Easter reading: VoxEU and VoxDev roundup

smartphone in the grass

Researchers in the Barcelona GSE community have written several widely-read articles on CEPR’s policy portals, VoxEU and VoxDev. In case you missed them, here is a roundup of articles from Winter/Spring 2019.

Articles are listed in chronological order starting with the most recent. Work previously featured on the Barcelona GSE Voice is not included.

How failing banks paved Hitler’s path to power: Financial crisis and right-wing extremism in Germany, 1931-33

Sebastian Doerr (PhD student, University of Zurich), José-Luis Peydró (ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE), and Hans-Joachim Voth (University of Zurich)

Polarised politics in the wake of financial crises echo throughout modern history, but evidence of a causal link between economic downturns and populism is limited. This column shows that financial crisis-induced misery boosted far right-wing voting in interwar Germany. In towns and cities where many firms were exposed to failing banks, Nazi votes surged. In particular, places exposed to the one bank led by a Jewish chairman registered particularly strong increases of support – scapegoating Jews was easier with seemingly damning evidence of their negative influence.

Immigration and wage dynamics: Evidence from the Mexican peso crisis

Joan Monràs (UPF and Barcelona GSE)

Arguments over the effect of immigration on labour market outcomes focus on a single number: the impact on low-skill wages. The column uses a model of the adjustment process of labour markets in the US to the peso crisis of 1995 to show there is a difference between short-run and long-run effects. The model suggests that state-level policies are unlikely to be effective.

Competition policy and European firms’ competitiveness

Massimo Motta (ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE) and Martin Peitz (University of Mannheim)

The authors ask whether merger control obstructs or promotes European firms’ competitiveness, whether there is room for public policy considerations beyond competition policy goals when dealing with competition-related issues, and what can be done to promote the competitiveness of European firms both within and beyond Europe.

The impact of the steamship on global trade and development

Luigi Pascali (UPF and Barcelona GSE)

The arrival of the steamship benefitted some countries but not others, with the strength and inclusiveness of institutions playing a key role.

Winners, losers and future prospects: The economic geography of transition countries

Klaus Desmet (Southern Methodist University), Dávid Krisztián Nagy (CREI, UPF and Barcelona GSE), Dzhamilya Nigmatulina (PhD student, LSE), Nathaniel Young (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

The economic geography of transition economies has changed dramatically over the last quarter century, with large urban areas growing fast and many smaller places facing declining populations. Using a high-resolution spatial growth model, this column projects the transition economies as a whole to perform economically well over the next decades, especially the region’s densest places. Large-scale infrastructure projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative will have a positive impact, but not more so than modest reductions of general trade frictions.

Credit booms and information depletion

Vladimir Asriyan (CREI, UPF and Barcelona GSE), Luc Laeven, Alberto Martín (CREI, UPF and Barcelona GSE)

Credit booms are perceived to fuel resource misallocation and often end in crises that are followed by protracted periods of low growth. This column investigates the macroeconomic effects of credit booms using a new theory of information production. The theory predicts that when the economy enters a collateral boom, the price of collateral rises and lenders rely more on collateralisation and less on information-producing screening of entrepreneurs. Empirical evidence based on US data confirms the model’s predictions.