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Maximilian Freier

27 April 2022
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 291
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Abstract
This paper assesses the potential economic impact of Next Generation EU (NGEU), focusing on the euro area. Its findings suggest that the envisaged national investment and reform plans present a coherent package to support both recovery from the pandemic-induced crisis and longer-term modernisation of the euro area economy through their digital and green transitions. NGEU, however, can only unfold its full potential if all plans are implemented in a timely and effective way. We estimate the impact of the national plans on output, inflation and public debt using ECB staff economic models under the assumption of successful implementation. Specifically, NGEU is expected to take effect through three channels: structural reform, fiscal stimulus and risk premium. Overall, NGEU may increase gross domestic product (GDP) in the euro area by up to 1.5% by 2026, with the impact expected to be significantly larger in the main beneficiary countries. In Italy and Spain, two of the main beneficiaries, the public debt-to-GDP ratio may be more than 10 percentage points lower by 2031. At the same time, all euro area countries are expected to benefit from NGEU through positive spillovers, greater economic resilience and convergence across countries. Finally, the effect of NGEU on euro area inflation over the medium term is deemed to be contained to the extent that the inflationary effect of additional public expenditure is offset, at least to some degree, by the disinflationary effect of greater productive capacity resulting from the planned structural reform and investment measures.
JEL Code
C54 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Quantitative Policy Modeling
E02 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Institutions and the Macroeconomy
E22 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Capital, Investment, Capacity
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F45 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
H87 : Public Economics→Miscellaneous Issues→International Fiscal Issues, International Public Goods
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
15 February 2022
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 1, 2022
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Abstract
The article takes stock of Next Generation EU (NGEU) from a euro area perspective. NGEU is a temporary crisis instrument that, if implemented successfully, is expected to significantly improve Europe’s economic prospects. In the short term, it should support the recovery of the EU economy. In the medium term, NGEU should help to modernise the EU economies, with positive effects on their growth potential, resilience and convergence. The article provides a synthesis of the fiscal measures and structural reforms embedded in the national recovery and resilience plans of euro area countries. It also looks at the economic impact of the planned investments. Finally, the article examines the novel governance approach that can sustain a successful implementation of NGEU.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
F47 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
11 January 2022
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 288
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Abstract
A key element of the European reform agenda is to simplify the EU fiscal governance framework by moving towards a single debt anchor and a single operational indicator as the basis for formulating fiscal targets and assessing compliance. This paper puts forward an in-depth analysis of two alternative fiscal performance indicators currently used in the EU fiscal framework: the change in the structural balance and the expenditure benchmark. Comparing these two indicators allows us to identify options for the design of a fiscal performance measure – such as assumptions on cyclical adjustment and the inclusion of fiscal variables – and assess their policy impact. Our paper finds that the expenditure benchmark used in the EU fiscal governance framework has advantages over the change in the structural balance. However, it still has scope for improvement. The paper also shows that taking account of interest payments in the expenditure benchmark would make fiscal policy more supportive of the monetary policy stance.
JEL Code
C54 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Quantitative Policy Modeling
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E65 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
F54 : International Economics→International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy→Colonialism, Imperialism, Postcolonialism
F47 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
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
23 September 2020
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 6, 2020
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Abstract
Fiscal policy is playing a key role in stemming the economic fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition to the discretionary fiscal policy measures employed by governments, automatic fiscal stabilisers play an important role in cushioning the economic downturn. This article shows that automatic fiscal stabilisers are generally sizeable in the euro area, but vary significantly across Member States. However, their effectiveness may be more limited at the current juncture, given the nature of the COVID-19 crisis and the high uncertainty surrounding its effects. This provides a rationale for a stronger role of discretionary fiscal policy at national and European level. Over the medium term, fiscal policies could increasingly make use of quasi-automatic fiscal instruments that provide additional timely, targeted and temporary macroeconomic stabilisation for the euro area. Careful consideration should be given to the design of such instruments over the business cycle, their economic efficiency, and to the need for building fiscal buffers in good times.
JEL Code
H12 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Crisis Management
H20 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→General
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
4 May 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2399
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Abstract
We consider the effects of quantitative easing on liquidity and prices of bonds in a search-and matching model. The model explicitly distinguishes between demand and supply effects of central bank asset purchases. Both are shown to lead to a decline in yields, while they have opposite effects on market liquidity. This results in a price-liquidity trade-off. Initially, liquidity improves in reaction to central bank demand. As the central bank buys and holds bonds, supply becomes scarcer and other buyers are crowded out. As a result, liquidity can fall below initial levels. The magnitude of the effects depend on the presence of preferred habitat investors. In markets with a higher share of these investors, bonds are scarcer and central bank asset purchases lower yields more. With a lower share of preferred habitat investors and a relatively illiquid market, central bank demand has a stronger positive effect on liquidity. We are the first to construct an index from bond holding data to measure the prevalence of preferred habitat investors in each euro area country. Subsequently, we calibrate the model to the euro area and show how yields and liquidity are affected by the European Central Banks asset purchase programme.
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
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
Network
Research Task Force (RTF)
8 April 2020
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 239
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Abstract
After the financial and economic crisis in Europe, a broad consensus has emerged that a stronger fiscal dimension may be needed to complete the architecture of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This paper analyses the performance of interregional transfers in existing fiscal-federal systems, notably in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the United States, and aims to draw lessons for the design of a euro area fiscal instrument. The empirical risk-sharing analysis in this paper suggests that effective cross-regional stabilisation of asymmetric shocks tends to work via direct cash transfers to households, such as unemployment benefits, which are financed out of cyclical central government taxes and social security contributions. This would suggest that a euro area budgetary instrument for stabilisation should be designed as a tool that enhances the automatic stabilisation capacity in the single currency area. At the same time, it seems important that a prospective central stabilisation instrument for the euro area would be integrated in an overall fiscal policy framework that ensures proper incentives for national policymakers.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H77 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→Intergovernmental Relations, Federalism, Secession