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Philipp Rother

25 April 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 473
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Abstract
We study fiscal consolidations in the Central and Eastern European countries and what determines the probability of their success. We define consolidation events as substantive improvements in fiscal balances adjusting for the impact of cyclical effects. We use Logit models for the period 1991-2003 to assess the determinants of the success of a fiscal adjustment. The results seem to suggest that for these countries expenditure based consolidations have tended to be more successful. By contrast, revenue based consolidations have a tendency to be less successful.
JEL Code
C25 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H62 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Deficit, Surplus
28 August 2006
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 51
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Abstract
This paper examines the macroeconomic consequences of future demographic trends for economic growth, financial markets and public finances. It shows that in the absence of reforms and responses by economic agents, the currently projected demographic trends imply a decline in average real GDP growth and a severe burden in terms of pay-as-you-go pension and health care systems. Population ageing will change the financial landscape, with a potentially larger role for financial intermediaries and asset prices. All this points to a need to closely monitor demographic change also from a monetary policy perspective. While population projections are surrounded by considerable uncertainty and the effects of demographic change tend to be drawn out, the magnitude of the potential effects calls for an early recognition of this issue. This paper provides some input to the examination of possible policy issues.
JEL Code
J11 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence
16 January 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 711
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In this paper we study the determinants of sovereign debt credit ratings using rating notations from the three main international rating agencies, for the period 1995-2005. We employ panel estimation and random effects ordered probit approaches to assess the explanatory power of several macroeconomic and public governance variables. Our results point to a good performance of the estimated models, across agencies and across the time dimension, as well as a good overall prediction power. Relevant explanatory variables for a country's credit rating are: GDP per capita, GDP growth, government debt, government effectiveness indicators, external debt, external reserves, and default history.
JEL Code
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C25 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
28 March 2007
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 56
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Abstract
This paper presents a survey of methods for assessing fiscal soundness, i.e. the capability of governments to honour their obligations in the short run and in the long run. The need for a comprehensive monitoring of fiscal soundness derives from the risks to economic stability that arise from the actual or expected difficulty a government may have in honouring its obligations. For the long run, methods derived from the government's intertemporal budget constraint make it possible to assess the size of a necessary adjustment to achieve sustainability of the debt burden. Uncertainty regarding shocks to the fiscal situation or the behaviour of financial market participants calls for the monitoring of financial flows and government obligations in the short run. Vigilance needs to be all the higher, the greater the uncertainty regarding long-term sustainability.
23 February 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 863
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Abstract
This paper aims to address the issue of public pension reforms under demographic ageing that is likely to occur in Europe over the next 50 years. Three possible scenarios are analysed in a Blanchard OLG framework. These include: i) a decrease both in public pensions and the lump sum labour income tax, ii) a decrease both in public pensions and the distortionary corporate tax, iii) an increase in the retirement age. The analysis focuses on the effects of these fiscal policies on key economic variables such as consumption, private and public debt, output and wages. Quantitative experiments assess the impact of different fiscal policies in terms of public debt sustainability but most importantly suggest policies that smooth the transition of the economy to the new equilibrium. The main results suggest that the adverse effects of pension reforms on consumption are moderated when they are accompanied by appropriate taxation policies. In particular, when the tax response is rapid most of the adverse movement in consumption is avoided while public and national debt reach lower equilibrium levels.
JEL Code
E6 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
H3 : Public Economics→Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
J1 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics
H55 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→Social Security and Public Pensions
13 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1029
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Abstract
This paper provides evidence on the role of net fiscal transfers to households and EU structural funds for per-capita output convergence across a large sample of European regions during the period 1995-2005. We find that net fiscal transfers, while achieving regional redistribution, seem to impede output growth and promote an "immiserising convergence": output growth rates in poor receiving regions decline by less than in rich paying regions. EU structural and cohesion funds spent during 1994-1999 had a positive, but slight, impact on future economic growth, mainly through the human development component.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
R11 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→General Regional Economics→Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
R23 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Household Analysis→Regional Migration, Regional Labor Markets, Population, Neighborhood Characteristics
28 October 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1101
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Abstract
We investigate the impact of fiscal variables on bond yield spreads relative to US Treasury bonds in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Turkey from May 1998 to December 2007. To account for the importance of market expectations we use projected values for fiscal and macroeconomic variables generated from Consensus Economics Forecasts. Moreover, we compare results from panel regressions with those from country (seemingly unrelated regression) estimates, and conduct analogous regressions for a control group of Latin American countries. We find that the role of the individual explanatory variables, including the importance of fiscal variables, varies across countries.
JEL Code
C33 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
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
H62 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Deficit, Surplus
14 April 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1169
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Abstract
We study the impact of numerical expenditure rules on the propensity of governments to deviate from expenditure targets in response to surprises in cyclical conditions. Theoretical considerations suggest that due to political fragmentation in the budgetary process expenditure policy might be prone to a pro-cyclical bias. However, this tendency may be mitigated by numerical expenditure rules. These hypotheses are tested against data from a panel of EU Member States. Our key findings are that (i) deviations between actual and planned government expenditure are positively related to unanticipated changes in the output gap, and (ii) numerical expenditure rules reduce this pro-cyclical bias. Moreover, the pro-cyclical spending bias is found to be particularly pronounced for spending items with a high degree of budgetary flexibility.
JEL Code
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
14 April 2010
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 109
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Abstract
In mid-September 2008, a global financial crisis erupted which was followed by the most serious worldwide economic recession for decades. As in many other regions of the world, governments in the euro area stepped in with a wide range of emergency measures to stabilise the financial sector and to cushion the negative consequences for their economies. This paper examines how and to what extent these crisis-related interventions, as well as the fall-out from the recession, have had an impact on fiscal positions and endangered the longer-term sustainability of public finances in the euro area and its member countries. The paper also discusses the appropriate design of fiscal exit and consolidation strategies in the context of the Stability and Growth Pact to ensure a rapid return to sound and sustainable budget positions. Finally, it reviews some early lessons from the crisis for the future conduct of fiscal policies in the euro area.
JEL Code
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
E2 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
23 August 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1237
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Abstract
This paper investigates the average impact of government debt on per-capita GDP growth in twelve euro area countries over a period of about 40 years starting in 1970. It finds a non-linear impact of debt on growth with a turning point—beyond which the government debt-to-GDP ratio has a deleterious impact on long-term growth—at about 90-100% of GDP. Confidence intervals for the debt turning point suggest that the negative growth effect of high debt may start already from levels of around 70-80% of GDP, which calls for even more prudent indebtedness policies. At the same time, there is evidence that the annual change of the public debt ratio and the budget deficit-to-GDP ratio are negatively and linearly associated with per-capita GDP growth. The channels through which government debt (level or change) is found to have an impact on the economic growth rate are: (i) private saving; (ii) public investment; (iii) total factor productivity (TFP) and (iv) sovereign long-term nominal and real interest rates. From a policy perspective, the results provide additional arguments for debt reduction to support longer-term economic growth prospects.
JEL Code
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
O40 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→General
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
15 September 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1241
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Abstract
The financial crisis of 2008/2009 has left European economies with a sizeable public debt stock bringing back the question what factors help to reduce these fiscal imbalances. Using data for the period 1985-2009 this paper identifies factors determining major public debt reductions. On average, the total debt reduction per country amounted to almost 37 percentage points of GDP. We estimate several specifications of a logistic probability model. Our findings suggest that, first, major debt reductions are mainly driven by decisive and lasting (rather than timid and short-lived) fiscal consolidation efforts focused on reducing government expenditure, in particular, cuts in social benefits and public wages. Second, robust real GDP growth also increases the likelihood of a major debt reduction because it helps countries to "grow their way out" of indebtedness. Third, high debt servicing costs play a disciplinary role strengthened by market forces and require governments to set up credible plans to stop and reverse the increasing debt ratios.
JEL Code
C35 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
5 November 2010
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 121
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Abstract
This paper looks at fiscal sustainability and fiscal risks from a comprehensive, global perspective. It argues that the benefits of consolidation have to be re-assessed given that industrialised countries have entered uncharted waters with unsustainable public debt dynamics and enormous contingent liabilities across sectors and countries coinciding with strong, non-linear and potentially highly adverse fiscal-financial interlinkages. This suggests that there would be significant benefits from fiscal consolidation without delay and that there is a need for caution against excessive faith in fiscal engineering.
JEL Code
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
22 September 2011
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 129
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Abstract
The sovereign debt crisis in the euro area is a symptom of policy failures and deficiencies in
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
11 July 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1450
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Abstract
Against the background of the euro area sovereign debt crisis, our paper investigates the relationship between public debt and economic growth and adds to the existing literature in the following ways. First, we extend the threshold panel methodology by Hansen (1999) to a dynamic setting in order to analyse the nonlinear impact of public debt on GDP growth. Second, we focus on 12 euro area countries for the period 1990-2010, therefore adding to the current discussion on debt sustainability in the euro area. Our empirical results suggest that the shortrun impact of debt on GDP growth is positive and highly statistically significant, but decreases to around zero and loses significance beyond public debt-to-GDP ratios of around 67%. This result is robust throughout most of our specifications, in the dynamic and non-dynamic threshold models alike. For high debt-to-GDP ratios (above 95%), additional debt has a negative impact on economic activity. Furthermore, we can show that the long-term interest rate is subject to increased pressure when the public debt-to-GDP ratio is above 70%, broadly supporting the above findings.
JEL Code
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
O40 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→General
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
C20 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→General
24 September 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1472
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Abstract
This paper highlights the importance of debt-related fiscal rules and derives growth-maximising public debt ratios from a simple theoretical model. On the basis of evidence on the productivity of public capital, we estimate public debt targets that governments should try to maintain if they wish to maximise growth for panels of OECD, EU and euro area countries, respectively. These are not arbitrary numbers, as many of the fiscal rules in the literature suggest, but are founded on long-run optimising behaviour, assuming that governments implement the so-called golden rule over the cycle; that is, they contract debt only to finance public investment. Our estimates suggest that the euro area should target debt levels of around 50% of GDP if member states are to have common targets. That is about 15 percentage points lower than the estimate for the growth-maximising debt ratio in our OECD sample and comfortably within the Stability and Growth Pact's debt ceiling of 60% of GDP. We also indicate how forward looking budget reaction functions fit into a debt targeting framework.
JEL Code
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
E22 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Capital, Investment, Capacity
O40 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→General
28 October 2015
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1863
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Abstract
This paper investigates the impact of fiscal consolidation on economic growth in European Union countries, between 2004 and 2013. We construct a new dataset of exogenous fiscal adjustments, relying on legally binding recommendations issued to countries under Excessive Deficit Procedure, and we identify exogenous policy changes by using this dataset as instrumental variable in a GMM framework. We estimate the size of the fiscal multiplier both in a linear setting as well as in a state-dependent setting, considering four different circumstances: the state of the business cycle, the degree of openness to trade, the composition of the fiscal adjustment and the presence of a stressed credit market, as manifested by an impaired monetary policy transmission. We find that the size of the multiplier varies significantly under the various states: the distribution of multipliers is quite asymmetric, and a few consolidation episodes yield multipliers above one. We find that the composition of the fiscal adjustments is crucial in containing the output cost of consolidation, and in determining its persistence. Fiscal adjustments made via cuts to transfers and subsidies, or via tax increases, are usually associated with multipliers at or below unity, even when the economy is in recession. We also find evidence of confidence effects when consolidation is made under stressed credit markets and high interest rates. In a small number of episodes, involving open economies benefitting from confidence effects, we find that fiscal adjustments seem to be expansionary.
JEL Code
C33 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy