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Employment

The Future of Productivity

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, December 11, 2015
Abstract in English: 
This book addresses the rising productivity gap between the global frontier and other firms, and identifies a number of structural impediments constraining business start-ups, knowledge diffusion and resource allocation (such as barriers to up-scaling and relatively high rates of skill mismatch).

Analysis based on micro and industry-level data highlights the importance of reallocation-friendly policies, including well-functioning product, labour and risk capital markets, efficient judicial systems, bankruptcy laws that do not excessively penalise failure, housing policies that do not unduly restrict labour mobility, and improvements in public funding and organisation of basic research which do not excessively favour applied vs basic research and incumbents vs young firms.
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123
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The Future of Cohesion Policy: Report II

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, December 4, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The present Report offers ideas on how to shape the forthcoming period of Community support beyond the year 2020. The analysis builds on the report “The future of Cohesion policy – Report I” which reflected on the challenges and developments at the local and regional level, focusing mainly on the efficiency and effectiveness of implementing Cohesion Policy (CP). The present Report looks at concepts and models of CP (mainly its territorial dimension) and points out the main current challenges that are most likely to shape the future economic, social and territorial structures.

This second Report in the study series offers ideas on the future of CP. It is structured around two main parts, the first on models of growth, cohesion and well-being, and the second on new ideas and choices for EU CP. Thus projections and assumptions – in particular in the third section of the Report – are of a long-term nature. The present Report largely builds on an extensive desk research including a comparative literature review as well as relevant analyses and reports carried out by the authors of this paper. In addition, the analysis is fed by the results of an online survey carried out with stakeholders who took part in the seminars on the future of CP. Finally, independent interviews were carried out with relevant stakeholders with deep insight and considerable experience in the field of CP.
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Can long-term global growth be saved?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The past 50 years was a period of exceptionally rapid economic expansion. Average per capita income almost tripled, and the global economy expanded sixfold in GDP terms. But the long-term growth outlook is extremely uncertain. Some observers raise the issue of challenging demographics; they talk about “secular stagnation” and express doubts about whether future growth can match its rapid upward trajectory of recent decades. Others point to the transformative impact of technology and paint a more optimistic picture. The debate about growth goes even deeper and broader than this. Many question whether—and how—growth can be sustainable and inclusive. There is a lively discussion about whether GDP is the right measure of growth. Amid such debate, it is difficult for policy makers and businesses to respond effectively.

In this report, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), which has studied growth in 30 industries in more than 20 countries over the past 25 years, reviews patterns of global growth over the past half century, focusing on the two key drivers of that growth—labor and productivity. Our broad finding is that, in the face of declining population growth that is putting pressure on the pool of available labor, the rate of GDP growth is set to be 40 percent lower than its rate over the past 50 years. To compensate fully for weakening labor growth would require productivity growth to accelerate by 80 percent from its historical rate. Drawing on five detailed sector case studies, we find that it is possible—but extremely challenging—to boost productivity growth by this margin. However, aggressive action would be needed to enhance competitiveness, harness technology, mobilize labor and further open up and integrate the world economy. Collectively, we need to engage in a frank conversation about the tough trade-offs that such action would entail.
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148
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Technology, globalisation and the future of work in Europe: Essays on employment in a digitised economy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The industrial structure of European economies and the types of occupation that they support are changing. This change takes many forms in different national contexts, but there are some common themes. There has been an increase in service-sector employment, both in low-skilled customer service work and in high-skilled ‘knowledge’ occupations, and a corresponding drop in manufacturing employment. This has contributed to a ‘polarisation’ of the workforce in many countries, with more high-skill and low-skill jobs but fewer requiring mid-level skills. At the same time, young people are finding it increasingly hard to get a foothold in the labour market, and the proportion of the workforce employed on full-time, permanent contracts has shrunk.

Some of the changes are cyclical, the result of recession followed by a stuttering recovery. The rise in temporary work, for example, might be expected to recede when European economies are again growing strongly enough to bring unemployment down towards its pre-recession level. Other changes, however, are the result of major structural forces operating in the global economy: the rapid pace of technological innovation, globalisation and demographic change. These forces are likely to continue to cause dislocation and disruption in European labour markets for the foreseeable future. As a result, there will be a fundamental shift in the types of jobs that are available for workers and in the skills demanded by employers across Europe. Understanding the likely changes in the European labour market over the next decade is essential if policymakers and firms are to set Europe onto a path towards permanently lower unemployment through the creation of many more well-paid jobs.
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124
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The future of electricity transmission : cost-benefit analysis of a biodiversity-friendly vegetation management in forest corridors

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 30, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Vegetation is a threat for electricity transmission when overhead high-tension lines are crossing forest areas. For this reason, Transmission System Operators (TSO) often proceed by regular vegetation destruction in order to prevent any electrical blackout that could be triggered by trees, by contact or by fall.

The innovative LIFE Elia-RTE project (funded partly by EU) decided to think about alternative methods that could ensure not only electrical safety, but also enhance biodiversity ! These methods should aim at protecting species and natural habitats encompassed by the European Natura 2000 legislation. Indeed, for a good ecological state, we need core areas and connection corridors. This is where high-tension lines have a strong potential to be converted as green corridor for biodiversity.

On a 30 years timescale, biodiversity-friendly vegetation management has been estimated to be 1.4 to 3.9 cheaper than traditional vegetation management ! And not only for its cost savings, it also brings many other benefits.

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24
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The Future of Productivity

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 6, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Productivity is the ultimate engine of growth in the global economy. Raising productivity is therefore a fundamental challenge for countries going forward. This new OECD report on The Future of Productivity shows that we are not running out of ideas. In fact, the growth of the globally most productive firms has remained robust in the 21st century. However, the gap between those global leaders and the rest has increased over time, and especially so in the services sector. This implies that knowledge diffusion should not to be taken for granted. Future growth will largely depend on our ability to revive the diffusion machine, both within and across countries. At the same time, there is much scope to boost productivity and reduce inequality simply by more effectively allocating human talent to jobs.
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102
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The Future of Cohesion Policy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The report Future of cohesion policy examines the main issues of debate around the cohesion policy in order to set up the political framework of discussion. Methodologically, this first report is based on an analysis of past debates, predominantly in regional EU fora. Desk-based research was supplemented by thematic discussions with other EU institutions, experts and key stakeholders in the scope of a seminar. Furthermore this study series on the Future of cohesion policy should provide a new impetus to the work of the Committee of the Regions and its members in the policy debates on the efficiency and effectiveness of Cohesion Policy from the perspective of local and regional authorities as well as the main topic of the research: The Cohesion Policy beyond 2020.
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196
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Shaping Globalization – Expanding Partnerships – Sharing Responsibility

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The world is becoming increasingly multipolar. States that were long thought of as developing or newly industrialized countries are now an influential force in shaping international policy in an interdependent world. They are economic motors and key regional players, active beyond their own regional boundaries. They also play an increasingly important role in international decision-making processes. They are confidently taking their place on the world stage, in international relations, and are assuming ever more responsibility for global issues. In our view they are more than just emerging economies. They are new players with a voice in the conduct of world affairs.
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68
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Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is set to register another year of solid economic performance, expanding at 4½ percent in 2015. This said, the expansion will be at the lower end of the range registered in recent years, mainly reflecting the adverse impact of the sharp decline in oil and other commodity prices.
The effect of this shock will be quite heterogeneous across the region. The region’s eight oil exporters will be hit hard and, with limited buffers, are expected to effect significant fiscal adjustment, with adverse implications for growth. For much of the rest of the region, near-term prospects remain quite favorable, with many countries benefiting from lower oil prices—although, for a number of them, this positive effect will be part offset by the decline in the prices of other exported commodities. Notable exceptions are South Africa, where growth is expected to remain lackluster, held back by continuing problems in the electricity sector, and Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola outbreak continues to exact a heavy economic and social toll.
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123
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Realigning EU Policy in Palestine Towards a Viable State Economy and Restored Dignity

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The approach advocated by this paper is not the so-called ‘economic peace’. Economic development is not a substitute for political rights. As an educated and entrepreneurial people, Palestinians are capable of creating a viable economy that would support a sovereign state unreliant on foreign aid.
The EU policy shift would have to entail effective engagement of Israelis and Palestinians to address each other’s security requirements in accordance with international standards. This includes addressing Israel’s occupation and its ‘layering’ of measures under the name of security that undermine Palestinian economic development. A crippled Palestinian economy does not make Israel safer, but it meanwhile diminishes Palestinian dignity and hope for the future.
Such a shift in policy on the part of the EU would better align Europe with its own ENP objectives, and would be a critical positive response to political factors at play in the Middle East. It would fill the void arising from the reduced US focus on Israel and Palestine. However, this policy shift would be enhanced if it were fortified with a degree of US acceptance – if not support.
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30
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