A Supply-Side Agenda for Germany: Sparks from - the United by Professor Dr. Gerhard Fels, Dr. George M. von Furstenberg

By Professor Dr. Gerhard Fels, Dr. George M. von Furstenberg (auth.), Professor Dr. Gerhard Fels, Dr. George M. von Furstenberg (eds.)

This ebook bargains with supply-side economics and the wanted reorientation it is going to carry to West German coverage. The swap, instructed after looking research, may upload as much as an total procedure for releasing markets, for removal government-imposed distortions, and for utilizing free-market methods to right distortions imposed by way of strain teams. the method may pierce Germany's state-supported encrustations and corporatism. it can equip the rustic to stick to the lead of the USA and nice Britain in commencing to get away from the tangle within which taxes, rules, and unemployment have grown in step. the upcoming of entirety of the ecu inner marketplace in 1992 provides urgency to this task.

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I 8 6 4 : 2 o : : . e• • • • • • • • • • _.. ' -2 I 1971 73 75 77 79 I I 81 I 83 I 85 87 S= Saving (disposable income less consumption), all sectors I = Net investment, all sectors CA=Current account surplus Source: German Statistical Office, National Accounts FIGURE 1. ~ 36 shows the evolution over time of both the current account balance and the level of saving and investment as a percent of gross domestic product. In analyzing these data, three facts stand out: (1) Since 1985 the gap between saving and investment has reached unprecedented levels.

This can be thought of as a theory of the European labour market disease. The argument set out at great length in Minford (1988a; 1988b) is that these state interventions push up real gross wages that employers must pay relative to productivity; the result is that employment is cut and those not employed register for unemployment benefits, consequently being counted as unemployed in the typical European and other operational definitions in use. There is in fact by now a growing chorus of economists saying that in Europe the equilibrium or "natural" rate of unemployment has risen in the past decade.

This phenomenon cannot be accounted for by abnormally high saving but rather by very low investment. As a matter of fact, saving is now about where it was in the second half of the 1970s after a steep decline in the early 1980s. By contrast, net investment has been steady throughout the 1980s at a historic low, averaging approximately 7 percent of GDP as opposed to 10 percent in the 1975-80 period. (2) The saving/investment gap is large not only in absolute terms but also relative to the size of the saving and investment flows.

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