France: duty-free growth

By Bruno Ducoudré , Éric Heyer, Hervé Péléraux, Mathieu Plane

This post summarizes the 2014-2015 outlook for the French economy

In early 2011, France was one of the few developed countries to have regained its pre-crisis level of GDP. Economic growth exceeded 2%, even reaching 3% yoy in the first quarter of 2011. Since then the situation has changed: the recovery was interrupted, and while the economy is experiencing positive growth, the rate is close to zero (Figure 1). Four types of shock explain why the post-recession recovery in 2011 died out. Growth was already being battered by austerity and by deteriorating credit conditions, and was then also hit by fluctuations in oil prices and by the impact of price competitiveness in 2012 as a result first of wage deflation in France’s competitors and then in 2013 of the rise of the euro (Table 1). Continue reading “France: duty-free growth”

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The dilemma of competitiveness

By Jean-Luc Gaffard

The competitiveness of a country is a complex subject. Some people rebel against the very concept on the grounds that it can’t be applied to a nation and is only meaningful for companies. It is true that if a company gains market share, this necessarily comes at the expense of a competitor. And it is no less true that when one country increases its exports to another, then the extra income earned by the first will, in part, fuel demand that then benefits the second. The benefits of one become a condition of benefits for the other. This back-and-forth justifies international trade, whose aim is a better use of resources by everyone, with the benefits being shared by all, on an equitable basis. This story makes sense. And it does indeed indicate that the competitiveness of a nation is not comparable to that of a business.  Continue reading “The dilemma of competitiveness”

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Some precautions for reading the results of macroeconomic simulations: The case of social VAT

By Eric Heyer

In September 2007, the OFCE conducted simulations of the macroeconomic consequences of instituting a social value-added tax (VAT) using its emod.fr macroeconomic model. These simulations were discussed and published as an appendix to the Besson report on the subject. Nearly five years later, the government has decided to introduce a social VAT, so we asked Mathieu Plane and Xavier Timbeau to perform another round of simulations using the same model. The initial results were presented and discussed at a one-day workshop on the topic of taxation that took place at the Sciences-Politique Institute in Paris on 15 February. Why did we conduct new simulations, and how do they compare? Continue reading “Some precautions for reading the results of macroeconomic simulations: The case of social VAT”

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