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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

EU vs US

I have been noticing a slight buzz around the Blogosphere about this piece in the NYT. In it, the author (an American living in Oslo) discusses the differences in living conditions between Europe and the US. In doing so, he cites the Timbro Study. That got me to digging through the Fuki Blog archives to find this post by me back in July of last year:
I have discussed the many differences between the EU and US in several different forums (both American and European) and thought I would talk a little bit about it here.

Here is a very interesting study by a couple of Swedish economists comparing the EU and the US in terms of economic prosperity. It is 49 pages, but a very interesting read and written for the most part in easy to understand lay terms for those of you without much knowledge of economics.

Many of you will probably find that you are familiar with portions of the study as it briefly made the news several months ago. It is not all encompassing, but a good starting point on understanding how our divergent views affect our quality of life.

I was previously aware of the disparity between the US and Europe having traveled extensively in Europe, but I don't think many in Europe understand it or the reasons behind it. If they did, they would understand the real way to help people is to bring everyone to a higher level, even if it means continued economic disparity, rather than "equalizing" everyone at a lower level.

I think it will also important that the study was conducted by Swedes rather than Americans. Of course, it probably received even less press in Europe than it did here.

It is good to see that this information is still floating around out there, even if most in both the EU and US are completely oblivious to it. One of the interesting diagrams was a 2005 forecast (the study was published in June 04):



It will be interesting to see where we actually end up. These projections will be affected by the change of the EUR/USD from roughly 1.21 at the time of the study to roughly 1.30 now. In addition, I believe (though I don't have the numbers) that most of these EU countries are falling below the Eurostat projections. Which of these two will have the greater impact, I do not yet know.

The NYT article also cites a KPMG report. I believe it is probably the annual Competitive Alternatives report, though I have not yet looked it over.

I didn't find the Danish Ministry of Finance report on their website.

If you know for sure, which reports he is citing and have links to them, I would appreciate it.


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