Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom


Immigration, tolerance and identity

Immigration, tolerance and identity

Who is the ultimate boss of legislators: Voters, special interest groups or parties?

Who is the ultimate boss of legislators: Voters, special interest groups or parties?

By David Stadelmann and Gustavo Torrens


The Brydon Report on Audit. Will Banks' Financial Statements Become More Reliable?

The Brydon Report on Audit. Will Banks’ Financial Statements Become More Reliable?

MiFID II: Too much consumer protection?

MiFID II: Too much consumer protection?


Cost-benefit analysis is less than satisfactory. Yet, the alternatives are probably worse

Cost-benefit analysis is less than satisfactory. Yet, the alternatives are probably worse

Germany Remains Firmly Opposed to Banking Union

Germany Remains Firmly Opposed to Banking Union


Latest publications

It’s the ideology, stupid! Journalists, citizens, and the declining trust in the news

It's the ideology, stupid! Journalists, citizens, and the declining trust in the newsOver the years, we have witnessed a general decline in the level of trust in the news as recorded by the general public. For example, according to the latest Reuters Institute Digital News Report, the average level of trust in the news is down 2 percentage points to 42%, with peaks such as -11 (...)

Free-market excuses for not so free-market-oriented central bankers

Free-market excuses for not so free-market-oriented central bankersIn a recent speech, the Vice Chair for Supervision at the Federal Reserve R.K. Quarles extensively cited F.A. von Hayek. Quarles highlighted Hayek’s argument on freely determined prices as crucial to convey knowledge across operators and enhance a functional economic order. By contrast, he (...)

Are half of all jobs bullshit? Bullshit!

Are half of all jobs bullshit? Bullshit! In the 2000s, a short book by philosopher Harry Frankfurt made the term ‘bullshit’ socially acceptable. In 2018, anthropologist David Graeber published his bestseller, in which he argued that roughly half of the employment relations in the Western economies are ‘bullshit jobs’: they provide no (...)

“Mini Schengen” – Western Balkans’ Embrace of the Market

“Mini Schengen” – Western Balkans' Embrace of the Market French President Emmanuel Macron’s spearheaded opposition to block European Union accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia during the European Council’s recent meeting in October. By doing so, he is not only dangerously and severely undermining the credibility of the EU accession process. (...)

Central Banks’ Varied Approaches to the Financial Risks of Climate Change

Central Banks' Varied Approaches to the Financial Risks of Climate ChangeAs the momentum has built behind calls for policy responses towards climate change, the ECB and the Bank of England have not been the quickest central banks to act. Back in 2011, the Banco do Brasil announced that banks must incorporate ‘Environmental and Social Risk’ in their reporting and risk (...)

Mafia and the market

Mafia and the marketMany people share the opinion that Mafia is a typical Italian phenomenon, something about which only Italians should worry. This opinion is wrong. Data recently released by Europol show that thousands of criminal organizations active in Europe can be labelled as of mafia-type, with about 70% of (...)

Principled Tax Competition

Principled Tax CompetitionThe structure of a country’s tax code is an important determinant of its economic performance. The Tax Foundation’s International Tax Competitiveness Index has ranked OECD countries’ tax systems for the last six years, and every year Estonia has been the number one country on the Index while (...)

FinTech Companies; little innovation and no reform of banking

FinTech Companies; little innovation and no reform of bankingNew entrants into every aspect of banking were encouraged by two recent regulatory developments: the Open Banking initiative and the ‘sandboxing’ exemptions from regulations. Open Banking, part of the Payment Services Directive enacted October 2015, encourages customers to allow their data to be (...)

Another Day, Another Ban

Another Day, Another BanSummer is not only the season of swimming trunks and barbecues, but also of vociferous politicians. One of the warhorses of this year’s silly season are bans. Whether it is plastic cutlery, oil heating or domestic flights, calls for bans are becoming louder across the political spectrum. Bans, (...)

Supervisory schizophrenia?

Supervisory schizophrenia?The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (European Banking Authority, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, European Securities and Market Authority) publishes a quarterly report on risks and vulnerabilities in the European financial system. This (...)

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