CEPSlab18 - Economy Lab

What’s going wrong with productivity?

Thursday, 22 February 2018 14h30 – 15h45

Many decry the recent measured slowdown in productivity, particularly at a time of an ageing and slowly growing work force. Others argue that robots and technology, and the associated job destruction, are fundamentally different this time round. For them the issue, to paraphrase Robert Solow, is that “robots and technology are everywhere, except in the productivity statistics”. What aspects of the recent productivity developments should we worry about? Why don’t we measure productivity improvements correctly? Or, if we do, why is productivity largely stagnant? Is there any prospect of improvement?

Discussion Leaders:

Bart van Ark, Executive Vice President, Chief Economist and Chief Strategy Officer, The Conference Board; Luiz de Mello, Director, Policy Studies Branch of the Economics Department, OECD; Koen De Leus, Chief Economist, BNP Paribas Fortis; Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, Senior Researcher, Econometric Studies and Economic Forecasting Division, Italian Statistical Institute (Istat) and Adjunct Professor, Department of Economics and Finance, LUISS


Cinzia Alcidi, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Economic Policy Unit, CEPS

What instruments for sustainable growth?

Thursday, 22 February 2018 16h15 – 17h30

Policies for sustainable development can provide a great opportunity not only to improve citizens’ wellbeing, but also to stimulate economic growth. A wide range of new business opportunities could come from the transition to a green economy, to new forms of mobility, to a digital revolution able to provide new goods and services. So far, European policies have focused on the environmental side of sustainable development, but now, as foreseen by the UN Agenda 2030, a better integration of environmental, social and economic policies could boost the European economy and improve social conditions, as well fight against inequality.

Discussion Leaders:

Enrico Giovannini, Professor of Economic Statistics, University of Rome Tor Vergata; ​Helena ​​Braun, Member of Frans Timmermans' Cabinet, European Commission; Lazaros Panourgias, Head EIF Affairs, Brussels, European Investment Fund (EIF)


Ingeborg Niestroy, Sustainable Development Researcher, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Economic governance: What is needed for a stable EMU?

Friday, 23 February 2018 9h15 – 10h30

The process of reforming EMU governance has intensified in recent years in the wake of the euro area crisis, resulting in a number of institutional changes, such as the new Stability and Growth Pact, the still incomplete Banking Union and the European Stability Mechanism. As economic growth takes centre stage and consolidates, there is still no full agreement on what further reforms are necessary for a sustainable monetary union. The European Commission’s reflection paper contains a number of options that refer to proposals about a fiscal capacity, a safe asset or a European Monetary Fund. What are the goals? How would they work?

Discussion Leaders:

Lucrezia Reichlin, Professor of Economics, London Business School; Ludger Schuknecht, Chief Economist and Head of the Directorate General Fiscal Policy and International Financial and Monetary Policy, German Ministry of Finance; Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Former President of the Eurogroup


Christian Kastrop, Director, Program Europe's Future, Bertelsmann Stiftung

CEPS Ideas Lab