WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe

The 7th EU Research Framework Project "Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe – WWWforEurope" was set out in 2012 to 2016 to find answers to many questions, central among them: What kind of development strategy should Europe opt for in the face of the financial crisis and the big challenges ahead: globalisation, demographic shifts, climate change and new technologies? What kind of strategy will guarantee "Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe" in the long term?

After four years of work by researchers from 34 institutions, please find the WWWforEurope project's answers in the publications which can be downloaded here (project deliverables, working papers, policy briefs and policy papers). Also the most important WWWforEurope events can be accessed here.

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All publications (166 hits)

Harald Badinger (WU Wien), David Bailey (Aston University), Lisa de Propris (University of Birmingham), Peter Huber, Jürgen Janger, Kurt Kratena, Hans Pitlik (WIFO), Thomas Sauer (EHA Jena), Renaud Thillaye (Policy Network), Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh (UAB)
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, March 2016, 164 pages
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Commissioned by: European Commission
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
The WWWforEurope research project proposes a comprehensive strategy to set Europe on a dynamic path to a socio-ecological transition. This part of the final report puts together the results of different models and presents research findings in the five areas which were inputs for part one "Synthesis". It is based on more than 160 new research papers, produced by 34 research groups cooperating in the project, but also on existing literature.
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, March 2016, 152 pages
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Commissioned by: European Commission
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
The WWWforEurope research project proposes a comprehensive strategy to set Europe on a dynamic path to a socio-ecological transition. The proposed strategy is medium to long-term in nature; solving short-run problems in specific countries may require some policy instruments not covered, but should nevertheless take this longer view into account. WWWforEurope respects different starting positions and heterogeneous preferences, and also acknowledges the high degree of uncertainty deriving from new challenges and disruptive technological innovations. The strategy cannot serve as a blueprint for solving all current and future problems or for exploiting all new opportunities, but it initially aims to develop guiding principles, then drivers of change and, last but not least, facilitators of strategy implementation which, combined, should support transition under very different real-world circumstances. The first part of this report is an overarching synthesis, the second one reports on the results of different models and presents research findings in the five areas which were inputs for the synthesis.
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, March 2016, 18 pages
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Commissioned by: European Commission
This paper summarises future research questions for each driver of change based on the outcomes of the WWWforEurope project and the derived policy recommendations. Firstly, a broad research question is suggested for each driver indicating the main focus of interest. In a second step, several analytical aspects as well as policy aspects are defined to specify the broad research questions. While focusing on the seven drivers of change when formulating the research questions, attention was also paid to so-called cross-cutting issues (e.g., gender aspects, strategies for implementing the Paris climate agreements). The research gaps are based on the fundamental insight of WWWforEurope that highlights the importance of applying a comprehensive and integrated approach for achieving the three strategic project goals instead of following a silo approach.
Tim Jackson (University of Surrey), Peter Victor (York University), Ali Asjad Naqvi (WU Wien)
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, March 2016, 64 pages
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Commissioned by: European Commission
Modern western economies (in the Euro area and elsewhere) face a number of challenges over the coming decades. Achieving full employment, meeting climate change and other key environmental targets, and reducing inequality rank amongst the highest of these. The conventional route to achieving these goals has been to pursue economic growth. But this route has created two critical problems for modern economies The first is that higher growth leads (ceteris parabis) to higher environmental impact. The second is that fragility in financial balances has accompanied relentless demand expansion.
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, March 2016, 41 pages
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Commissioned by: European Commission
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
This paper calculates the CO2 equivalents footprint of private consumption in the EU 27 by five groups of household income, using a fully fledged macroeconomic input-output model covering 59 industries and five groups of household income for the EU 27. Due to macroeconomic feedback mechanisms, this methodology not only takes into account intermediate demand induced by the demand of a household group, but also private consumption induced in the other household groups, mpacts on other endogenous final demand components, and negative feedback effects due to output price effects of household demand. Direct household emissions from household energy consumption are taken into account in a non-linear specification. Emissions embodied in imports are calculated using the results of a static MRIO (Multi-Regional Input-Output) model. The footprint is calculated separately for the consumption vector of each of the five income groups. The simulation results yield an income elasticity of direct and indirect emissions at each income level that takes all macroeconomic feedbacks of consumption into account and differs from the ceteris paribus emission elasticity in the literature. The results further reveal that a small structural Kuznet effect exists.
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, March 2016, 20 pages
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Commissioned by: European Commission
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
Online since: 10.03.2016 0:00
The WWWforEurope research project proposes a comprehensive strategy to set Europe on a dynamic path to a socio-ecological transition. The proposed strategy is medium to long-term in nature; solving short-run problems in specific countries may require some policy instruments not covered, but should nevertheless take this longer view into account. WWWforEurope respects different starting positions and heterogeneous preferences, and also acknowledges the high degree of uncertainty deriving from new challenges and disruptive technological innovations. The strategy cannot serve as a blueprint for solving all current and future problems or for exploiting all new opportunities, but it initially aims to develop guiding principles, then drivers of change and, last but not least, facilitators of strategy implementation which, combined, should support transition under very different real-world circumstances. The first part of this report is an overarching synthesis, the second one reports on the results of different models and presents research findings in the five areas which were inputs for the synthesis.
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, February 2016, 23 pages
Commissioned by: European Commission
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
Online since: 22.02.2016 0:00
One of the overarching goals of the project WWWforEurope is to develop a strategy which makes very ambitious green goals compatible with a dynamic, open society. An ambitious sustainability strategy is necessitated since we are approaching the absolute boundaries of the planet quickly. A dynamic, open society is warranted since it enables individuals and countries to follow different life styles and preferences, to learn and to enjoy new technologies and services, so that capabilities and choices are increasing, social progress is enhanced and differences in skills, income and wealth are narrowing. Today a trade-off exists between ambitious green goals and output maximisation (and output growth). This trade-off is less evident if we use the perspective of welfare and utility (which are enhanced by sustainability). The trade off is mitigated ever more evident if we broaden the macro- and microeconomic goals (from GDP as overarching measure of performance to life expectancy, happiness, human development or "Beyond GDP" in general), or if we leave the economic paradigm and understand welfare as the sum of "functionalities" or needs (nutrition, mobility, housing, health) which we can achieved by a large variety of organisational and social setups. The trade-off furthermore tends to dissolve for a longer time horizon. It is a defining result of this project that it is possible – but a very demanding task – to mitigate the trade-off between green goals and dynamics or even transform it into a synergy. It has to be done by a strategy developing synergies with the policy to solve social goals. We should be aware of reform resistance and the fact that significant changes always produce winners and losers. Several elements and measures of such a strategy are not yet developed and most of them are neither high on the agenda of policymakers or voters, nor supported by the current price system, an existing regulation, institutions and societal norms.
Ernest Aigner, Lucia Baratech Sanchez, Desiree Alicia Bernhardt, Benjamin Curnow, Christian Hödl, Heidi Leonhardt, Anran Luo (WU Wien)
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, January 2016, 221 pages
Commissioned by: European Commission
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
In a highly globalised world where all production and consumption activities are internationally intertwined and the environmental consequences of those actions are hard to identify, rethinking the role of work in our societies according to sustainability principles is a complex but highly necessary task. Salaried work has become one of the crucial indicators to analyse any country in the world. By looking at the proportion of the population that is employed, the working conditions they have, and how productive they are when performing their tasks, it is possible to produce an image of a country's society to assist in the understanding of the levels of well-being of its citizens. Work and labour markets not only largely structure the way the economy and society function, they also heavily influence an individual's life satisfaction and happiness; virtually the entire life of a person is designed around their work. Given the relevance work has at all levels, diving into the concept of sustainable work is a crucial project due to the urgency of environmental matters. The biggest role humanity faces is how to transform our societies so that they are sustainable from a social, ecological and economic perspective. For the sustainable society vision, work would need to be drastically altered in order to adapt it to the multi-dimensional sustainability requirements. This research aims to contribute to this enterprise by identifying the conditions that define the sustainability of work and then present an overview of seven European countries from this perspective. The present document introduces our conceptualisation of work and explains its main components. These are designed around the idea of the sustainable society and are composed of individuals' needs, equity and planetary boundaries. The final section concludes and introduces the different country case studies.
Klara Zwickl, Franziska Disslbacher, Sigrid Stagl (WU Wien)
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, January 2016, 29 pages
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
Commissioned by: European Commission
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Achieving low unemployment in an environment of weak growth is a major policy challenge; a more egalitarian distribution of hours worked could be the key to solving it. Whether work-sharing actually increases employment, however, has been debated controversially. In this article we present stylised facts on the distribution of hours worked and discuss the role of work-sharing for a sustainable economy. Building on recent developments in labour market theory we review the determinants of working long hours and its effect on well-being. Finally, we survey work-sharing reforms in the past. While there seems to be a consensus that worksharing in the Great Depression in the USA and in the Great Recession in Europe was successful in reducing employment losses, perceptions of the work-sharing reforms implemented between the 1980ies and early 2000ies are more ambivalent. However, even the most critical evaluations of these reforms provide no credible evidence of negative employment effects; instead, the overall success of the policy seems to depend on the economic and institutional setting, as well as the specific details of its implementation.
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, January 2016, 15 pages
Commissioned by: European Commission
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
Collectively agreed reductions of working hours phased out in Europe in the 1990ies. During the last two decades, working time became more flexible and heterogeneous. Working hours of full-time employees in the EU hardly changed. The strong increase in part-time work was the outstanding phenomenon. Today, one third of female employees and almost 10 percent of male employees work part-time. In a period of slow growth, productivity gains will be squeezed by subdued investment and low capacity utilisation. Thus, a smaller pie will be available either for real wage increases or for working time reductions. In this situation, it will be politically even more difficult to find an agreement on shorter working hours than in past decades. Since the productivity and employment effects of a working time reduction in a low-growth period are quite uncertain, social partners must be willing to negotiate again when the effects become apparent.
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