Hans-Werner Sinn

Hans-Werner Sinn is Professor of Economics and Public Finance at the University of Munich and President of the CESIfo Group. Author of Can Germany Be Saved? The Malaise of the World's First Welfare State (MIT Press) and other books, he is former president of the International Institute of Public Finance, and former chairman of the German Economic Association.

  • The Green Paradox

    The Green Paradox

    A Supply-Side Approach to Global Warming

    Hans-Werner Sinn

    A leading economist develops a supply-side approach to fighting climate change that encourages resource owners to leave more of their fossil carbon underground.

    The Earth is getting warmer. Yet, as Hans-Werner Sinn points out in this provocative book, the dominant policy approach—which aims to curb consumption of fossil energy—has been ineffective. Despite policy makers' efforts to promote alternative energy, impose emission controls on cars, and enforce tough energy-efficiency standards for buildings, the relentlessly rising curve of CO2 output does not show the slightest downward turn. Some proposed solutions are downright harmful: cultivating crops to make biofuels not only contributes to global warming but also uses resources that should be devoted to feeding the world's hungry. In The Green Paradox, Sinn proposes a new, more pragmatic approach based not on regulating the demand for fossil fuels but on controlling the supply.

    The owners of carbon resources, Sinn explains, are pre-empting future regulation by accelerating the production of fossil energy while they can. This is the “Green Paradox”: expected future reduction in carbon consumption has the effect of accelerating climate change. Sinn suggests a supply-side solution: inducing the owners of carbon resources to leave more of their wealth underground. He proposes the swift introduction of a “Super-Kyoto” system—gathering all consumer countries into a cartel by means of a worldwide, coordinated cap-and-trade system supported by the levying of source taxes on capital income—to spoil the resource owners' appetite for financial assets.

    Only if we can shift our focus from local demand to worldwide supply policies for reducing carbon emissions, Sinn argues, will we have a chance of staving off climate disaster.

    • Hardcover $33.95 £27.00
  • Perspectives on the Performance of the Continental Economies

    Perspectives on the Performance of the Continental Economies

    Edmund S. Phelps and Hans-Werner Sinn

    Leading economists consider the apparent underperformance of the European economy, testing various explanations against data.

    Economists disagree on what ails the economies of continental western Europe, which are widely perceived to be underperforming in terms of productivity and other metrics. Is it some deficiency in their economic system—in economic institutions or cultural attitudes? Is it some effect of their welfare systems of social insurance and assistance? Or are these systems healthy enough but weighed down by adverse market conditions?

    In this volume, leading economists test the various explanations for Europe's economic underperformance against real-world data. The chapters, written from widely varying perspectives, demonstrate the shortcomings and strengths of some methods of economics as much as they do the shortcomings and strengths of some economies of western continental Europe. Some contributors address only income per head or per worker; others look at efficiency and distortions of national choices such as that between labor and leisure; still others look at job satisfaction, fulfillment, and rates of indigenous innovation. Many offer policy recommendations, which range from developing institutions that promote entrepreneurship to using early education to increase human capital.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
  • Can Germany Be Saved?

    Can Germany Be Saved?

    The Malaise of the World's First Welfare State

    Hans-Werner Sinn

    A prominent economist argues in this German bestseller that Germany can rescue its sluggish economy by transforming its social welfare system and reforming its labor market and tax structure, offering insights into economic dilemmas experienced by all advanced economies in a time of globalization.

    What has happened to the German economic miracle? Rebuilding from the rubble and ruin of two world wars, Germany in the second half of the twentieth century recaptured its economic strength. High-quality German-made products ranging from precision tools to automobiles again conquered world markets, and the country experienced stratospheric growth and virtually full employment. Germany (or West Germany, until 1989) returned to its position as the economic powerhouse of Europe and became the world's third-largest economy after the United States and Japan. But in recent years growth has slowed, unemployment has soared, and the economic unification of eastern and western Germany has been mishandled. Europe's largest economy is now outperformed by many of its European neighbors in per capita terms. In Can Germany Be Saved?, Hans-Werner Sinn, one of Germany's leading economists, takes a frank look at his country's economic problems and proposes welfare- and tax-reform measures aimed at returning Germany to its former vigor and vitality.

    Germany invented the welfare state in the 1880s when Bismarck introduced government-funded health insurance, disability insurance, and pensions; the German system became a model for other industrialized countries. But, Sinn argues, today's German welfare state has incurred immense fiscal costs and destroyed economic incentives. Unemployment has become so lucrative that the private sector, already under pressure from international low-wage competitors, has increasing difficulties in paying sufficiently attractive wages.

    Sinn traces many of his country's economic problems to an increasingly intractable conflict between Germany's welfare state and the forces of globalization. Can Germany Be Saved? (an updated English-language version of a German bestseller) asks the hard questions—about unions, welfare payments, tax rates, the aging population, and immigration—that all advanced economies need to ask. Its answers, and its call for a radical rethinking of the welfare state, should stir debate and discussion everywhere.

    • Hardcover $29.95
    • Paperback $5.75 £4.99
  • Privatization Experiences in the European Union

    Privatization Experiences in the European Union

    Marko Köthenbürger, Hans-Werner Sinn, and John Whalley

    Experts evaluate the varied outcomes of privatization experiences in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.

    The trend toward privatization, which began with privatization experiments in the UK under Margaret Thatcher and the deregulation of the telecommunications sector in the United States, has attracted the attention of policymakers over the past two decades. Privatization is broadly supported by most academic economists, but the results of actual privatization efforts seem mixed. In the UK, for example, telecom rates fell sharply after privatization, but privatized rail service was widely perceived to have declined dramatically in quality. In this CESifo volume, international experts examine the experiences of 10 EU countries, evaluating the real outcomes of privatization policies in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.The effects of privatization—which includes not only changes in ownership of public activitiesand entities but also liberalization of markets and deregulation—are difficult to distinguish from the effects of other economywide influences. The studies in this volume meet this methodological challenge by using a well-defined set of criteria, including reducing consumer prices, increasing quantity, and improving quality, by which to make their assessments. Background chapters provide a conceptual framework for considering the issues.

    Contributors Pablo Arocena, Sean D. Barrett, Ansgar Belke, Michel Berne, Henrik Christoffersen, Andrea Goldstein, Günter Knieps, David Newbery, Martin Paldam, David Parker, Gérard Pogorel, Friedrich Schneider, Eric van Damme, Ingo Vogelsang, Johan Willner

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
  • European Monetary Integration

    European Monetary Integration

    Hans-Werner Sinn, Mika Widgrén, and Marko Köthenbürger

    Studies examining the policy challenges posed by European monetary integration, including asymmetry problems and fiscal concerns.

    The success of European monetary integration—called by the editors of this CESifo volume "one of the most far-reaching, real world experiments in monetary policy to date"—is not assured. Policy makers have been forced to deal with challenges posed by formulating a uniform monetary policy for countries with asymmetric business cycles and economies in different stages of development as well as with the fiscal and financial implications of a unified currency.

    The contributors to European Monetary Integration, all prominent economists and scholars, combine theoretical analysis and policy recommendation in their examination of these difficulties. In the first three chapters they consider issues raised by asymmetry problems, including imperfect labor and goods markets, the problem of monetary policy objectives when "one size does not fit all," and the possibility of a bias toward smaller countries in the "one country, one vote" constitutional structure of the European Central Bank. In the last three chapters, they discuss fiscal concerns, including the distribution of seignorage revenues and the interaction of European Central Bank monetary policies and asset price dynamics.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £6.95
    • Paperback $24.00 £18.99
  • Public Finance and Public Policy in the New Century

    Public Finance and Public Policy in the New Century

    Sijbren Cnossen and Hans-Werner Sinn

    Essays on the theory and practice of public finance and policy.

    The sixteen essays in this book were written to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Richard Musgrave and to commemorate the tenth anniversary of CES, the Center for Economic Studies at the University of Munich. Musgrave is considered to be a founding father of modern public economics. He belongs to the intellectual tradition that views government as an instrument that can be used to correct market failure and to establish the society that people want. Although his work fits within the individualistic framework of modern economics, he also draws on principles of moral philosophy. The essays take stock of and extend the theory and practice of public finance and public policy. They address the evolving role of government and the welfare state, the interaction between taxation and markets, the future of pension and health care systems, and international tax issues and fiscal federalism.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
  • Jumpstart

    Jumpstart

    The Economic Unification of Germany

    Gerlinde Sinn and Hans-Werner Sinn

    In Jumpstart two well-known German economists synthesize a vast body of literature to present the first well-structured, clearly argued analytical account of the reunification process and the policy alternatives.

    The unification of Germany is one of the most wrenching and dramatic transitions in economic history. A policy issue of worldwide interest, it holds key lessons for the remaining post-socialist economies. In Jumpstart two well-known German economists synthesize a vast body of literature to present the first well-structured, clearly argued analytical account of the reunification process and the policy alternatives. The Sinns' authoritative and primarily nontechnical account will Interest nonspecialists who want to keep up with economic events. Their summary of the German experience with radical reform will provide a valuable reference for specialists in transition economics.Contrary to fears that German reunification would bring on a resurgence of nationalism, the Sinns point out, It has met with apathy and indifference. Nonetheless, a great deal is at stake in the battle for redistribution, and the present economic chaos poses a serious threat to social stability.The Sinns suggest a "social pact" between labor and management that could put an end to the struggle over distribution and speed up the transformation of the former East German communist economy into a market economy. The core of this pact is a shift In emphasis from factor prices to the fundamental Issues of compensation and the distribution of real wealth.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00

Contributor

  • From Optimal Tax Theory to Tax Policy

    From Optimal Tax Theory to Tax Policy

    Retrospective and Prospective Views

    Robin Boadway

    An economist examines the evolution of optimal tax analysis and its influence on tax policy design.

    Many things inform a country's choice of tax system, including political considerations, public opinion, bureaucratic complexities, and ideas drawn from theoretical analysis. In this book, Robin Boadway examines the role of optimal tax analysis in informing and influencing tax policy design. Scholars of public economics formulate models of optimal tax-transfer systems based on normative principles that reflect efficiency and equity considerations. They use that analysis to form views about the optimal design or reform of actual tax systems that are much more complicated than their models. Boadway argues that there is an important symbiosis between ideas drawn from normative tax analysis and tax policies actually enacted. Ideas germinated by normative analyses have led to the widespread adoption of the value-added tax, the use of refundable tax credits, and various business tax reforms. Other ideas provide rationales for existing features of tax systems, including the tax treatment of retirement savings and human capital investment.

    Boadway charts the evolution of optimal tax analysis and discusses the lessons it holds for tax policy. He describes the theoretical challenges posed by recent findings in such fields as behavioral economics and social choice and considers how optimal tax analysis might adapt to these new paradigms. His analysis offers a timely assessment of the role that optimal tax theory has played in establishing the principles that continue to inform tax policy.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £35.00
  • Happiness

    Happiness

    A Revolution in Economics

    Bruno S. Frey

    A leading economist discusses the potential of happiness research (the quantification of well-being) to answer important questions that standard economics methods are unable to analyze.

    Revolutionary developments in economics are rare. The conservative bias of the field and its enshrined knowledge make it difficult to introduce new ideas not in line with received theory. Happiness research, however, has the potential to change economics substantially in the future. Its findings, which are gradually being taken into account in standard economics, can be considered revolutionary in three respects: the measurement of experienced utility using psychologists' tools for measuring subjective well-being; new insights into how human beings value goods and services and social conditions that include consideration of such non-material values as autonomy and social relations; and policy consequences of these new insights that suggest different ways for government to affect individual well-being. In Happiness, emphasizing empirical evidence rather than theoretical conjectures, Bruno Frey substantiates these three revolutionary claims for happiness research. After tracing the major developments of happiness research in economics and demonstrating that we have gained important new insights into how income, unemployment, inflation, and income demonstration affect well-being, Frey examines such wide-ranging topics as democracy and federalism, self-employment and volunteer work, marriage, terrorism, and watching television from the new perspective of happiness research. Turning to policy implications, Frey describes how government can provide the conditions for people to achieve well-being, arguing that a crucial role is played by adequate political institutions and decentralized decision making. Happiness demonstrates the achievements of the economic happiness revolution and points the way to future research.

    • Hardcover $38.00 £26.95
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Growth and Empowerment

    Growth and Empowerment

    Making Development Happen

    Nicholas Stern, F. Halsey Rogers, and Jean-Jacques Dethier

    Despite significant gains in promoting economic growth and living conditions (or "human progress") globally over the last twenty-five years, much of the developing world remains plagued by poverty and its attendant problems, including high rates of child mortality, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and war. In Growth and Empowerment, Nicholas Stern, Jean-Jacques Dethier, and F. Halsey Rogers propose a new strategy for development. Drawing on many years of work in development economics—in academia, in the field, and at international institutions such as the World Bank—the authors base their strategy on two interrelated approaches: building a climate that encourages investment and growth and at the same time empowering poor people to participate in that growth. This plan differs from other models for development, including the dogmatic approach of market fundamentalism popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Stern, Dethier, and Rogers see economic development as a dynamic process of continuous change in which entrepreneurship, innovation, flexibility, and mobility are crucial components and the idea of empowerment, as both a goal and a driver of development, is central. The book points to the unique opportunity today—after 50 years of successes and failures, and with a growing body of analytical work to draw on—to pursue new development strategies in both research and action.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $5.75 £4.99
  • The Economic Effects of Constitutions

    The Economic Effects of Constitutions

    Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini

    The authors of The Economic Effects of Constitutions use econometric tools to study what they call the "missing link" between constitutional systems and economic policy; the book is an uncompromisingly empirical sequel to their previous theoretical analysis of economic policy. Taking recent theoretical work as a point of departure, they ask which theoretical findings are supported and which are contradicted by the facts. The results are based on comparisons of political institutions across countries or time, in a large sample of contemporary democracies. They find that presidential/parliamentary and majoritarian/proportional dichotomies influence several economic variables: presidential regimes induce smaller public sectors, and proportional elections lead to greater and less targeted government spending and larger budget deficits. Moreover, the details of the electoral system (such as district magnitude and ballot structure) influence corruption and structural policies toward economic growth.Persson and Tabellini's goal is to draw conclusions about the causal effects of constitutions on policy outcomes. But since constitutions are not randomly assigned to countries, how the constitutional system was selected in the first place must be taken into account. This raises challenging methodological problems, which are addressed in the book. The study is therefore important not only in its findings but also in establishing a methodology for empirical analysis in the field of comparative politics.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £6.95
    • Paperback $34.00 £27.00
  • Taxation, Incomplete Markets, and Social Security

    Taxation, Incomplete Markets, and Social Security

    Peter A. Diamond

    In this book, Peter Diamond analyzes social security as a particular example of optimal taxation theory. Assuming a world of incomplete markets and asymmetric information, he uses a variety of simple models to illuminate the economic forces that bear on specific social security policy issues. The focus is on the degree of progressivity desirable in social security and the design of incentives to delay retirement beyond the earliest age of eligibility for benefits. Before analyzing these models, Diamond presents introductions to optimal income tax theory and the theory of incomplete markets. He incorporates recent theoretical developments such as time-inconsistent preferences into his analyses and shows that distorting taxes and a measure of progressivity in benefits are desirable. Diamond also discusses social security reform, with a focus on Germany.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £6.95
    • Paperback $4.75 £3.99
  • Competition in Telecommunications

    Competition in Telecommunications

    Jean-Jacques Laffont and Jean Tirole

    Theoretical models based on the assumption that telecommunications is a natural monopoly no longer reflect reality. As a result, policymakers often lack the guidance of economic theorists. Competition in Telecommunications is written in a style accessible to managers, consultants, government officials, and others. Jean-Jacques Laffont and Jean Tirole analyze regulatory reform and the emergence of competition in network industries using the state-of-the-art theoretical tools of industrial organization, political economy, and the economics of incentives. The book opens with background information for the reader who is unfamiliar with current issues in the telecommunications industry. The following sections focus on four central aspects of the recent deregulatory movement: the introduction of incentive regulation; one-way access (access given by a local network to the providers of complementary segments, such as long-distance or information services); the special nature of competition in an industry requiring two-way access (whereby competing networks depend on the mutual termination of calls); and universal service, in particular the two leading contenders for the competitively neutral provision of universal service: the use of engineering models to compute subsidies and the design of universal service auctions. The book concludes with a discussion of the Internet and regulatory institutions.

    Copublished with the Center for Economic Studies and the Ifo Institute.

    • Hardcover $30.00 £22.95
    • Paperback $48.00 £37.00
  • The Economic Consequences of Rolling Back the Welfare State

    The Economic Consequences of Rolling Back the Welfare State

    Anthony B. Atkinson

    In recent years the welfare state has come under attack from economists, and in many OECD countries there have been calls for spending on the welfare state to be rolled back. Critics argue that the size of transfer programs is responsible for a decline in economic performance and that cuts in spending are a prerequisite for a return to the golden age of full employment and economic growth. A. B. Atkinson takes such criticisms seriously, placing them under empirical and analytical scrutiny. Atkinson brings a welcome sense of balance to the debate. He warns that many currently fashionable policy proposals to roll back the welfare state could have unintended negative side effects, based as they are on an oversimplified view of the workings of the economy and of how welfare arrangements affect economic incentives. He asks whether there are ways in which the welfare state plays a positive role in the modernization of the economy. He develops new models of the labor market and of the growth of the corporate economy, which provide insight into the role and consequences of unemployment insurance, and the implications of moves to private pension funds. Atkinson does not attempt to determine whether or not spending should be cut. Rather, his aim is to clarify the nature of the charges leveled against the welfare state, so that readers can make up their own minds. Copublished with the Center for Economic Studies and the Ifo Institute

    • Hardcover $8.75 £6.99
  • The Making of Economic Policy

    The Making of Economic Policy

    A Transaction-Cost Politics Perspective

    Avinash K. Dixit

    The Making of Economic Policy begins by observing that most countries' trade policies are so blatantly contrary to all the prescriptions of the economist that there is no way to understand this discrepancy except by delving into the politics. The same is true for many other dimensions of economic policy.

    Avinash Dixit looks for an improved understanding of the politics of economic policy-making from a transaction cost perspective. Such costs of planning, implementing, and monitoring an exchange have proved critical to explaining many phenomena in industrial organization. Dixit discusses the variety of similar transaction costs encountered in the political process of making economic policy and how these costs affect the operation of different institutions and policies.

    Dixit organizes a burgeoning body of research in political economy in this framework. He uses U.S. fiscal policy and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) as two examples that illustrate the framework, and show how policy often deviates from the economist's ideal of efficiency. The approach reveals, however, that some seemingly inefficient practices are quite creditable attempts to cope with transaction costs such as opportunism and asymmetric information.

    Copublished with the Center for Economic Studies and the Ifo Institute

    • Hardcover $35.00 £24.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00