Political Economy

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    The Denmark-Greenland paradigm may hold the answer for the Irish Brexit knot

The Denmark-Greenland paradigm may hold the answer for the Irish Brexit knot

Boris Johnson recently tweeted a video of a baby making his first steps. He captioned it ‘Let’s get Brexit done’. Yet these baby steps post-Brexit may not be so pleasant. In fact, the UK government admits that they will not take place at all – at least not in October, as Johnson’s tweets promise. In the latest round of […]

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    Britain’s medium-term preferences in trade point to EU continuity rather than ‘Global Britain’

Britain’s medium-term preferences in trade point to EU continuity rather than ‘Global Britain’

There are competing visions for British trade policy: ‘Global Britain’, which sees a sovereign Britain trading free from the shackles of the EU on the basis of WTO rules, with an ability to shape its own rules; and what might be called the “European continuity vision” that sees UK interests closely linked to the EU. Looking beyond the immediate […]

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    The row over the Irish backstop reveals a lot about the contradictions of Brexit

The row over the Irish backstop reveals a lot about the contradictions of Brexit

A fortnight can be a very, very long time in politics. The plasticity of British politics has become mesmerising. A no-deal Brexit on 31st October, which for a moment looked all but inevitable, now seems to have melted into air. Sometimes, it is easy to become despondent when faced with the brutal immorality of vicious ideologues and moneyed elites. But […]

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    Portugal, Spain and Italy would benefit the most from further EU institutional integration

Portugal, Spain and Italy would benefit the most from further EU institutional integration

Over the last three decades, euro area countries have experienced profound economic, financial and institutional changes, plus diverse shocks. Growth has been volatile, and almost missing, in some countries. In this study we have assembled a rich panel to find which factors might have played a role in stirring growth, and/or reducing it in the short and long run.

We […]

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    No-deal Brexit: don’t ask ‘if’ the economy will be hit, but ‘how much’ and ‘for how long’

No-deal Brexit: don’t ask ‘if’ the economy will be hit, but ‘how much’ and ‘for how long’

To judge by the early pronouncements of the Johnson government, a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is not only worth contemplating, but could well occur. Although both sides continue to profess their hope – and expectation – that a withdrawal agreement can be negotiated, the risks have plainly increased, despite Johnson’s bold assessment of there being a one in a million chance of a […]

The impact of job loss on political ideology

What happens to citizens’ political preferences when they are confronted with economic hardship? This longstanding question has recently attracted renewed attention in the wake of the Great Recession. Nonetheless, many matters remain unresolved. For example, which types of preferences are affected? Are we mainly talking about views on concrete policy issues and politicians’ approval ratings, or are more deep-seated […]

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    Workplace automation and its links to Brexit, the ‘gilet jaunes’ and the radical right

Workplace automation and its links to Brexit, the ‘gilet jaunes’ and the radical right

Technological change is profoundly transforming the world of work and creating substantial uncertainty about workers’ fortunes in the labour markets of tomorrow. In a recently published special issue, we study the political consequences of workplace automation and argue that the relationship between technological change and recent political disruptions in many West European countries deserves more attention.

We do not believe […]

The unfinished business of the EU’s Capital Markets Union

The European Union’s Capital Markets Union (CMU) was created with the goal to increase the depth of investor participation and the breadth of instruments deployed in capital markets across Europe. One key direction of these reforms, from the start of the CMU development and deployment, has been the need to reduce heavy reliance of European companies on the banking […]

Why Brexit if the UK gets its own way in the EU?

The Brexit negotiations have been a prolonged and hopeless effort to achieve a privileged status for the UK as a non-member state – outside the EU, but half-inside. That has been a fantasy from the very beginning. It is politically and legally impossible.

As a member state, we are not part of the Schengen Agreement which allows border-free movement of […]

‘Global Britain’: scripting the EU as an enemy

Like all things Brexit, Theresa May’s intention of building “Global Britain” outside the European Union has been controversial from the outset. Government ministers have expended a good deal of political capital championing “why Global Britain matters”, framing it as an exercise in creating an “outward-looking” country confidently meeting global challenges. For its advocates, Global Britain is about connecting with […]

The political influence on state bank lending in Turkey 

The Great Recession of 2008-09 led to government bailouts of banks in Europe and elsewhere, giving rise to greater presence of state banks in the financial sector. This sparked a renewed debate over the economic costs and benefits of state bank lending. On the one hand, a large literature argues that lending by state banks is inefficient, subject to […]

Why the EU-Japan trade deal matters for the UK

On February 1st, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) entered into force. Rightly described as a ‘mega-deal’, since it covers 27.8 per cent of the world economy and more than a third of global world trade, the event still received relatively little attention. Yet the deal truly matters both economically and politically, especially at a time when most headlines […]

The implications of a no-deal Brexit: is the EU prepared?

Overall, a no-deal Brexit would be disruptive in the short-term:

There would be immediate very significant administrative and logistical challenges in trade. Preparations to reduce those disruptions are underway but are unlikely to be sufficient. But while Most-Favoured Nation tariffs will affect some sectors significantly, the macroeconomic effect on the German economy might not be huge.
If the UK […]

No deal? How did we get here?

The postponement of the parliamentary vote on the withdrawal agreement until the middle of January has led to accusations that Theresa May is ‘running down the clock’ on Brexit. By scheduling it close to the latest possible date, MPs’ ‘meaningful vote’ is rendered rather meaningless, given the acute shortage of time to develop alternatives should the agreement fail to […]

Brexit puts the digital single market in jeopardy

A key component of the EU’s single market is its digital single market (DSM), which has been a particularly important for the UK. Currently, the UK’s largest export market for digital services is Europe and the DSM enables access to European markets. Brexit is expected to affect the UK substantially in the areas of broadcasting, creative content production, data […]

China’s challenge to international tax rules

States are currently struggling to reach global agreement on the taxation of digital firms such as Apple and Google, suggesting that an international regime characterised by impressive coherence over a century may be beginning to fragment. While work on the politics of the international tax regime is still largely preoccupied with the US, a ‘great power’, this fragmentation largely […]

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    The digitisation of recorded music: studying the ‘long tail’ effect

The digitisation of recorded music: studying the ‘long tail’ effect

Digitisation, in the form of online retailing, has long been understood to deliver welfare benefit to consumers. Greater consumer access to content has led to an important work on the “long-tail” phenomenon: while the choice set faced by consumer was limited to the shelf-space available in brick-and-mortar stores before the advent of the Internet, consumers can now access and […]

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    Post-Brexit transfers of personal data: the clock is ticking

Post-Brexit transfers of personal data: the clock is ticking

The UK economy is closely integrated with that of the rest of the EU. One need only consider the number of UK firms with branches in the EU27, and the number of EU27 firms with branches in the UK, to realise that data interchange is of vital economic importance.

Assuming that the UK indeed leaves the EU as a result […]

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    The European Investment Bank is becoming increasingly politicised

The European Investment Bank is becoming increasingly politicised

Over the past two decades, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has become the world’s largest multilateral financial institution. In 1999, the EU member states’ ‘policy-driven’ bank counted around 1,000 staff members. This number is now close to 3,000. In 1999, the EIB’s balance sheet stood at 200 billion euros. It now stands at 550 billion euros.

While this has given […]

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    Germany is quietly rebalancing its economy – but this will not fix the Eurozone’s flaws

Germany is quietly rebalancing its economy – but this will not fix the Eurozone’s flaws

Ever since the financial and sovereign debt crisis, the political and economic implications of Germany’s unbalanced economy have lured the attention of academics, policy institutions, the public and politicians across Europe and beyond. Frequent are the pleas made to the German political establishment to rebalance its export-oriented economic model, increase fiscal expenditures and thus rein in the world’s largest current account surplus.

But what is […]