Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
The strong euro, experienced as a “salutary pressure” by Germany, not to mention Austria or Finland, represents a genuine handicap for other “Euroland” states (Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal etc.) that have been weakened by the economic and financial crisis and are unable to conform to the Stability and Growth Pact, agreed in 1997 for the purpose of avoiding excessive public deficits. “The Union has cocked a snook at the treaties’, notes Pierre Bonnaure in this article and this “generalized indiscipline” cannot go on.
In Bonnaure’s view, “the virtuous countries will not put up with paying for the others’ laxity for very long” and the risks of seeing the Euro zone reject its defaulting members — or even dissolve itself — are not to be underestimated. And yet, adds the author, this crisis situation may also be an opportunity for the Union to relaunch itself, as has happened in the past, but such a “remarkable step forward” would require significant sacrifices from the member states and their peoples.
German economic performance in this recession period has regularly hit the headlines, comparing favourably with the relatively poor economic situation of France. However, one should not be deceived into thinking that adopting the German economic growth strategy would enable every country — and France, in particular — to restimulate its economy and move out of crisis. As Gilbert Cette shows in this article, Germany has held up well in the recession through very substantial wage restraint and temporary reductions in working hours. The heavy curb on wage and labour costs has stimulated competitiveness and external demand, but restrained the country’s internal demand. Such a strategy is not sustainable in the very long term, argues Gilbert Cette, either for Germany or its European partners, and if all the European nations adopted it, economic growth within the Euro zone would fall markedly.
The emergence of China and India as two major world economies is the driving force behind the rise of Asia’s share of world Growth Domestic Product (GDP) over the last decade. Since the 1980s, China GDP growth has been rising and leading world economic growth. Over the last decade, it has become the USA’s primary trade partner, as well as the most prominent exporter to the European Union and could become the world’s leading economic power by ...
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Alors que l’âge légal de départ à la retraite devrait être repoussé à 62 ans en 2018, le taux d’emploi des 55-64 ans en France reste parmi les plus faibles d’Europe. Pourtant, selon une enquête récente de la DARES (Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques), le taux d’emploi des seniors aurait augmenté au cours des dernières années. Une évolution qui pourrait en partie s’expliquer par certains facteurs conjoncturels, mais ...
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Alors que les chiffres de la pauvreté, en France, ne sont connus, fin 2010, que pour l’année 2008, il est judicieux d’observer la situation et les évolutions dans d’autres pays, dont l’appareil statistique est plus « réactif ». Les chiffres concernant les États-Unis pour l’année 2009 permettent d’apprécier ce que sont, d’une part, les conséquences de la crise économique et sociale et, d’autre part, les performances des réponses mises en œuvre par les pouvoirs ...
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It makes no sense, states André Lebeau in this article, to compare Europe with the United States, since they are so different and Europe is made up of states “with strong identities and a heavy burden of history”.
The process of European unification is indeed advancing, despite national resistance, and the responsibility for the gradual nature of its forward march cannot be attributed to the European authorities, given the extent to which they — particularly, the Commission — still lack the real prerogatives required for the exercise of power. The member states are to blame for this. But the European dimension will increasingly assert itself — in the first instance through the adoption of a common economic policy and a common foreign policy — provided that, when confronted with current challenges, the Union consolidates itself rather than fragments. Though conscious of the obstacles European construction has run up against, André Lebeau nonetheless concludes that, “with a little optimism, the need for European unity will tend to prevail over the temptation to regress towards nationalist fantasies and a break-up of the European space”.
The unemployment insurance agreement that came into force in France on 1 April 2009 will expire on 31 December 2010. It will, therefore, become subject to renegotiation in November. Given particularly poor current levels of employment and the potential impact of pensions reform on the national unemployment insurance scheme, that renegotiation is like to spark some lively controversies.
One of these will no doubt be over the highly advantageous insurance arrangements enjoyed by workers in the entertainment industry. These latter in fact represent O.8 % of employees in the overall scheme, 3,4 % of persons indemnified and 5,9 % of the scheme’s costs. After reminding us of these data, Bruno Coquet freely acknowledges the exceptional dynamism of the entertainment industries and the fact that, contributing as they do not just to entertainment, but to culture and education, they are worthy recipients of state aid.
However, Coquet is critical of two oddities in this situation: since state aid takes the form, in this case, of unemployment benefits, it has a great impact on the financial equilibrium of the unemployment insurance scheme and is detrimental to the workers in other sectors of economic activity. While very dynamic, the entertainment industries abuse the fact of their employees being very advantageously indemnified during periods of unemployment to create great numbers of insecure jobs without due consideration for the consequences.
Coquet thus shows that the highly favourable unemployment scheme for these workers represents an unsuitable form of financial assistance to the culture industries, is a source of unfairness and has significant unintended consequences. He concludes that this atypical insurance system is harmful and that it would be better to replace it with a proper subsidy for cultural production.
In this article Michel Drancourt demonstrates the extent to which, despite their national vanities, European states have seen their sovereignty over their own territory eroded and have lost influence over world affairs.
He argues, in substance, that we must build a federal Europe united around a grand ambition. This is the only solution if Europe wishes not to disappear, but to play a powerful role in reshaping a globalized world in need of governance.
More than forty years after Le Pari Européen, the book he co-wrote with Louis Armand, Drancourt once again launches a vibrant appeal for a Europe capable of overcoming its divisions, speaking with a single voice and playing a significant role in a world that is undergoing an unprecedented restructuring.
SOMMAIRE Une dégradation d’ampleur exceptionnelle et concentrée sur les pays développés. L’inquiétude des marchés est sélective. L’attention est concentrée sur la zone euro Une analyse multidimensionnelle est souhaitable Un effort sans précédent est nécessaire Les consolidations budgétaires réussies Les fondamentaux économiques sont peu encourageants Les freins à la croissance La rigidité des dépenses Au mieux une stabilisation de l’endettement à des niveaux élevés. Downgrade et/ou restructuration Quelques certitudes à court terme Interrogations
INTRODUCTION La consolidation des finances publiques est un impératif pour la France, comme pour de nombreux autres pays. Cf. Intervention de Carine Bouthevillain Une consolidation trop “timide” nous exposerait à une sanction par les marchés. Cf. Intervention de Charles Dugranrut Mais la consolidation ne doit pas se faire au préjudice de la croissance. Objet de mon intervention liminaire : Fournir des éléments contextuels de cette consolidation SOMMAIRE 1-Les effets de la crise 2-La “pression allemande” 3-Les scénarios envisageables 4-Remarques conclusives
Déroulement de la réunion : • 14h-16h : Bilan du système Vigie et programme • 16h-18h : Exposé de Gilbert Cette (Conseil d’analyse économique), Carine Bouthevillain (Banque de France) et Charles du Granrut (économistes) sur les finances publiques.
Introduction et plan : 1-Comment en est-on arrivé là? 2-Peut-on vivre avec ou doit-on impérativement corriger les déséquilibres au plus vite? 3-Quel est le meilleur moyen de sortir de ce qui pourrait devenir une spirale dangereuse? 4-Comment consolider et préserver la croissance de demain?
Entre 2000 et 2008, la croissance économique du continent africain a atteint, en moyenne, presque 5 % par an. Si la pérennité de cette croissance n’est pas assurée, elle reposerait en tout cas sur des bases de plus en plus saines, et plus seulement sur les exportations de matières premières. Et, même si les disparités de développement entre les pays, entre les régions et entre les populations restent importantes, cette croissance permet à une nouvelle classe moyenne d’émerger et ...
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Dans un article du Financial Times Deutschland en date du lundi 9 août 2010, Janusz Lewendowski, le commissaire européen en charge du Budget, annonce pour fin septembre des propositions sur la création d’un impôt européen, une idée déjà ancienne. Il cherche visiblement à créer un débat public sur cette question, dans l’optique des prochaines négociations sur le cadre financier 2014-2020, sur fond d’hostilités de certains États membres.
La France, avec un haut niveau de protection et de dépenses sociales (plus de 30 % de PIB – au premier rang européen) dispose d’un instrument incontestablement efficace pour amortir la crise. La question est celle de la réelle capacité à continuer à financer l’ensemble des prestations et services sociaux, tout comme les projets de développement et de réforme. Pour le moment la crise a pour impact de voir augmenter les demandes et les dépenses. L’offre proposée ne diminue ...
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Un récent rapport du CAE (Conseil d’analyse économique) relève que la vitesse d’ajustement du marché du travail français s’est rapprochée de celle du marché américain. Autrement dit, la corrélation entre la croissance économique et la création d’emploi serait plus forte qu’auparavant (et vice versa). Reste à savoir si cette flexibilité de l’emploi est largement partagée ou concentrée sur des catégories particulières de la population.
Arnauld d’Yvoire proviides an overview of the pension systems in force in Europe here, recapping the philosophy that presided over their development. He thus distinguishes aptly between three general models that have, admittedly, evolved over time:
— Pension systems of the Bismarckian type, based on the principle of social insurance. These are organized on occupational lines and managed by the social partners. Their funding is based, in the main, on employers’ and employees’ contributions, and pension rights are closely linked to the period over which contributions have been made and the level of pay. This model applies particularly in Germany, Italy, Greece and France.
— Pensions systems of the Beveridgian type which depend essentially on the state. From the outset, these have no connection to occupational activity and provide retired people with a basic pension to which supplementary schemes may be added based on the capitalization principle (pension funds).
— The pensions systems promoted by the World Bank in the countries of Eastern Europe after the break-up of the Soviet Union, which have three pillars to them. Two of these pillars are obligatory: a basic pension of a Bismarckian kind on a pay-as-you-go basis and a second, funded pillar.
Arnauld d’Yvoire emphasizes, however, that all these systems have necessarily undergone some development and no longer correspond to the pure model that presided over their introduction. He stresses the fact that, in all countries — though admittedly at different dates and with differing degrees of anticipation — reforms have been undertaken aimed at restraining the increased expenditure associated with retirement pensions. This has been done through two measures: increasing the number of years of occupational activity, and promoting savings to offset the relative fall in basic pensions. He shows, in this way, that some countries have, much earlier than others, made the necessary arrangements to cope with the inevitable ageing of the population and the increase in pension costs. He also shows that, though none has found a ‘dream solution’ to the problem, each has tried with varying degrees of anticipation to adapt to a new, but easily foreseeable, situation.
By way of introduction to his article, Didier Blanchet recalls two essential facts: that the number of persons aged 60 or over can currently be expected to increase, whilst the working-age population seems likely to stabilize (insofar as we are speaking still of those in the age range 20-59); and that expenditure on pensions as a proportion of GDP (13% at present) will increase correlatively in a way that is likely to continue, particularly if economic growth is weak (and assuming that retirement pensions remain at a stable level, the current replacement rate running at around 65%).
Blanchet goes on to recall the various simulations carried out for France by the Conseil d’orientation des retraites (COR; Council for Guidance on Pensions) since the early 2000s, and the impact of the reforms introduced in 1993 and 2003, showing what would have happened if these had not been adopted, first assuming a favourable economic situation, then in the much more worrying context resulting from the economic crisis and the poor economic prospects of the coming years. In so doing, he shows, in effect, the major consequences of that crisis and the very rapid deterioration of the pensions to GDP ratio. In this way he brings out the crucial role of three variables: total pension costs, rate of growth of GDP and the age at which the French begin to draw their pensions.
Having laid out the relation between these figures and shown by how much pensioners’ income would be reduced if nothing were done, Didier Blanchet — basing himself throughout on the most recent publications of the COR — stresses the need to adjust the pensionable age through two measures that will have effects on varying time-scales: on the one hand, raising the legal pensionable age and, on the other, increasing the number of years of contributions required to enjoy a full pension.
François Grosse’s article concerns a fundamental question: the need to decouple economic growth from the growth of raw materials needs. Without this decoupling, given the growth of the world’s population and the legitimate aspirations of emerging nations to the level of development of the industrialized countries, there is a danger that global resources will quickly run out.
Drawing on the case of iron, Grosse shows, for example, that if steel production continued throughout the twenty-first century at the same exponentially increasing pace as it did in the twentieth, as much steel would be produced in a hundred years as we previously produced in a thousand. And, in 270 years’ time, we would be extracting ten thousand times more ore each year than we do today. And the same goes — though admittedly to varying degrees — for all raw materials: lead, copper, lithium, zinc etc., which shows the unsustainable character of the current growth model.
It is, therefore, urgent to detach economic growth from such a frantic consumption of natural resources. It is generally believed that one of the ways to do this is to resort to recycling. But we must be careful, says François Grosse, not to confuse the apparent and real rates of recycling, the latter depending on the consumption of raw materials and the time they remain within the economy and, hence, on the effective volume of materials available for such recycling.
Reasoning this way, it is clear that recycling alone (and what is termed the “circular economy”, which maximizes strategies of reduction, re-use and recycling in order to reduce resource consumption and pollutant release per unit of product) cannot be the solution. We have to go much further actually to avoid a rapid exhaustion of resources. We have, in fact, to achieve two successive decouplings. First, we must fundamentally decouple economic development from the total consumption of (new or recycled) raw materials; second, we must effect a complementary decoupling that enables recycling to take place.
To arrive at such an outcome, we have very greatly to reduce the quantity of raw material per unit of product; we must not content ourselves with the circular economy, but direct our efforts resolutely towards achieving a functionality-based economy, which should enable us to optimize product use and hence to satisfy needs as well as we do now, while producing less.
The founder of the Taiwanese Acer electronics corporation has just told American microcomputer builders that they will disappear within the next 20 years. He is undoubtedly basing his argument on numerous regrettable precedents and particularly on the practice, sadly widespread in the United States and also in Europe, of outsourcing and relocating industrial production to emerging low-wage economies. This is a practice that is too common, asserts André-Yves Portnoff, in the old Western countries, which believe they can retain the “nobler” tasks of research and innovation for themselves while offloading the more low-level functions of manufacture to others.
André-Yves Portnoff condemns this illusion here and shows how such a strategy is ultimately suicidal, both at the economic and the social levels (particularly with regard to jobs), since we cannot on a long-term basis divide up functions that form a coherent system without killing off our own capacities for innovation.
Having outlined the grievous effects of this widespread practice, he explains that it is a product of a total lack of understanding of what a “knowledge economy” means (though he himself prefers to speak of a “revolution of intelligence” and a “rise of immaterial factors”). Basing his argument on numerous examples, Portnoff shows lastly that a rebirth of Europe is possible and that the key to success is… a return to industry, but an industry not in any sense in thrall to the whims of shareholders solely preoccupied with immediate financial returns, but supported by investors with the patience required for an industrial revival based on the intelligence and collective resolve of all those within the company and its stakeholders.
Not only did the economists not see the present crisis coming, but they played a large part in triggering it, argues Christian Stoffaës, and he demonstrates the degree to which the dominant paradigm of “efficient financial markets” led to extravagant financial speculation.
Blaming the circumventing of financial rules for impelling the global economy towards catastrophe, Stoffaës argues for a thorough transformation of economic thought, focussing back on the real economy, the economy of production.
The Finance Law of 2010 abolished the taxe professionnelle (TP), the system of local business taxes that previously applied to all companies operating in France. As the Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment stressed, this tax, long subject to criticism from both Right and Left, hit productive investments even before they created wealth, and it penalized companies based in France.
The TP has now been replaced by a “Territorial Economic Contribution” that has two components to it: on the one hand, a “Company Property Contribution”, based on property values and, on the other, a “Contribution on Company Added Value” set at the national level. This reform still gives rise to lively debate in France, particularly on account of its consequences for the autonomy and resources of local communities.
But this is not the central argument of Guillaume Sainteny’s article. He is, rather, taken aback at the way the reform was introduced and, in particular, at its having totally left out of account the issue of sustainable development, despite this having been declared a national priority at the Grenelle Environmental Summit. Sainteny shows that, quite apart from the fact that the environmental impact of the reform does not appear to have been assessed, it fails to integrate — either through exemptions or incentives — the tax measures designed to deter or promote activities on the basis of their environmental consequences.
While stressing the difficulties of any fiscal reform, Sainteny ponders the French administration’s inability to reform itself to take on board what is presented as a national priority.
Alors que la Chine a retrouvé, en 2010, un taux de croissance supérieur à 10 %, certaines usines souffriraient d’une pénurie de main-d’œuvre peu ou pas qualifiée. La situation semble par contre différente pour les postes plus qualifiés : si des pénuries commencent aussi à apparaître, l’inadéquation croissante entre les besoins et l’offre de qualifications se traduit par une hausse du taux de chômage chez les jeunes diplômés du supérieur.
« À l’horizon de 2015 et au-delà, il ne fait pas de doute que nous pouvons atteindre l’objectif ultime : nous pouvons éliminer la pauvreté. Dans la majorité des cas, l’expérience a prouvé la validité des accords du passé sur la voie à suivre ; en d’autres termes, nous savons ce qu’il faut faire. Mais cela exige un effort indéfectible, collectif et de longue durée ». Ban Ki-moon, Rapport sur les Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement, 2008. De ...
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D’après les Nations unies, en 2010, 49,6 % des migrants internationaux seront des femmes (soit presque 100 millions), contre 46,7 % en 1960 . Si ce taux a peu évolué depuis 50 ans et est quasiment stable depuis 30 ans à l’échelle mondiale, il dissimule cependant des contrastes entre les régions et des évolutions notables dans les motivations qui poussent ces femmes à quitter leur pays d’origine.
Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.