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Structural policies in the euro area

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  • Masuch, Klaus
  • Anderton, Robert
  • Setzer, Ralph
  • Benalal, Nicholai

Abstract

Structural policies in the euro area are of great interest for the Eurosystem, particularly as they can support the smooth functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the effectiveness of monetary policy. This paper adopts a broad definition of structural policies, analysing not only the benefits of efficient labour, product and financial market regulations, but also emphasising the importance of good governance and efficient institutions that ensure high quality and impartial public services, the rule of law and the control of rent-seeking. The paper concludes that there are many opportunities for enhanced structural policies in EU and euro area countries which can yield substantial gains by boosting long-term income and employment growth and supporting social fairness, also via better and more equal opportunities. It provides empirical and model-based analyses on the impacts and the interactions of structural policies, highlighting synergies between growth and inclusiveness, while acknowledging that structural policy changes need to be country-specific to reflect national conditions and social preferences. Welldesigned structural policies would also strengthen economic resilience and convergence of Member States, bringing the euro area closer to the requirements of an optimal currency area and improving the transmission of monetary policy. The paper also discusses the political economy causes of the sluggish implementation of socially beneficial structural policies and assesses ways to deal with possible shortterm costs of reforms. JEL Classification: D60, E24, G28, H11, J08, O47, O43

Suggested Citation

  • Masuch, Klaus & Anderton, Robert & Setzer, Ralph & Benalal, Nicholai, 2018. "Structural policies in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 210, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:2018210
    Note: 369508
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    Cited by:

    1. Setzer, Ralph & Stieglitz, Moritz, 2019. "Firm-level employment, labour market reforms, and bank distress," Working Paper Series 2334, European Central Bank.
    2. Anderton, Robert & Di Lupidio, Benedetta, 2019. "Effects of labour and product market regulation on worker flows: evidence for the euro area using micro data," Working Paper Series 2312, European Central Bank.
    3. Setzer, Ralph & Stieglitz, Moritz, 2019. "Firm-level employment, labour market reforms, and bank distress," IWH Discussion Papers 15/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Sondermann, David & Consolo, Agostino & Gunnella, Vanessa & Koester, Gerrit & Lambrias, Kyriacos & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Nerlich, Carolin & Petroulakis, Filippos & Saiz, Lorena & Serafini, Roberta, 2019. "Economic structures 20 years into the euro," Occasional Paper Series 224, European Central Bank.

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    Keywords

    economic resilience; euro area; governance; inclusive growth; institutional quality; political economy; structural reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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