The finance minister for Baden-Württemberg, Willi Stächele MdL, recently conducted a fact-finding visit at ZEW. He was accompanied by State Secretary Dr. Stefan Scheffold, Ministerial Director Dr. Gisela Meister-Scheufelen as well as several other high-ranking ministry officials.
According to some critics, the austerity package passed on 7 June 2010 is a “social impertinence”, involving unrivalled “orgies of austerity at the expense of the poor”. The outrage campaigns and protest marches can now go ahead as planned in their attempts to influence the public’s sense of injustice – a tactic that has been fairly successful thus far. But this raises a number of questions, namely: Where is this supposed social imbalance in the austerity package? And how do the alternative saving measures suggested by the aforementioned critics compare?
Jin Lei was a visiting researcher in the ZEW Research Department “International Finance and Financial Management” from 2 to 30 July 2010. At the time of his visit, Mr Lei was a research fellow at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada where his doctoral advisor was Professor Richard Deaves, who has collaborated intensively with ZEW over the years. Mr Lei’s research interests include expectation formation and empirical financial market analysis. During his research visit at ZEW, Lei worked on a joint research project with the head of the research department PD Dr. Michael Schröder analysing risk premiums and expectation formation on the German stock market.
Unlike regular investments, sustainable investments dispersed across the market did not yield any worse results, even during the recent financial crisis from 2007 to 2009. This is the finding of a study carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) on behalf of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU).
On 22 June 2010, ZEW and the University of Mannheim welcomed 100 guests to this year’s Mannheim Corporate Tax Day. Once again, the institute had the pleasure of welcoming renowned speakers from the worlds of economics, business and financial administration.
Rajeev K. Goel was a visiting researcher in ZEW's Research Department “Industrial Economics and International Management” from 14 June to 14 July 2010. He is a professor of economics at Illinois State University, where he conducts research in the fields of industrial economics, the economics of regulation and applied econometrics. His research at ZEW focused particularly on the economics of technological change.
The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) welcomes the submission of project proposals for its new research programme "Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies" (SEEK). The programme seeks to bolster international cooperation between researchers of all economic disciplines.
The state government of Baden-Wuerttemberg is financing a landmark project at ZEW in Mannheim to strengthen the economic top level research. In 2010 and 2011, the research programme will be financed with a total of three million euro.
For each project, the budget requested may be up to 200,000 euros for a duration of 12 to 18 months. Projects must be carried out in close cooperation between ZEW researchers and international project partner(s). The deadline for project proposals is July 31, 2010.
Professor Karl Ulrich Mayer, who became the new president of the Leibniz Association on 1 July 2010, paid his first official visit to the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. ZEW was the first of the 86 Leibniz institutes that Mayer visited.
On Friday 11 June, ZEW President Professor Wolfgang Franz welcomed almost 400 guests to the institute in Mannheim for the ZEW Economic Forum 2010. The theme of this year’s event was “Agenda 2010 – Review and Future Outlook”, with many talks and discussions taking a close look at the effects of the most comprehensive reform of the German social security system since the founding of the modern republic. Along with a great many other renowned speakers from the world of economic research, ZEW also had the honour of welcoming as a guest speaker former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who was largely responsible for introducing and designing the Agenda 2010.
There is currently a witch hunt going on in the form ideologically motivated reservations and targeted misinformation campaigns against the idea of a “health premium”, that is, a universal contribution amount for all those subject to statutory health insurance (GKV) contributions. This has already begun with the emergence of the term “per capita premium”, suggesting that some kind of Wild West-like behaviour is afoot. The bold claims that the senior consultant at a hospital would pay the same contributions as the nurses has further helped to solidify negative public opinion. It seems to be extremely difficult to communicate to the public that the health premium actually serves to eliminate unfairness in the current system. It is therefore the job of politicians who truly care about the redistribution of wealth from the top to the bottom of society to emphatically push for the health premium to be introduced.