vrijdag 30 juli 2010

Making Sense of the Climate Impasse

Jeffrey D. Sachs: " The Wall Street Journal has run an aggressive editorial campaign against climate science for decades. The individuals involved in this campaign are not only scientifically uninformed, but show absolutely no interest in becoming better informed." Read his column on Project Syndicate here.

Britain Plans to Scrap Mandatory Retirement Age in 2011

The British government on Thursday proposed to scrap a much-criticized rule that allows employers to require workers to retire when they turn 65. Read the complete article in The NYTimes here.

Schumpeter: A post-crisis case study

The new dean of Harvard Business School promises “radical innovation”. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

More stress ahead

It will take more than stress tests to resolve European banks’ funding problems. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Europa steunt Vlaamse topopleidingen

"Dit jaar gaat Vlaanderen lopen met een kwart van alle Erasmus Mundus erkenningen". Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.


We zijn bijna allemaal staatskapitalisten nu. In het Westen staan we weliswaar nog ver van het Chinese staatskapitalisme, maar ook hier zullen de overheden en centrale bankiers nog jaren een hoofdrol spelen in de economie. Lees het volledige opiniestuk van Daan Killemaes in Trends hier.

Variations de la fécondité dans les pays développés: disparités et influences des politiques d'aide aux familles

Les politiques d’aide aux familles semblent avoir un impact avéré mais d’ampleur limitée sur les taux de fécondité : les aides financières, conditionnées ou non au statut au regard de l’emploi, ont un effet évident sur le calendrier des naissances (mais leur effet sur la fécondité finale est plus incertain) ; les dispositifs favorables à la conciliation emploi-famille apparaissent, quant à eux, particulièrement importants dans le choix d’avoir ou non des enfants. Les aides renforcent, cependant, souvent les différences de comportement entre les classes sociales. Cependant, l’effet des aides mis ainsi en évidence est certainement sous-estimé en raison de la difficulté à saisir leurs effets plus ou moins directs à long terme.
Lisez ce rapport sur le site des Caisses d'Allocations Familliales en France ici.

De geografie van de sociale zekerheid in België

Stelsels van sociale zekerheid genereren herverdelingen van inkomens tussen regionale entiteiten. De systemen van interpersoonlijke herverdeling geven aanleiding tot geldstromen tussen de verschillende deelgebieden van een land in de mate dat sociale risico’s ongelijk verdeeld zijn over de regio’s en/of dat de capaciteit om bij te dragen aan de stelsels van sociale zekerheid regionaal verschilt en/of dat er verschillen zijn in de uitvoeringswijze van de stelsels van de sociale zekerheid en/of in de inhoud van het flankerende beleid (bv. arbeidsbemiddeling, onderwijs, etc.). In België wordt daarbij doorgaans gekeken naar de transferten tussen de politiek relevante deelentiteiten, Vlaanderen en Wallonië. In dit CSB-Bericht schetsen Bea Cantillon, Seppe De Blust en Aaron Van den Heede van het Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid Herman Deleeck aan de Universiteit Antwerpen de geografische structuur van de inter-persoonlijke transfers door de verdeling van sociale zekerheidsbijdragen en uitkeringen op gemeentelijk niveau in kaart te brengen.
Lees dit rapport van het Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid Herman Deleeck hier.

Les longues négociations « coûtent » à la sécurité sociale

La longueur des négociations pour la formation d’un gouvernement fédéral pourrait provoquer un déficit de trésorerie au sein de l’ONSS. La sécurité sociale doit trouver d’urgence un milliard.
Lisez cet article dans Le Soir ici.

Encore deux semaines de préformation

Di Rupo fera aujourd’hui son deuxième rapport intermédiaire chez le Roi. Les négociateurs sont à la limite du blocage sur l’institutionnel.
Lisez l'article dans LLB ici.

Public debt and growth

This paper explores the impact of high public debt on long-run economic growth. The analysis, based on a panel of advanced and emerging economies over almost four decades, takes into account a broad range of determinants of growth as well as various estimation issues including reverse causality and endogeneity. In addition, threshold effects, nonlinearities, and differences between advanced and emerging market economies are examined. The empirical results suggest an inverse relationship between initial debt and subsequent growth, controlling for other determinants of growth: on average, a 10 percentage point increase in the initial debt-to-GDP ratio is associated with a slowdown in annual real per capita GDP growth of around 0.2 percentage points per year, with the impact being somewhat smaller in advanced economies. There is some evidence of nonlinearity with higher levels of initial debt having a proportionately larger negative effect on subsequent growth. Analysis of the components of growth suggests that the adverse effect largely reflects a slowdown in labor productivity growth mainly due to reduced investment and slower growth of capital stock.

Read this IMF Working Paper

donderdag 29 juli 2010

The Dragon's Embrace: China's Soft Power Is a Threat to the West

China may have no intentions of using its growing military might, but that is of little comfort for Western countries. From the World Trade Organization to the United Nations, Beijing is happy to use its soft power to get what it wants -- and it is wrong-footing the West at every turn. Read the complete article on Der Spiegel International here.

Open-Source Pharmaceuticals?

"Few companies have demonstrated that they are prepared to commit the time, effort, and resources to embrace a radically different way of operating. Yet the tangible and intangible benefits of adopting new forms of collaboration – reducing the cost of failure, leveraging unused IP and external funding mechanisms, increasing access to networks of talent, and establishing greater trust among patients and other stakeholders – could be extensive. Moreover, these benefits would be realized not only by pharmaceutical companies, but also by academics and other collaborators." Read the opinion piece of Jackie Hunter, CEO of Pharmivation and former Head of Science Environment Development at GlaxoSmithkline, on Project Syndicate here.

The world-wide famine for jobs…

There was zero net job creation in the first decade of the new millenium. Read Geert Noels' blogpost on Econoshock here.

Les obstacles à la démocratisation arabe

Les compromis entre Occident et régimes arabes autoritaires bloquent toutes formes de démocratisation. Face à cette alliance contre-nature, l’islam radical apparaît comme une force “salvatrice”. Lisez l'article d'opinion de Khaled Hroub, directeur à l'université de Cambridge du projet "Arab1", dans LLB ici.

Une Belgique éclatée ne pourrait rembourser sa dette publique

En cas d’éclatement, la Belgique pourrait ne plus pouvoir rembourser sa dette d’ici fin 2012, selon le bureau de gestion britannique Bedlam Asset Management dont l’analyse circule dans les milieux financiers sous le nom « farewell Flanonia ? ».
Lisez l'article dans Le Soir ici.
Consultez la publication de Bedlam Asset Management ici.

Embellie de 40 millions

La Région bruxelloise profite d’un sursaut du marché immobilier. Les recettes en droits d’enregistrement au niveau de 2005.
Lisez l'article dans LLB ici.

woensdag 28 juli 2010

The Economics of Gypsies

Gypsies are not only hot in the Belgian media. Steven Levitt wrote this on the Freakonomics blog:
"My friend Pete Leeson is one of the most original and creative economists I know. First, he wrote about pirate economics (he was even kind enough to write three guest posts on the Freakonomics blog).

Then he tackled “ordeals” –- the medieval method of trial in which one’s guilt was assessed by whether an arm that was plunged into boiling water got burned. His conclusion: it was not a miracle when the accused emerged unscathed from the boiling water treatment. As long as everyone believed that the boiling water would reveal guilt, it made more sense to confess than to have one’s arm get boiled and then be punished for the crime on top of that. So the only people who were willing to go through the ordeal were those who were falsely accused. Consequently, it appears that the people who carried out the ordeals didn’t really boil the water (it’s not clear whether they did this on purpose or accidentally –- I suspect on purpose).

Now, he has moved on to gypsies. Apparently, gypsies believe in all sorts of strange things, like that the lower half of the human body is polluted and non-gypsies are spiritually toxic. These bizarre beliefs, he argues, substitute for traditional institutions of law and order. Like all of Leeson’s best work, when I start reading it I don’t really believe it, but by the end I’m not only convinced, I feel like running out and telling everyone I know about it."

La pauvreté en Belgique

Lisez cette publication dans la Revue économique juin 2010 de la BNB ici.


"Roth uses the mathematical tools of game theory to find fixes for big, broken systems. Over the last 20 years he has pioneered a branch of economics known as market design. Among Roth's accomplishments: designing networks for kidney donations and creating elegant systems that enable huge urban school districts to optimally place multitudes of students among hundreds of schools." Read the complete article on Forbes here.

'Open Vld vervalste begroting'

Open Vld heeft de begroting vervalst." Tot die conclusie komt John Crombez, de begrotingsspecialist van de sp.a, nu uit een rapport van het monitoringcomité is gebleken dat het begrotingstekort dit jaar oploopt tot 5,2 procent en volgend jaar tot 5,6 procent in plaats van een tekort van respectievelijk 4,8 en 4,1 procent. Dat schrijft De Tijd woensdag. Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.

What is the growth potential of green innovation? An assessment of EU climate policy options

Read this EC Economic Paper here.

Zijn onze banken echt stressbestendig?

KOEN SCHOORS is blij dat de Europese banken doorgelicht worden, maar stelt zich vragen bij de criteria. We weten immers nog altijd niet of onze banken een liquiditeitscrisis kunnen doorstaan, want daarop zijn ze niet getest. Lees het volledige opiniestuk in De Standaard hier.

The Hidden Future of the US Economy

"Just how bad is the outlook for the United States’ economy?", Martin Feldstein - economics professor at Harvard - wonders. "Unfortunately, you cannot tell from the forecasts." Read the complete opinion article on Project Syndicate here.

Werkloze is nieuwe baan snel weer kwijt

"Zes maanden nadat de werlozen een baan hebben gevonden, is 72 procent van de betrokkenen nog altijd aan het werk. Omgekeerd is na die periode van zes maanden 28 procent opnieuw zonder werk gevallen. Na een periode van twee jaar loopt het aantal werkenden terug tot 48 procent en loopt de groep die in de werkloosheid is hervallen op tot 52 procent. De helft van de Vlaamse werklozen die een baan vinden (al dan niet een uitzendbaan), is die baan dus relatief snel weer kwijt. Vooral wie uit de werkloosheid geraakt door een uitzendbaan aan te nemen, loopt sneller kans om in de werkloosheid te hervallen. Dat is niet onlogisch, want uitzendopdrachten zijn per definitie tijdelijk." Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.

Future generations will curse us for cutting in a slump

In 1937 Keynes wrote: “The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury.” Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, disagrees. Stripped of its jargon, his argument last Friday in the Financial Times is that fiscal retrenchment is needed to “consolidate recovery”. This has become the standard European – though not American – line. “Failure to address the deficit is the greatest danger we face,” said UK Treasury minister Lord Sassoon in the House of Lords on Monday, faithfully echoing the words of his master, chancellor George Osborne. But beyond vaguely referring to the need to restore “confidence”, none of the cutters can explain how reducing public spending when private spending is already depressed will “consolidate recovery”.
Read this article in the FT here.

World economy: Vulnerable to vertigo

Double dip. It is the phrase on everyone’s lips – and it makes many of those lips tremble. With the shock of 2008 fading into memory, the moment of reckoning for the global economy has arrived. Will the bounce back from the nadir become established as a return to sustainable expansion – or will initial relief mutate into the despair of a renewed slowdown?
Read this article in the FT here.

dinsdag 27 juli 2010

La population belge croît plus vite que celle de l’UE

En 2009, la population belge a crû 2,6 fois plus vite que celle de l’ensemble de l’Union européenne. Au 1er janvier 2010, la Belgique comptait 10,827 millions d’habitants.
Lisez cet article dans Le Soir ici.
Consultez les statistiques d'Eurostat ici.

Britain Plans to Decentralize Health Care

"Perhaps the only consistent thing about Britain’s socialized health care system is that it is in a perpetual state of flux, its structure constantly changing as governments search for the elusive formula that will deliver the best care for the cheapest price while costs and demand escalate." Read the complete article in the NYTimes here.

Read the NHS White Paper here.

Ivan Van de Cloot over de stresstests

We hebben de stresstests gehad. Enkele opmerkingen:
1. Laten we vooral bidden dat Italië een gezond budgettair land is gezien de blootstelling

2. Ontstellend dat men nog steeds het probleem van hybride kapitaal in tier 1 niet apprecieert. Core tier 1 had heel andere resultaten opgeleverd.

3. De moral hazard geïllustreerd: de banken die een injectie hebben gekregen van de staat stijgen op de beurs, de banken die op eigen beentje de crisis overleefd hebben, staan onder druk

4. Veel van de geredde banken hebben de injectie nog steeds nodig: zonder die steun halen ze zelfs deze test niet

5. De rode draad bij de banken die in problemen kwamen, was een problematisch liquiditeitsbuffer= wordt niet getest. Als deze test in 2007 was gevallen, waren er verschillende banken geslaagd die toch in de problemen kwamen. Voor een belangrijk stuk is liquiditeit (=vertrouwen) een publiek goed (een volledig liquide bank is geen bank) en solvabiliteit een privaat goed (een insolvabele bank is lemon socialism). Vanaf een bepaald punt wordt het gebrek aan liquiditeit echter Russische roulette spelen

6. Een stress test die verliesposities lager inschat dan de huidige realiteit op de markt heeft niets met stress van doen. Rationeel zouden we inderdaad ook een probabiliteit op wanbetaling moeten plakken zodat de banking book ook relevant wordt.

Despite Flaws, Stress Tests May Satisfy Markets

Read the complete article in the NYTimes here.

Economists Try to Measure Uncertainty’s Impact on Growth

Uncertainty has become the mantra of this economic cycle.
Read this article in the WSJ here.

Today’s Keynesians have learnt nothing

To those of us who first encountered the dismal science of economics in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the current debate on fiscal policy in the western world has been – no other word will do – depressing.
Read this article in the FT here.

Très chères voitures de société

Selon les chercheurs d'un centre de recherche danois, La Belgique aurait "subsidié" les voitures de société à hauteur de 4,1 milliards d'euros en 2008, soit 1,2% du produit national brut.
Lisez l'article dans LLB ici.

Un dérapage budgétaire de 1,3 milliard d'euros dès 2010

Quelques fonctionnaires qui suivent le budget depuis la chute du gouvernement estiment dans un rapport récent le déficit budgétaire en 2010 à 5,2% ou 18 milliards d'euros. Il reste donc un "trou" de 1,3 milliard d'euros.
Lisez cet article dans LLB ici.

maandag 26 juli 2010

Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall in 2009 - Past Decade Still Sees Rapid Emissions Growth

In 2009, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in China—the world’s leading emitter—grew by nearly 9 percent. At the same time, emissions in most industrial countries dropped, bringing global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use down from a high of 8.5 billion tons of carbon in 2008 to 8.4 billion tons in 2009. Yet this drop follows a decade of rapid growth: over the 10 previous years, global CO2 emissions rose by an average of 2.5 percent a year—nearly four times as fast as in the 1990s. Increasing temperatures and the resulting melting ice sheets and rising sea levels demonstrate the destructive effects of the carbon accumulating in the atmosphere. Read the complete paper of the Earth Policy Institute here.

Does happiness affect productivity?

Happiness economics typically looks at how macro-level variables such as economic growth affect happiness. This column turns such thinking on its head and asks whether a rise in happiness might change behaviour at the micro-level, looking specifically at productivity. Experiments suggest that happiness raises productivity by increase workers' effort. Economists may need to take the emotional state of economic agents seriously. Read the complete article on EU VOX here.

Informel zorg in Vlaanderen

Lees die publicatie van de Studiedienst van de Vlaamse regering hier.

Vlaanderen in cijfers_2010

Lees die publicatie van de Studiedienst van de Vlaamse Regering hier.

Bomen groeien niet tot de hemel: de werkelijke kostprijs van de dienstencheques

Lees die HIVA studie hier.

Thriving China is ever more open for business

For the past year, China has expanded domestic demand and worked to attract foreign investment, contributing to the global recovery. However, concerns have recently been floated, not least among foreign businesses, that China is now less welcoming of foreign investment. In fact, China will open wider in the future.
Read this article in the FT here.

Et si on cassait la logique du "toujours plus"

Le professeur Christian Arnsperger (UCL) défend l’idée d’une “prospérité sans croissance”. Une idée assez neuve qui plaît surtout aux étudiants…
Lisez l'article dans LLB ici.

vrijdag 23 juli 2010

Le commerce mondial devrait progresser de 10 % en 2010

L'Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) a revu, vendredi 23 juillet, à la hausse ses prévisions pour le commerce mondial en 2010, qui devrait progresser de 10 % ou plus. En mars, l'OMC tablait sur une croissance de 9,5 %.
Lisez l'article dans Le Monde ici.
Lisez le rapport complet de l'OMC ici.

Towards a New Architecture for Financial Stability: Seven Principles

In this paper we use insights from organizational economics and financial regulation to study
the optimal architecture of supervision. We suggest that the new architecture should revolve
around the following principles: (i) banking, securities and insurance supervision should be
further integrated; (ii) macro prudential supervisory function must be in the hands of the
central bank; (iii) the relation between macro and micro supervisors must be articulated
through a management by exception system involving direct authority of the macro
supervisor over enforcement and allocation of tasks; (iv) given the difficulty of measuring
output on supervisory tasks, the systemic risk supervisor must necessarily be more
accountable and less independent than Central Banks are on their monetary task; (v) the
supervisory agency cannot rely on high powered incentives to motivate supervisors, and must
rely on culture instead; (vi) the supervisor must limit its reliance on self regulation; and (vii)
the international system should substitute the current loose, networked structure for a more
centralized and hierarchical one. Read the CEP paper here.

The “stimulus debate” and the golden rule of mountain climbing

The global macroeconomy is at a juncture; some economists argue for continued fiscal stimulus to avoid a double dip recession while others argue for fiscal prudence. In this column, one of the world's leading macroeconomists argues for continued stimulus combined with a plan to ensure long-run sustainability by reforming the funding of pension liabilities. Read Francesco Giavazzi's piece for VOX here.

I.M.F. Backs Efforts in Europe to Cut Deficits

Read the complete article in The NYTimes here.

For-profit colleges Monsters in the making?

IT SEEMS too good to be true, at least for companies. Customers arrive at for-profit colleges by the million. With them comes billions of dollars of federal student grants and loans, to be poured into corporate coffers. Public subsidies may provide up to 90% of revenue; the government bears the risk of loan defaults. This business model has served firms rather well. Its effect on students and taxpayers is less clear. This summer, however, a brawl over for-profit colleges has exploded at last. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Unemployment benefits: Read this shirt

A titanic struggle to decide whether the jobless should get money for longer. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Buitenlandse investeringen kelderen met 70 procent

Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.

ECB chief calls for global tightening

Public spending cuts and tax increases should be imposed immediately across the industrialised world as evidence of a healthy European recovery mounts, according to Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank.
Read this article in the FT here.

Préformateur: accord de principe sur la scission des allocations familiales

La question sur la scission de la politique du marché du travail a également bien progressé. Les allocations de chômage continueraient à être du ressort fédéral.
Lisez l'article dans LLB ici.

World Investment Report 2010: investing in a low-carbon economy

Read this UNCTAD report here.

donderdag 22 juli 2010

De Mad Max-paradox (Kapitalisme 4.0)

In het nieuwe kapitalisme staan flexibiliteit en experimenteren centraal: zowel in de economie, de institutionele organisatie als het overheidsbeleid. Lees het volledige opiniestuk van Peter Dekeyzer in Trends hier.

Voters Rate the Parties' Ideologies

Dems Viewed as Farther from Political Center than is GOP. Read the results of the People's Press poll here.

Too Weak? Concerns Grow over Rigorousness of EU Stress Tests

With the results of European bank stress tests to be released on Friday, some analysts fear that if too few financial institutions fail, the tests will not be be taken seriously. One report indicates that only a single German bank will fail: Munich's Hypo Real Estate. Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International here.

Sow the seeds of long-term growth

"The world economy is entering a new phase after the failure of fiscal stimulus to create a sustained recovery in either the US or Europe. In the US, consumers have retrenched, housing starts have crashed and a double-dip recession is possible. In Europe, fiscal retrenchment is under way after intense market pressures. A new approach to recovery is needed." Read the complete opinion article of Jeffrey Sachs in the Financial Times here.

Joint report on social protection and social inclusion 2010

The Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2010 covers a range of areas including social inclusion policy, housing, healthcare, the impact of the economic crisis on pension systems and governance. It examines the social situation in EU27 before and in the economic and financial crisis and looks at Member States initial responses and preparations made for recovery. The report also includes country profiles on homelessness and housing exclusion for each EU Member State.
Read this EC report here.

The employment dimension of economic greening

The concept of 'going green' is spreading in the EU and is having a significant impact on the economy. This greening of the economy is expected to have wide-spread effects on EU industries and the labour market. This European Employment Observatory Review looks at the influence of the greening of the economy on European employment. The report analyses both the risks and benefits of the green economy and identifies measures that can be taken to limit such risks.
Read this EC report here.

Why are we fat? Discussions on the socioeconomic dimensions and responses to obesity

Read this report from Globalization and Health here.

dinsdag 20 juli 2010

Double-Dip Days

"So, as the optimists’ delusional hopes for a rapid V-shaped recovery evaporate, the advanced world will be at best in a long U-shaped recovery, which in some cases – the eurozone and Japan – may be long enough to stretch into an L-shaped near-depression. Avoiding double dip recession will be difficult." Read Nouriel Roubini's column for Project Syndicate here.

Tax policies for low-carbon energy

Economists often advocate taxes or cap-and-trade schemes to fight pollution, but US policy primarily subsidises clean energy alternatives. This column of Gilbert E. Metcalf critiques such subsidies on four counts: they lower the cost of energy, pick favourite technologies, are often “inframarginal”, and interact in unexpected ways with other policies. Read the complete piece on VOXEU here.

Double Dip? Seven Reasons Why Not

It seems these days that half the headlines in the financial media fear a double-dip recession, as do half the conversations on Wall Street. There certainly are risks, not least in Europe’s financial difficulties. But still, there are reasons to question such widespread concerns. History, after all, offers only one true double-dip experience, and that grew out of a policy error. More, the actual data on the economy fly in the face of such an outlook. Following are seven reasons to doubt the double-dip outlook. Read the complete article in the Wall Street Journal here.

Nog 11 jaar vooraleer de Amerikaanse arbeidsmarkt de crisis heeft verteerd

Overigens zou in België de werkgelegenheid in 2012 opnieuw het pré-crisisniveau (van 2008) halen van 4.460.847 banen volgens het Federaal Planbureau. Lees het volledige artikel in Trends hier.

Le nouveau modèle de croissance britannique

Dans le premier budget du gouvernement de coalition du Royaume-Uni, le gouvernement britannique a exposé un plan sur cinq ans pour reconstruire l'économie britannique sur les bases de la responsabilité, de la liberté et de l'équité. Ce plan assume le passé et prépare l'avenir ...
Lisez cet article sur LesEchos.fr ici.

maandag 19 juli 2010

"Europe 2020" indicators

Find these Eurostat statistics here.

Taxer les plus de 50 ans pour financer la dépendance des seniors

Lors de son entretien télévisé du 12 juillet, Nicolas Sarkozy a confirmé son intention, sitôt achevée la réforme des retraites, d'engager le dernier grand chantier de la législature : la prise en charge de la dépendance.
Lisez l'article complet dans Le Monde ici.

Europeans Cast Critical Eye on Homeopathy

Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International here.

After Tumult, Debt Worries Ease in Europe

Read the complete article in the NYTimes here.

Median Duration of Unemployment

What differentiates this recession from the past ones in terms of duration of unemployment? Mankiw provides the answer here.

Double-Dip Days

Read Roubini's article on Project Syndicate here.

Crisis, What crisis? Patterns of Adaptation in European Labor Markets

The current crisis, while of a global nature, has affected national labor markets to a varying extent. While some countries have experienced a steep increase in unemployment, employment in other developed economies has not fallen in parallel with a significant decline in GDP. Our analysis shows that labor market institutions frequently used to study employment performance can explain the development of unemployment in the situation of crisis in some clusters of countries much better than in others. One major factor to be incorporated in capturing national variations is the role of internal flexibility, in particular working time adjustment. This calls for a broader concept of labor market flexibility which takes into account different channels of adjustment.
Read this IZA report here.

Biocapacité et empreinte écologique des modes de vie : des indicateurs pour la politique de développement durable ?

Ce Working Paper concerne l’empreinte écologique (EE) et la biocapacité (BC), deux indicateurs synthétiques qui portent sur la pression exercée par l’activité humaine sur les ressources naturelles ainsi que sur l’état du capital environnemental. C’est dans le cadre d’un partenariat établi avec le Global Footprint Network (GFN) par Els Van Weert, Secrétaire d’Etat au développement durable (2004‐2007) que le Bureau fédéral du Plan a réalisé cette étude. Ce partenariat participe à une phase de test de la méthode de calcul de l’EE et de la BC et du potentiel de ces deux indicateurs pour soutenir une stratégie de développement durable.

Lisez ce rapport du Bureau fédéral du Plan ici.

Perspectives économiques 2010-2011

Les développements économiques récents confirment la reprise de l'économie mondiale et le redressement de l'économie belge. Malgré les turbulences financières des derniers mois, l'évolution attendue de la situation économique sur la période de projection reste favorable. Les risques sont néanmoins élevés. En 2010, le PIB belge devrait croître de 1,3 %. Sa croissance devrait se relever à nouveau en 2011, pour atteindre 2,0 %.

Lisez cette publication de Regards économiques (UCL) ici.

vrijdag 16 juli 2010

Ongelijkheid wordt erger

Veertien procent van de bevolking stelt geregeld gezondheidszorg uit omdat die te duur is.
Dat is veel. Bovendien is dat de helft meer dan tien jaar geleden. Er is dus niet alleen een probleem, het wordt ook nog erger. Lees het volledige commentaarstuk van Guy Tegenbosch in De Standaard hier.

Europe’s stress test is no short-cut to stability

Last year’s stress test in the US applied to institutions that were the main cause of the financial instabilities, and the government had budgetary room to support the sector. Europe’s situation is different. The concern about banks is a derived concern, reflecting worries about sovereign debt in some countries and the overall economic situation; and there are greater limits today on budgetary resources. Read the opinion article in The Financial Times here.

Economics behaving badly

"It’s becoming clear that behavioral economics is being asked to solve problems it wasn’t meant to address. Indeed, it seems in some cases that behavioral economics is being used as a political expedient, allowing policymakers to avoid painful but more effective solutions rooted in traditional economics." Read the complete opinion article byLoewenstein and Ubel in The NYTimes here.

Reforming the NHS: Once more into the ring

A proposed overhaul aims to improve patient choice, promote competition and empower medical professionals. Agai. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Calling time on progress

"Could it be that behind Europe’s petty, possessive talk about rights and entitlements there is something more fundamental going on? The reason that Europeans struggle to accept the need to work more, and get less from the state is that it seems to signal an abrupt reversal of the decades-long advance towards an ever-more civilised society: in short, the end of progress." Read the complete column in The Economist here.

Integration Through Penury? Denmark Debates a Lower Minimum Wage for Immigrants

A Danish politician has suggested paying immigrants half the current minimum wage. The idea has gone down well with center-right parties, but it's opposed by the left -- and the far right. Right-wing populists fear low wages for immigrants could take jobs away from "regular Danes." Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International here.

The Uses and Abuses of Economic Ideology

John Maynard Keynes famously wrote that “the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than commonly understood. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” But I suspect that a greater danger lies elsewhere, with the practical men and women employed in the policymaking functions of central banks, regulatory agencies, governments, and financial institutions’ risk-management departments tending to gravitate to simplified versions of the dominant beliefs of economists who are, in fact, very much alive. Read Adair Turner's article on Project Syndicate here.

donderdag 15 juli 2010

Auctioning Nuclear Plant Lifetimes Would Be 'Transparent but Risky'

The German government is considering conducting an auction in which energy companies would bid for the right to extend the lifetimes of their nuclear power stations beyond their scheduled shutdown dates. Opposition parties are outraged over the idea. Commentators say there are advantages, but also risks. Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International here.

Number of the Week: Euro Zone Debt Is Coming Due

$1.65 trillion: Euro zone bank debt coming due in 2010 and 2011. Read the complete article in the Wall Street Journal here.

Europe's Flawed Carbon-Trading System

The European Union likes to present its greenhouse-gas Emission Trading System as a pioneering success story. But our research at Delft University tells a different story—that the system is simply not producing the timely, significant reduction of CO2 emissions originally envisaged. A tax on CO2 emissions would be a far more beneficial alternative, not only for companies, but for consumers and for our climate as well. Read the complete opinion article in the Wall Street Journal here.

Europe Struggles to Match Success of U.S. Bank Tests

"Test results are due out on July 23. It is impossible to tell from outline plans unveiled last week if the tests will be truly severe, will publish more than a simple “passed/failed" label for every bank, and, crucially, what will be done with the failed ones." Read the complete analysis in the NYTimes here.

La lutte contre la fraude fiscale a rapporté 4,226 milliards

Lisez l'article complet dans Le Soir ici.


De waarschuwingen over de oplopende kosten van de vergrijzing zijn nu genoeg herhaald. Tijd om er ook echt iets aan te doen. Lees het volledige commentaarstuk van Patrick Martens in Knack hier.

woensdag 14 juli 2010

How Dangerous Is U.S. Government Debt?

The dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency has become a facet of U.S. power, allowing the United States to borrow effortlessly and sustain an assertive foreign policy. But the capital inflows associated with the dollar’s reserve-currency status have created a vulnerability, too, opening the door to a foreign sell-off of U.S. securities that could drive up U.S. interest rates. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Capital Flows Quarterly, Francis E. Warnock argues that a sell-off came close to happening in 2009. How the United States uses this reprieve will affect the nation’s ability to borrow for years to come, with broad implications for the sustainability of an active U.S. foreign policy. Read the complete paper here.

Sen on Smith

Harvard Professor and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen speaks on "The Uses and Abuses of Adam Smith" at Duke University as part of a celebration weekend of the 40th anniversary of the History of Political Economy Journal. Watch the complete lecture at Duke University on Youtube here.

Opel als kantelmoment

Jan Denys is het niet eens met het plan van de federale minister van Werk om de brugpensioenregeling nog te versoepelen: 'Milquet doet net het omgekeerde van wat ze zou moeten doen.' Jan Denys is arbeidsmarktdeskundige bij Randstad. Lees zijn volledige opiniestuk in De Morgen hier.

Fiscal Fibs and Follies

Across the globe, the debate over fiscal consolidation has the distinct sound of two sides talking past one another. Whereas severely distressed southern European states may well benefit from cutting their budget deficits, those arguing for fiscal consolidation in the major G-20 economies are playing a dangerous game. Read Barry Eichengreen's column on Project Syndicate here.

On the consequences of an EU patent for inventors and patent offices

For more than 40 years, many governments and professional associations have acted, voted, or lobbied against the implementation of the EU patent. This column argues that the EU patent would drastically reduce patenting costs for applicants and generate more income for both the European Patent Office as well as most national offices, all the while saving €120 million in legal fees. Read the column of Jérôme Danguy and Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie on VOX here.

A cure that could do more harm than good

Pursuit of regulatory perfection will transfer risks from banks to customer, writes Masayuki Oku, chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association. Read the article in FT here.

Federale plannen schaden Vlaamse wetenschappers

Lees het opiniestuk van de Vlaamse rectoren in De Standaard hier.

dinsdag 13 juli 2010

How to Avoid a Double-Dip Global Recession

Read Roubini's article on Project Syndicate here.

How Inequality Fueled the Crisis

"Technological progress in the US requires the labor force to have ever greater skills. A high school diploma was sufficient for office workers 40 years ago, whereas an undergraduate degree is barely sufficient today. But the education system has been unable to provide enough of the labor force with the necessary education. The reasons range from indifferent nutrition, socialization, and early-childhood learning to dysfunctional primary and secondary schools that leave too many Americans unprepared for college. The everyday consequence for the middle class is a stagnant paycheck and growing job insecurity. Politicians feel their constituents’ pain, but it is hard to improve the quality of education, for improvement requires real and effective policy change in an area where too many vested interests favor the status quo."
Read Rajan's article on Project Syndicate here.

Waalse groei haalt Vlaamse bijna in

De Vlaamse economie zal de komende jaren trager groeien dan in het verleden, de Waalse sneller. Het verschil wordt klein. Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.

Crisis weegt op migratie

Door de crisis zijn migranten minder welkom in de rijke landen. En zij die er al zijn, worden zwaarder getroffen door de recessie. De Oeso trekt aan de alarmbel. Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.

Inscriptions : trois recours rejetés par le Conseil d’Etat

Lisez l'article complet dans Le Soir ici.

Vertraging economische groei zet zich door in mei (OESO)

Lees het volledige artikel in Trends hier.

maandag 12 juli 2010

Canadian health care: Follow the leader

The provinces crack down on prescription-drug spending. AS AMERICA debated health-care reform last year, many advocates of universal coverage looked approvingly at Canada, which spends less per head on medical care than the United States does and has a longer life expectancy. Yet this pillar of Canada’s national identity is now creaking under the burden of cost. Health spending, which is administered by the provinces, has increased from nearly 35% of their budgets in 1999 to 46% today. In Ontario, the most populous province, it is set to reach 80% by 2030, leaving pennies for everything else the government does, not counting tax increases or new federal transfers. The biggest culprit is prescription drugs, which have seen their share of public-health spending triple since 1980. Cash-strapped provincial premiers are starting to focus on medicine costs—prompting fierce resistance from the drugs industry. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

The Feckless Fed

Ben Bernanke knows the dangers of deflation. So why isn’t the Fed using its tools to head it off? Read Krugman's column in the NYTimes here.

vrijdag 9 juli 2010

Europe's future: Can anything perk up Europe?

"Europe seems a diminished force in the world. In Asia and America it has become fashionable to look upon these failings with disdain. Europe’s time is past, it is said. Its ageing, inward-looking citizens no longer have the resolve to overcome adversity. And yet an ailing Europe benefits nobody."

Yes: the European Union will thrive if its leaders seize the moment in the same way they did 20 years ago. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Are stimulus skeptics logically incoherent?

Read Greg Mankiw's objection on Krugman's proposition for U.S. government to borrow some of the cash corporations aren’t spending here.

SERV geeft Muyters voorzet voor duurzaam begrotingsbeleid

Lees het volledige persbericht van de SERV hier.

Lees de volledige studie hier.

Grote schuldeisers van banken moeten risico lopen

Lees het volledige persbericht van het Nederlandse Planbureau hier.

Lees de volledige studie Systemic risk in financial markets: review and synthesis hier.

Drie tips voor het overheidsbudget

Lees het volledige opiniestuk van Wim Moesen (KULeuven) in De Standaard hier.

donderdag 8 juli 2010

EU launches public debate on the future of pensions

The European Commission has on July 7, 2010 launched a Europe-wide public debate on how to ensure adequate, sustainable and safe pensions and how the EU can best support the national efforts. Read the press release and the green paper here.

woensdag 7 juli 2010

Merkel's Government Agrees to Mini-Health Care Reform

Facing a projected shortfall of 11 billion euros for Germany's health care system in 2011, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government agreed on Tuesday to increase contributions. But the plan is a far cry from radical reform, leading to calls for the country's health minister to resign. Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International here.

In a World of Throwaways, Making a Dent in Medical Waste

Read the complete article in the NYTimes here.

Alleen een loonstop kan de Belgische concurrentiepositie redden

Een loonstop is de enige echte mogelijkheid om de Belgische loonkostenhandicap weg te werken. De laatste nieuwsbrief van het Planbureau laat er weinig twijfel over bestaan: de voorbije vijftien jaar is de Belgische loonkostenhandicap opgelopen tot 3,94 procent.
Lees het volledige opiniestuk in Trends hier.

5 Ways Congress Can Bolster Growth

Read David Leonhardt's column in the NYTimes here.

Bank stress testing : “Wasserdruck !!”

One of the scarce hilarious moments in the motion picture “Das Boot” concerns the “usual” exercise of emergency diving after an enemy alert. When the U-boot goes beneath 250 m, the infrastructure crumbles and shakes with bolts flying around. The chief engineer smiles to the propaganda representative aboard – having cold sweat and laughing green – merely saying “Wasserdruck”, winking an eye to those familiar with the exercise. Todays’ exercise on European banks and stress testing shows some similarities with the above scene : it involves shaky fundamentals and could possibly involve misleading propaganda. Read the complete post on the Econoshock blog here.

Belgische starters geholpen met microkredieten

Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.

dinsdag 6 juli 2010

Le Cercle des économistes prône un grand emprunt européen

Lisez l'article complet dans Le Monde ici.

A Little Economic Realism

Proponents of a second stimulus need to beware of reckless new debt, but we must also guard against severe austerity. Read David Brooks' column in the NYTimes here.

maandag 5 juli 2010

Studiecommissie voor de vergrijzing: jaarlijks verslag 2010

Lees één van de belangrijkste overheidsrapporten van het jaar hier.

Deficit reduction and the role of taxes

Read the complete ippr paper here.

Leaving Germany for Turkey

High-quality immigrants are leaving Western Europe for growth countries. The poorly educated stay put in unemployment or worse. Read the complete article in De Spiegel International here.

The Case Against Europe’s 2020 Agenda

Read Fredrik Erixon's (ECIPE) paper here.

Faut-il interdire ou encourager les agriculteurs à spéculer ?

Lisez l'article de l'IREF ici.

Ten Myths of Addressing Global Warming and the Green Economy

Read the complete ITIF paper here.

Déficit : “une dépense publique raisonnable, des impôts pour la financer”

Lisez la très intéressante analyse du Monde ici.

US claims of higher drug costs under fire

Claims by the US drugs industry that the US disproportionately funds research and development of new drugs by paying higher prices than Europe for its medicines have been undermined by a new study to be published soon. Panos Kanavos and Sotiri Vandoros at the London School of Economics argue in their report that a rigorous like-for-like comparison shows that transatlantic differences in patented medicine prices are modest and declining over time. Read the complete article in the Financial Times here.

Brussels to press for higher retirement ages

Read the complete article in the Financial Times here.

A New Problem for Insurance Markets

An article in the Wall Street Journal notes that scientists have identified genetic markers for the proclivity to live a long life. To Greg Mankiw, the famous Harvard economist, this raises a host of interesting economic questions. Read his blogpost here.

The Feasibility to Regionalise Corporate Income Taxation

Read Professor Haelterman's Vives (KULeuven) discussion paper here.

Punishing the jobless

Read Paul Krugman's column in The NYTimes here.

donderdag 1 juli 2010


Lisez l'article de l'Institut Montaigne ici.

Geen stoffige academici

Smit ging in haar eigen doctoraatsthesis op zoek naar de zin van doctoreren voor de bedrijfswereld. Samen met haar promotor Rossette S'Jegers onderzocht ze welke meerwaarde doctoren bieden voor bedrijven uit de kenniseconomie en in hoeverre het HR-management die meerwaarde ook juist inschat. Lees de Standaardanalyse hier.