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Guido Wolswijk

Monetary Policy

Division

Monetary Policy Strategy

Current Position

Adviser

Fields of interest

Public Economics,Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

Email

guido.wolswijk@ecb.int

Education
1986-1990

PhD in Economics, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

1982-1986

MA in Economics, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

1979-1982

School for Higher Education in Economics and Management, Arnhem, The Netherlands

Professional experience
2014-

Adviser - Monetary Policy Strategy Division, Directorate General Monetary Policy, European Central Bank

2009-2014

Principal Economist/Adviser - Monetary Policy Stance Division, Directorate General Monetary Policy, European Central Bank

2000-2009

Senior/Principal Economist - Fiscal Policies Division, Directorate General Economics, European Central Bank

1997-2000

Senior Economist - ING Economics Department, the Netherlands

1990-1997

Economist - Monetary and Economic Policy Department, De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands

21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 273
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Abstract
The last review of the ECB’s monetary policy strategy in 2003 followed a period of predominantly upside risks to price stability. Experience following the 2008 financial crisis has focused renewed attention on the question of how monetary and fiscal policy should best interact, in particular in an environment of structurally low interest rates and persistent downside risks to price stability. This debate has been further intensified by the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the euro area, the unique architecture of a monetary union consisting of sovereign Member States, with cross-country heterogeneities and weaknesses in its overall construction, poses important challenges. Against this background, this report revisits monetary-fiscal policy interactions in the euro area from a monetary policy perspective and with a focus on the ramifications for price stability and maintaining central bank independence and credibility. The report consists of three parts. The first chapter presents a conceptual framework for thinking about monetary-fiscal policy interactions, thereby setting the stage for a discussion of specifically euro area aspects and challenges in subsequent parts of the report. In particular, it reviews the main ingredients of the pre-global financial crisis consensus on monetary-fiscal policy interactions and addresses significant new insights and refinements which have gained prominence since 2003. In doing so, the chapter distinguishes between general conceptual aspects – i.e. those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and a single fiscal authority and those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and many fiscal authorities (a multi-country monetary union). ...
JEL Code
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
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
F45 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
24 March 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 2, 2021
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Abstract
This article reviews recent evidence on the interaction between monetary policy and household inequality. While economic inequality has been trending upwards in most advanced economies since the early 1980s, this analysis concludes that monetary policy has not been a major driver of those long-term trends. On the contrary, the accommodative monetary policies of recent years have had an equalising effect, particularly through employment gains for lower income households. Moreover, there is now more evidence showing that the distribution of income and wealth plays a key role in the transmission of monetary policy to household spending. However, while improvements to models and data have contributed to a better understanding of the ways in which household heterogeneity shapes the transmission of monetary policy, several unsolved puzzles remain, necessitating further research efforts.
JEL Code
D3 : Microeconomics→Distribution
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
3 July 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2437
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Abstract
This study analyses the choice of government debt managers in the euro area between issuing short‐term or long‐term debt over the period 1992‐2017. Debt managers increased short‐term debt issuance in response to higher interest rate spreads and to rising government debt, notably in vulnerable, high‐debt countries. Thus, lower long-term rates as a result of ECB’s Quantitative Easing (QE) triggered debt managers to focus debt issuance on the long‐term end. Moreover, the usual increase in debt maturity when debt rises ceases to operate when QE is active, possibly because markets perceived it as a backstop to the government bond market. However, limited QE experience calls for caution in interpreting the results.
JEL Code
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
24 September 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1477
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Abstract
While the established literature on central bank communication has traditionally dealt with communication of monetary policy messages to financial markets and the wider public, central bank communication on fiscal policy has so far received little attention. This paper empirically reviews the intensity of central banks’ fiscal communication by five central banks (the US Federal Reserve, the ECB, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Swedish Riksbank) over the period 1999-2011. To that end, it develops a fiscal indicator measuring the fiscal-related communication in minutes or introductory statements. Our findings indicate that the ECB communicates intensively on fiscal policies in both positive as well as normative terms. Other central banks more typically refer to fiscal policy when describing foreign developments relevant to domestic macroeconomic developments, when using fiscal policy as input to forecasts, or when referring to the use of government debt instruments in monetary policy operations. The empirical analysis also indicates that the financial crisis has overall increased the intensity of central bank communication on fiscal policy. It identifies the evolution of the government deficit ratio as a driver of the intensity of fiscal communication by central banks in the euro area, the US and Japan, and for Sweden since the start of the crisis. In England the fiscal share in central bank communication is related to developments in government debt as of the start of the crisis.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
23 February 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1152
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Abstract
This note looks at US$ and DM/Euro denominated government bond spreads relative to US and German benchmark bonds before and after the start of the current financial crisis. The study finds, first, that bond yield spreads before and during the crisis can largely be explained on the basis of economic principles. Second, markets penalise fiscal imbalances much more strongly after the Lehman default in September 2008 than before. There is also a significant increase in the spread on non-benchmark bonds due to higher general risk aversion, and German bonds obtained a safe-haven investment status similar to that of the US which they did not have before the crisis. These findings underpin the need for achieving sound fiscal positions in good times and complying with the Stability and Growth Pact.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
H74 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→State and Local Borrowing
31 March 2009
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 101
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Abstract
This report analyses the main developments in housing finance in the euro area in the decade, covering the period from 1999 to 2007. It looks at mortgage indebtedness, various characteristics of loans for house purchase, the funding of such loans and the spreads between the interest rates on loans granted by banks and the interest rates banks had to pay on their funding, or the return they made on alternative investments. In addition, the report contains a comparison of key aspects of housing finance in the euro area with those in the United Kingdom and the United States. At the end, the report briefly discusses aspects of the transmission of monetary policy to the economy.
JEL Code
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
R21 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Household Analysis→Housing Demand
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
31 March 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 879
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Abstract
This paper focuses on risk premiums paid by central governments in Europe and sub-national governments in Germany, Spain, and Canada. With regard to the European governments, we are interested in how these premiums were affected by the introduction of the euro. Using data for bond yield spreads relative to an appropriate benchmark, for the period 1991-2005, we find that risk premiums incurred by central governments of EU member states respond positively to central government debts and deficits. This is consistent with the notion of market-imposed fiscal discipline. We find that German states and, among them, especially those usually receiving transfers under the German fiscal equalization system, enjoyed a very favourable position in the financial markets before EMU as their risk premiums did not respond to fiscal balances. This special status seems to have disappeared with start of EMU. Monetary union, therefore, imposes more fiscal discipline on German states. In contrast, Spanish provinces paid risk premiums related to their fiscal balances both before and after the start of EMU. Both German and Spanish sub-central governments paid fixed interest rate premiums over their national governments which became smaller after the introduction of the euro and are more likely to be interpreted as liquidity premiums. We also estimate empirical models of risk premiums for Canadian provinces for which we find financial market penalties of adverse fiscal balances and debt indicators. However, as in the case of Germany before EMU, those provinces that typically receive transfers under the Canadian fiscal equalization scheme have a more favourable bond market treatment than others. The evidence of market discipline at work in European government bond markets supports the notion that the no-bailout clause in the EU Treaty is credible.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
H74 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→State and Local Borrowing
13 June 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 763
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Abstract
This paper provides estimates for the base elasticities of Dutch taxes, paying particular attention to differences between short-and long-term elasticities, and allowing for asymmetric adjustment. Estimates are presented for five tax categories for the period 1970-2005, after making appropriate corrections for effects of discretionary tax measures. The empirical results indicate that shortterm elasticities often are lower than long-term ones, notably when taxes are subdued. Consequently, shocks to tax revenues tend to be aggravated by the dynamics of short-term elasticities. Ignoring differences between short- and long-term elasticities contributes to revenue ‘surprises’ and an incorrect assessment of the fiscal stance.
JEL Code
H2 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
H62 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Deficit, Surplus
H68 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt
24 April 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 745
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Abstract
This paper studies the determinants of interest rate spreads of euro area 10 year government bonds against the benchmark, the German bund, after the introduction of the euro. In particular, it pays attention to the question whether market discipline is advanced or obstructed by financial integration and by fiscal rules like the Stability and Growth Pact. We first argue that financial integration - by improving market efficiency - is instrumental for markets to exert their disciplinary role. Next, we discuss the relationships between market discipline and fiscal rules, arguing that these in principle may reinforce each other. Finally, we provide strong empirical evidence that spreads depend on the ratings of the underlying bond and to a large extent are driven by the level of short-term interest rates.
JEL Code
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
28 September 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 526
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Abstract
This paper analyses some fiscal aspects of mortgage debt in the EU. It first describes the main fiscal instruments that governments use to affect mortgage-financed home-ownership. In the empirical part, real mortgage debt growth is analysed for 15 EU countries using pooled regressions. Fiscal effects are included via after-tax interest rates. Other factors shown to be relevant for mortgage debt growth are house prices, financial deregulation, and stock markets while the effects of household income and inflation are less evident. Finally, the role of structural fiscal measures in reducing housing market volatility is highlighted.
JEL Code
E51 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Money Supply, Credit, Money Multipliers
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
H31 : Public Economics→Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents→Household
R21 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Household Analysis→Housing Demand
1 March 2005
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 25
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Abstract
This paper reviews recent developments in the management of government debt in the euro area, covering both theoretical and practical aspects. It focuses on key aspects of debt management; the objectives of debt management, its organisation, the maturity of debt, inflation-indexation, currency-denomination, the ownership of debt, and debt issuing and trading practices. Main adjustments include an increase in autonomy of debt management agencies, and a convergence in debt maturities and in debt issuing strategies. Issuance of inflation-indexed bonds and the use of interest rate swaps have increased strongly. While the share of government debt denominated in non-domestic currencies is falling, foreign ownership of euro area government debt is increasing markedly. The observed changes in recent years in part reflect the introduction of the euro and the related integration of European capital markets.
JEL Code
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
20 December 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 422
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Abstract
Fiscal balances have deteriorated quickly in recent years, bringing back to the foreground the question what factors help explain such sharp changes. This paper takes a broad perspective at the issue regarding countries included, the range of explanatory variables tried, and the time-span. The empirical analysis shows that changes in budget balances are affected by debt growth, macroeconomic developments and political factors. In particular, we find that the run-up to EMU induced additional consolidation in Europe and that budget balances deteriorate markedly in election years. Asset prices also may affect budgets, but the impact remains limited in normal times.
JEL Code
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H61 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Budget, Budget Systems
H62 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Deficit, Surplus
2013
European Journal of Political Economy
  • Allard, j., Catenaro,M., Vidal, J.P. and Wolswijk, G.
2012
European Economic Review
  • Pozzi, L. and Wolswijk, G.
2011
European Journal of Political Economy
  • Wolswijk, G., Schuknecht, L. and von Hagen, J.
2009
European Journal of Political Economy
  • Schuknecht, L., von Hagen, J. and Wolswijk, G.
2009
Journal of Public Finance
Causality between Government Revenues and Spending in Europe
  • Wolswijk, G.
2009
Economic Policy
  • Manganelli, S. and Wolswijk, G.
2009
Economics Bulletin
  • Wolswijk,G.
2007
Empirica
  • Tujula, M. and Wolswijk, G.
2006
Public Finance and Management
Government Debt Management in Europe: Recent Changes in Debt Managers’ Strategies
  • De Haan, J. and Wolswijk, G.
2006
European Journal of Housing Policy
  • Wolswijk, G.
2009
Housing Market Challenges in Europe and the United States - any solutions available?
Fiscal Aspects of Housing in Europe
  • Arestis, P., Mooslechner, P. and Wagner, K., eds. Palgrave Macmillan
2009
VoxEU
  • Schuknecht, L., von Hagen, J. and Wolswijk, G.
2007
Paper presented at the ECB Public Finance Workshop ‘Challenges for government spending in the EU’, Frankfurt am Main, 6 December
Volatility of public spending in EU Member States
  • Wolswijk, G.