Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom


Supervisory schizophrenia?

Supervisory schizophrenia?

What Regulators Should Understand About the Sharing Economy

What Regulators Should Understand About the Sharing Economy


The harsh fight of populism against reality

The harsh fight of populism against reality

Paralysis and Circularity at the ECB

Paralysis and Circularity at the ECB


Why do central bankers tend to get it wrong?

Why do central bankers tend to get it wrong?

Mass Unemployment and Skilled Labour Shortage?

Mass Unemployment and Skilled Labour Shortage?


Latest publications

The Skilled Immigration Act: A Missed Opportunity

The Skilled Immigration Act: A Missed OpportunityFor several decades, labour market experts and economists have been advocating what now seems to become real: in 2020, Germany’s new immigration act will come into effect. The ‘Skilled Immigration Act’ is supposed to make immigration of qualified, non-EU citizens significantly easier. In the (...)

The contractual approach to welfare policy design

The contractual approach to welfare policy design«From now on our nation’s answer to this great social challenge will no longer be a never-ending cycle of welfare: it will be the dignity, the power, and the ethic of work. Today we are taking an historic chance to make welfare what it was meant to be: a second chance, not a way of life…The new (...)

Organ Donations and Transplants. Should we accept to be nudged towards better choices?

Organ Donations and Transplants. Should we accept to be nudged towards better choices?«Would you be willing to donate one of your organs to an organ donation service immediately after your death?». This question was asked to a sample of Europeans through an Internet based enquiry promoted by the European Commission and completed in September 2006. It was included in a survey aimed (...)

New Working Paper: Taxing Artificial Intelligences

New Working Paper: Taxing Artificial IntelligencesIn the new IREF working paper “Taxing Artificial Intelligences”, Julian Arndts and Kalle Kappner analyse the fiscal implications of the presence of artificial-intelligence (AI) machines in the production processes.

So different, yet so alike (to Donald Trump?) The 2019 Democratic Primaries on Twitter

So different, yet so alike (to Donald Trump?) The 2019 Democratic Primaries on TwitterAfter the incredible Republican presidential primaries opened the path to the surprising, to say the least, Donald Trump Presidency in 2016, today the Democracy Party is involved in a quite similar situation. While three years ago there were 17 candidates at the Republican primaries (5 of them (...)

Facebook’s Libra; will it test the new ECB chief Christine Lagarde?

Facebook's Libra; will it test the new ECB chief Christine Lagarde?Facebook’s greatest recent challenge has been the fading of its brand. A veritable slew of newer social media platforms are cooler and more trendy than Fb, which now languishes in popular esteem as the social platform of choice for the out of touch greying generations, rather than youngsters. (...)

The flirtation with illiberalism

The flirtation with illiberalismWhile all of the former socialist economies have liberalised and strengthened their markets over the past two decades, they have failed to strengthen the rule of law (see Table 1). Under socialism, legal systems are not designed to protect the rights of individuals. Instead, they serve the (...)

High Standards: Curse or Blessing?

High Standards: Curse or Blessing?Over the last few decades, our living standards have improved significantly. Today, cars are technologically sophisticated, apartments are comfortable, and pharmaceuticals are safer. The working of the markets has enhanced technological progress. Yet, technology does not progress linearly. (...)

The Authoritarian Push for Tighter and More Centralised Banking Regulations

The Authoritarian Push for Tighter and More Centralised Banking RegulationsReuters reported in May that “The European Commission is working on its biggest regulatory push on banking since the 2008 financial crash that could curb Britain’s access to the bloc”. According to Reuter’s account, the document outlines three areas which the Commission seeks to reform: bank (...)

EU Parliamentary Elections: An Assessment

EU Parliamentary Elections: An AssessmentDespite plenty of terrifying predictions about populist coalition victory and its consequences, the latest European election provided a rather different outcome. No tsunami materialized, no earthquake. Nothing that would wipe-out the political equilibrium at the heart of the European Union as (...)

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