New grant will help UO professor study US and European economies

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A UO political science professor has won a $ 1.4 million grant to study the various ways in which political decisions affect the single-market economic systems of the United States and the European Union.

Craig Parsons will use the grant to fill research gaps in studies of the world’s largest single markets to inform future regulatory policy and democratic debate. His team will carry out two original surveys, one aimed at the general public and the other at the business world. The plans call for hundreds of interviews with business leaders and decision makers.

The studies will focus on four countries in the European Union: France, Germany, Poland and Norway, and four US states: California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Oregon, asking residents how they perceive the costs of interstate business and mobility, as well as the appropriate regulations. authority over it.

“The American federation was created to ensure open commerce across the states,” Parsons said. “A few centuries later, Europeans aimed to emulate the vast American market by building their own ‘single market’. But in practice, it turns out that what the EU is doing is quite different from its supposed model. They demand an opening between the countries of the EU in a much stricter way than the United States. “

The Research Council of Norway awarded the grant for Parsons’ study, “The Politics of Governance of the European and American Single Market”. The four-year project involves a team of French, German, Norwegian and Polish researchers and a three-year post-doctoral fellow.

The project is primarily based at the ARENA Center for European Studies at the University of Oslo, where Parsons has a partial position in addition to his role at UO.

Parsons said the EU and the US today represent different political choices on how to balance the goal of openness. The difference arises from the balance between the overall requirements for accepting goods, services, labor and capital from outside the state and the desire of an individual state to regulate its goods, services, labor and capital as it wishes.

The team’s interview research will focus on three sectors: goods, services and labor, and capital. The sectors will focus on alcoholic beverages, construction and retail banking, respectively.

The alcoholic beverage industry provides a useful focus for research on interstate openness, Parsons said, because it is a particularly regulated commodity. In both America and Europe, states have adopted a wide variety of alcohol regulations, and in both contexts these different regulations generate permanent legal and political tensions with demands for interstate openness.

Parsons said the project grew out of the ideas of Leif Hoffmann, a UO political science graduate student in 2011, who wrote his thesis under Parsons’ supervision. Hoffmann came to the United States from Germany almost 20 years ago.

While in a museum in Las Vegas, Hoffmann saw a sign indicating a lower entrance fee for residents of Nevada compared to those in other states, which the EU allegedly did not allow. Hoffmann then wrote his thesis on comparisons between Europe and the United States. Parsons said that Hoffmann “deserves credit for inspiring this line of research.”

The project will generate a large amount of data on how Americans and Europeans view regulations and the political choices they are making now. Parsons hopes the research will encourage better policymaking and enable Americans and Europeans to make informed decisions about the trade-offs between openness and other policy goals.

“Regulatory barriers impact businesses and people’s lives,” he said. “And the fact that Europe approaches these issues differently can help us think about how we want to govern ourselves.”

—By Victoria Sanchez, University Communications


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