CEPS Working Documents


31 - 60 of 259
10 May 2012

The eurozone is caught in a ‘diabolical loop’ in which weak domestic banking systems damage sovereign fiscal positions and conversely, in which risky sovereign positions disproportionately threaten domestic banking stability. A European-level banking system could go a long way towards breaking this unfortunate loop and stabilising the eurozone. This would require a European safety net for cross-border banks.

09 March 2012

Despite the continuous efforts of developing countries and the international community to reduce energy poverty, some 2.7 billion people around the world still rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating and 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. Over 80% of the energy poor live in rural areas and roughly two thirds in sub-Saharan Africa and India.

26 January 2012

This Working Document examines the quality of impact assessments in the European Commission and the UK between 2005 and 2010. The findings suggest that impact assessment is not merely a perfunctory activity in the European Union and the UK. Quality has improved steadily over the years, arguably as a result of learning and regulatory oversight.

20 January 2012

This paper finds evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) in the eurozone during 2010-11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt-to-GDP ratios, and was the result of negative market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010.

13 January 2012

Ukraine has long been castigated for its noncommittal attitude to cooperation with the EU, this being part of its ‘multi-vector’ foreign policy. Such a policy was widely attributed to the failings of domestic elites, which delay reform for fear of losing rents and power. This CEPS Working Document suggests, however, that the recent setback in EU-Ukraine relations highlights more complex reasons behind this. First, it asserts that a pro-European vector is not a self-evident choice for Ukraine, which is economically interdependent with both Russia and the EU.

15 December 2011

It is widely assumed in Germany, and elsewhere, that German citizens have turned against the centrepiece of the process of deeper European integration: the euro.  The German Allensbach Institute, which conducts public opinion poll research, showed that levels of trust in the euro started to decline in April 2010, and more recently, other publications claim that an overwhelming majority of German citizens have lost trust in the euro.

15 December 2011

This paper analyses the evolution of public support for the euro from 1990 to 2011, using a popularity function approach, focusing on the most recent period of the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Exploring a huge database of close to half a million observations covering the 12 original euro area member countries, we find that the ongoing crisis has only marginally reduced citizens’ support for the euro – at least so far. This result is in stark contrast to the sharp fall in public trust in the European Central Bank.

06 December 2011

This Working Document looks at which OECD countries deliberately attempt to reproduce social stratification through educational policies, and which countries put greater emphasis on intervening in the stratification process.

The research findings challenge a one-policy-fits-all approach that advocates education policy reforms designed to increase equal opportunities in education. The authors argue that the context of each country needs to be considered before the implementation of such policies.

26 October 2011

This paper examines two questions related to the sustainability of the major neoliberal, economic and social reforms in the new EU member states, namely the flat income tax and private pension pillars. First, we look at the relationship between the political consensus/controversy at the time major policy reforms were passed and the future sustainability of these reforms after a change of government.

19 July 2011

 Conceptually, Global Matrix advances in a systematic and structured inter-disciplinary (matrix) framework a research agenda for examining the stance of major world actors on the key policy dimensions to world politics (political ideologies, economics, migration, climate change, security and world view); drawing out evidence of cross-cutting linkages (between sectors and among major actors); and evaluating the evolution and adequacy of existing multilateral institutions in relation to the emerging multi-polarity, and formulating recommendations.

17 June 2011

This paper looks at restrictions of passage, accidents and oil transportation norms as causes of interruption in oil supplies. The key ‘chokepoints’ are discussed in detail: the Straits of Hormuz, Malacca, Bab el-Mandeb, the Canals of Suez and Panama, the Turkish Straits and the entrance to the Baltic Sea. It is concluded that in most cases the danger of closure can only be temporary; nevertheless, investment in bypasses and alternatives is highly desirable, and in the case of the Turkish Straits, has not been forthcoming.

10 June 2011

Holding strategic oil stocks is at first sight an obvious tool to address potential disturbances in supplies. Rationally defining the desirable size of stocks and designing rules for their predictable use is an elusive task, however. A key conceptual difficulty arises in the distinction between commercial and strategic stocks, because a physical shortfall in the oil supply will inevitably lead to an increase in prices. But if strategic stocks are utilised when prices increase they become indistinguishable from commercial stocks.

09 June 2011

The paper offers a systematic analysis of the impact of international or civil wars and violent non-state groups on global oil and gas supplies. Statistical evidence points to the fact that international wars are becoming increasingly rare, while civil wars remain frequent. The paper discusses the cases of the Iraq-Iran war and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, showing the limits to the damage that belligerents were able to inflict on oil installations and illustrating how the world was able to compensate for this damage.

31 May 2011

The paper discusses the link between security of oil supplies and the functioning of international oil markets. It is argued that wide and frequent variations in price are in themselves a source of insecurity for individual consumers and national economies alike. Furthermore, the impossibility of predicting future prices discourages investment and increases the fragility of the system. The paper puts forward several policy proposals to reduce excessive price fluctuations and improve security of supply at reliable prices.

30 May 2011

This paper looks at resource nationalism and political instability as potential causes of disruption to global oil supplies. It points to depletion preferences and strategies as one form of resource nationalism. In most cases, resource nationalism appears to be motivated by rent maximisation. Hence, we see the adoption of more restrictive policies when prices rise. Conversely, when oil prices are low, increasing export volumes becomes more important. Restrictions on exports are common, especially for natural gas, which is sometimes reserved for national consumption.

16 May 2011

Climate change tends to negatively affect the power sector, inter alia, by causing cooling problems in power plants and impairing the water supply required for hydro-power generation. In future, when global warming is expected to increase, autonomous adaptation to climate change via international electricity markets inducing reallocations of power generation may not be sufficient to prevent supply disruptions.

05 May 2011

As an alternative to measuring the extent of market integration, ‘home-bias’ indicates the degree to which economic agents ‘over-prefer’ to transact with domestic agents rather than agents from other EU countries. Such an exclusive preference is measured against a benchmark of (ideal) market integration and is called ‘home-bias’.

04 May 2011

This paper describes four key drivers behind the adjustment difficulties in the periphery of the eurozone:

04 May 2011

When entering a monetary union, member countries change the nature of their sovereign debt in a fundamental way, i.e. they cease to have control over the currency in which their debt is issued. As a result, financial markets can force these countries’ sovereigns into default. In this sense, the status of member countries of a monetary union is downgraded to that of an emerging economy. This makes the monetary union fragile and vulnerable to changing market sentiments. It also makes it possible that self-fulfilling multiple equilibria arise.

29 April 2011

The first 16 months of the EU’s common commercial policy (CCP) in the post-Lisbon period provide indicative insights into how the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers interpret their respective roles under the new legal framework introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. This paper analyses the amendments, the institutional capacities to respond to the reform challenges and the evolving institutional balance applying to Lisbon-era common commercial policy.

31 March 2011

The recent economic and financial crises have shown the weakness of EU economic governance. A process of strengthening macroeconomic and fiscal surveillance started in the course of 2010; among other proposals, the European Commission suggested a new binding criterion of debt reduction: debt-to-GDP ratio is to be considered sufficiently diminishing if its distance with respect to the 60% of GDP reference value has reduced over the previous three years at a rate of the order of one-twentieth per year.

08 February 2011

The financial crisis has affected trust in national and European governmental institutions in different ways. This paper analyses the determinants of trust in the national and European institutions over the last decade and comes to the conclusion that inflation reduces citizens’ trust only when the economy runs smoothly. In times of crisis, citizens do not worry about inflation but rather about jobs and the effects of a recession.

09 December 2010

This paper provides evidence on past growth of productivity, analysing the evolution of labour productivity, capital deepening and multi-factor productivity. Based on a literature review of recent studies, it shows that economic growth is increasingly attributable to the accumulation of intangible capital and that consequently, an increasing share of conventionally measured rise in labour productivity has, in fact, been ploughed back into the economy as intangible capital formation.

29 November 2010

This paper summarises the findings of work package 5.3 of the SECURE project, with regard to the role of carbon capture, transport and storage (CCTS) for the future European supply security of coal. The real issue in European supply security with respect to coal is the absence of an economically and politically sustainable use of coal for electricity, liquefaction, gasification, etc. Whereas earlier papers delivered for work package 5.3 on the coal sector indicated that there are few risks to the European energy supply of (steam) coal, there is an implicit supply security threat, i.e.

29 November 2010

This paper presents a mixed integer, multi-period, cost-minimising model for a carbon capture, transport and storage (CCTS) network in Europe. The model incorporates endogenous decisions about carbon capture, pipeline and storage investments. The capture, flow and injection quantities are based on given costs, certificate prices, storage capacities and point source emissions. The results indicate that CCTS can theoretically contribute to the decarbonisation of Europe’s energy and industrial sectors.

12 November 2010

This paper looks at the Slovak experience with euro adoption from the point of view of perceived versus actual inflation and with a focus on a specific set of non-tradable prices. It examines whether Slovak consumers experienced or perceived (or both) an unusual price jump at the time of euro adoption and the possible explanations for such a phenomenon.

19 October 2010

The EU 2020 Agenda has taken an important step forward by setting the target for tertiary graduation rates at an ambitious 40%. This paper finds that many European countries, however, including the largest economy – Germany – will not be able to meet this target. Moreover, the crucial topic of educational quality is not even touched upon. Comparing the EU with China in total numbers, the authors find that China’s education system already produces the same number of graduates with tertiary education as the whole EU15.

30 September 2010

The modernisation of Russia has been a topic of vigorous debate for centuries. It has also been an intensely divisive issue among Russia’s elite, and since President Dmitry Medvedev came to power, modernisation has become the leitmotif of the presidency. The global economic crisis hit Russia hard, meaning that the status quo in political, economic and social terms is no longer acceptable. However, there are a number of competing visions on modernisation within the Russian political elite and society as a whole.

23 September 2010

This paper analyses whether the financial crisis has affected citizens’ confidence in the free market economy and whether it has triggered citizens’ demand for a free market economy with stronger state regulations. Using panel data, the paper confirms that citizens’ confidence levels in the free market economy have decreased in most of the largest economies and demand for a free market economy with stronger state regulation has increased on both sides of the Atlantic.

03 September 2010

Using new international comparable data on intangible capital investment by business within a panel analysis from 1995-2005 in an EU-15 country sample, this paper finds a positive and significant relationship between intangible capital investment by business and labour productivity growth. This relationship is cross-sectional in nature and proves to be robust to a range of alterations.