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Europe's Long-Term Growth Prospects: With and Without Structural Reforms

Author

Listed:
  • Kieran McQuinn
  • Karl Whelan

Abstract

Even before the financial crisis of 2007/08, there were significant questions about Europe's long-term growth prospects. After a long period of catching up with US levels of labour productivity, euro area productivity growth had, from the mid-1990s onwards, fallen significantly behind. Using data for the period 1970 to 2006, McQuinn and Whelan (2008) identified declining rates of total factor productivity (TFP) growth and weaker capital accumulation as areas for concern in an European context. In updating this earlier analysis, we find that the growth prospects of the euro area have deteriorated further. With TFP growth continuing to fall, Europe's demographics are now also contributing to a decline in the workforce. Against this backdrop, we provide a long-term projection for euro area GDP based on unchanged policies and discuss the possible impacts of certain structural reforms including potential changes in the unemployment rate, pension reform and the successful implementation of a significant wider programme of regulatory reform that boosts TFP growth. We argue that, even with the successful adoption of these measures, the European economy is still likely to grow at a slower pace than it has in the past.

Suggested Citation

  • Kieran McQuinn & Karl Whelan, 2015. "Europe's Long-Term Growth Prospects: With and Without Structural Reforms," Working Papers 201508, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201508
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/6507
    File Function: First version, 2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
    2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Daniel Leigh, 2013. "Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 117-120, May.
    3. Bruce Fallick & Charles Fleischman & Jonathan Pingle, 2010. "The Effect of Population Aging on the Aggregate Labor Market," NBER Chapters,in: Labor in the New Economy, pages 377-417 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Romain Bouis & Romain Duval & Fabrice Murtin, 2011. "The Policy and Institutional Drivers of Economic Growth Across OECD and Non-OECD Economies: New Evidence from Growth Regressions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 843, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Reis, 2015. "Looking for a Success in the Euro Crisis Adjustment Programs: The Case of Portugal," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 433-458.
    2. Duffy, David & Foley, Daniel & McQuinn, Kieran, 2016. "Cross Country Residential Investment Rates and the Implications for the Irish Housing Market," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    3. Christopher L. House & Linda L. Tesar, 2015. "Greek Budget Realities: No Easy Option," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 329-347.
    4. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2017. "Greece’s Three-Act Tragedy: A Simple Model of Grexit vs. Staying Afloat inside the Single Currency Area," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 297-318, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Euro Area; Demographics; Structural Reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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