Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom

Jobs and unemployment

What is the future of the Northern Powerhouse?

Tax on Robots? Old Wine in new Bottles

The chances of a successful recovery in Spain

Education policy and Competitiveness: Secondary School Reform in UK

The 2016 reform of the UK labour market

Policy Paper: Asylum migration and barriers to labour market entry

Policy recommendations for easier access

Latest publications

Asylum migration and barriers to labour market entry
Policy recommendations for easier access

The European Union has experienced an increase in asylum applications for several
years, with 2014 seeing 570,800 applications, an increase of 47% compared to 2013.
The year-to-year increase in applications will be even more pronounced in 2015.
Germany, Austria, Hungary, Sweden, the (...)

Minimum wage increases employment! (But not of humans).

It’s not just USA who is raising minimum wages significantly. New or increased minimum wages are spreading all across the EU, too (e.g. Germany, UK, Portugal..). If we take McDonald’s as a symbol of "minimum wage jobs", which governments are working the hardest to deprive such workers of any job (...)

Are Members of European Parliament Smart or Dumb?

European elections are upon us. In a series of articles, IREF is helping to inform voters’ decision. Last week we analysed attendance rates by voters at elections and reasoned that European elections may be bad for democracy. It’s now time to turn the tables and consider attendance rates of (...)

The useless reshuffle : another French exception

Following lacklustre performance at local elections, the French President has appointed a new Prime Minister. Is it a good tactic, and will it change anything?

Matteo Renzi And The Reform Challenge In Italy

Of all the shortcomings of the Italian economy, youth unemployment (40%) is the most worrying. The new Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, took up this issue through labor law reform since it was outdated and harmful. Will he succeed where Mario Monti failed? Yet what happened at Fiat’s may be (...)

Comparison Between the Banque de France and the Bundesbank

A company is mismanaged when some indicators are in the red such as factory costs higher than those of its competitors; highly unprofitable activities; general and administrative costs much higher than those of its competitors; too many employees in too many locations; outstanding wages and (...)

The U.S. Economy Is Getting Better Thanks To The Stimulus. Really?

It seems logical: economic growth resumed in the United States, and since the United States used an economic stimulus thanks to budget deficits, it could be believed that public spending lead to recovery. Indeed, but… it is in the sectors that did not benefited from the Federal money that new (...)

Government Caring For Youth: The Path To Failure

France hosted in the November 15th week a summit dedicated to the "Fight Against Youth Unemployment." This is an excellent initiative for a country where the 16-25 years-old population reached a 26.1 % unemployment rate. Yet, France should be doing what is being done elsewhere, especially in (...)

United States: 800,000 Civil Servants Unemployed Means 212,000 Private Sector Jobs Created

About a month ago, the United States experienced the "Shutdown" for 15 days. Several jurisdictions were closed and about 800,000 employees have been laid off because no agreement was reached on the budget. The Democrats and President Obama cried about the paralysis of the economy in order to (...)

5 Billion Euros: The Cost of Subsidized Jobs

“The youth is the utmost priority of my mandate”. Thus spoke François Hollande on January 23, 2013, when wishing a happy new year 2013. “Happy” may not have been the right term, “subsidized” should have been better. Indeed, when saying that 500 000 young people below 25 years-old do not have a job, (...)

François Hollande’s Tool Box Destroys Employment

The IREF with "Contribuables Associés", the largest French taxpayers association, published a study showing how fiscal pressure destroys employment. The main figures of the study reveal the Government lethal action on companies and jobs:
> 12.2 bn € of new corporate taxes
> Tax burden making a (...)

United Kingdom: 2.8 jobs created in the private sector for 1 public job lost

These figures, calculated by the IREF, point out what is happening in the United Kingdom governed by Premier David Cameron. Since the Tories arrived in power in 2010, between 500.000 and 600.000 public jobs disappeared while the private sector created 1.4 million jobs. Even if the United (...)

Pay Slips: 6 lines in Germany, 20 lines in France

6 lines against 20! In Germany, the gross salary is taxed by only few contributions (tax on salaries, solidarity, pension fee, Church). It was understood that flexibility is much more efficient with a fiscal and regulatory simplification.
In France, it is the exact opposite. The French pay (...)

The Civil Servants’ Working Time

The IREF figures on civil servants’ working time in the OECD countries were quoted in the radio show "Carrément Brunet" on RMC.

Five reasons to abandon the French social dialogue

By Nicolas Lecaussin
In France the national economy and the fate of thousands of employees are regularly linked to the grand “social conference”. Successive presidents have paid tribute to the ritual of “social dialogue”. Nicolas Sarkozy did so several times during his presidency with well-known (...)

Green jobs: a myth that destroys real jobs

By Nicolas Lecaussin
The French government recently announced the creation of 100 000 green jobs over the next three years. The goal is of course to stem rising unemployment. However, the tangible results of creating green jobs in several countries, as well as the real costs of these jobs, (...)

Individual responsibility and social preferences for redistribution: an experimental study
By Sergio Beraldo et al

This paper provides both a theoretical framework and an experimental test to analyze how individual responsibility affects social preferences for redistribution in settings where individuals are differentially subjected to the probability of a productivity shock. Our results confirm the (...)

The greatest achievement of French statism: high unemployment

By Nicolas Lecaussin
Can you imagine that unemployment has been “priority number one” for French politicians over the past 35 years! Left, right and center have all claimed that their first objective was to reduce unemployment, in particular among young people. Yet they have failed every time. (...)

A few recommendations to Spain’s new leader

“What would you (try to) do to save your country from economic collapse?” This is indeed a difficult and tricky question, and one that is normally answered along the lines of interventionist economic thinking. The fatal conceit that Hayek wrote about is embedded in this same question: it assumes (...)

The French social model challenged by the debt crisis

In 2009, 31.3% of the French GDP has been spent on welfare payments. Those include spending by the State-managed health care system, unemployment benefits and social benefits. The government agency in charge of those payments has tripled its deficits during the past 3 years reaching a record 28 (...)


This is the world economy real GDP expansion since 1980. It lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

France’s Worst Enemy

This paper appeared in The Wall Street Journal.
When the economic crisis struck in 2008, the French government assured its citizens that our social model would protect and cushion us; that we would not be hit nearly as hard as other countries in the downturn.
Two years later, one can hardly (...)

French ministers do not cut their paycheck

The French ministers decided not to follow the example of their Spanish colleagues and keep their salary at the current level (about 14 000 €). They considered that to cut their paychecks will send alarming signals to French public servants who could fear that their own salaries will be (...)

Unemployment : France is « doing better than the other countries »

The last statistics from the OECD are unequivocal: the unemployment rate in France is and has always been well above the average for the OECD countries and also above the average of countries from the euro zone. This is a proof that the State is not the solution for (...)

The Job Market and the Great Recession

In his testimony on Capitol Hill, the economist Russel Roberts is exposing the reasons why the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has not the anticipated by government effect on jobs creation. He is pointing out that given the lack of success so far and the role (...)

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