| Patent law
US President Biden’s push to waive patent rights for coronavirus vaccines has provoked a heated debate about ways to improve the vaccine supply, especially in developing countries. But would waiving patent rights actually be an appropriate instrument? Proponents argue that exclusive patent rights are partially responsible for the catastrophic lack of coronavirus vaccine in many countries. By contrast, opponents of a patent protection waiver insist that the vaccine shortage has nothing to do with patents, but has instead resulted from inadequate production capacity.
Online Edition for the Second Time Due to the Pandemic
21.05.2021 · ZEW (jno/ybr)
| Public Finance
| Corporate taxation
Why are female talents not always allocated in the best possible way on the international labour market? How should consumer goods be optimally taxed in the face of externalities? How does tax avoidance occur? These and other questions were addressed at the annual ZEW Public Finance Conference, jointly organised by ZEW Mannheim and the Collaborative Research Center SFB 884 “Political Economy of Reforms” of the University of Mannheim on 6 and 7 May 2021. For the second time, around 200 researchers from all over the world came together digitally, resulting in a very international programme. This year’s main topic was “Behavioural Public Economics”.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. The virus presented us with unprecedented challenges in all areas of our lives and required rapid and massive government intervention. ZEW Mannheim provided scientific impetus to address these challenges, for example, by pointing out the effects of school closures, identifying ways to speed up the production of vaccines and investigating the impact of the ‘Querdenken’ protests on infection rates. The newly published German version of the ZEW Annual Report 2020 provides an interesting overview of this – an English version will be available soon.
Website Offers Targeted Information in a Modern Layout
19.05.2021 · ZEW (kez/kni/ybr)
Dates and News
ZEW Sponsors' Association for Science and Practice
| First-Hand Information on Economic Policy
The ZEW Sponsors’ Association of Science and Practice has launched its own website (in German only), where users can quickly and easily find out about the Association’s goals and activities. Its members actively support the work of ZEW and benefit from exclusive offers. Anyone interested in becoming a member can find all the information they need on the website.
Vitali Gretschko and Simon Reif Represent the “Next Generation”
19.05.2021 · ZEW (vgr/srf/ybr)
| Health economics
The German weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche ranks two researchers from ZEW Mannheim in their list of outstanding economists under the age of 40. According to WirtschaftsWoche, Professor Vitali Gretschko and Dr. Simon Reif are among those who are actively shaping the future by working on groundbreaking topics and providing valuable impulses for Germany.
Opinion Piece by ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach
14.05.2021 · ZEW (awh)
The coronavirus pandemic is largely the result of an information problem. If we identified everyone who was infected, it would be easier to prevent viral transmission. Unfortunately, Germany has failed to prioritise the one measure that could close the information gap: testing.
The economic experts are unimpressed by the weakness in growth witnessed again at the beginning of the year. This is the result of the business cycle tableaus by ZEW Mannheim and the German daily newspaper, Börsen-Zeitung. Although Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 1.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, the GDP forecasts for 2021/22 remain virtually unchanged. For 2021, the forecast is slightly higher at 3.6 per cent, while for 2022 the median forecast remains at 4.0 per cent. The experts are therefore not revising their expectation of strong economic growth, but merely postponing it.
How can gender inequality be minimised? Jutta Allmendinger, president of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and professor of educational sociology and labour market research at the Humboldt University Berlin, has been dealing with this question for over three decades. At the fourth #ZEWBookTalk on 5 May 2021, she not only provided interesting insights into her new book, but also discussed with ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach the so-called Gender Lifetime Earnings Gap, why a pandemic promotes the traditional role distribution and which measures counteract gender inequality.
European Economic and Monetary Union
| Public bond
| Sovereign debt crisis
The COVID-19 crisis resulted in all European countries having to take on large amounts of new debt to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the health system and the economy and to support recovery from the deep recession. As many countries had already been heavily indebted before, their scope to shoulder the high pandemic-related debt on their own was limited. Europe responded with comprehensive aid measures. At the end of 2020, the EU not only adopted the new Multiannual Financial Framework, but also launched the largest aid programme financed from the EU budget in its history, the 750-billion-euro fund Next Generation EU. But one central question remains: How should the high national debt in the eurozone be dealt with after the end of the coronavirus pandemic? What are the possible solutions and how realistic are they?
The question whether primary school pupils should be assigned to secondary school tracks based on binding recommendations is a subject of heated debate in Germany. The legal requirements for the transition from primary school to secondary school in Germany differ considerably between the federal states.