Thursday, April 27, 2006

Alesina on Italy

My friend and colleague Alberto Alesina opines about his homeland's economy:

In Denmark, it takes two days to open a new business; in Italy, two months. Alberto Alesina, the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy, mentioned this fact to emphasize the economic reforms that Italy's new prime minister, Romano Prodi, must bring about if he hopes to change Italy's current status as "the sick man of Europe."...

"Italy has very serious economic problems," Alesina said. "It needs an injection of free-market, liberal, economic reforms." Among the reforms he recommended were reducing the high income tax rate, cutting back on bloated public employment and the overly generous pension system, enhancing the service sector, and making it easier to fire workers.