While it has long been apparent that global levels of wealth and income inequality have been steadily increasing since the 1970s, the issue received scant attention in Europe until the recent financial crisis and the resulting Great Recession illuminated for the general public just how great the chasm between the very rich and everybody else had grown. This realisation was coupled with an increased focus on inequality among economists and other academics, leading to a fresh drive for policy ideas to remedy the alarming trend. This Forum comprises a diverse range of viewpoints on the recent history and dynamics of inequality within Europe, each striving to define the root causes in the various countries being examined.
To commemorate the journal’s 50th anniversary, Intereconomics has opened its archives and created a new website that looks back on the major economic topics covered in its pages over the last half century. We invite you to peruse a selection of notable articles â on topics ranging from the collapse of Bretton Woods to the debate over whether the European Economic Community should adopt a common currency, and from the end of communism to the post-crisis turn to austerity policies. These articles shine a light on the prevailing economic thought as major events unfolded.
Michael Emerson (Centre for European Policy Studies) argues that it is time to clarify the consequences of the UK’s seemingly simple choice: in or out. In case of a vote for secession, the EU could be expected to play a tough game in negotiations and would be in no hurry to end the uncertainty. EU member states would be tempted by the opportunity to gain advantages in commercial competition over the UK’s current economic strengths. Furthermore, the UK would face years of strategic uncertainty as the negotiations dragged on.
In Europe and in the United States, one of the legacies of the economic and financial crisis will no doubt be a high and particularly worrying level of economic inequality. In this Forum article, Maurizio Franzini (Sapienza University of Rome) and Mario Pianta (UniversitÃ di Urbino) argue that while inequality has roots that go well beyond the 2008 collapse, the stagnation that has followed it has made disparities in income and wealth more serious and more difficult to eradicate. The challenge now is to turn the injustice of current inequality into a theme of public mobilisation and political action.
Judging by what we see of U.S. politics from Europe, it would appear that the country is largely polarised between left and right, and that bipartisan compromise is a distant dream. However, outside of election campaigns and fiery rhetoric, there does seem to be room for compromise on solutions to key issues. Robert Doar (American Enterprise Institue) presents here an interesting result of a bipartisan think tank collaboration tasked with finding common ground for policy solutions to tackle one of the country’s biggest problems: poverty. It is argued that reducing the number of single parent families could increase the educational, behavioural and employment-related outcomes of the next generation of Americans.
from Michael Emerson's Editorial The Economics of a Brexit
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 Submissions section of our website for relevant information.
Intereconomics is published by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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