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By Laurent Abraham and Jean-Baptiste Gossé (Banque de France)

On its 20th anniversary, the euro is enjoying remarkably high levels of support. However, a paradox exists in public opinion: each country appears to believe that the single currency is more beneficial for the other countries. Improving the functioning of national and European institutions could mitigate this paradox and strengthen attachment to the euro.

The benefits of the euro are more widely recognised at the European level than at the national level.
Chart 1: The benefits of the euro are more widely recognised at the European level than at the national level. Source: Flash Eurobarometer. Note: Average gap between the perceived benefits of the euro for the EU and for the individual countries, 2011-2018, excluding Latvia and Lithuania due to the period under review. The darker the green, the larger the gap.

By Grégory Levieuge (Banque de France)

A credible central bank can more easily anchor agents’ expectations, and therefore long-term interest rates. Thus credibility would reduce the need to make an intensive use of key rates. There is indeed an inverse relationship between credibility and interest rate volatility.

Inverse relationship between credibility and interest rate volatility
Chart 1: Inverse relationship between credibility and interest rate volatility Note: "Credibility" is the indicator proposed by Levieuge & Al. (2018), ranging from 0 (minimum credibility) to 1 (maximum credibility). The conditional variance of the interest rate reflects the volatility of the main monetary policy instrument.

By Sophie Guilloux-Nefussi, Sophie Haincourt, Edouard Jousselin (Banque de France), and Anne Perrot (Council of Economic Analysis - CAE)

The growing role of global digital players with innovative business models is shaking up traditional markets. Does the digital economy constitute a fundamental break with the industries of the past? In theory, the economic principles underlying competition policy still stand. But given the acceleration of network effects and the use of vast quantities of personal data, competition authorities must adapt their control tools and improve their digital skills.

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By Marie-Anne Rouquier

Eco Notepad extends the scope of its analyses to France’s regions with contributions from the Bank’s network. Thus, occasionally, Eco Notepad will feature posts devoted to an analysis of an industry, a local economic institution or a product of a particular region. This post is the first of its kind.

Salt is a precious commodity, essential for human beings. Used throughout history as a currency of exchange and a means of payment, it was a key product of the economy until the 19th century. Thanks to its saltworks, Franche-Comté enjoyed remarkable prosperity for over a thousand years by mining the "white gold" of its subsoil. Now restored and reconverted, they have been given a new lease of life.

Arc-et-Senans site
Arc-et-Senans site Source: Michel Pierre

By Gilbert Cette, Jimmy Lopez and Jacques Mairesse

The positive effect on productivity of reducing product market regulation and employment protection legislation has been extensively documented and analysed, leading to many structural reforms in OECD countries. On the basis of new measures of rent creation and rent sharing, we show that further product market deregulation could substantially increase productivity, notably in France and Italy.

Chart 1: Expected total factor productivity gains from product market deregulation
Chart 1: Expected total factor productivity gains from product market deregulation Sources: Authors’ calculations assuming a switch to the most pro-competitive regulations

The US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act implemented in 2018 impacts both the domestic and the international activity of US corporates. Nevertheless, the corporate tax cut has only had a transitory effect on the composition of US foreign direct investment income, without having so far delivered any significant improvement in the trade balance.

Chart 1. US primary income
Chart 1. US primary income Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The banking sector assesses the credit risks associated with borrowers. What are the consequences to be expected from the production of information by a third party? Exploiting a change in the rating methodology of the Banque de France, this post shows how the disclosure of more detailed information on companies can increase the supply of credit for their benefit.

Chart: Companies with a fine-tuned rating obtain more credit
Chart: Companies with a fine-tuned rating obtain more credit

To mark International Women’s Day, the Banque de France organised a roundtable on 7 March on the economic impact of gender inequalities, with the participation of Sylvie Goulard, Deputy Governor of the Banque de France, Isabelle Hudon, Ambassador of Canada in France, and Peter Praet, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. This post echoes these discussions, and concludes that there is urgency to act at all levels.

By Grâce Constant, Elisabeth Fonteny and Meghann Puloc’h

The blue economy encompasses all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts. Thanks to its overseas territories, France has the second largest marine zone in the world. World population growth and trade contribute to the development of the blue economy, which can be a driver of sustainable and innovative growth for Overseas France provided certain structural constraints are overcome.

Chart 1: Variations in the weight of the blue economy in Overseas France in 2015(*)
Chart 1: Variations in the weight of the blue economy in Overseas France in 2015(*) Sources: Insee, ISPF, ISEE, Acoss (**)

By Jean-Baptiste Gossé (Banque de France) and Roger Vicquéry (London School of Economics)

A federal unemployment insurance scheme has been in place in the United States for more than 80 years. It has helped to cushion the effects of successive crises without the need for large fiscal transfers between American states. It provides an example of an unemployment insurance model based on temporary transfers and subsidiarity between federal and state governments.

Chart 1. Permanent federal transfers are limited outside periods of exceptional crisis
Chart 1. Permanent federal transfers are limited outside periods of exceptional crisis Note: Net annual transfers as a % of GDP. Exceptional crisis: increase of more than 5 percentage points in the jobless rate over 3 years. Sources: authors’ calculations based on NBER, Department of Labor and Bureau of Economic Analysis.

By John Hutchinson and Arthur Saint-Guilhem

For several decades, the wedge between the return on capital and risk-free rates has been growing in the euro area and the United States. We examine the drivers of this wedge and find that while the risk premium is the main driver, mark-ups also play a role. More recently, the contribution from mark-ups has decreased in the euro area and increased in the United States.

Chart 1: Growing wedge between the return on capital and risk-free rates in the euro area and the United States
Chart 1: Growing wedge between the return on capital and risk-free rates in the euro area and the United States Source: AMECO, FRED, AWM, and authors’ calculations.

By Rafael Cezar and Florian Le Gallo

The European Union’s exchanges with the United States generate a significant trade surplus but are also characterised by a substantial foreign direct investment deficit. This deficit reflects certain choices made by multinational firms with regard to their activities’ locations, particularly the placing of US subsidiaries in Europe. We propose an interpretation of these transatlantic exchanges using an aggregate that is broader than the balance of goods and services alone.

An expanded EU-US balance almost in equilibrium (2012 to 2017)
Chart 1: An expanded EU-US balance almost in equilibrium (2012 to 2017) Sources: Eurostat (customs data on exports of goods, non-financial services) and BEA (customs data on imports of goods, financial services, foreign direct investment flows). Authors' calculations.

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