What is a weaker euro likely to mean for the French economy?

By Bruno Ducoudré and Eric Heyer

Faced with the rising risk of deflation in the euro zone, which has been reinforced since mid-2012 by the continued appreciation of the euro against other currencies, the heads of the European Central Bank have begun to change their tone in their communications with the financial markets: they are now evoking the possibility of conducting a new round of quantitative easing. These measures are likely to lower the exchange rate of the euro. This would provide valuable support for the euro zone economies by shoring up their price competitiveness vis-à-vis competitors outside the zone, in a context where fiscal consolidation policies will continue to dampen the growth expected in the zone in 2014 and 2015. What are the likely consequences for the French economy from reducing the euro’s value against other currencies? We briefly review past episodes of exchange rate changes, and then present the impact expected from a 10% depreciation of the euro against other currencies using the emod.fr model. These effects are more moderate than those projected by the government. Continue reading “What is a weaker euro likely to mean for the French economy?”

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Social inequality in the face of death*

By Gilles Le Garrec

The problem of inequality in the face of death has become an important topic in French public discourse in recent times, in particular in autumn 2010 during debate about raising the minimum legal retirement age by two years, by gradually shifting it from age 60 to 62. The debate became focused around a politically divisive issue: should the retirement age remain unchanged for low-skilled workers on the grounds that they enter the labour market earlier and / or have more strenuous jobs and live shorter lives? Continue reading “Social inequality in the face of death*”

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Estonia: a new model for the euro zone?

By Sandrine Levasseur

In the wake of the Swedish and German models, should Europe now adopt the Estonian model? Despite Estonia’s success story, the answer is no. Here’s why. Continue reading “Estonia: a new model for the euro zone?”

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