Activities > WWWforEurope Activities 2013 > Europe in a Post-Crisis World

Europe in a Post-Crisis World - Conference at Harvard University, USA

WWWforEurope at Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies of Harvard University

Conference topic: Europe in a Post-Crisis World

Cambridge, MA, USA, 31 October - 1 November 2013

undefinedDownload the programme

Karl Aiginger, coordinator of the WWWforEurope project, was invited to participate at the conference „Europe in a Post-Crisis World” at Harvard University jointly organized by the Harvard Centre for European Studies, the Schumpeter Program and the Vienna Institute for International economic studies (WIIW).

High ranking economist from the US, among them Jeff Frieden and Larry Summers from Harvard, Vivien Schmidt from Boston University, Barry Eichengreen from Berkeley, discussed with European researchers, among them Andre Sapir, University of Bruxelles, Karl Pichelmann from the European Commission and Michael Landesmann from WIIW, about the future of Europe in a globalised world.

A high-road strategy for Europe

In his talk on "Consequences of the Crisis: A high-road strategy for Europe", Karl Aiginger analysed the competitiveness of US and Europe, using a new concept of competitiveness: "the ability of a country to provide beyond GDP goals". His main message was that Europe performs much better if social and ecological goals are included in a welfare assessment, as compared to traditional analysis in which per capita income is the main yardstick for competitiveness.

Europe has a positive trade balance specifically in sophisticated industries, in which the US accrued a large and rising trade deficit. One of his main policy conclusions was that Europe will remain an economic power in the globalised world of 2050 and reduce unemployment, if it focuses on energy intensity and environmental technology and tries to close the gap in education and innovation relative to top performers, rather than to compete on low wages and low energy prices.

Reducing internal disequilibria and income differences together with better governance and openness towards fast growing neighbour countries is essential for a new economic growth path, which will make Europe more stable, dynamic, social inclusive and sustainable. The conference participants arrived at the consensus that Europe has been a success model, which performed best historically when it had a positive vision like unification, common currency, prosperity, rather than when European countries focused on internal problems.

Karl Aiginger used his stay in Boston to reconnect with MIT, in which he had spent a sabbatical in the 1990s, specifically with Scott Stern, a specialist on cluster analyses who applies the cluster concept of Michael Porter to analyse the competitiveness of European regions. Cluster policy as part of a new industrial policy is a core topic WWWforEurope with Christian Ketels from Harvard as a member of the WWWforEurope team.


undefinedDownload Karl Aiginger's presentation

undefinedDownload the research paper "Competitiveness under New Perspectives" by Karl Aiginger, Susanne Bärenthaler-Sieber and Johanna Vogel

undefinedDownload the research paper "Clusters and the New Growth Path for Europe" by Christian Ketels and Sergiy Protsiv

Further background materials for the conference can be found here.