SEJ Blogs

Our blogs are short commentaries on current affairs issues.

Is The New Belgian Government Creating New Jobs?

Frank Roels

By reducing labour costs, we will increase the number of jobs. This prophecy has been repeated since the crises, not only by journalists and politicians, but also by at least one economist in each university department. The new Belgian government is now putting this theory into practice. The plans are to reduce labour costs by more […]

The Untold Story Of The Eurozone Crisis

Simon Wren-Lewis

Everyone knows that the Eurozone suffered a crisis from 2010 to 2012, as periphery countries could no longer sell their debt. A superficial analysis puts this down to profligate governments, but look more closely and it becomes clear that the formation of the Euro itself led to an excessive monetary stimulus in these periphery countries. […]

Why Austerity Is Contagious

Ronald Janssen

Austerity is contagious: The case of France France is finding itself between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, with 54% of companies reporting in the third quarter 2014 that they find activity constrained by a lack of customers, the main problem is clearly on the side of demand. On the other […]

Why The Eurozone Suffers From A Germany Problem

Simon Wren-Lewis

When, almost a year ago, Paul Krugman wrote six posts within three days laying into the stance of Germany on the Eurozone’s macroeconomic problems, even I thought that maybe this was a bit too strong, although there was nothing in what he wrote that I disagreed with. Yet as Germany’s stance proved unyielding in the face of […]

Europe Is Back At Square One

Javier Lopez

Europe is back at square one. On the verge of a third recession in five years, the relentless tide is even crashing against the insurmountable walls of the German factory powerhouse. Stagnation yet again in the Eurozone – this time accompanied by a certain whiff of Japanese-style deflation. Once more the markets are getting nervous: a volatile […]

Will The Juncker Commission Continue To Entrench Neoliberal Policies?

Lukas Oberndorfer

A few days ago, the designated European Commission finally showed its true colours: It wants to make sure that its economic policy recommendations become enforceable. Deregulation of rent setting systems, adjusting the retirement age to account for life expectancy and increased flexibility in wage-setting mechanisms were mere recommendations in 2014. That is supposed to change […]

The EU Recovery That Never Was

John Weeks

Economic recovery in the Eurozone is not delayed. It is non-existent. The Financial Times for the first day of October carried several articles assessing the European economies, written as if a prize would go to the most pessimistic — stagnation and decline of EU manufacturing, the European Central Bank initiates asset purchases to prevent deflation […]

Keynes, Brüning And Pierre Moscovici’s Hearing With Econ

Ronald Janssen

It is said that, in the midst of the Great Depression, German finance minister Brüning made John Maynard Keynes leave a meeting in tears. Listening to last week’s hearing of the European Parliament’s Economics Committee with designate commissioner Pierre Moscovici, one can fully understand this feeling. Indeed, in a debate that kept raging during a session lasting […]

Britain’s Party Political Gatherings Fret And Worry Over Europe

Denis McShane

As the dust settles on the party political conferences of the two main British parties – Conservatives and Labour – what indicators are there on future Europe policy? Britain and the EU is now a major issue for the Conservatives. The party was thrown off balance by the decision of two of its MPs to […]

Europe’s Fading Climate Policy Ambitions

Bela Galgoczi

Europe is losing momentum in greening its economy, and its former leadership in this area is eroding rapidly. Indeed, after a 60% drop in clean energy investment in 2013 compared to the 2011 peak, Europe has become the global laggard in this regard. Alongside this collapse in clean energy investment, due mostly to austerity and […]

If You Look At One Graph About Inequality Look At This!

Henning Meyer

You might have heard about recent reports stating that global inequality is decreasing. This is a nice example of constructing the comparison according to the result you would like to see. Yes, inequality between countries has declined but the most important comparison is what is happening to inequality within countries as this tells you how the distribution system, that […]

Scotland: The Morning After The Night Before

Henning Meyer

So, the decision is taken! After a frantic final period of campaigning Scottish voters eventually declined the offer of independence and opted to stay part of the United Kingdom. In the end, the result was not as close as the polls leading up to yesterday’s ballot suggested. The Guardian has now published the final result: But […]