The horrific news reports and images from Japan’s nuclear disaster are disturbing, yet it would be unwise to rely on the advice of the Cassandras in our midst. What is instead needed is a reassessment of nuclear energy in light of the following two questions: What lessons can be drawn from the catastrophe in Japan with regard to the safety of nuclear power plants closer to home? Moreover, what alternatives to nuclear power do we have, and how viable are they both technically and economically?
Credit rating agencies are powerful. Their judgements determine the conditions under which a country can borrow money on international capital markets. Prof. Dr. Michael Schröder, head of the department of International Financial Markets and Financial Management at ZEW, explains how rating agencies work and how they can be better monitored.
Prof. Dr. Michael Schröder is head of the department of International Financial Markets and Financial Management at ZEW. His research interests include the empirical analysis of capital markets, expectation formation in financial markets, sustainable investment, and asset management for charitable foundations. In 2009, he completed his Habilitation at the University of Stuttgart in business administration. Prof. Dr. Schröder teaches at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in the area of Asset Management.
The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) is hosting the fourth Conference on the Economics of Innovation and Patenting in Mannheim on 19-20 May 2011. The event, which will be held in English, also serves as the closing conference for the EU-wide research network STRIKE. The aim of the conference is to promote a deeper understanding of growth processes driven by innovation and to analyse the effects of potential innovation policies. The thematic focus of the conference is on the political implications of recent research findings and on encouraging the dialogue between international researchers conducting empirical and theoretical research in this field.
From 22 March to 24 March 2011, Prof. Jan Brueckner, PhD, was a visiting researcher at the ZEW Research Department "Industrial Economics and International Management". Jan Brueckner is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Irvine (USA). He is currently conducting research in the fields of transportation and urban economics. During his stay at ZEW, Brueckner analysed recent problems in the economic analysis of airline markets. Furthermore, he gave a speech on "Product Unbundling in the Travel Industry: The Economics of Airline Bag Fees" in the Mannheim Competition Policy Forum.
From 6 June 2011 to 15 July 2011, Dr. Ricardo A. Daziano is visiting researcher at the ZEW Research Department "Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management". Daziano is Assistant Professor at the Cornell University (USA). His research focuses on theoretical and applied econometrics of consumer behavior, specifically on discrete choice models applied to technological innovation and transportation demand. While visiting ZEW, Ricardo A. Daziano is concerned with the empirical analysis of choice data coming from a Germany-wide survey among potential car buyers.
For the first time in many years, the number of unemployed in Germany fell below the three million mark in October 2010. In light of the robust labour market, companies are calling for more immigration, as qualified domestic applicants are now hard to come by. Holger Bonin, head of the research department of Labour Markets, Human Resources, and Social Policy at ZEW, outlines what needs to be done in light of the growing lack of skilled labour.
The University of Mannheim and ZEW jointly host the Mannheim Corporate Tax Day (Mannheimer Unternehmenssteuertag) 2011. On 21 June 2011, renowned experts from the worlds of academia, business and government will present the latest developments in the field of national and international corporate taxation. This year, the event will focus on "National and International Taxation for Partnerships".
From 28 March to 21 April 2011, Dr. Sebastian Lazar is a visiting researcher at the ZEW Research Department "Corporate Taxation and Public Finance". Sebastian Lazar is Assistant Professor at the University Alexandru Ioan Cuza of Iasi, Romania. He is currently conducting research on the measurement of effective tax burdens of Romanian companies. During his stay at ZEW, Lazar will analyze the development of effective tax burdens of Romanian companies after the fall of the communist regime applying the European Tax Analyzer.
In March of this year Europe's heads of state and government will decide on whether to adopt the "Competitiveness Pact" that was jointly proposed by France and Germany on 4 February. The pact, often discussed under the heading of "economic governance", seeks to promote greater cooperation between EU states by means of – to quote the German Chancellery – "harmonised conditions in national markets and systems", with the ultimate aim of bolstering the competitiveness of the EU's economies.
ZEW President Wolfgang Franz welcomed some 200 participants from academia, politics and the economy from 20 countries to the SEEK kick-off conference "Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies" (SEEK). Stefan Mappus, Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, and Márie Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, gave the opening speeches at the conference.