Stimulating Demand " In 1999, the Japanese Government handed out "shopping coupons" worth 20,000 yen (about 200 US dollars) to families for every child under the age of 15 and to roughly half of Japan's elderly population. In total, 25 percent of Japan's population received the coupons. The coupons expired after six months and had to be spent within the recipient's local community. "Did the Shopping Coupon Program Stimulate Consumption? Evidence from Japanese Micro Data" investigates whether these coupons were successful in increasing consumption. Published by the Economic and Social Research Institute.
By Economic and Social Research Institute , Japan
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The Future of EU Competition Policy " This paper calls for a radical rethink of how competition policy is run. The author questions whether the European Commission has the right institutional basis to manage increasingly high-profile competition cases and argues for a new 'European Competition Agency' to take the politics out of merger and anti-trust investigations. "The Future of European Competition Policy" by Edward Bannerman is published by the Centre for European Reform.
By Centre for European Reform. , Europe.
Labour Mobility in Europe " Unemployment rates as well as incomes per capita differ vastly across the regions of Europe. Labour mobility can play a role in resolving regional disparities. This paper focuses on why labour mobility is low in the EU. "Factor Mobility and Regional Disparities: East, West, Home's Best?", by Richard Nahuis and Ashok Parikh, is published by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
By CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis , Netherlands.
Is the ECB Accountable? " Many financial analysts and academics believe that the European Central Bank lacks transparency and accountability. Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi & Daniel Gros argue that actually their analysis suggests instead that the ECB is, at least on paper, one of the most transparent and accountable central banks. The discrepancy between theory and public perception suggests that much remains to be done within the given institutional framework to improve the transparency of the ECB. The authors suggest that the best way to make the ECB more accountable is to engage it in substantive discussions about its policy. The ECB should provide more information about the background analysis that leads to policy decisions. For example, the ECB should transform its ?staff projections? into true inflation forecasts and it should be more open about the arguments that shape the internal debates, which precedes decisions. "Is the ECB sufficiently accountable and transparent?" is published by ENEPRI.
By ENEPRI., Europe.