Could the decrease in Belgian government debt-servicing costs offset increased age-related expenditure?
by Mikkel Barslund, Lars Ludolph (June, 2017)
This paper argues that none of the secular trends that have driven down real interest rates over the past two decades is likely to reverse in the near future. Thus, real rates can be expected to remain low and government debt-servicing costs to decrease further over the coming years. Based on these findings, the authors calculate direct gains accruing to the Belgian government from lower net debt interest payments. The savings on interest payments are then contrasted with the projected future increases in age-related expenditures on pensions, education and long-term care. The findings indicate that, if savings on interest payments are channelled to cover the increases in age-related expenditures, they will fully offset financing needs in these areas until 2030. The calculations are robust to a moderate increase in interest rates.
by H. Rolfe, G. Davies (June, 2017)
Alongside access to the singlemarket, EU immigration policy is arguably the most important issue facing employers and policymakers resulting from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. At the time of publication, shortly after the General Election result and with a hung parliament in place, the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU are unclear. However, both the Labour and Conservative parties have committed to ending freedom of movement of people from the EU, so it is likely new immigration policies for EU workers will need to be developed. The UK has experienced a major increase in labour immigration from the EU over the past 15 years, so it is understandable that many employers are concerned about the Government’s stated intention to end free movement of labour.
by Amparo Nagore Garcia, Arthur van Soest (June, 2017)
Using administrative data from Spain, we compare the pattern and the determinants of individual unemployment durations and the stability of jobs found after unemployment before and during the recent crisis. We find particularly strong effects of the crisis on the hazards in the beginning of the unemployment spell. The groups hit hardest by the crisis are men, immigrants, older workers, and low-educated individuals. The disadvantage of men is mainly due to the more pro-cyclical nature of men’s jobs. The increase in average unemployment duration and the fall in the duration of new jobs are not explained by composition effects.
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