In terms of Austria's general and economic policy, EC membership is a very significant step. Therefore, the immediate and short-term economic effects should not occupy center stage, but rather the long-term opportunities and risks of this step. A long-term evaluation of EC membership cannot rely exclusively on econometric modeling results. Econometric modeling is based on historical data and has severe restrictions with respect to forecasting radical policy changes. An econometric model is, however, very useful for checking the consistency of analyzed paths, for determining the direction and order of magnitude of the dependent variables involved and to simulate different assumptions of the explanatory variables. In the interpretation of the WIFO model runs, we are aware that experiences with small integration steps of the past (e.g., tariff elimination) cannot be transferred one-to-one to an analysis of the much more radical step of EC membership (in which tariff reduction only plays a very minor role).
Austria in the European Union (English Summary); Sonderheft: Österreich in der Europäischen Union
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