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Growth in Mature Economies: The Second CEPR-Modena Conference

The 7-8 November 2013 conference in Modena was the second in a series of events aimed at sharing different ideas and perspectives on a key policy issue – what can stimulate sustained growth in economies that cannot simply add more capital or import technologies developed abroad? This is an important question not only in the short run, as Europe struggles to emerge from recession, but also over the longer term as population ageing begins to affect these mature economies.

In 2012, Lucrezia Reichlin, then CEPR Research Director, launched a new series of annual conferences to be held in Modena, whose aim was to promote new thinking on how to spur growth in mature economies: those already close to the technological frontier, and enjoying capital-labour ratios that are already high. While the question of how to stimulate such growth in the long run is an essentially supply side issue, the protracted nature of the Eurozone crisis, the possibility of labour market hysteresis, and recent worries about secular stagnation, all mean that demand side forces also belong on any such research agenda.

The second Modena conference was held in November 2013, and thanks to the great work of Isabella Rota Baldini, an eBook has just been published summarising the contributions and the discussions that followed. There are chapters focusing predominantly on the supply side (those on Italian growth, labour market reforms, Europe’s long run growth prospects); chapters reflecting the Eurozone crisis (those on European banking union in historical perspective, and the Eurozone adjustment process); and chapters giving a more international perspective (those on China, the developing world, fossil fuels, and protectionism). As always, the conference also included a policy panel discussion, featuring Massimo Mucchetti, President of the Italian Senate Industry Commission, and Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Minister of European Affairs.

CEPR is grateful to all the authors and discussants; to Graziella Bertocchi and Lucrezia Reichlin for organizing the conference; to Isabella Rota Baldini  for acting as rapporteur; to the Center for Economic Research (RECent) at the University of Modena Reggio Emilia for hosting the conference series; and to the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena for their generous financial support.

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