Rent control: What is the expected impact?

Sabine Le Bayon, Pierre Madec and Christine Rifflart

The decree on rent control, which was published in the Journal officiel on 21 July, takes effect on 1 August 2012 for one year. The measure was announced in January 2012 during François Hollande’s presidential campaign. It has now been adopted, while awaiting the major reform of landlord-tenant rental relations that is scheduled for 2013. Continue reading “Rent control: What is the expected impact?”

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Social action, but no end of the crisis

Evaluation of the five-year economic programme (2012-2017)

By Eric Heyer, Mathieu Plane, Xavier Timbeau

The initial decisions of the five-year programme are coming amidst an extremely difficult and very uncertain economic situation. In a recent OFCE Note (No. 23 of 26 July 2012), we first analyze the macroeconomic context for François Hollande’s five-year programme and the XIVth legislature. This analysis details the likely consequences for the next five years of the strategy currently being implemented in Europe. We evaluate both the cost to the public finances as well as the impact on economic activity, employment and the distribution of income. In part two, we analyze the public policy choices being given priority by the new government, including both those aimed at the young (generation contracts, jobs of the future), at some seniors (revision of the pension reform), and at the middle and lower classes (allowance for the start of school, boost to the minimum wage, Livret A bank accounts, rent control, revised taxation of overtime), as well as those intended to revive certain public expenditures that are deemed essential (public jobs in education, the justice system and the police in the “public finance” section, and public early childhood services). Continue reading “Social action, but no end of the crisis”

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Obama 2012: “Yes, we care!”

By Frédéric Gannon (Université du Havre) and Vincent Touzé

On Thursday, 28 June 2012, the United States Supreme Court delivered its verdict. The principle that individuals are obliged to take out health insurance or else face a financial penalty, a central plank in the 2010 reform [1] of the health insurance system (the Affordable Care Act [2]), was held to be constitutional. This reform had been adopted in a difficult political context. It includes a variety of measures intended to significantly reduce the number of Americans without health coverage. Although it will increase federal spending, new revenues and spending cuts will make it possible to reduce the deficit. Continue reading “Obama 2012: “Yes, we care!””

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Banking union: a solution to the euro crisis?

By Maylis Avaro and Henri Sterdyniak

The European summit on 28th and 29th June marked a new attempt by Europe’s institutions and Member states to overcome the crisis in the euro zone. A so-called Growth Pact was adopted, but it consists mainly of commitments by the Member states to undertake structural reform, and the limited funds made available (120 billion over several years) were for the most part already planned. The strategy of imposing restrictive fiscal policies was not called into question, and France pledged to ratify the Fiscal Compact. The interventions of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will now be less rigid, as, without additional conditions, they can help countries that the financial markets refuse to finance so long as they meet their objectives in terms of fiscal policy and structural reform. But euro-bonds and the mutual guarantee of public debt were postponed. The summit also launched a new project: a banking union. Is this an essential supplement to monetary union, or is it a new headlong rush into the unknown? Continue reading “Banking union: a solution to the euro crisis?”

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Financing higher education: Should students have to pay?

By Guillaume Allègre and Xavier Timbeau

Is it necessary to ensure that a greater portion of the cost of higher education is borne by students in the form of higher tuition fees, which might or might not be coupled with loans? It is often argued that financing higher education through taxes is anti-redistributive. We show in a working document that from a life cycle perspective proportional taxation is not anti-redistributive. Continue reading “Financing higher education: Should students have to pay?”

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Let’s negotiate a global carbon price signal – quickly!

By Stéphane Dion [1] and Éloi Laurent

Two decades after the Rio Conference, and just as a new climate conference is opening in Bonn on Monday 14 May 2012, we must admit to collective failure in combating human-induced climate change. We cannot escape serious climate disruption if we continue down this same path. We must change direction, and we must do it quickly. Continue reading “Let’s negotiate a global carbon price signal – quickly!”

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Competitiveness and industrial demand: The difficulties facing the French-German couple

Jean-Luc Gaffard

The obsession with competitiveness has returned to centre stage with the election campaign. This reflects the reality that French companies are indeed suffering a loss of competitiveness, which is behind the deterioration in foreign trade for almost a decade. This loss is clear vis-à-vis the emerging markets and explains the trend towards relocating abroad. It is also clear vis-à-vis firms from other developed countries, mainly in the euro zone and in particular German companies. This latter situation is especially serious, as it challenges the coherence of European construction (cf. OFCE, note 19: Competitiveness and industrial development: a European challenge in French). Continue reading “Competitiveness and industrial demand: The difficulties facing the French-German couple”

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Plea for a growth pact: the sound and fury hiding a persistent disagreement

By Jean-Luc Gaffard and Francesco Saraceno

The emphasis on the need to complement fiscal restraint by measures to boost growth, which is rising in part due to the electoral debate in France, is good news, not least because it represents a belated recognition that austerity is imposing an excessively high price on the countries of southern Europe. Continue reading “Plea for a growth pact: the sound and fury hiding a persistent disagreement”

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The middle class: baseless fears or genuine hardship?

By Louis Chauvel

The term “middle class” is one of those social science concepts that provoke controversy due to its complex definition and dynamics and the political debate it generates. The fact that it is surrounded by sharp controversy should not therefore come as a big surprise. In a note by the OFCE – where a multifaceted definition of the middle class is proposed [1] – we review several dimensions of the social malaise afflicting this social group, which is often considered to be relatively privileged, in an effort to understand the actual situation. Continue reading “The middle class: baseless fears or genuine hardship?”

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Is our health system in danger? Reforming the reimbursement of care (3/4)

By Gérard Cornilleau

Health is one of the key concerns of the French. Yet it has not been a major topic of political debate, probably due to the highly technical nature of the problems involved in the financing and management of the health care system. An OFCE note presents four issues that we believe are crucial in the current context of a general economic crisis: the third issue, presented here, concerns the reimbursement of health care, in particular long-term care, and the rise in physician surcharges. Continue reading “Is our health system in danger? Reforming the reimbursement of care (3/4)”

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