Wirtschaftswende – call for papers
New economic concepts in the current European crises
The conference addressed the euro crisis concerning three aspects of the economy that directly relate to potential policy implications.
Labour market design and policies
Labor markets in the EU are subject to diverse developments. Many countries in the euro area experience extraordinarily high levels of unemployment. Others are increasingly characterized by short contracts, flexible working hours and rising frequency of job changes. At the same time, more women participate in the labor market, increasing the work force and putting part-time employment as well as the re-evaluation of care work on the agenda. Besides that, ecologists question the classic solution of increasing employment by increasing growth rates. Some authors call for a coordination of wage developments in the EU, in order to adjust the trade imbalances. Other demands are a more equal distribution of paid and unpaid work, flexible labor markets or a basic income guarantee.
European countries experience increasing levels of inequality in income and wealth. They are also characterized by unsustainable levels of environmental pollution. Therefore research on traditional measures of redistribution (income, wealth, inheritance, business and financial taxes) need to be combined with investigations in the impact of ecological taxes.
The European sovereign debt crisis has taught us that economic policies need to be coordinated. Different developments of productivity and wage levels have led to high trade imbalances. Tax competition and tax havens undermine the ability of single countries to finance their budgets. A lack of coordination in financial and ecological regulation lead to a race to the bottom. At the same time, economic policies during the crisis were marked by a lack of democratic legitimization – many measures were taken on the executive level.