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Origins of reform resistance and the Southern European regime

Listed author(s):
  • Friedrich Heinemann

    ()

    (ZEW Mannheim, University of Heidelberg)

  • Theocharis Grigoriadis

    (Free University of Berlin)

Abstract With a particular interest for Southern Europe, this contribution develops a classification of obstacles to economic policy reforms. This classification covers approaches ranging from classical economics and political-economic explanations to more innovative explanations linked to behavioral economics. The subsequent part analyzes qualitatively and quantitatively to which extent the “Southern European regime” may imply a particular relevance of some of the potential reform obstacles classified before. We derive “reform ability profiles” which quantify several of the reform obstacles (or reform drivers) to compare EU countries in their likely reform predisposition. These profiles confirm particular Southern European weaknesses which tend to reduce the political-economic feasibility of long-term reforms: a low effectiveness in poverty protection, high intertemporal discounting and uncertainty avoidance, a poor information level of the population and deeply shattered trust in national institutions. In a microeconometric analysis based on Eurobarometer survey data, the analysis leaves the highly aggregated level and looks into the individual heterogeneity in reform acceptance. It is shown that several of the reform obstacles identified in theory are also empirically correlated with the individual inclination to accept reforms.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10663-016-9342-6
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Article provided by Springer & Austrian Institute for Economic Research & Austrian Economic Association in its journal Empirica.

Volume (Year): 43 (2016)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 661-691

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Handle: RePEc:kap:empiri:v:43:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s10663-016-9342-6
DOI: 10.1007/s10663-016-9342-6
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