1. 23.07.2012 · ZEW ()
    Opinion

    The extent to which the Greek electorate was buoyed by the country's advance to the quarterfinals of the 2012 European football championship is unclear. In any event, the outcome of the elections on June 17 has bought a moment of respite that now must be put to good use.

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  2. 04.06.2012 · ZEW ()
    Opinion
    Growth policy

    Like a deus ex machina, growth has mutated into the great hope of 2012. Inspired by the election promises of the new French president, increasing support is being garnered by voices of opposition to German-led austerity who would put an end to ostensibly destructive belt-tightening and return us to the easy days of larger deficits. In this connection, past experience and insights concerning effective growth policies are being largely ignored – and not just at the EU level, where misinformation abounds, from the unsuccessful Lisbon Strategy of 2000 to more recent discussions concerning ‘project bonds’ that would be granted by the European Investment Bank. One cause for consternation is the frequent confusion between business cycles and growth.

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  3. 11.05.2012 · ZEW ()
    Opinion
    Bankruptcy law | Social transfer

    According to a famous German proverb, "A horrible end is better than horror without end". However, with regard to the insolvency of Schlecker, Europe's largest drugstore chain, this proverb is misleading, for there was a clear alternative: An end without horror, as opposed to horror without end.

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  4. 12.04.2012 · ZEW ()
    Opinion
    Data protection

    The term of "social" is provided for most people with a sense of well-being or at least with positive connotations. So many institutions use this adjective in various contexts starting with social market economy to social partners. When it comes to "social" networks such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, however, the connotations have not been universally positive in past months, even for many formerly ardent supporters. The ends pursued by these networks are often not "social", but rather commercial, and profit-oriented as marketer of user data. Indeed, it is almost shocking to observe the naiveté with which not just younger users have contended that the operators of such networks have altruistic motives. Perhaps such notions would be halfway acceptable if it weren’t for recent developments.

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  5. 05.03.2012 · ZEW ()
    Opinion

    As part of the fiscal agreement approved at the EU Summit at the end of January 2012, twenty-five EU nations will seek to pass legislation defining an upper limit on new debt creation. In this connection, the 'debt brakes' already in place in Germany and Switzerland have been serving as a guide for the writing of legislation in various member states. Yet how effective has Germany's deficit reduction legislation been? And does it contain loopholes? To address these questions, it is necessary to draw a distinction between Germany's federal government and states.

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  6. 22.02.2012 · ZEW ()
    Opinion
    European Economic and Monetary Union

    In the question of how to handle the eurozone crisis, the sole contribution offered by numerous experts is to condemn virtually all of the solutions currently being floated. No alternative solutions are suggested, apart from reiteration of the need for programmes of fiscal consolidation and adjustment in the embattled countries at Europe's periphery. Such fiscal measures are of course essential – this is beyond doubt. But if the markets remain unconvinced by such efforts, what then?

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  7. 13.12.2011 · ZEW ()
    Opinion

    It is much more popular to decry the sins of the embattled countries on the eurozone's periphery than to praise their efforts to return to the narrow path of fiscal virtue. Yet these efforts have been considerable, as shown by calculations released in the most recent Annual Report of the German Council of Economic Experts.

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  8. 14.11.2011 ()
    Opinion
    temporary work

    Germany's temporary employment sector has seen rapid growth in recent years, with the number of temporary employees rising from 340,000 in 2000 to 824,000 in 2010. While this growth has continued apace in 2011, the temporary work sector remains small in relation to the size of the overall workforce. Indeed, temporary workers represent just 3% of all German employees required to pay social insurance contributions. This puts Germany in fifth place internationally for the size of its temporary employment sector, behind the U.K. and the Netherlands.

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  9. 12.10.2011 · ZEW ()
    Opinion

    Economists are currently being taken to task for the inaccuracy of their forecasts. Some of their most critical voices have come from the natural sciences, where the commentary has been mocking and at times malicious, especially when it comes to assessing research activities in the field of economics. Yet it’s easy to turn the tables: erroneous predictions in the natural sciences are legion and their consequences are, in all likelihood, much more costly than those caused by the misjudgements of economists.

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  10. 08.09.2011 ()
    Opinion
    ECB

    It‘s not long since the European Central Bank (ECB) enjoyed great respectability on account of its credible independence and stability-orientated monetary politics. Now, however, the ECB is in choppy waters because precisely this independence of (financial) politics could be lost. What is more, its rejection of Greek government bond refinancing is as disconcerting as its disproportionately heavy reliance on the verdicts of rating agencies.

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