Publications

Economy of the European Union

From this page you can access thematically grouped Analytical Articles published in the Economic Bulletin from 1999, ordered by date of dissemination within each year.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • 31/05/2022
    Economic consequences of a hypothetical suspension of Russia-EU trade (388 KB) Javier Quintana

    A hypothetical interruption of energy commodity imports from Russia could significantly affect the Spanish economy. The difficulty of replacing these products in the short term would reduce the energy supply and compound the current inflationary episode, both of which would weigh on economic activity. However, since Spain is less energy dependent on Russia than other European economies, the effects on the Spanish economy would be notably smaller. Lastly, the impact would be amplified due to the shock propagating through global production chains, with a particularly marked effect on certain sectors of activity. The interruption of exports or imports of other goods would also adversely affect the European economies, although it would have a more limited impact than in the case of energy commodities.

  • 31/01/2022
    The challenge of measuring digital platform work (500 KB) Marina Gómez García and Laura Hospido

    The article presents an overview of digital platform work in Spain and analyses the challenge of quantifying this work in view of the lack of reliable and comprehensive data available. Digital platforms are technological infrastructures that act as intermediaries, facilitating interaction between two or more persons, for the provision of services through IT applications in exchange for payment. Although it is estimated that platform work accounts for less than 5% of the global workforce, this share is expected to increase.
    In 2018, according to the COLLEEM survey, platform work was the main job of 2.6% of the Spanish population over 16. Including occasional platform work, the figure rose to 18.5%, the highest percentage among the 16 European countries included in the survey. Nevertheless, in practice it is difficult to obtain precise figures, since to date official statistics are not designed to include the gig economy.
    The article compares the demographic characteristics of platform workers in Spain, according to the COLLEEM survey, and those of self-employed workers and employees according to two Spanish surveys of individuals and households, namely the 2018 Labour Force Survey (Encuesta de Población Activa) and the 2017 Survey of Household Finances (Encuesta Financiera de las Familias). The comparison shows that digital platform workers make up a specific group that is not directly comparable with either employees or the self-employed.
    To conclude, a number of ways to obtain a better measure of digital platform work are considered. One option would be to include direct questions on these work arrangements in employment survey questionnaires. Another would be to develop integrated datasets, combining the information from administrative records, which include digital platform activities, with surveys of the workers included in those records. In any event, in order for these administrative records and surveys to reflect platform work accurately, labour legislation needs to clearly define the relationship between those providing the services and the platforms.

  • 20/01/2022
    The EU-MERCOSUR trade agreement and its impact on CO2 emissions (385 KB) Rodolfo Campos, Marta Suárez-Varela and Jacopo Timini

    In 2019 the European Union (EU) and the Latin American countries that make up the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) reached a political agreement to sign, ratify and implement a trade agreement between the two blocs. This agreement is expected to bring trade and welfare benefits on both sides of the Atlantic. The impact estimated for the EU will be similar to that of other recent agreements, such as that entered into with Japan. However, the EU-Mercosur “agreement in principle” has raised concerns owing to its potential impact on the environment and climate, even though it includes strict provisions in these areas and entails very few changes to the tariff and non-tariff measures adopted for agricultural imports from Mercosur. This article focuses on a specific aspect of the EU-Mercosur agreement’s potential environmental impact, namely, the change envisaged in global CO2 emissions. Despite the uncertainty associated with such estimations, when using a standard general equilibrium model, the increase in CO2 emissions deriving from this agreement is found to be limited. Moreover, in certain plausible scenarios, application of the very stringent environmental standards provided for in the agreement in principle could even lower emissions in Mercosur countries.

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