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Economy

ESPAS Report 2019 : Global Trends to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Abstract in English: 
For something as unknown as the future, it appears to have become surprisingly predictable. A Google search of ‘future 2030’ yields more than 97 million results, all more or less claiming similar things: that 2030 will see a more connected, yet fragmented world, with hazardous shifts in demography and energy, and dangerous changes in technology, environment, and politics.
The future, while overall negative, appears to be a rather certain place.
This illusion of definitiveness is created by two dynamics: first, the pessimistic tone that runs through the vast majority of foresight reports. This is a common feature when it comes to future thinking, with one study showing that all studies undertaken on the future over the last 70 years have one thing in common; pessimism. The reason for this is simple: although both optimism and pessimism are natural human dispositions, the latter is more prevalent by far. Humans are, genetically speaking, biased towards the negative – some studies even indicate that this is particularly the case for Europeans. Second, pessimism in foresight is encouraged by the grave air that surrounds it: in general, negative statements are given more attention than positive ones. That said, more pessimism in foresight does not equal greater accuracy, as one study shows.
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52
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How ICT Can Restore Lagging European Productivity Growth

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Notwithstanding the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and the Internet of Things (IOT), European productivity growth has slowed, and continues to lag U.S. growth.1 Since the financial crisis, labor productivity in the 28 EU member states has grown just 0.7 percent annually. At this rate, it will take a century for Europe’s per capita incomes to double. No wonder there is political unrest across the continent. And while Europe decreased the productivity gap with the United States before 1995, since then, the gap has only widened. Reversing that trend is critical if Europe is going to be able to effectively cope with its demographic challenges, particularly a rapidly aging population, and be able to more effectively compete in global markets. To do that it needs more ubiquitous use—as distinct from production—of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by all organizations (for-profit, nonprofit, and government) throughout all of Europe.
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63
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Europe Should Embrace the Data Revolution

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 29, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Data-driven innovation is unlocking new opportunities for Europe to grow its economy and address pressing social challenges. While Europe has achieved some early successes in data-driven innovation, including in areas such as education, energy, environmental management, health care, open data, smart cities, and smart manufacturing, it has not yet come close to reaching its full potential. The primary obstacle is that Europe’s policymakers, both in its capital cities and in Brussels, have not yet fully embraced data-driven innovation as a core driver of economic and social progress. To inject new leadership into this debate, Member States should appoint national chief data officers to not only champion data innovation domestically, but also serve on a new, independent advisory panel charged with counseling the European Commission on how to seize opportunities to innovate with data.
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23
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The State of Data Innovation in the EU

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Data innovation—the innovative use of data to create social and economic benefits—is making a significant mark in Europe.In economic terms, data innovation contributed about €300 billion to Europe’s economy in 2016 (or approximately 2 percent of GDP), and its value will likely more than double by 2020. Across society, data innovation is creating more responsive governments, better health care, and safer cities. But EU nations differ in the degree to which they are harnessing the benefits of data. This report uses a variety of indicators to rank EU member states and discusses why some countries are ahead and what others can do to catch up.
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116
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Suppressing Growth: How GMO Opposition Hurts Developing Nations

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Campaigns against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), originating primarily in Europe, have created significant obstacles to the development and adoption of genetically modified crops. While the policies and practices resulting from these campaigns impose considerable costs on the economies of origin, they disproportionately hurt those nations with the greatest need for more productive agriculture—particularly the developing nations of sub-Saharan Africa. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) estimates that the current restrictive climate for agricultural biotech innovations could cost low- and lowermiddle- income nations up to $1.5 trillion in foregone economic benefits through 2050. In short, anti-GMO activists have erected significant barriers to the development of the poorest nations on earth.
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25
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The Future of Work - A Guide for Transatlantic Policymakers

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The changing nature of work and labor markets — and how best to prepare society and people for the jobs and tasks of the future — is one of the most crucial public policy challenges that countries and policymakers will face over the coming years. While it is far too early to be able to predict the pace and extent of future automation, we do believe that jobs, tasks, and work itself will evolve at a more rapid pace. We also believe that the future of work will affect each country, region, worker, and student differently. For these reasons, this guide seeks to build a bridge from the voluminous future of work research to the core ingredients of future of work policy that will need to be weighed over the coming years. Through our cross-country comparison of future of work dynamics across four case studies — France, Germany, Spain, and the United States — we highlight core factors and key takeaways. We also make the case for more agile public policies that tailor future of work policies to the specificities of countries, regions, and individuals. Ultimately, this guide serves as a resource for policymakers and citizens everywhere who are interested in exploring the essential elements of future of work policy.
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46
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The Task Ahead of Us - Transforming the Global Economy With Connectivity, Automation, and Intelligence

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 7, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Economies are complex production systems with myriad subcomponent production systems—that is, industries—from manufacturing to health care to retail. What and how these production systems produce is grounded in technology. So, as technologies change, production systems change—around the world. Today, the most important and widely shared technologies are digital information technologies that have evolved from the mainframe and mini-computing systems of the 1960s and 70s. They include an array of personal computing devices, back-office servers, IT-embedded machines, and cloud-based services that are connected or dynamically provisioned to users over private networks or the Internet. But the world is now beginning to transform into a new kind of digital system, one that will not only build on existing devices and systems, but also increasingly will incorporate emerging technologies such as sensors, robotics, and artificial intelligence as they improve in price and performance. This next digital economy will be significantly more connected (with many more things, and many more types of things networked, including in more advanced wireless, satellite, and wireline networks), more automated (as devices and systems enable more work to be done by machines), and smarter (as algorithms play increasingly important roles in sensing—and making sense of—all this).
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24
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Rebalancing the Euro Area: A proposal for Future Reform

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Under a monetary union, fiscal and monetary discipline have to go hand in hand if macroeconomic stability is to be maintained. The question is how to set up the right institutions to achieve this stability in a credible manner. This policy brief proposes a new institutional arrangement for the euro area to restore fiscal discipline. It places the responsibility for compliance entirely on the shoulders of the member states. It also provides for the mutualisation of 30% of the member states’ debt-to-GDP ratio.
This would help to maintain a stable currency and to limit the risk of contagion should another crisis occur in the future. However, this comes at a cost. Under the fiscal scheme proposed, member states, which would be fully fiscally sovereign, would need to run long-term sound fiscal policies to benefit from euro membership.
In addition, this brief proposes a reform of Target2 under which overspending economies would have to pay the financial cost of accessing extra euros, which would deter the accumulation of internal imbalances within the euro area. All this is expected to change the current fragility of the architecture of the euro, provide member states with the right incentives to abide by sounder economic principles and make them fully responsible for the policies they adopt.
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20
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Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2019 - TOWARDS SMART URBAN TRANSPORTATION

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India is a bi-annual publication on regional economic growth, development and regional integration in Emerging Asia. It focuses on the economic conditions of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. It also addresses relevant economic issues in China and India to fully reflect economic developments in the region.
The Outlook comprises four main parts, each highlighting a particular dimension of recent economic developments in the region. The first part presents the regional economic monitor, depicting the economic outlook and macroeconomic challenges in the region. The second part consists of a special thematic chapter addressing a major issue facing the region. The 2019 edition of the Outlook looks at smart cities, with a special focus on transportation. Addressing traffic congestion, in particular, is critical in realising the potential benefits of urbanisation for growth. The third part of the report includes structural country notes offering specific recommendations for each country, and the fourth part discusses the recent progress made in key aspects of regional integration.
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279
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Global Economic Prospects - Darkening Skies

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Global growth is expected to slow to 2.9 percent in 2019. International trade and investment are moderating, trade tensions remain elevated, and financing conditions are tightening. Amid recent episodes of financial stress, growth in emerging market and developing economies has lost momentum and is projected to stall at 4.2 percent this year, with a weaker-than-expected rebound in commodity exporters accompanied by deceleration in commodity importers. Downside risks have become more acute. Financial market pressures and trade tensions could escalate, denting global activity.
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264
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