Europe is dead – Long live Europe!

By Maxime Parodi and Xavier Timbeau

The British people’s vote for Brexit merely reinforces the political logic that has become an imperative. On the one hand, people want to be consulted, while on the other, Europe is summoned to change. François Hollande believes that, “the vote of the United Kingdom is putting Europe to the test”; Alain Juppé holds that, “we must write a new page, a new chapter, in the history of Europe”; the leaders of France’s National Front, but not they alone, are calling for a referendum on France’s membership in the EU and in the euro. Throughout Europe, debate along these same lines is underway. Continue reading “Europe is dead – Long live Europe!”

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How do French people look at equality of opportunity?

By Michel Forsé (CNRS) and Maxime Parodi

Do the French people believe in equal opportunity? The Dynegal survey asked the question in 2013 to a representative sample of 4,000 individuals, whose responses were very mixed. In a recent article in the Revue de l’OFCE (no. 146, 2016 [in French]), we show that it is the middle classes who prove to be a little more convinced than others by the idea that schooling gives everyone a chance and that one’s success in life does not depend on social origin. This result is in line with the thesis by Simmel that makes the middle-class the site of social mobility. Continue reading “How do French people look at equality of opportunity?”

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The American dream (finally) proven?

By Maxime Parodi

In a recently published short article, Thomas Hirsch and Mark Rank (2015) give us some astonishing figures about American society – numbers that, taken seriously, would lead to a significantly more nuanced view of income inequality in the United States. Indeed, their study suggests that American society is much more fluid than we think. While Americans undoubtedly live in a very unequal society, most of them would experience wealth at some point in their lifetimes. There is, in reality, a high turnover between rich and poor, which would explain why Americans are not very critical of inequality.

According to this study, during their working lives (age 25 to 60), 69.8% of Americans have enjoyed at least one year of household income sufficient to be included among the richest 20%. And 53.1% of Americans have made it – for at least one year – into the richest 10%. An even more exclusive 11.1% of Americans have spent at least one year in the illustrious club of the wealthiest 1%. Continue reading “The American dream (finally) proven?”

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Save Greece by Democracy!

By Maxime Parodi @MaximeParodi, Thomas Piketty (Director of research at the EHESS and professor at Paris School of Economics), and Xavier Timbeau @XTimbeau

The newspapers have been full of the Greek drama since Syriza’s election to power on 25 January 2015. Caught in the noose of its loans, Greece’s government is defending its position by threatening to leave the euro zone. The situation today is at an impasse, and the country’s economy is collapsing. As bank deposits flee and uncertainty mounts about the times ahead and the measures to come, no-one is really able to think about the future.

Europeans, for their part, are wondering what has led to this state of affairs. There has been a diagnosis of Institutional incompleteness, with proposals to reinforce the construction of the euro zone. But what is emerging is not up to the challenges facing Europe. Continue reading “Save Greece by Democracy!”

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On cosmopolitan currency

By Maxime Parodi, sociologist at the OFCE

A cosmopolitan currency is a currency common to many nations and explicitly based on a form of co-sovereignty (for a more in-depth analysis, see OFCE working paper 2013-09, June 2013). A currency like this is possible only by accepting a monetary policy and fiscal and taxation policies that are based on shared motivations, where each is responsible for the monetary commitments it makes and co-responsible for the ability of all to pursue a suitable economic policy. To be lasting, this currency requires sustained attention to macroeconomic divergences between the partners and the difficulties that each is encountering; it requires open dialogue about the reasons for these divergences and difficulties; it requires a determination to propose possible remedies over the short, medium and long term; and finally, it requires everyone to cooperate voluntarily, so long that is as they have the ability to do so. Continue reading “On cosmopolitan currency”

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