper in gebruik kunnen nemen. Lees de column van Van Parys hier.

The negative impact of the financial crisis on potential output necessitates an EU-led policy response

The crisis may reduce the EU’s potential output by 5% of GDP or more. This column warns that the crisis may permanently reduce the EU’s supply-side capacity unless policymakers respond with reforms. It outlines measures to address the crisis and address long-run concerns about demographic shifts, public finances, and climate change.
For the full article, click here.

Drawing conclusions about the crisis and its management

It’s time to start drawing conclusions about the global crisis. This column, the first of a two-part series, assesses the causes and nature of the problems. Although the crisis originated in financial market failings, policymakers are much to blame. Regulatory failure amplified private sector errors, and poorly planned policy responses exacerbated the troubles.
For the full article, click here.

woensdag 15 juli 2009

Crisisbarometer Vlaamse arbeidsmarkt

Om de impact van de crisis op de Vlaamse arbeidsmarkt zo goed mogelijk in kaart te krijgen, lanceert het Departement Werk en Sociale Economie (WSE) in samenwerking met de Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding (VDAB) en het Steunpunt WSE een crisisbarometer.
Voor meer informatie, klik hier.

L'industrie belge de l'environnement

En l’espace de dix ans, le nombre d’entreprises actives dans l’industrie de l’environnement en Belgique a augmenté de 44 %. Le chiffre d’affaires de ce secteur a connu une hausse de 22 %, tandis que l’emploi a progressé de 40 %. En 2005, l’industrie belge de l’environnement comptait au total 77 000 emplois.
Consultez l'étude du Bureau fédéral du Plan ici.

Fighting Climate Change With Patents

Read the complete article here.

The Bernanke Market

We won't get real growth until Congress and Treasury get policy right. Read the complete article here.

Wijn en aandelen

Lees het volledige artikel hier.

« La politique migratoire est un bloc de granit »

Le 13 juin, le commissaire aux droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, rendait son rapport sur la Belgique. Il y dénonçait le flou et l’arbitraire qui règnent dans les centres fermés pour demandeurs d’asile et appelait à mettre fin à la détention systématique de certains d’entre eux. Deux semaines plus tard, c’est le Collège des Médiateurs fédéraux qui remettait au président de la Chambre les résultats de leur enquête dans les centres fermés. Avec des constats similaires. Au même moment, la ministre de l’Asile, Annemie Turtelboom, a fait publier deux arrêtés royaux qui renforcent encore l’aspect sécuritaire des centres fermés. Cela fait des années que des instances internationales et nationales dénoncent les atteintes aux droits des demandeurs d’asile enfermés en centres fermés. Pour rien ? Nous avons posé la question à Edouard Delruelle, directeur adjoint du Centre pour l’égalité des chances, qui depuis des années également publie des recommandations, peu suivies.
Lisez l'interview d'E. Delruelle ici.

Et si l’industrie chimique n’existait pas...

L'industrie chimique déclare contribuer à la diminution des émissions de CO2 et fait part de ses doléances. Selon une étude, si elle n'existait pas, les substituts émettraient plus de CO2 qu'elle.
Lisez l'article complet ici.
Consultez l'étude "Innovations for Greenhouse Gas Reductions" (ICCA) ici.

dinsdag 14 juli 2009

maandag 13 juli 2009

Om grijze haren van te krijgen

Al jaren wordt gezegd dat ons pensioenstelsel moet worden hervormd. Maar elke poging verzandt in een stellingenoorlog tussen vakbonden en werkgevers.

Opinie, Knack, 8 juli 2009.

Oeso geeft tips voor beter België

Lees het volledige artikel hier.

Nuttige lessen uit Parijs

Zoals gewoonlijk worden de adviezen van de Oeso flagrant genegeerd door de regering. Onze bewindslieden zouden meer durf moeten tonen, vindt RUBEN MOOIJMAN. Lees het volledige artikel hier.

The case for doing nothing

The first thing to note about the financial crisis is that the federal government never had any business intervening in the personal decision of whether you want to own a home. There is no rational economic argument, or any argument I know of, that says the market of buying and selling homes is imperfect in some way, requiring government action. Construction firms have plenty of incentive to build homes and sell them. People who have the wherewithal have plenty of incentive to buy homes if they so choose. For the government to intrude into homeownership was an off-budget, nontransparent, backdoor attempt at redistributing income. And when the policy became a way of transferring income to people who couldn't afford those homes, it was doomed to failure. Read the complete article here.

Innovation, Imitation and Competition

In a general equilibrium framework, it is known that imitation may actually promote innovation (Aghion et al., 1997). The same effect is demonstrated with a standard oligopoly model in which one firm has the ability to develop technologies while all other firms imitate and obtain a fraction of it for free. Competition is shown to dampen innovation, while imitation may stimulate it if imitation is strong and competition moderate. The findings have implications for policy toward intellectual property rights protection, as weak protection may promote rather than impede technology innovation.

The document is available here.

Productivity and the crisis: Revisiting the fundamentals

Most narratives of the crisis start with problems in the financial sector that then spilled over into the real economy. This column looks at the real side first and shows that labour productivity growth declined significantly in the years prior to the crisis, particularly in the US construction sector. Financial markets may have failed in that they didn’t detect the deterioration of structural productivity trends in the early 2000s.
Read the full article here.

Woonbeleid Vlaamse gemeenten krijgt onvoldoende van Steunpunt Ruimte en Wonen

Wonen heeft nog geen volwaardige plaats veroverd in de gemeentelijke organisatie. Dat is één
van de belangrijkste conclusies van een grootschalig onderzoek dat het Steunpunt Ruimte en
Wonen heeft uitgevoerd bij alle 308 Vlaamse gemeenten en OCMW’s.
Lees het volledige bericht hier.

A modest step

World leaders aspire to limit climate change, but they offer few details of how to do so. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Emissions des riches, couic !

La placidité du corps social à l'égard des hautes rémunérations est fascinante. Le système financier s'est affaissé, l'économie traverse sa plus grave crise depuis des décennies, le chômage suit une courbe ascensionnelle ; mais tranquillement, toute honte bue, les classes dirigeantes, responsables de la situation, continuent à s'allouer des revenus extravagants. Fascinant, vraiment.
Pour lire la suite, cliquez ici.

vrijdag 10 juli 2009

The great public-sector pension rip-off Dodging the bill

It is time to recognise the full costs of public-sector pension schemes to the rest of us. Read the full article in The Economist here.

Algae can save the world

Dow Chemical and Algenol Biofuels, a start-up company, are set to announce Monday that they will build a demonstration plant that, if successful, would use algae to turn carbon dioxide into ethanol as a vehicle fuel or an ingredient in plastics.Read the complete article here.

A Soda or Calorie Tax to Reduce Obesity

Read Posner's comment here.


Ok, the time has come to speak candidly about immigration and crime. American studies shows that there is a clear correlation: Immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born. This is true for the nation as a whole, for cities with large immigrant populations and for cities along the US-Mexican border, as Radley Balko explains in Reason.

One reason is that immigrants have an important stake in society, and the costs of losing that is too large. That also points to another possible correlation: Crime is low as long as immigrants are welcome and can integrate into the economy. But if the signs say "Italians Need Not Apply" (as they did), they might have nowhere to go but into crime. So a Europe that is less welcoming and has a more regulated labour market might also turn more immigrants into criminals

Read the complete article here.

Groen maar arm volstaat niet

Het elan voor een opvolger van het Kyotoprotocool is een goede zaak, maar dure groene initiatieven riskeren de armen in de kou te laten staan. Lees het volledige artikel hier.

Is Europa tegen fatsoenlijk pensioen?

Lees het volledige artikel van Melvyn Krauss hier.

5,3 miljard tekort in sociale zekerheid

Lees het volledige artikel hier.

Democrats Are at Odds on Financing Health Care

Read the complete article here.

donderdag 9 juli 2009

dinsdag 7 juli 2009

Health Co-op Offers Model for Overhaul

Read the complete NYTimes article here.

L'emploi public en Belgique

Seuls 10% des fonctionnaires parties à la retraite entre 2002 et 2005 avaient attaint la limite d’âge. La plupart des départs se font par le truchement de la pension anticipée immédiate à 60 ans.

Read this NBB paper here.

ACW leest politiek de levieten

Lees het interview met Jan Renders hier.

maandag 6 juli 2009

Work till you drop

Retirement has got out of hand. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Scrimp and save

Pensions will have to become far less generous

Read the complete article in The Economist here.

The cost of medical innovation

Many healthcare policymakers and analysts are focused on controlling rising medical costs. Is attacking high-cost, low-benefit medical innovation a solution? This column estimates that medical innovation – the use of advanced diagnostic imaging, newer drugs, and higher-ranked physicians – significantly increases life expectancy without raising medical expenditures per capita. Read the column here.

Why we shouldn’t subsidise clean-energy technologies

Nearly all economists agree that the most efficient way to address environmental problems is to raise the cost of the pollution-generating activity, but US policies subsidise clean-energy alternatives instead. This column criticizes that approach – subsidies lower the cost of energy, play favourites with technologies, are often inframarginal, and frequently interact in unexpected ways with other policies. Read the complete article here.

How bad are bubbles for welfare?

Read this Columbia University article here.

Unemployment update with and without the recovery plan

Read Greg Mankiw's article here.

vrijdag 3 juli 2009

Head Scarf Emerges as Indonesia Political Symbol

Read this NYTimes article here.

That '30s Show

Read Krugman's article in the NYTimes here.

Travailler plus pour assurer nos pensions ?

C'est la proposition du patronat belge, qui plaide notamment pour une adaptation de la pension à l'espérance de vie. Selon le baromètre de la FEB, la Belgique se caractérise en effet par une courte durée du travail par rapport aux autres pays européens. Sans parler des heures de loisir, plus importantes chez nous que la moyenne de l'OCDE.

Pour lire l'article complet, cliquez ici.

donderdag 2 juli 2009

Het is volslagen idioot om jacht te maken op gepensioneerden die wat bijverdienen

Lees het volledige opiniestuk in De Morgen hier.

The Patients Doctors Don’t Know

AS they do every July, hospitals across America are welcoming new interns, fresh from medical school graduation. Given how much these trainees have yet to learn, common wisdom holds that it’s not a good time of year to get sick. This may be particularly true for older patients, because American medical schools require no training in geriatric medicine. Read the complete article in the NYTimes here.

Pensions: Arena veut supprimer la limitation au revenu

La ministre explique que jusqu'à présent, elle n'avait pas envisagé une telle mesure parce qu'un dossier administratif indiquait qu'elle aurait un impact sur la sécurité sociale, estimé à 60 millions d'euros à la suite des récentes augmentations des plafonds.

Pensionnés: Arena envisage de supprimer la limitation au revenu
La ministre des Pensions Marie Arena estime que la suppression du plafond de revenu imposé aux pensionnés qui travaillent en vue d'obtenir un supplément salarial n'aura pas d'impact en matière de coût.
Elle penche dès lors pour une suppression ou une diminution progressive de cette limitation pour les pensionnés de plus de 65 ans, affirme-t-elle jeudi dans De Standaard, qui avait annoncé la veille, sur son site internet, que les services des pensions demandent chaque année le remboursement des pensions de 2.500 personnes parce qu'elles ont dépassé le montant salarial maximal autorisé pour les pensionnés qui travaillent. La ministre explique que jusqu'à présent, elle n'avait pas envisagé une telle mesure parce qu'un dossier administratif indiquait qu'elle aurait un impact sur la sécurité sociale, estimé à 60 millions d'euros à la suite des récentes augmentations des plafonds.
Mais la ministre commence à douter de cette analyse et va demander qu'on calcule ce que les pensionnés qui travaillent rapporteraient en termes de contributions sociales si les plafonds actuellement d'application étaient supprimés.
(LLB, 2/07/09)

woensdag 1 juli 2009

Bijna kwart meer werklozen in Vlaanderen

Lees het volledige artikel hier.

Death of the super model

As Sweden takes over the presidency of the EU, the sad truth is that its famed social state is failing. Read the complete article here.

Migration: un rapport d'investigation particulièrement accablant

A la demande du Parlement, les médiateurs fédéraux ont réalisé un audit des centres fermés.

Pour lire l'article complet, cliquez ici.

La hausse du chômage va perdurer

Le Conseil supérieur de l'emploi estime qu'en 2010, il y aura 700 000 chômeurs, en Belgique. Il prône des efforts de formation des travailleurs.
L'article de La Libre Belgique est disponible ici.
Pour consulter le rapport du Conseil supérieur de l'emploi "Evolutions récentes et perspectives du marché du travail" (Juin 2009), cliquez ici.

Rekenhof maakt brandhout van federaal klimaatbeleid

De federale overheid heeft geen klimaatplan: het is onduidelijk hoe we de Kyoto-norm moeten halen en wat de kostprijs is. En de CO2-doelstellingen zijn niet onderbouwd of ontbreken. Dat zegt het Rekenhof in een vernietigend rapport.
Lees het volledige artikel hier.
Verslag van het Rekenhof: NL - FR