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Re-Thinking Europe's Rigidities

by TGeraghty Mon Jul 2nd, 2007 at 09:44:22 AM EST

Here's an interesting post from the new vox website (h/t Mark Thoma):

US-vs-Europe structural rigidities: A re-think

The pessimism that has prevailed in Europe for at least ten years is unwarranted. True, there are structural problems that should be tackled. But this focus on structural problems is excessive, if not pathological. It also falsely implies that all we have to do is to introduce structural reforms to get better. Compared to the US, Europe has structural strengths and weaknesses. Seen from this perspective, it is not evident that Europe suffers more from structural weaknesses than the US.

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob

Here's more -- apparently the US can use some "structural reform" too:

EU rigidities are well known, but low US energy-productivity and low social mobility (probability of the poor breaking out of poverty) are less often noted. Structural reforms are necessary if the US is to emulate European successes on social mobility and energy efficiency.

About the author:

Paul De Grauwe is Professor of international economics at the University of Leuven, Belgium, having also been a visiting scholar at the IMF, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the Bank of Japan.

Nice catch: who would have thought that not everything was perfect in the US economy?

Disappointing that he'd doesn't address the point that EU vs US employment rate comparisons are, at best, misleading.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 2nd, 2007 at 02:32:46 AM EST
always enjoy your articles, TGeraghty! Good to see you again!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Mon Jul 2nd, 2007 at 04:32:28 AM EST
Ah yes, our dear professor De Grauwe.

He's a well known global economist, publishes in the FT, other publications, worked for the IMF, was MEP (Liberal party)and senator for several years.....he has an impressive cv.

He is very strong pro free-market and here in Belgium his interviews are numerous and on a very regular basis on TV, papers and magazines.

I'm not an economist, but for me he belongs to the free-marketista establishment.
But he is a prof.in economics. So he knows his figures better than journalists and surprises sometimes with his conclusions.  

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Jul 2nd, 2007 at 07:12:29 AM EST
Uh, not MEP but Member of Belgian Parliament.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Jul 2nd, 2007 at 12:36:17 PM EST
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