nep-fdg New Economics Papers
on Financial Development and Growth
Issue of 2016‒12‒18
six papers chosen by
Iulia Igescu
Ministry of Presidential Affairs

  1. Is the Macroeconomy Locally Unstable and Why Should We Care? By Beaudry, Paul; Galizia, Dana; Portier, Franck
  2. Bank capital requirements and balance sheet management practices: has the relationship changed after the crisis? By de-Ramon, Sebastian J A; Francis, William; Harris, Qun
  3. "The Short- and Long-run Inconsistency of the Expansionary Austerity Theory: A Post-Keynesian/Evolutionist Critique" By Alberto Botta
  4. The Effect of the Size and the Mix of Public Spending on Growth and Inequality By Jean-Marc Fournier; Åsa Johansson
  5. Taxes and Economic Growth in OECD Countries: A Meta-Analysis By Nazila Alinaghi; W. Robert Reed
  6. On the exposure of the BRIC countries to global economic shocks By Ansgar Belke; Christian Dreger; Irina Dubova

  1. By: Beaudry, Paul; Galizia, Dana; Portier, Franck
    Abstract: In most modern macroeconomic models, the steady state (or balanced growth path) of the system is a local attractor, in the sense that, in the absence of shocks, the economy would converge to the steady state. In this paper, we examine whether the time series behavior of macroeconomic aggregates (especially labor market aggregates) is in fact supportive of this local-stability view of macroeconomic dynamics, or if it instead favors an alternative inter- pretation in which the macroeconomy may be better characterized as being locally unstable, with nonlinear deterministic forces capable of producing endogenous cyclical behavior. To do this, we extend a standard AR representation of the data to allow for smooth nonlinearities. Our main finding is that, even using a procedure that may have low power to detect local instability, the data provide intriguing support for the view that the macroeconomy may be locally unstable and involve limit-cycle forces. An interesting finding is that the degree of nonlinearity we detect in the data is small, but nevertheless enough to alter the description of macroeconomic behavior. We complete the paper with a discussion of the extent to which these two different views about the inherent dynamics of the macroeconomy may matter for policy.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic Fluctuations, Limit Cycle, Unemployment
    JEL: E24 E3 E32
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: de-Ramon, Sebastian J A (Bank of England); Francis, William (Bank of England); Harris, Qun (Bank of England)
    Abstract: We use a proprietary database of individual UK capital requirements spanning 1989 to 2013 and panel regression techniques to evaluate whether the effects of capital requirements on banks’ balance sheet adjustments changed after the 2008–09 financial crisis. We find that after the crisis banks placed more emphasis on overall asset de-leveraging. A 1 percentage point increase in capital requirements lowered total asset growth by 14 basis points before the crisis and 20 basis points after the crisis. We also find evidence of a structural change in banks’ capital management practices, with banks increasing better-quality, Tier 1 capital significantly more in response to higher requirements after the crisis than they did before the crisis. However, the effects of capital requirements on lending and risk-weighted asset growth both before and after the crisis are similar. Our results suggest that both before and after the crisis, a 1 percentage point increase in capital requirements lowered annual loan (risk-weighted asset) growth by 8 (12) basis points.
    Keywords: Banking; regulatory capital requirements; bank capital ratios; bank credit supply; macroprudential tools
    JEL: D21 G21 G28
    Date: 2016–12–09
  3. By: Alberto Botta
    Abstract: This paper provides a critical analysis of expansionary austerity theory (EAT). The focus is on the "theoretical" weaknesses of EAT--the extreme circumstances and fragile assumptions under which expansionary consolidations might actually take place. The paper presents a simple theoretical model that takes inspiration from both the post-Keynesian and evolutionary/institutionalist traditions. First, it demonstrates that well-designed austerity measures hardly trigger short-run economic expansions in the context of expected long-lasting consolidation plans (i.e., when adjustment plans deal with remarkably high debt-to-GDP ratios), when the so-called "financial channel" is not operative (i.e., in the context of monetarily sovereign economies), or when the degree of export responsiveness to internal devaluation is low. Even in the context of non–monetarily sovereign countries (e.g., members of the eurozone), austerity's effectiveness crucially depends on its highly disputable capacity to immediately stabilize fiscal variables. The paper then analyzes some possible long-run economic dynamics, emphasizing the high degree of instability that characterizes austerity-based adjustments plans. Path-dependency and cumulativeness make the short-run impulse effects of fiscal consolidation of paramount importance to (hopefully) obtaining any appreciable medium-to-long-run benefit. Should these effects be contractionary at the onset, the short-run costs of austerity measures can breed an endless spiral of recession and ballooning debt in the long run. If so, in the case of non–monetarily sovereign countries debt forgiveness may emerge as the ultimate solution to restore economic soundness. Alternatively, institutional innovations like those adopted since mid-2012 by the European Central Bank are required to stabilize the economy, even though they are unlikely to restore rapid growth in the absence of more active fiscal stimuli.
    Keywords: Fiscal Policy; Expansionary Austerity Theory; Post-Keynesian Macro Models
    JEL: E12 E61 E62
    Date: 2016–12
  4. By: Jean-Marc Fournier; Åsa Johansson
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on the effects of the size and the composition of public spending on long-term growth and inequality. An estimated baseline convergence model captures the long-term effect of human capital and total investment on potential output for a panel of OECD countries. The composition of public spending added to this baseline provides evidence that certain public spending items (public investment and education) boost potential growth, while others (pensions and public subsidies) lower potential growth. There is also evidence that too large governments reduce potential growth, unless the functioning of government is highly effective. This paper also investigates the effect of public spending items on income inequality. Increasing the size of government, family benefits or subsidies decreases inequality. Reforms making the government more effective and an education reform that aims at encouraging completion of secondary education may also decrease income inequality. Simulations combining both growth and distributional effects illustrate that most reforms can deliver considerable growth gains and benefit the poor. L’effet de la taille et de la composition des dépenses publiques sur la croissance et les inégalités Cet article fournit des preuves empiriques sur les effets de la taille et de la composition des dépenses publiques sur la croissance à long terme et les inégalités. Un modèle de convergence de base mesure l’effet à long terme du capital humain et de l’investissement total sur la production potentielle pour un panel de pays de l’OCDE. La composition des dépenses publiques ajoutée à ce modèle de base montre que certains postes de dépenses publiques (investissements publics et éducation) stimulent la croissance potentielle, tandis que d’autres (pensions et subventions publiques) diminuent la croissance potentielle. Il est également prouvé que des gouvernements trop importants réduisent la croissance potentielle, à moins que le fonctionnement du gouvernement soit très efficace. Cet article examine également l’effet des dépenses publiques sur les inégalités de revenus. Augmenter la taille du gouvernement, les prestations familiales ou les subventions diminue les inégalités. Les réformes rendant le gouvernement plus efficace et une réforme de l’éducation qui vise à encourager l’achèvement de l’enseignement secondaire peuvent également réduire les inégalités de revenus. Des simulations combinant les effets de croissance et de distribution montrent que la plupart des réformes peuvent générer des gains de croissance considérables et bénéficier aux pauvres.
    Keywords: government size, growth, income inequality, public spending
    JEL: H55 D31 H50 H52 H54 O40 H53
    Date: 2016–12–15
  5. By: Nazila Alinaghi; W. Robert Reed (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: This paper uses meta-analysis to evaluate the results of 42 studies and 641 individual estimates of the effect of taxes on economic growth in OECD countries. Our analysis addresses a number of difficult coding issues such as: implications of the government budget constraint for interpretations of tax effects; units of measurement for economic growth rates and tax rates; implications of equation specifications that measure short-run, medium-run, and long-run effects; length of time period (annual data versus multi-year periods); and other factors. Our main findings are: Estimates in the literature are characterized by significant (negative) publication bias. Controlling for publication bias, we find that increases in unproductive expenditures funded by distortionary taxes and/or deficits have a significant, negative effect on growth; while increases in non-distortionary taxes to fund productive expenditures and/or government surpluses have a significant, positive effect. The estimated differences in these policies indicate that there is scope for tax policy to have a meaningful impact on economic growth. Finally, we find weak evidence that taxes on labour are more growth retarding than other types of taxes, while the evidence regarding other types of taxes is mixed.
    Keywords: Meta-analysis, taxes, economic growth, OECD
    JEL: H2 H5 H6 O47 O50
    Date: 2016–12–15
  6. By: Ansgar Belke; Christian Dreger; Irina Dubova
    Abstract: The financial crisis led to a deep recession in many industrial countries. However, the downturn in large emerging markets turned out to be less persistent. Despite the modest recovery in advanced economies, GDP growth declined in emerging markets in the last years. The higher divergence of business cycles is closely linked to the Chinese transformation. During the crisis, the Chinese fiscal stimulus prevented a decline in GDP growth not only in that country, but also in resource-rich economies. The Chinese shift to consumption-driven growth led to a decline in commodity demand, and the environment became more challenging for many emerging markets. This view is supported by Bayesian VARs specified for the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries. The results reveal a strong impact of international variables on GDP growth. In contrast to the other countries, China plays a crucial role in de-termining global trade and oil prices. Hence, the change in the Chinese growth strategy puts additional reform pressure on countries with abundant natural resources.
    Keywords: business cycle divergence, Chinese transformation, Bayesian VARs
    JEL: F44 E32 C32
    Date: 2016–05

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