Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Welfare States’

If the state got out of the redistribution business

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juli 2017

Date: 13-07-2017

Source: The Economist

Without governments, would countries have more inequality, or less?

Angus Deaton, a Nobel prize-winning economist, explores a question that intrigued him

IF WE were somehow to abolish its government, would America become less equal? Would Britain?

The obvious answer is yes; many see the reduction of market inequality as one of the main tasks of the state in a mixed economy. And indeed, across the mostly rich economies of the OECD, post-tax incomes are more equally distributed than pre-tax incomes.

But this simple understanding is seriously incomplete—both factually, and in its view on the way governments behave.

The standard case, which all economists learn, is that competitive markets are efficient, in the precise but limited sense that in a well-functioning free market it is impossible to make anyone better off without hurting at least one other person. Nothing in this guarantees an acceptable distribution of income; one person having everything can be perfectly efficient. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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IFO-Chef Fuest: „Sozialstaat und freie Migration sind unvereinbar“

Posted by hkarner - 5. September 2016

03.09.2016 | 18:36 | Von Jeannine Binder und Karl Gaulhofer (Die Presse)

FuestClemens Fuest, der neue Präsident des Münchner IFO-Instituts, fordert Einschränkungen bei der Niederlassungsfreiheit für EU-Bürger, eine Radikalreform des EU-Budgets und mehr Mut zu Schuldenschnitten.

In Österreich und Deutschland wächst die Wirtschaft mit 1,5 Prozent. Angesichts der Rahmenbedingungen – Nullzinsen, niedriger Ölpreis, schwacher Euro – ist das doch erstaunlich mager. Warum geht nicht mehr? Sind wir auf dem Weg zur „Japanisierung“?

Clemens Fuest: Die Situation hat Ähnlichkeiten mit jener in Japan. Dort hat man nach einer Schuldenkrise die Banken nicht verpflichtet, faule Kredite abzuschreiben, sondern sie mit Liquidität versorgt und gehofft, die Schulden würden mit der Zeit von selbst verschwinden. In Europa haben wir ähnlich reagiert. Unangenehme Entscheidungen werden verschoben. So verhindert man einen kurzfristigen Einbruch. Aber der gewaltige Nachteil ist, dass wenig Neues entsteht. Wenn Staaten bis über die Halskrause verschuldet sind, gibt es Unsicherheit. Investitionen bleiben aus. Die Menschen trauen dem Braten nicht.

Warum hat Europa diesen Weg gewählt? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Saving European Social Security from the Populists

Posted by hkarner - 20. Mai 2016

Photo of Tito Boeri

Tito Boeri

Tito Boeri is President of the Italian Social Security Administration.

MAY 19, 2016, Project Syndicate

ROME – Austria’s presidential election has thrown into sharp relief one of Europe’s fundamental challenges. In the first round, held on April 24, Norbert Hofer of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) won the largest share of the popular vote, having campaigned on the claim that unchecked immigration risked burdening Austria’s welfare state to the point of collapse. He faces off against Alexander Van der Bellen, a member of the Greens, on May 22.

Claims like Hofer’s may be the subject of fierce disagreement among labor economists, but they have struck a chord with the European electorate. All across the continent, right-wing populist parties are gaining ground by exploiting voters’ concerns about migration and access to the welfare state. And, in the United Kingdom, worries about “benefit tourism” are fueling efforts to pull the country out of the European Union. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Immigration into the Welfare State

Posted by hkarner - 26. Januar 2016

Photo of Hans-Werner Sinn

Hans-Werner Sinn

Hans-Werner Sinn, Professor of Economics and Public Finance at the University of Munich, is President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and serves on the German economy ministry’s Advisory Council. He is the author, most recently,of The Euro Trap: On Bursting Bubbles, Budgets, and Beliefs.

JAN 26, 2016, Project Syndicate

MUNICH – The armed conflict destabilizing some Arab countries has unleashed a huge wave of refugees headed for Europe. About 1.1 million came to Germany alone in 2015. At the same time, the adoption of the principle of freedom of movement within Europe has triggered massive, but largely unnoticed, intra-European migration flows. In 2014, Germany experienced an unprecedented net inflow of 304,000 people from other EU countries, and the number was probably similar in 2015.

Some EU members, including Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, France, and the initially welcoming Denmark and Sweden, have reacted by practically suspending the Schengen Agreement and reinstating border controls. Economists are not really surprised at this. In the 1990s, dozens of academic papers addressed the issue of migration into welfare states, discussing many of the problems that are now becoming apparent. I myself wrote much on the subject at the time, trying – mostly in vain – to raise awareness among policymakers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can EU countries still afford their welfare states?

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2015

Date: 17-09-2015
Source: BBC

Merkel cc2As German Chancellor Angela Merkel is fond of repeating, the EU accounts for just 7% of the world’s population and a quarter of its gross domestic product (GDP) but as much as half of its welfare spending.

Her underlying message is that Europe spends too much on social policies and thus has no choice but to retrench.

Austerity is one reason for cuts, but other threats to the sustainability of the welfare state are more fundamental.

They include dealing with an ageing population and adapting to evolving societal expectations.

Intensifying competition from emerging markets has also seen globalisation become a threat, because the cost of welfare policies has undermined the competitiveness of companies.

However, as I and my colleagues argue in a new paper, it would be wrong to view the welfare state mainly as a burden and it is undeniable that welfare states encapsulate values that people across the EU cherish.

How much is spent on the welfare state?

Social expenditure per person in the EU in 2012 (the most recent year available, using a harmonised definition) was €7,600 (£5,540), but with a range from €18,900 (£13,800) in Luxembourg to just €927 (£675) in Bulgaria. The UK figure was €8,700 (£6,340). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Uns droht ein jähes Ende unseres Wohlstands

Posted by hkarner - 15. Januar 2015

Date: 15-01-2015
Source: Die Welt

In der Welt der Ökonomie ist Stillstand gefährlich: Sollte die globale Produktivität nicht deutlich steigen, droht laut einer Studie ein dramatischer Einbruch des weltweiten Wachstums um 40 Prozent.

weltweites wachstumSind die besten Zeiten vorbei? Das weltweite Wachstum bricht der Studie zufolge in den nächsten Jahren ein. Denn die „demografische Dividende“ fällt weg

Sind die besten Zeiten vorbei? Das weltweite Wachstum bricht der Studie zufolge in den nächsten Jahren ein. Denn die „demografische Dividende“ fällt weg
Es ist eine der drängendsten Fragen unserer Zeit: Wird es der Welt gelingen, die globale Ökonomie am Laufen zu halten – oder fallen wir in eine große Stagnation zurück, in der die wirtschaftliche Aktivität erlahmt und der gesellschaftliche Wohlstand akut gefährdet ist?

Befeuert wird diese Sorge vor allem von der wachsenden Überalterung der Gesellschaft. In einer Welt, in der die Zahl der verfügbaren Arbeitskräfte sinkt, weil immer weniger Menschen im arbeitsfähigen Alter zur Verfügung stehen, muss der Einzelne deutlich produktiver sein, damit das bisherige Wachstumstempo – und damit auch der westliche Lebensstandard – beibehalten werden können. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Dutch Cure for the Dutch Disease

Posted by hkarner - 17. Januar 2014

A highly interesting article concerning reforms of the welfare state – essential reading, not only for Dutch citizens (hfk)

Date: 16-01-2014
 Source: Project Syndicate


Michael J. Boskin is Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was Chairman of George H. W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 1993, and headed the so-called Boskin Commission, a congressional advisory body that highlighted errors in official US inflation estimates.

STANFORD – Far too few governments rein in their countries’ bloated welfare states before disaster strikes. As a result, some citizens eventually suffer the economic equivalent of a heart attack: wrenching declines in living standards as they are victimized by unsustainable programs’ endgame. Greece and the city of Detroit are only the most recent grim examples.

Many more suffer from the meager growth and barely rising incomes that result from the toxic combination of government overspending, burdensome regulations, and corrosive taxation. Much of Europe fits this category of economic stagnation.

Occasionally, however, governments stage successful retreats from welfare-state dysfunction. Canada reduced spending by over 8% of GDP in the 1990’s, and the United States reduced non-military spending by 5% of GDP beginning in the mid-1980’s – a trend sustained by center-right and center-left governments alike. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A consistent trinity for the Eurozone

Posted by hkarner - 11. Januar 2014

Marco Buti (European Commission), 8 January 2014, voxeu

Though in the past two years substantial progress has been made in completing the structure of Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union, not all economic inconsistencies have been solved. This column discusses three main challenges that still need to be addressed. First, sound fiscal policies need to be conducted while keeping sustainable welfare systems. Second is the conflict between policy objectives and economic realities – vulnerable economies cannot reduce their debts and simultaneously gain competitiveness. Third, financial stability and integrated financial markets cannot be established unless the relationship between banks and their sovereigns is reformed. Addressing each of these challenges is important, and it could benefit all Eurozone members.

While it would be premature to declare victory, owing to sustained policy efforts at all institutional levels, major progress has been made in the past two years that has put Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on much firmer ground. All strands of economic policymaking have been working together to overhaul economic governance, to ensure the efficient transmission of monetary policy, and to create effective financial firewalls. What made this possible was the clear political determination to safeguard the integrity and future of EMU. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Sweden: The new model

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2012

Date: 11-10-2012
Source: The Economist

A bit more unequal, a lot more efficient

SALTSJÖBADEN, A CHARMING seaside town on the outskirts of Stockholm, has an iconic place in Swedish economic history. The “Saltsjöbaden Accord”, signed there between unions and employers in 1938, ushered in the consensus system of labour relations that remains a pillar of Sweden’s economic model. Nowadays the town is famous for a different reason. It is one of Stockholm’s fanciest suburbs, and the setting for “Sunny Side”, a popular television comedy that pokes fun at the country’s new rich. In the show, Saltsjöbaden’s yuppy residents fret over how to get their babies into the best nursery. A badly behaved child is threatened with banishment to Fisksätra, a poor enclave a few train stops away, where immigrants from 100 countries cram into dilapidated blocks of flats.

The most equal country in the world is becoming less so. Sweden’s Gini coefficient for disposable income is now 0.24, still a lot lower than the rich-world average of 0.31 but around 25% higher than it was a generation ago. That rise is causing considerable angst in a nation whose self-image is staunchly egalitarian. A leftist group caused a media hubbub earlier this year by organising a “class safari” bus tour of Saltsjöbaden and Fisksätra. Opposition leaders insist that the ruling centre-right party is turning Sweden into America. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Analysis: With or without euro, Europe must raise its game

Posted by hkarner - 28. Mai 2012

Date: 28-05-2012
Source: Reuters

The opening last week in northeastern Spain of a 37-million-euro stretch of motorway to nowhere is an irresistible metaphor for the euro, an ambitious project conceived in better times that is now seemingly running out of road.

With Spain heavily in debt, the authorities could not afford to finish the highway but opened the completed 6 km section near Lleida in any case to deter illegal joy racing.

If only the euro were bringing joy. Maybe the road in Spain will be completed one day, but for now it is one more reminder that much of Europe has been living beyond its means.

On this score, the euro’s woes are largely irrelevant. Europe would have to pull up its socks with or without the single currency. The really big challenges to Europe’s standard of living come from globalization, technological change and ageing populations. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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