Wirtschaftsdienst - Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik

Newsletter – Volume 50, November/December 2015

The November/December issue of Intereconomics features a Forum that explores the issues related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The contributing authors took part in the recent Intereconomics conference on TTIP, which gave them an opportunity to present their findings and discuss and debate their policy recommendations with one another. This issue’s Editorial addresses the Paris climate negotiations, while the Letter from America deals with the different approaches taken to network neutrality in the EU, Canada and the US. Additional contributions include an evaluation of policy instruments that can remedy the rising levels of income inequality in industrialised countries, an analysis of whether low interest rates can actually cause low inflation and a discussion between two authors on the true costs of monetary financing.

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Featured Topic

TTIP: Political and Economic Rationale and Implications

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will reduce tariffs and lower regulatory hurdles that currently impair trade between the EU and the US. However, TTIP has been controversial from the outset. Non-governmental organisations are concerned about lowered health and environmental standards, unions fear a further weakening of labour conditions, and economists debate whether or not there will actually be any noticeable impact on employment and GDP growth. This Forum, featuring contributions by the speakers at the 2015 Intereconomics conference, presents a balanced overview of both the prospective benefits as well as the possible drawbacks to the potentially monumental trade agreement.

Additional Highlights from the Current Issue

The Paris Climate Negotiations and Beyond: Staying Under a Two Degree Celsius Ceiling

Countries have been preparing voluntary pledges of action in their attempts to reach a global climate agreement in Paris. Miranda A. Schreurs (Free University of Berlin) argues that while any deal reached in Paris is unlikely to keep temperatures from rising above two degrees Celsius, it is nonetheless very important that the Paris agreement include mechanisms that allow for corrections and for the strengthening of targets as new scientific data becomes available.

Network Neutrality in the EU, Canada and the U.S.

News that the European Union will enact a network neutrality regime has triggered predictably divergent views in America. Rob Frieden (Penn State University) describes the different approaches taken to network neutrality in the EU, Canada and the US. Given the fractious and politicised nature of the debate, advocates for an open Internet welcome validation of the need for affirmative, ex ante regulatory oversight. Opponents consider the EU to have joined the bandwagon of nations seeing problems where none exist, a classic example of a false positive triggering meddlesome government oversight.

Trade with China, Inequality and Policy Responses

The integration of China's huge workforce into the global trading system has had profound effects on economies worldwide. Trade with China has been shown to lead to wage losses and declining employment in developed countries. The integration of the Chinese economy into the world trade is also frequently blamed for rising inequality. Wolfgang Lechthaler and Mariya Mileva (Kiel Institute for the World Economy, IfW) analyse policy instruments that can remedy the rising levels of income inequality in industrialised countries, differentiating between the short-term causes, e.g. the slow reallocation of workers across sectors, and the long-term ones, e.g. the increased demand for skilled workers. Instruments considered include a general wage tax, sector-specific taxes on consumption and profit, tailored subsidies for firms, and training subsidies.

Current Issue of Intereconomics Online


Quote of the Month

Vague verbal reassurances [on TTIP] are not enough: trust will only come from transparency, effective legal safeguards in negotiating texts and improved communication.

from Monique Goyens and Léa Auffret's Forum article TTIP: What Is in It for Consumers?

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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