The progressing digitalisation raises the question about the extent to which jobs are technically automatable and therefore replaceable by machines. A new study by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) and the University of Utrecht now shows that automation has a positive net effect on labour demand in Europe.
China has revealed itself as the enfant terrible of patent applications. Well known for its leading position in copying foreign products, China has increasingly been filing patents to protect domestic products and established itself as one of the world's leading patent applicants since the turn of the millennium. Researchers from the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, and the German Graduate School of Management and Law (GGS), Heilbronn, developed in collaboration a quality index allowing the measurement of patent quality in cross-country comparison. The current study revealed a widening gap between patents from China and high-income countries as well as a decrease in patent quality over time.
Economic expectations for Central and Eastern Europe including Turkey (CEE region) have slightly decreased in July 2016. In the current survey, the ZEW-Erste Group Bank Economic Sentiment Indicator for the CEE region has dropped by 3.9 points to a level of 11.9 points.
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany decreased sharply in July 2016. The index has decreased by 26.0 points compared to the previous month, now standing at minus 6.8 points (long-term average: 24.3 points). This is the indicator’s lowest reading since November 2012.
"The Brexit vote has surprised the majority of financial market experts. Uncertainty about the vote’s consequences for the German economy is largely responsible for the substantial decline in economic sentiment. In particular, concerns about the export prospects and the stability of the European banking and financial system are likely to be a burden on the economic outlook," comments ZEW-President Professor Achim Wambach.
On the one hand, digitalisation promises levels of growth we can only dream of. On the other hand, it leads to concentrations of market power which need to be kept in check. So do we need "New Rules for a Digital Economy"? This was the central question discussed by renowned representatives of the internet economy, management and research, who attended the ZEW Economic Forum 2016 at the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research. How does market power in the digital economy and abuses of this power need to be dealt with, and what new challenges do cartel offices subsequently face? The presentations and debates illustrated that the instruments used by competition watchdogs need to be further developed on a national, European and global scale if they are to be able to respond to the speed of the digital economy.