We find that there is currently a moderate to high risk of production capacities in the Euro Area being permanently impaired. The risk relates mostly to the prolonged period of stalled investment and persistent unemployment, with its detrimental effect on human capital. In addition, paying off past debt will be painful to both the public and private sectors, in particular in the context of a low inflation environment.
The policy response in the Euro Area has been hesitant. It emphasised structural reforms over cyclical policies. While structural reforms are a good lever for growth in the long term, they need to be accompanied by much stronger cyclical policies, especially given the recessionary environment. In short, there is a danger the decade could be lost because of an excess of confidence in the ability to fight a major economic crisis with structural reforms only.
Mots-clés : Lost decade | Crisis | Growth | Investment | R&D | Unemployment | Debt
JEL : E2, E3, E5, E6, J2