China’s role in the global economy is becoming ever larger. But the Middle Kingdom also faces serious economic problems at home. Gunnar Lang, the director of a new economic survey on China instituted by ZEW and Fudan University, explains China’s current economic situation.
The European Union has decided to spend billions of euros to combat youth unemployment, a problem that is particularly acute in many Southern European countries. In this interview, Prof. Dr. Holger Bonin, a labour economist at ZEW, raises doubts about the effectiveness of the initiative. He emphasizes the main responsibility to fight youth unemployment should be at the EU member state level.
Thanks to an improved situation on financial markets and easing global economic headwinds, conditions are favourable for the German economy. This is the conclusion of the latest Joint Economic Forecast (Gemeinschaftsdiagnose), a biannual economic assessment issued by leading research institutes in the German-speaking world. Dr. Marcus Kappler, chief ZEW researcher involved in drafting the report, discusses the most important findings.
Each additional year of school, vocational training, or university education pays off, leading on average to hourly earnings six per cent higher in one's later professional life. PD Dr. Friedhelm Pfeiffer, an educational economist at ZEW, talks about various aspects of this finding.
| Aircraft construction research
When American Airlines ties the knot with US Airways, it will become the largest passenger air carrier in the world. Assistant Professor Kai Hüschelrath, a competition economist at ZEW, explains the consequences of the mega merger.
Since the start of 2013, marginal employees in Germany with so-called "mini-jobs" – i.e. positions that are not subject to social insurance contributions and income taxation – may earn an additional 50 euros per month, bringing their total deduction-free monthly earnings to 450 euros. With this change, the federal government has strengthened a labour market instrument that should, instead, have long been sent back to the testing laboratory, says ZEW labour economist Holger Bonin.
In mid-December, the Expert Commission for the "Energy of the Future" Monitoring Process issued its first position statement regarding the federal government’s annual status report on German renewable energy policy. Prof. Dr. Andreas Löschel, chairman of the Expert Commission and a research department head at ZEW, explains its findings.
Next year, German consumers will have to dig much deeper into their pockets to support green electricity. A surcharge on electricity consumption used to finance subsidies, the so-called EEG levy, will jump from its current rate of about 3.6 cents to 5.3 cents. In light of the costs to consumers, ZEW environmental economist Andreas Löschel argues for moderation in expanding renewable energy.
Despite the strains of the European debt crisis, Germany's economy has remained fairly stable relative to other eurozone countries. This is the conclusion of the latest Joint Economic Forecast (or Gemeinschaftsdiagnose), a biannual economic assessment issued by leading research institutes in the German-speaking world. Dr. Marcus Kappler, chief ZEW researcher involved in drafting the report, answers our questions.
In many areas of technology, the road to new products leads through a dense thicket of existing patents that threatens to hinder innovation. A new ZEW study has found that patent rights are often distributed among many companies, creating the risk of blockades to innovation. Dr. Georg Licht explains the long-term consequences.