CERGE-EI Media Highlights for July

6 August, 2021

How long will it take for the Czech economy to recover from the problems caused by Covid-19? How can the government increase the vaccination rate in the Czech Republic? Will the Czech pension system experience funding problems due to demographic changes in the future? These are some of the questions addressed by CERGE-EI experts in the Czech media in July.

"After the pandemic crisis, the Czech Republic will fall behind again. There are three culprits," is the headline of Jan Švejnar's interview for "I would say that there will be economic fallout for at least two years, but it could be longer. But if the economic policy is very effective, it could be as little as one year," says Jan Švejnar.

In an interview with Konkursní noviny, Marek Kapička warns of potential problems in the pension system as a result of the aging Czech population. "These will most likely lead to a massive increase in the national debt in the coming decades, even if there is some reform of the pension system. The current increase in debt is so dangerous precisely because it will significantly worsen our position at the worst possible moment, at the start of demographic change," says Marek Kapička.

"I'd like to provoke a discussion about the fact that every individual decision we make about getting everyone vaccinated against Covid-19 can cost our society something in the future. It can also cost those who have been vaccinated. That's why we should talk more about how to increase vaccination rates in the most efficient ways," Filip Pertold told Peter Honzejk's Ranní brífing podcast.

On another topic related to pensions, "this is typical pre-election populism that does not target the really poor pensioners, but mainly the electorate of the parties that are proposing it," Filip Pertold commented for Mladá fronta DNES on a proposal to raise the pensions of parents who were the main caregivers for a child by 500 CZK per month. "The state does not know anything about which parent raised the child, so it will somehow find out by means of an affidavit or a similar administrative act. And what if both parents come forward? How will the dispute be resolved?" Filip Pertold asks.

The magazine Respekt quotes a study by the think-tank IDEA at CERGE-EI entitled Different Economic Impacts of the Covid-19 Crisis on Men and Women in the Czech Republic by Andreas Menzel and Martina Miotto. In the article, Respekt evaluates the new rules on backed alimony, which came into force on 1 July 2021.

Will the promised level of teacher salaries really affect public finances? is a question posed by Daniel Münich in a blog on "The current government has managed in a few years what no previous government has managed. It has pulled the relative salaries of Czech teachers up from the lowest levels to the average of EU member states. At the same time, it has managed to fulfill a program promise that few people believed after the bad experiences of the past," writes Daniel Münich.