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Gert Bijnens

27 February 2024
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 340
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Abstract
The impact of climate change on European Union (EU) countries and regions is poised to exhibit considerable diversity, influenced by factors encompassing average temperature, sectoral composition, developmental stages, and adaptation endeavours. The transition towards a more climate-friendly economy demands a well-orchestrated approach to mitigate enduring productivity costs. This shift will have varied implications for businesses, contingent upon their scale, access to financial resources, and capacity for innovation. The formulation of transition policies holds the potential to foster green innovation without displacing other initiatives, yet stringent climate regulations might impede the productivity ascent of pollutant-emitting enterprises. It will thus take time to reap the benefits of innovation. The efficacy of the policy mix is of critical importance in determining the trajectory of success. Market-driven mechanisms exhibit milder distortions compared to non-market-based strategies, though they may not inherently stimulate innovation. Significantly, subsidies earmarked for green research and development (R&D) emerge as a pivotal instrument for fostering innovation, thus constituting a vital component of the policy repertoire during the green transition. The implementation of transition policies will inevitably trigger a substantial reallocation of resources among and within sectors, potentially carrying short-term adverse ramifications. Notably, considerable productivity disparities exist between top and bottom emitters within specific industries. The transition period poses a risk to a substantial proportion of firms and can erode employment opportunities, with a likely decline in new ventures within affected sectors.
JEL Code
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
L52 : Industrial Organization→Regulation and Industrial Policy→Industrial Policy, Sectoral Planning Methods
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
O38 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Government Policy
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
Q58 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Government Policy
27 February 2024
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 339
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Abstract
The productivity-enhancing effects of digitalisation have generated increased interest in the promotion of digital technologies. This report provides different estimations for euro area countries of the impact of digital uptake on productivity at firm level, showing that the adoption of digital technologies could lead to an increase in firms’ productivity in the medium term. However, not all firms and sectors experience significant productivity gains from digital adoption, and not all digital technologies deliver significant productivity gains. The report highlights possible factors behind the low productivity benefits of digitalisation in euro area countries. For example, a lack of strong institutions and governance structures may help to explain why digital diffusion is slower than expected, why it is slower in some countries than others and why the expected productivity benefits from digitalisation have not been fully achieved by now. Furthermore, the report suggests that the full benefits of the digital revolution will be reaped by properly supplying skills to firms and also by investing in computerised information in low-productivity firms.
JEL Code
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
E22 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Capital, Investment, Capacity
J24 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Human Capital, Skills, Occupational Choice, Labor Productivity
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
O38 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Government Policy
C67 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Mathematical Methods, Programming Models, Mathematical and Simulation Modeling→Input?Output Models
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 275
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Abstract
This report discusses the role of the European Union’s full employment objective in the conduct of the ECB’s monetary policy. It first reviews a range of indicators of full employment, highlights the heterogeneity of labour market outcomes within different groups in the population and across countries, and documents the flatness of the Phillips curve in the euro area. In this context, it is stressed that labour market structures and trend labour market outcomes are primarily determined by national economic policies. The report then recalls that, in many circumstances, inflation and employment move together and pursuing price stability is conducive to supporting employment. However, in response to economic shocks that give rise to a temporary trade-off between employment and inflation stabilisation, the ECB’s medium-term orientation in pursuing price stability is shown to provide flexibility to contribute to the achievement of the EU’s full employment objective. Regarding the conduct of monetary policy in a low interest rate environment, model-based simulations suggest that history-dependent policy approaches − which have been proposed to overcome lasting shortfalls of inflation due to the effective lower bound on nominal interest rates by a more persistent policy response to disinflationary shocks − can help to bring employment closer to full employment, even though their effectiveness depends on the strength of the postulated expectations channels. Finally, the importance of employment income and wealth inequality in the transmission of monetary policy strengthens the case for more persistent or forceful easing policies (in pursuit of price stability) when interest rates are constrained by their lower bound.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
13 April 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2537
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Abstract
Increased investment in clean electricity generation or the introduction of a carbon tax will most likely lead to higher electricity prices. We examine the effect from changing electricity prices on manufacturing employment. Analyzing firm-level data, we find that rising electricity prices lead to a negative impact on labor demand and investment in sectors most reliant on electricity as an input factor. Since these sectors are unevenly spread across countries and regions, the labor impact will also be unevenly spread with the highest impact in Southern Germany and Northern Italy. We also identify an additional channel that leads to heterogeneous responses. When electricity prices rise, financially constrained firms reduce employment more than less constrained firms. This implies a potentially mitigating role for monetary policy.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
H23 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→Externalities, Redistributive Effects, Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
J23 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Demand
Q48 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Energy→Government Policy