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Annual Intereconomics / CEPS Conference

Economic Convergence or Divergence in the EU?

Brussels · 9 October 2018 · 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

How do we spot the trends in convergence and how can they help us to understand and stimulate the process? What roles do education, structural funds and regional factors play in this process? What policy measures can the EU use to foster economic convergence and deter divergence in the coming decade? Representatives from the EU institutions, academic researchers, economists and other experts consider these questions and offer their insight. Join us and share your views on these important questions.

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Editor's Choice

Towards a New Paradigm: Stabilising Financial Markets

Ten years after the crisis, Moritz Schularick and Kaspar Zimmermann argue that a new paradigm to stabilise financial markets is emerging. This paradigm takes a less axiomatic perspective on market efficiency and acknowledges the potential of unfettered financial markets to misprice assets and endogenously create financial instability.

Letter from America

Trump: Reckless Free Trader or Genuine Protectionist?

The question that remains unanswered, writes Edward Alden in this issue's Letter from America, is whether Trump’s tariff strategy is a tactical one, intended to wring concessions from trading partners, or whether it represents a genuine abandonment of the U.S. commitment to free trade that dates back to the mid-1930s. The answer, the author says, will determine whether the Trump tariffs prove to be a minor skirmish, or trigger a major trade war that will rip apart the fabric of global trading rules.

Figure of the Month

The Nordic Model of Economic Development and Welfare

This figure from Robert Iacono’s  article The Nordic Model of Economic Development and Welfare: Recent Developments and Future Prospects from our current issue shows that the high welfare spendings in the nordic countries correlate with a low wage dispersion.



The Unifying Role of the Single Currency

Perhaps the single most tangible symbol of the European Union is its single currency, the euro, writes László Andor. Within the European Economic and Monetary Union, it was seen as a tool to ensure that European integration would be truly irreversible. As we have seen since the recent financial crisis, this is not always the case. Can the euro uphold its unifying mission or are the odds stacked against it?

Universal Basic Income

Financing and Income Distribution

The idea of a universal basic income is nothing new: the concept of a guaranteed endowment paid by the government to each of its citizens dates back centuries. The UBI has gained momentum in recent years as the relative economic stability of the second half of the 20th century gave way to a more turbulent start to the new millennium. Heiner Flassbeck assesses unanswered questitions with regard to financing and distribution.


What We Can Learn from the Nordic Model

Considered role models for governance, equality, and social and economic policy, the Nordic countries rank near the top of every quality of living standard survey worldwide. The state welfare system, access to quality education and wage equality characterise the Nordic model and contribute to the countries’ continued growth and prosperity. But they also face challenges due to ageing populations, increasing inequality and digitalisation.

Quote of the Month

The Nordic Model and Structural Change

"The case of Saab and Trollhättan shows one way that societies can harness the productive side of creative destruction while mitigating the harm it causes."

Mark T. Nance and Jack Daly from "The Nordic Model and Structural Change: Lessons from the Collapse of Saab Automobile AB"

The Nordic Model

Elitism in Higher Education and Inequality: Why Are the Nordic Countries So Special?

Do high levels of ‘elitism’ in higher education mean higher levels of inequality? Elise S. Brezis finds that elite universities have higher budgets, better scholars and a better student Network, resulting in higher productivity in the more competitive tradable sector´ and overall higher levels of inequality. Brezis considers the Nordic model, which displays lower elitism in higher education and correspondingly lower levels of inequality than most of the other OECD countries.