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Economy Featured Finance

The return to overseas visits by political leaders: Evidence from Japanese yen loan procurement auctions

Japan identifies ‘top-level sales’ through overseas visits by political leaders as an important policy tool to help Japanese firms win more infrastructure contracts. However, overseas visits can be controversial, not least because of their cost. This column examines the net benefit of overseas visits by Japanese political leaders. The probability of contracts being awarded to […]

Environment Featured tax

Implications of decarbonisation for fuel excise tax revenues and pricing of road transport externalities

Fuel excise duties are a substantial source of tax revenue for many countries as well as a tool for pricing the climate and non-climate externalities of road transport. This column examines how the decarbonisation of the French economy will affect both tax receipts and the pricing of road externalities. The authors calculate that road transport […]

Development Economy Featured

Trapped! China and the ‘middle-income trap’

A recent sustained growth deceleration in China raises the question of whether the country has fallen into a ‘middle-income trap’. This column argues that China cannot continute to rely on capital accumulation for sustaining growth, while the country’s ongoing demographic transition also implies that there are limits to a continued positive contribution of labour to […]

Economy Business Featured

Equating inequality: Public perceptions of income and wealth distributions

Do people distinguish between income and wealth, how they are distributed, and how they should be taxed? This column reports results of a survey-experiment in the Netherlands to study people’s beliefs about the distribution of income and wealth and how these beliefs relate to their policy preferences. It shows that people make very little distinction […]

Finance Economy Featured

Asset pricing anomalies before modern theory

Asset pricing anomalies documented in the post-WWII period are commonly used to design investment strategies. This column uses historical data over 1900-1925 from nine equity markets to provide an out-of-sample test for these asset pricing anomalies. It finds strong evidence of cross-sectional momentum (difference in returns of past winners and past losers), which is driven […]

Finance Banking Featured

Customer data access and fintech entry: Early evidence from open banking

Open banking enables customers to share their transaction data with other financial service providers – including incumbent banks or new fintechs – fostering competition, spurring innovation, and promoting inclusion. This column argues that open banking is unambiguously good for competition in the financial sector, but that it can impose costs on privacy conscious consumers. Evidence […]

Featured Economy Education

Child benefits in an international comparative context

In 2021, the US temporarily expanded the Child Tax Credit, a programme intended to support the income of families with children. This column shows that the US was comparatively less successful in reducing child poverty through its redistribution system prior to the reform. The temporary expansion brought it more in line with programmes in other […]