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Michael Sturm

28 December 2002
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 7
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Abstract
This paper reviews the economic, monetary and financial relations between the EU and the euro area and a set of countries in a broad set of neighbouring regions. The 80 or so countries are mostly classified as transition, emerging or developing economies and belong to four main regions: the Western Balkans; the European part of the Commonwealth of Independent States; the Middle East and Northern Africa; and Sub-Saharan Africa. In many respects, these countries are diverse; however, some common features can also be identified. One of these common features is the fact that the euro area is their largest trading partner and the largest originator of international bank credit, foreign direct investment and official development assistance; meanwhile, from a euro area perspective, while these countries account for a somewhat smaller share of external trade, they are important as providers of energy, other raw materials and agricultural products.
30 June 2005
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 31
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Abstract
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plans to introduce a single currency by 2010 in its six member states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This paper focuses on selected macroeconomic and institutional issues and key policy choices which are likely to arise during the process of monetary integration. The main findings are that (i) a supranational GCC monetary institution is required to conduct a single monetary and exchange rate policy geared to economic, monetary and financial conditions in the monetary union as a whole; (ii) GCC member states have already achieved a remarkable degree of monetary convergence, but fiscal convergence remains a challenge and needs to be supported by an appropriate fiscal policy framework; and (iii) there is currently a high degree of structural convergence, although this is expected to diminish in view of the process of diversification in GCC economies, which calls for adequate policy responses.
JEL Code
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
21 August 2007
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 69
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Abstract
Southern and eastern Mediterranean countries have many fiscal challenges in common with other emerging market and mature economies concerning deficit and debt reduction and the maintenance of fiscal discipline. However, most countries in the region also face some specific fiscal issues, such as relatively high public debt, dependence on some form or another of donor dependence or concessional financing, high budgetary exposure to fluctuations in hydrocarbon prices, high defence expenditure and weak tax bases. Against this background, this paper reviews fiscal developments and fiscal policy issues in the ten countries that are participants or observers in the EU's Barcelona process. The main focus is on the implications of these developments and issues for macroeconomic stability, given that countries in the region have made considerable progress in terms of macroeconomic stabilisation over the last two decades, which is reflected in particular in lower inflation rates. The analysis distinguishes between non-oil-producing and oil-producing countries in the region, as they exhibit different fiscal features and are confronted with different challenges. In the case of non-oil-producing countries, the key challenges stem from high deficits and debt levels, including implicit and contingent liabilities, notwithstanding some progress in fiscal consolidation in most of these countries over the last years. In the case of oil-producing countries, whose fiscal situation has significantly improved in recent years in the wake of high oil prices, the key challenges for fiscal management stem from the heavy reliance on an exhaustible source of revenues and a large exposure to fluctuations in international hydrocarbon prices. A shock originating from - or being transmitted via and exacerbated by - the fiscal sector appears to be the single most important macroeconomic risk in many countries.
23 July 2008
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 92
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Abstract
In the wake of high and rising oil prices since 2003, the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have seen dynamic economic development, enhancing their role in the global economy as investors and trade partners. Real GDP growth has been buoyant, with non- oil activity expanding faster than oil GDP. Macroeconomic developments have also been characterised by large fiscal and current account surpluses as a result of rising oil revenues, notwithstanding fiscal expansion and rapid import growth. The most significant macroeconomic challenge faced by GCC countries is rising inflation in an environment in which the contribution of monetary policy to containing inflationary pressure is constrained by the exchange rate regimes. The overall favourable macroeconomic backdrop of recent years has provided GCC countries with an opportunity to tackle long-standing structural challenges, such as the diversification of oil-centred economies and reform of the labour markets. In a global context, apart from developing into a pole of global economic growth, GCC countries - together with other oil-exporting countries - have become a major net supplier of capital in global markets, second only to East Asia. As a result, they have become part of the international policy debate on global imbalances. Furthermore, GCC countries are home to some of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, which raises several financial stability issues. Their role as trade partners has also increased, with the European Union being the only major region in the world maintaining a significant surplus in bilateral trade with the GCC. GCC countries are also key players in global energy markets in terms of production, exports and the availability of spare capacity. Their role is likely to become even more pivotal in the future as they command vast oil and gas reserves and benefit from relatively low costs in exploiting oil reserves.
JEL Code
F14 : International Economics→Trade→Empirical Studies of Trade
E60 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→General
N15 : Economic History→Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics, Industrial Structure, Growth, Fluctuations→Asia including Middle East
O53 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Asia including Middle East
Q40 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Energy→General
F40 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→General
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
25 June 2009
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 104
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Abstract
Fiscal policy choices have a particularly significant impact on economic performance in oil-exporting countries, owing to the importance of the oil sector in the economy and the fact that in most countries oil revenues accrue to the government. At the same time, fiscal policy in oil-centred economies is facing specific challenges, both in the long run, as regards intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability, and in the short run, as regards macroeconomic stabilisation and fiscal planning. Institutional responses to the specific fiscal challenges in oil-exporting countries involve conservative oil price assumptions in the budget, the establishment of oil stabilisation and savings funds and fiscal rules. Fiscal policy in most oil-exporting countries has been expansionary over the past years in the wake of high oil prices. Fiscal expansion has added to inflationary pressure, and monetary policy has been constrained in tackling inflation as a result of prevailing exchange rate regimes. While, in this context, fiscal policy is the major tool for macroeconomic stabilisation, it has faced competing objectives and considerations. Cyclical considerations would have warranted fiscal restraint, but, in times of high oil prices, pressures to increase public spending have been mounting. Such pressures stem from primarily distribution-related considerations, development-related spending needs (e.g. in the areas of physical and social infrastructure) and international considerations in the context of, for example, global imbalances. The sharp fall in oil prices since mid-2008 has brought to the fore a different question - whether oil exporters can sustain spending levels reached in previous years.
JEL Code
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
H30 : Public Economics→Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents→General
H60 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→General
Q32 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation→Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
Q38 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation→Government Policy
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
12 August 2010
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 118
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Abstract
This paper reviews the impact of the global financial turmoil and the subsequent recession on the economies of southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. The major effects on the economies of this region have come through transmission channels associated with the real economy, i.e. the global recession. These are, in particular, declines in exports, oil revenues, tourism receipts, remittances and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, with the drop in exports so far appearing to have had the strongest impact. As a result, real GDP growth has weakened in the wake of the global crisis. However, the weakening of economic activity in the Mediterranean region has been less pronounced than in advanced economies and most other emerging market regions. The main reason for this is that the direct impact of the global financial turmoil on banking sectors and financial markets in Mediterranean countries has been relatively limited. This is mainly due to (i) their lack of exposure to US mortgage-related assets that turned
JEL Code
C43 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Index Numbers and Aggregation
C51 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Construction and Estimation
D91 : Microeconomics→Intertemporal Choice→Intertemporal Household Choice, Life Cycle Models and Saving