Economy

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Study: ECB policy spurred economic reforms in euro area countries

The European Central Bank (ECB) has repeatedly been the focus of debate: The background are low interest rates, bond purchase programmes and other unusual measures. However, our new study shows that the ECB's monetary policy during the euro crisis has not only helped stabilise the common currency but also led to more structural reforms.

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Event: Beyond GDP: What counts for economic & social performance? Understanding different daily life challenges of Europeans

The Covid-19 pandemic has posed major challenges for Europe and shed new light on some areas of daily life. What is really important to us? Are people in systemic professions adequately paid? Can we currently think about sustainability and digitisation, or is it primarily important to preserve jobs and economic power? In a virtual conference organised by the "Europe's Future" programme and the OECD-hosted "High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress" (HLEG), members of the HLEG and other experts came together to discuss well-being indicators and their relevance in the crisis. Amongst others, Nobel Laureate Stiglitz and State Secretaries Schmidt and Kastrop participated. 200 attendees from all over the world followed the event.

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Study: Stability of European banks: the fortune of the European banking system depends on the upcoming economic recovery

Covid-19 has put a huge burden on the economy. So far banks have weathered the storm. But will they withstand a prolonged economic downturn, or will they end up worse than after the Great Financial Crisis? A new study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung in cooperation with the Jacques Delors Centre investigates the stability of banking systems in the euro zone.

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Web-Meeting: What do we need a World Trade Organization for?

The WTO is the bedrock of the global trading system. Yet it is increasingly in need of reform. In this web-meeting, we will discuss with Ignacio Garcia Bercero, Chad Down and Elvire Fabry how to take the WTO forward.

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Study: USA still patent Superpower – But China is catching up fast

The international balance of power in innovation is shifting. When it comes to world-class patents in important cutting-edge technologies, the United States still occupies the leading position in almost every field. But China is catching up fast or has already overtaken the United States in some areas thanks to its much greater dynamic. This is the central finding of our new study on the development of national and regional portfolios of patents in cutting-edge technologies since 2000.

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Focus Paper: Economic consequences of the corona pandemic for developing countries and emerging markets

The spread of the corona virus (COVID-19) causes not only a high number of illnesses and deaths but also enormous economic damage. For many developing countries and emerging markets, whose economic development is fragile irrespective of this pandemic, the economic consequences may be even more serious than for most industrialized nations.

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Asia Policy Brief: The Struggle for Democracy in Asia – Regression, Resilience, Revival

Aurel Croissant


Worldwide, democracy is under pressure. The slow but steady erosion of democracy in many places in the last decade seems to be accelerating since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. As political leaders seize powers to fight the virus, worries grow if they will give up accrued powers readily once the crisis eventually subsides. In addition, the uneven performance of many democracies in fighting the pandemic rekindles questions about the superiority of political systems and if authoritarian governments do a better job in handling this or other mega challenges than democratic governments. The Asia-Pacific region is of crucial importance for the future of democracy and its global contestation with autocracy in the twenty-first century. The region is not immune to the impositions of authoritarian populism and other illiberal threats to democracy. Yet, it provides both major examples of democratic regression and failure as well as inspiring stories of democratic resilience and revival.

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Policy Brief: Giving fresh impetus to Germany’s collaboration with Africa on migration

Cooperation with African countries on migration policy is becoming increasingly important for Germany. It has been dominated by a restrictive approach to migration in Europe in recent years and characterized by a wide range of challenges, but it has a new and promising dynamic at the same time. In this year of the Germany EU Council Presidency, it is decisive to use this momentum for partnership-based and dialogue-oriented cooperation on migration.

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BTI 2020: Inequality and repression undermine democracy and market economy worldwide

Restricted freedom of expression, a gagged press or disempowered constitutional courts – as a rule, these are characteristics of autocracies. But our latest Transformation Index shows that the rule of law and political freedoms are also being eroded in an increasing number of democracies. The effects of the corona pandemic threaten to intensify these developments.