• 19 juin 2015

    The case for a European data policy

    A consistent set of European standards could prove to be a lever for framing a digital industrial policy. In a legal framework where individuals come under high protection, the winners will be the enterprises who inspire enough confidence to obtain the users’ consent to access and use their personal data. Trust, says Rachel Botsman, is the currency of the 21st Century. Maybe. But data is the commodity of the future, and those who can combine trust and valuable data can lead the race. It has just started.

  • 26 mars 2015

    The dark side of the Californian dream

    If the structural problems of inequality, racism, immigration and unemployment seem beyond our control, why not simply change what we can, here and now? And why not use our cell phones and laptops to do it? Because Silicon Valley itself shows us it won’t work.

  • 4 novembre 2010

    The 2010 French pension reform

    The 2010 French pension reform has now been passed by the French Parliament, after weeks of protests, strikes and even riots, all of which have aroused incomprehension in foreign media. The headline increase of the “legal retirement age” from 60 to 62 sounded to most pundits a very small step towards the sustainability of public finances when many European countries have already increased normal retirement age to age 67 or even 68. This short piece is not about the reasons behind the acute reaction of the French street – which would encompass much more than pensions. It aims simply at presenting the reform, its likely distributional impact and its effect in terms of financial sustainability. (in French; Italian version on LaVoce, English version to be published on VoxEU).

  • 29 septembre 2010

    EU: new ways of the small and middle economies

    A quick trip through the Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia and Poland offers curious impressions of economic situation. All these countries are seeing a fast economic recovery of around 4 percent this year, and the contrast could hardly be greater to the current US depressed mood. Unemployment is the main concern but bubbles are on their way. One can also wonder about the policies carried in these countries whose leaders speak a new language.

  • 16 septembre 2010

    Bank regulation reform: moving, ever so slowly in Europe

    Three years after the bank crisis began, two years after it exploded, the policymaking response is moving forward, but surprisingly slowly. Two important steps have just been taken, a superficial one at the European level, a more fundamental one at the international level. In the EU politicians seem unable to resist the powerful lobbying of the banking industry while Basel III has so far side-stepped the all-important issue of systemically-important financial institutions. (in French)

  • 20 juin 2010

    Senior Workers: Less Charges, More Jobs?

    In order to increase the proportion of employed senior workers, it has been suggested to cut their and their employers’ social security contributions. That proposal deserves attention, since it acknowledges the necessity of raising the senior workers’ employment rate, still very low in France. But such a policy may be flawed and in the context of the pension system reform one may think twice before implementing it. (in French)

  • 30 octobre 2008

    Despite the history of a weak dollar would you rather buy a Mercedes or a Ford?

    We are entering in different phase in stock market weakness, one that gives me some cause for optimism. I believe that in recent weeks what we have witnessed is a transition from “liquidity fear” to “recession fear” or for the more technical, from liquidity risk to credit risk. It may be hard to notice the difference. Both forces are bad for stock markets in general. But they have a different impact on individual stocks and therein lies the opportunity for opportunistic investors who don’t mind a bare-knuckle ride in search of superior returns.

  • 19 décembre 2007

    Minimum wages, maximum wages and the level of economic discourse in Germany

    The past few weeks have been economically challenging for economists who live in or deal with Germany. For starters, the parliament just passed a minimum wage for postal workers. Second, the country is in the grips of a national discussion of “the excesses of managerial pay”- and a significant number of politicians have argued for caps on executive pay – maximum wages! And precisely because the quality of economic discourse surrounding these issues is so abysmal, one may need to think twice when assessing whether Germany has made any fundamental progress on labor market reforms.