Bob Hancké

Made in the UK: Brexit and manufacturing revisited

What impact will Brexit have on UK manufacturing? As Bob Hancké points out, the domestic economic effects of Brexit are dynamic, not static. While some industries will be devastated by Brexit, resources may switch to other areas which, in theory, could thrive. But for this to happen, the UK needs to revamp its industrial supply chains, which are dependent on close links […]

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We are all Ordo-liberals now

Both the French and German governments have recently expressed a desire to avoid budget deficits. Bob Hancké examines the history of a ‘dangerous idea’ – Ordoliberalism, or the belief that balanced budgets produce growth.

At what was probably the most unpropitious moment in recent economic history to make the claim, US President Richard Nixon declared that we ‘are all Keynesians […]

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    Italy’s crisis: Wouldn’t it be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?

Italy’s crisis: Wouldn’t it be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?

The decision of Italy’s President, Sergio Mattarella, to veto the appointment of Paolo Savona as Italian finance minister has sent the country into a political crisis. Bob Hancké argues that although Mattarella was legally within his rights to do what he did, his actions not only raise questions about democratic legitimacy, but are almost certainly not in Italy’s long-term […]

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Brexit, red lines and the EU: The two-level game revisited

With the UK expected to trigger Article 50 by March, how successful is the country likely to be in securing a favourable exit deal from the EU? Bob Hancké writes that there are two major problems for the UK in its negotiation: that the rules of the game, as established by Article 50, are skewed toward the interests of […]

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    Fear and loathing in Namur: CETA will likely be rescued, but disaffection with globalisation can no longer be ignored

Fear and loathing in Namur: CETA will likely be rescued, but disaffection with globalisation can no longer be ignored

The Belgian government has stated that it is unable to sign the proposed EU-Canada free trade agreement, CETA, due to opposition in the region of Wallonia. Bob Hancké outlines the complicated federal arrangements in the country which have derailed the agreement and suggests that while previous Belgian compromises indicate CETA can still be saved, popular dissatisfaction with globalisation across […]

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    What the new French labour law tells us about France and the euro

What the new French labour law tells us about France and the euro

A new labour law, commonly referred to as the ‘El Khomri law’ after the French Minister of Labour, Myriam El Khomri, has generated significant attention in France over recent weeks. Bob Hancké assesses what the new law achieves, why it is here, and what it means for the country moving forward.

The recent furore in France over the new […]

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    German austerity is not only damaging the Eurozone, but is also starving the country of its own much needed investment

German austerity is not only damaging the Eurozone, but is also starving the country of its own much needed investment

A common argument in the context of the Eurozone’s economic problems is that Germany should pursue a more expansive fiscal policy to help generate growth in the rest of the single currency area. Bob Hancké writes, however, that while such a strategy might be justified in terms of its wider effects across Europe, the German economy itself is also […]

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    Two years after Mario Draghi’s ‘whatever it takes’ moment, the Eurozone is once again staring into the abyss

Two years after Mario Draghi’s ‘whatever it takes’ moment, the Eurozone is once again staring into the abyss

Growth in the Eurozone has declined significantly over recent months, raising fears that Europe could be heading toward another economic crisis. Bob Hancké writes on what it would take to generate growth in Eurozone states. He argues that the best – and possibly only – option for European governments is to adopt a strategy of public investment in infrastructure, […]

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Despite signs of recovery, the Eurozone crisis is still far from over

The Eurozone emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2013, with the single currency area’s GDP increasing by 0.3 per cent. Bob Hancké writes that although the situation in the Eurozone has improved, a closer look at the economic data would suggest reason for caution. He argues that the root cause of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis may not have […]

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Training the unemployed: Much ado about nothing?

A number of ideas have been put forward to help tackle youth unemployment in Europe. Bob Hancké takes a closer look at the issue, arguing that while training is never a bad thing, bringing unemployment down is not a substitute for growth. Only in Spain, perhaps, where an entire generation has succumbed to the temptation of higher wages in unskilled […]

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There are doubts about Syriza’s plans for recovery in Greece, but refocusing on upmarket tourism might offer a new growth strategy.

Alexis Tsipras, the president of the Left-wing Syriza party in Greece, recently visited the LSE for a lecture and seminar. Bob Hancké, who attended the event, raises some questions about Syriza’s plans for recovery. He also reopens the debate on Greek exports in the tourism industry, arguing that Greece might be able to generate new growth by upgrading its tourist […]

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Contrary to national stereotypes, French workers are more productive than their German counterparts and only marginally less productive than American workers.

Recently, the CEO of a US manufacturer commented that his company would not invest in a factory in France due to concerns over the productivity of local workers. Surprised by these comments, Bob Hancké looked into statistics across Europe for labour market productivity and hours worked. He finds that French workers are nearly as productive as their American counterparts, and […]

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David Cameron’s EU speech – our experts react

Today, David Cameron gave his long-awaited speech on the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU. We asked EUROPP’s expert contributors for their immediate reactions and their thoughts on the speech’s implications for the UK and Europe. Cameron is deeply deluded if he thinks that a referendum will settle the European debate for all time – Andrew Duff MEP, European […]

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A depreciation of the euro is not the silver bullet to solve the eurocrisis that many are looking for.

Some commentators are now advocating a devaluation of the euro, citing that this would help the uncompetitive economies of the South to export more to non-EU countries as well as benefiting the eurozone’s larger economies such as Germany. Bob Hancké assesses the merits of devaluing the currency, but finds that owing to the eurozone’s relatively closed nature as a trade […]

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European car manufacturers’ latest crisis is only one part of the industry’s two-decades of restructuring and decline.

This week has seen car plant closures in Belgium and the UK, consolidation programmes, including a bail-out for Peugeot and GM/Opel, and a squeeze on the profits of all car manufacturers, including the relatively healthy VW. Bob Hancké takes stock of restructuring in the industry over the last two decades, and finds few reasons to be cheerful. This is not […]

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As member states have to negotiate both externally with the EU and internally with their own regions, European integration is reaching a point of exhaustion.

As the leaders of the major EU member states grope towards a solution to the eurocrisis Bob Hancké looks at the impact of the rise of challenges posed to member states’ governments from regions such as Catalonia, Scotland and Flanders. National governments now not only have to negotiate with the EU and other member states, but their own increasingly restless […]

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Hollande’s crucial first task is to realise that “it’s the French economy, stupid”

One of the key problems that the newly elected French president François Hollande will have to tackle is France’s weak and falling export competitiveness. Bob Hancké suggests that this may not be quite as simple as some observers suggest: a large part of France’s economic policy-making has, due to the European monetary union (EMU), moved to Berlin – even before the […]

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9 out of 10 European employers are no longer investing in training. Governments need to encourage them to invest in this area before Europe faces a massive skills deficit.

Throughout the Eurozone crisis, most commentators have focused on budget deficits and levels of public debt. But what about Europe’s skills deficit? Bob Hancké argues that investment in training across Europe has plummeted, and that governments must now intervene through tax breaks in order to kick start businesses’ investment in this area. He argues that a skilled workforce is often […]

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More tourism exports will not lead Greece out of its crisis. But investing in solar energy might.

What is the solution to Greece’s crisis? Bob Hancké argues that neither a boost of its tourism sector nor a control of its wages will lead the country out of its problems. However, investing in and expanding the country’s solar energy facilities might offer an answer which helps not only Greece, but the entire European Union. In an interesting blog […]

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With no political union in Europe, the Euro crisis may be a ‘never ending game’ for deep-rooted economic reasons

The long term causes of the Euro crisis were a Euro monetary policy that in combination with wage policies fuelled rapid growth and wage inflation in smaller economies like Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, while simultaneously depressing growth in the stronger economies like Germany. Bob Hancké argues that fiscal federalism, i.e transfer arrangements between the faster and slower growing regions, may have […]

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