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Is the European Economy a Patient and the Union its Doctor? On Jobs and Growth in Europe. CEPS ENEPRI Working Papers No. 35, 1 April 2005

Ederveen, Sjef and van der Horst, Albert and Tang, Paul. (2005) Is the European Economy a Patient and the Union its Doctor? On Jobs and Growth in Europe. CEPS ENEPRI Working Papers No. 35, 1 April 2005. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    A stronger focus on jobs and growth is part of an effort to renew the Lisbon strategy. Yet the view that economic expansion contributes to maintaining Lisbon’s other goals of social cohesion as well as the environment is somewhat optimistic. First, there are structural trade-offs among the central elements of the Lisbon strategy. Escaping these trade-offs temporarily is sometimes possible but requires policy changes. Second, higher productivity (growth) may not provide more structural room for governments to manoeuvre. It leads to higher tax receipts but also to higher public expenditures since public sector wages and social security benefits are linked to productivity. In contrast, more employment (jobs) is associated with a smaller public sector. But to engineer the increase in employment, changes in welfare state arrangements are needed. In other words, focussing solely on the sick child will probably harm the other children. Looking back, employment has kept expanding in the European Union whereas the productivity growth rate has been falling. The latter is not easily explained by (falling) investment in knowledge. Instead, the current relatively low productivity growth rate largely reflects success in the past: many European countries have caught up with the United States, having seen comparatively fast employment growth in the late 1990s. Looking forward, we argue that the combination of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) with national action plans, the way the EU wants to achieve its goals, is both too little and too much: European interference with national employment polices has a weak basis, while the OMC may not provide member states with a strong enough commitment to pursue an innovation agenda.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > welfare state
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > employment/unemployment
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Lisbon StrategyAgenda/Partnership for Growth and Employment
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > ENEPRI Working Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2007
    Page Range: p. 48
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:44
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/6739

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