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Éva Katalin Polgár

28 March 2007
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 57
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Abstract
The primary goal of monetary policy in most economies of the world is to achieve and maintain price stability. This paper evaluates price developments and consumer price indices in south-eastern European countries, i.e. countries that have either recently joined the EU or are candidate or potential candidate countries. It is motivated by the fact that, in transition countries, inflation has generally been higher and more volatile than in advanced economies. The analysis reveals that the subindex housing/energy appears to be the main driving force behind overall inflation in the region. In most of the countries under review, administered prices prove to be an important factor in consumer price developments, with their weights increasing over time. Inflation volatility in south-eastern Europe is significantly higher than in the euro area. While this is partly due to a higher level of inflation, it also reflects a more pronounced share for the most volatile sub-indices as well as the marked impact of administered prices on the overall price index, a phenomenon which has also been seen in the central and eastern European countries. While in most south-eastern European countries no HICP has been calculated yet, there is little evidence suggesting that the future use of the HICP will result in a systematic change in inflation patterns in the respective countries. However, as deviations have been observed in a few countries for certain periods, without further information on the structure of the respective national CPI and the HICP such differences cannot be fully excluded.
JEL Code
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
O57 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Comparative Studies of Countries
P22 : Economic Systems→Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies→Prices
12 June 2008
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 86
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Abstract
The EU candidate and potential candidate countries have made considerable progress in economic transition and integration into the world economy within less than two decades. Nevertheless, gaps in terms of income per capita relative to the euro area remain large. This suggests that the challenges of real convergence will remain relevant for the region even in the medium and long term. This paper therefore focuses on real convergence and its determinants in the candidate and potential candidate countries. The analysis reveals that total factor productivity growth has been the main driver of convergence, followed by capital deepening, whereas labour has contributed only marginally to economic growth. There is evidence of conditional convergence in the transition countries of central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. More specifi cally, controlling for the quality of institutions, the extent of market reforms and macroeconomic policies, there is a significant and negative link between the initial level of GDP and subsequent growth. Labour productivity has improved in most countries, while employment and participation rates have been falling. Structural changes have resulted in, at least temporarily, increasing labour market mismatches. Investment rates have been rising rapidly in recent years, and foreign direct investment has been found to have a positive impact on total investment. Investment in human capital is still at a relatively low level compared with the euro area average. Thus, in order to sustain the positive developments observed in the past, further improvements are needed in terms of labour productivity and utilisation, as well as in terms of physical and human capital accumulation.
JEL Code
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F43 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Economic Growth of Open Economies
O16 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Development→Financial Markets, Saving and Capital Investment, Corporate Finance and Governance
O43 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Institutions and Growth
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
8 September 2008
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 95
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Abstract
This paper reviews financial stability challenges in the EU candidate countries Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It examines the financial sectors in these three economies, which, while at very different stages of development and embedded in quite diverse economic settings, are all in a process of rapid financial deepening. This manifests itself most clearly in the rapid pace of growth in credit to the private sector. This process of financial deepening is largely a natural and welcome catching-up phenomenon, but it has also increased the credit risks borne by the banking sectors in the three economies. These credit risks are compounded by the widespread use of foreign currency-denominated or -indexed loans, leaving unhedged bank customers exposed to potential swings in exchange rates or foreign interest rates. Moreover, these financial risks form part of a broader nexus of vulnerabilities in the economies concerned, in particular the external vulnerabilities arising from increasing private sector external indebtedness. That said, the paper also finds that the authorities in the three countries have taken several policy actions to reduce these financial and external vulnerabilities and to strengthen the resilience of the financial sectors.
JEL Code
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
26 July 2010
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 115
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Abstract
This paper reviews financial stability challenges in the EU candidate countries: Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. It follows a macro-prudential approach, emphasising systemic risks and the stability of financial systems as a whole. The paper recalls that the economies of all three countries experienced a recession in 2008-09 and shows how this slowed the rapid process of financial deepening that had been taking place since the beginning of the last decade. The deteriorating economic and financial conditions manifested themselves, first and foremost, through a marked deterioration in asset quality. These direct credit risks were compounded by the transformation of exchange and interest rate risks through a widespread use of foreign exchange-denominated or indexed loans and variable or adjustable interest rate loans. Moreover, funding and liquidity risks also materialised to some extent, although fully fledged bank runs were avoided, and none of the countries experienced a sharp reversal in external financing. Overall, the deterioration in asset quality has so far been managed well by the banking systems of the candidate countries, facilitated by large capital buffers, pro-active macro-prudential policies pursued by the authorities both before and during the crisis and the relative stability of exchange rates. Looking ahead, although uncertainties remain high regarding credit quality, the shock-absorbing capacities of the banking systems are fairly robust, as also evidenced by their relative resilience so far. Nevertheless, as the economic recovery sets in, the central banks should return to and possibly reinforce the implementation of measures to avoid a pro-cyclical build-up of credit asset) boom-bust cycles. Furthermore, given the relevance of foreign-owned banks in two of the three countries, a continued strengthening of home-host cooperation in the supervisory area will be crucial to avoid any kind of regulatory arbitrage.
JEL Code
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
20 September 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1244
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This paper analyses the relationship between openness to trade and wages at the industry level (15 manufacturing industries) in 25 EU countries over the period from 1995 to 2005. By applying a cross-country and industry-specific approach, it is possible to control for unobserved heterogeneity at both country and industry levels. We also differentiate between intra and inter-industry trade as well as between trade from western and eastern Europe and we try to assess the relative importance of foreign wages versus domestic productivity developments in an open environment. We find that trade is not an important driver of wages, since the wage response to trade is small. Moreover, in line with the Stolper-Samuelson reasoning, imports from the west generally benefit wages in central and eastern Europe, while imports from the east rather tend to harm wages in the west. The overall wage response is still negative in some sectors, particularly in more resource-based industries. Nevertheless, increased trade reinforces the productivity-wage link and weakens the co-movement of wages particularly in the west, while at the industry level there is little evidence of such a wage-disciplining effect of trade.
JEL Code
F14 : International Economics→Trade→Empirical Studies of Trade
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F16 : International Economics→Trade→Trade and Labor Market Interactions
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
15 May 2017
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 190
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Abstract
This paper reviews and assesses financial stability challenges in countries preparing for EU membership i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. The paper focuses on the period since 2014 and on the banking sectors that dominate financial systems in this group of countries. It identifies two main near-term challenges applying to most of them. The first relates to credit risk, which remains substantial despite some progress in reducing the burden of non-performing loans on banks’ balance sheets in the period under review. However, progress so far is limited, partly owing to structural impediments. The second relates to the still high share of foreign exchange denominated loans and deposits, which poses an indirect credit risk in the case of lending to unhedged borrowers and impairs the monetary transmission channel. In addition, profitability is worth monitoring going forward, as it remains subdued in many countries given high provisioning needs and a lacklustre credit growth and low interest rate environment. These concerns are generally met with a solid shock-absorbing capacity, as exemplified by robust capital and liquidity buffers.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
10 May 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 3, 2018
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Abstract
This article establishes stylised facts about convergence and analyses the sources of economic growth in central, eastern and south-eastern European (CESEE) economies within and outside the European Union (EU).22 It also compares the performance across countries and identifies the challenges that these economies face on the way to further advancing convergence. Although all CESEE economies have converged towards the most advanced EU economies since 2000, progress has been heterogeneous. While some countries have experienced fast economic growth and a speedy catching-up, for others the catching-up process has been rather slow. Economic convergence has been much faster in the CESEE countries that became members of the EU (including those which later joined the euro area) than in the Western Balkan countries that are currently EU candidates or potential candidates. Convergence was particularly rapid before the global financial crisis, but slowed down thereafter. The article identifies several factors that are common to the most successful countries in the region in terms of the pace of convergence since 2000. These include (inter alia) improvements in institutional quality, external competitiveness and innovation, increases in trade openness, high or improving levels of human capital, and relatively high investment rates. Looking ahead, accelerating and sustaining convergence in the region will require further efforts to enhance institutional quality and innovation, reinvigorate investment, and address the adverse impact of population ageing. For EU candidates and potential candidates, EU accession prospects might constitute an anchor for reform momentum – in particular, but not exclusively, in the key area of enhancing institutional quality – and thus support the long-term growth prospects and real convergence of these countries.
JEL Code
E01 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth, Environmental Accounts
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
O11 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Development→Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O43 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Institutions and Growth
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence
16 September 2019
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 233
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Abstract
This paper reviews and assesses financial stability challenges in countries preparing for EU membership, i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. The paper mainly focuses on the period since 2016 (unless the analysis requires a longer time span) and on the banking sectors that dominate financial systems in this group of countries. For the Western Balkans, the paper analyses recent trends in financial intermediation, as well as the two main challenges that have been identified in the past. Asset quality continues to improve, but the share of non-performing loans is still high in some countries, while regulatory, legal and tax impediments are still to be resolved in most cases. High unofficial euroisation is a source of indirect credit risk for countries with their own national legal tender, which calls for continued efforts to promote the use of domestic currencies in the financial system. At the same time, banking systems seem less prone to financial stress from maturity mismatches than certain EU peers. These risks are met with a solid shock-absorbing capacity in the Western Balkans, as exemplified by robust capital and liquidity buffers. Turkey experienced a period of heightened financial stress during 2018 and, while its banking system appears to have sufficient buffers to absorb shocks overall, significant forex borrowing of corporates and high rollover needs of banks in foreign exchange on the wholesale market constitute considerable financial stability risks.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation