Unemployment Insurance as a Stabilizing Force in the Eurozone

Lelia E. Davis, Charalampos Konstantinidis and Yorghos Tripodis investigate the prospects for an unemployment insurance system that would span the entire European Monetary Union as one measure that could substantially contribute to effective crisis management in the Eurozone. They estimate the costs of the proposed system under different financing and eligibility scenarios and find that under a variety of reasonable institutional parameters, such a system is fiscally feasible. They conclude that fiscal transfers extended via automatic stabilizers are a productive avenue towards a more stable Eurozone architecture.

>> Read "A proposal for a federalized unemployment insurance mechanism for Europe"

Capital Controls and the Real Exchange Rate

In the wake of the global financial crisis, capital controls—as opposed to liberalization—have gained respect in policy circles. The International Monetary Fund reversed decades of recommendations and declared that capital controls should be one tool a country uses to manage the real exchange rate. The empirical literature, however, has not yet found evidence that controls can influence this variable. In this paper, Juan Antonio Montecino finds that they are indeed effective in managing the real exchange rate. In particular, capital controls may help promote the growth of domestic manufacturing sectors. 

>> Read “Capital controls and the real exchange rate: Do controls promote disequilibria?”

Effective Aid for Clean Water and Sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa has not made adequate progress towards achieving one of the Millennium Development Goals: to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without access to clean water and basic sanitation. Progress is crucial, since this access is directly linked to health outcomes, and also has implications for gender equity. This paper, by Léonce Ndikumana and Lynda Pickbourn, examines the evidence on the impact of foreign aid on access to water and sanitation, and finds that in order to meet these goals, donors should specifically allocate aid to these areas.

>> Read “The Impact of Foreign Aid Allocation on Access to Social Services in sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Water and Sanitation”

The Relationship Between Inequality and Human Rights

What is the relationship between human rights and inequalities in income and wealth? Radhika Balakrishnan, James Heintz and Diane Elson argue that different approaches to understanding inequality have distinct implications for how we think about issues of well-being and social justice. The human rights framework offers an approach that stands in marked contrast to neoclassical economic theory. This paper looks at how income and wealth inequality affects realized outcomes with regard to the enjoyment of specific rights and how the distribution of resources affects political dynamics and power relations within which specific rights are realized.

> Read “What Does Inequality Have to Do with Human Rights?”

Global and National Green Growth Studies

In Global Green Growth, Robert Pollin, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, James Heintz, and Shouvik Chakraborty develop a framework through which the global economy can advance a successful climate stabilization agenda through investments in energy efficiency and clean renewable energies. They also show how this agenda will expand job opportunities for countries at all levels of development. Pollin and Chakraborty develop this approach further for the case of India in “An Egalitarian Green Growth Program for India.” Pollin, Garrett-Peltier and Chakraborty also explore this approach for Spain, as one element of a broader anti-austerity agenda, in “An Egalitarian Clean Energy Investment Program for Spain.” The ideas and research methods in these studies are also explored further in interviews with the authors.

> Read Global Green Growth

> Read "An Egalitarian Green Growth Program for India"

> Read "An Egalitarian Clean Energy Investment Program for Spain"

> Read a Q&A with Heidi Garrett-Peltier and Shouvik Chakraborty about the findings

> Watch an interview with Robert Pollin from the Podemos office in Madrid about the current state of economic science, and advancing anti-austerity and green-macro programs

> Watch the press conference at which Robert Pollin outlines the program for Spain (in Spanish)