An investment and equality-led sustainable growth programme for Europe


FEPS, in collaboration with TASC (Ireland) and the European Council of the Labour Movement – ECLM – (Denmark) have set up a research project with the aim of analysing policies to stimulate investment and increase equality and achieve a sustainable growth model for Europe and each individual member state.

During the past 20 years investment across Europe has drastically declined with severe negative consequences for productivity, growth and employment opportunities. In the meantime, inequality has increased; as the share of wages in national income decreased dramatically, the rise in profits have been ineffective in stimulating investment, productivity, and job creation. The stagnation in investment has also posed severe challenges to tackle the urgent issue of climate change. At the same time these trends were accompanied by a significant structural change in the functioning of our economies marked by the growing prominence of the ‘financial motives’ and the influence of the financial sector.

The project builds on three Modules to provide both a novel theoretical framework and empirical evidence regarding the causes of stagnation in investment and growth:

  1. Module 1 will analyse the role of public investment in an equality-led recovery strategy for Europe by integrating government spending and taxation in a wage-led growth model for the EU15 countries(separately for each country and in aggregate) ;
  2. Module 2 will analyse the impact of financialization, in particular the increasing financial activities of the non-financial corporations on investment in the EU15 (separately for each country and in aggregate);
  3. Module 3 will provide empirical evidence on the role of government spending in supporting employment-enhancing activities, and the complimentary relationship between public and private investment in generating sustainable and equitable growth for Europe.
  4. Finally Module 4 aims at presenting the project findings for a general audience and derives policy conclusions for the European Union. The module will list in a concise manner a set of policy proposals for the European Parliament and the European Commission.


Foundation for European Progressive Studies:

Dr. Elva Bova

Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre (GPERC):

Prof Ozlem Onaran, University of Greenwich (Principal investigator)

Dr  Giovanni Cozzi, University of Greenwich (Principal investigator)

Dr  Maria Nikolaidi, University of Greenwich (Co-investigator)

Research Assistants at the University of Greenwich: Thomas Obst, Daniele Tori, Shanaz Sumra

Economic Council of the Labour Movement:

Lars Andersen

Signe Dahl

Project reports and Policy briefs

Onaran O, Nikolaidi M and Obst T . Policy Brief. A coordinated mix of public investment and incomes policies for sustainable development in Europe. 

Onaran O and Tori D. Policy brief. Policies to stimulate investment in the age of financialization in Europe .

Andersen L, Dahl S, Nissen T. Study. Investments in green and social sectors can create 2.8 million jobs in the EU (2017)

Cozzi, G. Study.  The role of public and private investment in creating an equitable and green recovery in Europe (2017)

Obst T, Onaran O, Nikolaidi M. Study. The effect of income distribution and fiscal policy on growth, investment, and budget balance: the case of Europe (2017)

Onaran O, Andersen L, Cozzi G, Dahl S, Nissen T, Obst T and Tori T. Study. An Investment and Equality-Led Sustainable Development Strategy for Europe (2017)

Tori D and Onaran O. Study. The effects of financialisation and financial development on investment: Evidence from firm-level data in Europe (2017)

Dahl S, Andersen L and Nissen T. Study. A Green Social Investment Plan (2017)