Joint UNU-MERIT/School of Governance Seminar: “One Europe or Several? Causes and Consequences of the European Stagnation”
The European economy is currently in a slump, the worst since the 1930s. Although this is often seen as a consequence of the financial crisis that hit the capitalist world in 2007-2008, in this seminar Prof. Jan Fagerberg (University of Oslo) will argue that many of the problems that Europe faces today have long-term roots to do with the fact that Europe consists of countries with quite different dynamics and capacities for adapting to changes in the global (and European) economic environment.
He will present a paper that starts by comparing Europe’s growth performance to that of other parts of the world, and then considers some popular (but arguably erroneous) explanations of the present crisis. The paper also delves into the development of the external balances of various European countries, which leads to the identification of three European “archetypes” characterized by different adaptability and performance: i.e., the North, the South and the East. The paper explores the consequences of globalization and European economic integration for the economic performance of these different country groups. The effects have been quite asymmetric; the Southern countries in particular have benefited little if at all.
Finally, the paper summarizes lessons from the analysis and considers the implications for policy. What is needed, it argues, is a European growth policy, properly adapted to the different capacities across Europe, that places the welfare of the European population as a whole at the centre.
Jan Fagerberg is professor both at the University of Oslo, where he is affiliated with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK), and at Ålborg University, where he is associated with the IKE Research Group (Department of Business and Management). His research has focused on the relationship between technology (innovation and diffusion) on the one hand, and competitiveness, economic growth and development on the other.