After the summer break, Nova Economic Club has restarted its activity with new projects and goals for this academic year.
On September 11th NEC presented his projects to the new students that have just entered in the Masters programs of Novasbe. This contact allowed NEC to increase the number of members, and we welcome the new students who have decided to join this club. We are sure that your contribution and help will be extremely relevant during the next months, and new and important ideas will be brought by the newcomers.
Nova Economics Club will continue the KPI project initiated during the last months, and is expected that new reports will be published soon. We hope that better and more refined KPI´s can be constructed in order to keep an independent and accurate analysis of the Memorandum of Understanding between Portugal and Troika (MoU).
With the arrival of new members were also created new groups in NEC: the Banking System group and the Education Group. These two groups will also focus on the analysis of the measures proposed in the MoU for these two areas, although they present broader goals which go beyond the monitoring of the Portuguese financial and economic program.
The banking group was created having in mind the financial measures of the program presented by Troika, wich are focused on maintaining the stability of the Portuguese financial system by assuring 1) high liquidity and solvency standard and 2) promoting an orderly deleveraging of the economy. The Banking group has been created to assess the impact of the ongoing changes in the Portuguese banking system on the real economy. Furthermore, its aim is to monitor the liquidity and solvency conditions of banks to understand the sources of potential stress in the banking system.
The NEC Education group appears has a platform in the club that can bring economic insides about one of the most important social sectors in Portugal. During the last 10 years the yearly investment in the education system has been between 4% and 5% of the GDP, values lined up with the European average. Despite this fact, Portugal achievements in some education indicators have revealed persistent loopholes of the system (for example just half of the population between 25-34 years old has the secondary education completed, which compares with 80% of the OECD average, Education at a glance 2012, OECD). Adding to this, during the present economic crisis Portugal has witness a record high unemployment rate among the youngest (31.6% of people between 15-24 years old, according to August OECD data). In this context an economic perspective maybe helpful to analyze the efficiency of the Portuguese Education system, in fields such as what has been its contribution to economic growth, the schooling level of the labour force or what polices can be followed to achieve better education outcomes. It is with this perspective that this new group will in its first project focus on the role of the vocational training in the Portuguese Labour force. This topic reveals to be particularly important, given the relevance that was given by Troika to it, in the education measures recommended in the MoU.
During the next weeks NEC hopes to present some individual opinion texts written by its members here in the blog. NEC expects that each member can find in this blog a place where they can present some of their opinions and views about one particular economic topic of their interest or present some interesting results that have achieved in their economic research. These texts are not expected to be heavy in terms of technicality, but will try to bring an economic reasoning and perspective to some of the economic issues discussed in Portugal. Soon more details about these new NEC opinion texts will be presented.