Anniversary Conference of Intereconomics/WIrtschaftsdienst

New Growth for Europe

flyer conference new growth for Europe

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Berlin · 10 October 2016 · 09:30 am - 08:00 pm

The joint Intereconomics/Wirtschaftsdienst anniversary conference will seek to identify new sources for economic growth in Europe. What investments can be made now to foster future growth? What is the appropriate role for the state? Have the measures taken to combat the economic crisis opened new opportunities for European growth, or will they merely lead to further stagnation? How can Europe best exploit its economic potential? Join us as Tito Boeri, Karl Whelan, Daniel Gros, Clemens Fuest, László Andor, Erik Berglöf and many other prominent European economists discuss these important issues.

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Ageing in Europe

Europeans used to have a reasonable expectation that they would be taken care of by the state in old age. However, there is now much anxiety across the continent about the meagre pensions awaiting retirees. One major factor is the well-documented demographic transition of many rich European countries, as greying populations have led to increasing dependency ratios, causing social security systems to buckle. The Great Recession and the resulting austerity measures have also contributed to the problem. This Forum looks at the new reality of ageing in Europe – an important issue that will affect all Europeans at some point in their lives.

Figure of the Month

Better retirement provision for Austrians

This figure from Blank et al.'s article “Why is Austria's Pension System So Much Better Than Germany's?” shows a wealth of important information that distinguishes the Austrian pension system from that of Germany. Click on the figure for further information.

Letter from America

Reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Don't Hold Your Breath

Over the past eight years, there have been many proposals to reform the US housing finance system, which currently is dependent on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Unfortunately, none have gotten far in Congress, mainly due to sharp disagreement on the structure of a new system and how to get there. Laurie Goodman describes the obstacles standing in the way of the creation of a more stable system of mortgage financing.


Why Is Austria's Pension System So Much Better Than Germany's?

The pension systems in both Germany and Austria have undergone substantial reforms, though only one of the countries appears to have had success. Average earners in Austria will receive gross pensions equivalent to 78.1% of their average earnings, whereas in Germany they will receive just 37.5%. The authors argue that Germany has been left with a system that has abandoned the goal of protecting people's standard of living.

Quote of the Month

Reform Inaction

"Bipartisan action requires champions, and most legislators believe they have something to lose – and little to gain – by investing their precious resources in fixing a system they see as functioning at least passably well."

from Laurie Goodman's Letter from America "Reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Don't Hold Your Breath"


The Organization and Economics of Sports Mega-Events

In light of the imminent commencement of the UEFA Championship in France and the Olympics in Rio, as well as the prospective bids of Rome and Paris for the 2024 Olympics, it is an opportune time to shed some light on the benefits and costs of hosting a mega-event. Andrew Zimbalist casts doubt on the economics of these events for the host countries, arguing that they inflict unnecessary debt on their hosts and undermine sustainability concerns.

Editor's Choice

The Impact of the Financial Crisis on the Real Economy

The cost of the financial crisis to the real economy has so far remained underexamined, probably because of the difficulty in making such an assessment. The crisis was precipitated by an unsustainable bubble that artificially inflated economic figures, so what should be used as a benchmark for measuring the effects of the crisis on the real economy? How reliable are current estimates of the output gap? Could overestimating this indicator lead to underestimating the current risk of inflation? Finally, what effect will the crisis have on the declining long-term productivity gains in Europe and the USA, and what does this mean for potential output?