Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Volume 47, January/February 2012

The January/February issue of Intereconomics features a Forum that focuses on the disconnect between EU labour market needs and employees’ skills, with special attention given to youth employment issues. Other articles in this issue include an analysis of the fiscal adjustments required throughout the EU to achieve debt sustainability, an appeal for economists to pay greater attention to the knowledge to be gained from economic sentiment indicators and an Editorial explaining the true significance of the recent EFSF credit rating downgrade.

This issue also marks the turning of a page for the journal, as longtime editors Claus Hamann and Irene Wilson moved on to a well-deserved retirement in December. The Intereconomics team would like to congratulate the two of them and thank them for their years of service. We would also like to welcome Ekaterina Sprenger to the editorial team and congratulate her on the successful production of this issue.


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Challenges Facing European Labour Markets: Is a Skill Upgrade the Appropriate Instrument?

The financial and economic crisis shattered the Lisbon Strategy’s attempt to increase the EU’s employment rate to 70% among 15-64 year olds by 2010. The new Europe 2020 strategy envisages a 75% adult employment rate by 2020; however, this goal also seems unrealistic in light of the economic crisis which has caused the EU’s employment rate to drop significantly below 70%. A crucial question now is whether a skill upgrade of the European labour force would help to increase the employment rate, especially among youth. In this issue’s Forum, seven experts explore the uneven relationship between education and employment throughout the EU.


Economic Sentiment Shocks and Fluctautions in Economic Activity in the Euro Area and the USA

Bas van Aarle (Universiteit Hasselt and CESifo Research Network Affiliate) and Marcus Kappler (Centre for European Economic Research) look at the wealth of information that economic sentiment indicators can provide for macroeconomic policy analysis. Mainstream economics often overlooks economic sentiment indicators, but the authors demonstrate the clear interrelationships between these indicators and traditional ones such as output, retail sales and unemployment, thereby making a compelling case for the inclusion of economic sentiment in standard macroeconomic policy formulation.

The Trilemma of a Monetary Union: Another Impossible Trinity

Hanno Beck (Pforzheim University Business School) and Aloys Prinz (University of Munster) explain why a monetary union among autonomous countries cannot simultaneously maintain an independent monetary policy, national fiscal sovereignty and a no-bailout clause. These three features make up an impossible trinity, and attempts to preserve all three concurrently will ultimately end in failure. Beck and Prinz argue that to save EMU, one of these three must be abandoned.

A Challenge for the G20: Global Debt Brakes and Transnational Fiscal Supervisory Councils

Matthias Dolls (Institute for the Study of Labour), Andreas Peichl (Institute for the Study of Labour) and Klaus F. Zimmermann (Institute for the Study of Labour and Bonn University) examine the threat posed by the unprecedented growth in the debt-to-GDP ratios in many industrialised economies. The authors call for a global debt brake with some built-in flexibility in order to combat this economic danger. Furthermore, they propose the creation of transnational councils to ensure that national budget plans meet the requirements stipulated by the debt brakes.

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“In this uncertain situation, the analysis [...] shows that labour market conditions have worsened for the highly educated.”

from Ilias Livanos and Imanol Núñez's Forum contribution Young Workers’ Employability and Higher Education in Europe in the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis: An Initial Assessment

About Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Intereconomics is jointly produced by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). The journal appears bimonthly and features papers by economists that deal with economic and social policy issues and trends in Europe or affecting Europe. To submit a paper for publication, please visit the Call for Papers section of our website for relevant information.

Intereconomics is published by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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