Business and Economics > Macroeconomics

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Gabriel Di Bella, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Karim Foda, Svitlana Maslova, Alex Pienkowski, Martin Stuermer, and Mr. Frederik G Toscani
This paper analyzes the implications of disruptions in Russian gas for Europe’s balances and economic output. Alternative sources could replace up to 70 percent of Russian gas, allowing Europe to avoid shortages during a temporary disruption of around 6 months. However, a longer full shut-off of Russian gas to the whole of Europe would likely interact with infrastructure bottlenecks to produce very high prices and significant shortages in some countries, with parts of Central and Eastern Europe most vulnerable. With natural gas an important input in production, the capacity of the economy would shrink. Our findings suggest that in the short term, the most vulnerable countries in Central and Eastern Europe — Hungary, Slovak Republic and Czechia — face a risk of shortages of as much as 40 percent of gas consumption and of gross domestic product shrinking by up to 6 percent. The effects on Austria, Germany and Italy would also be significant, but would depend on the exact nature of remaining bottlenecks at the time of the shutoff and consequently the ability of the market to adjust. Many other countries are unlikely to face such constraints and the impact on GDP would be moderate—possibly under 1 percent. Immediate policy priorities center on actions to mitigate impacts, including to eliminate constraints to a more integrated gas market via easing infrastructure bottlenecks, to accelerate efforts in defining and agreeing solidarity contributions, and to promote stronger pricing pass through and other measures to generate greater energy savings. National responses and RePowerEU contains many important measures to help address these challenges, but immediate coordinated action is called for, with specific opportunities in each of these areas.
Ting Lan, Galen Sher, and Jing Zhou
We analyze the potential impacts on the German economy of a complete and permanent shutoff of the remaining Russian natural gas supplies to Europe, accounting for the curtailment of flows through Nord Stream 1 that has already taken place. We find that such a scenario could lead to gas shortages of 9 percent of national consumption in the second half of 2022, 10 percent in 2023 and 4 percent in 2024, which would be worse in the winter months, and would likely fall on firms, given legal protections on households. We combine the effects of less gas on production with the consequent effects of reduced supply of intermediate goods and services to downstream firms, and with reduced economic activity due to rising uncertainty. Together, these three channels reduce German GDP relative to baseline levels by about 1.5 percent in 2022, 2.7 percent in 2023 and 0.4 percent in 2024, with no gains in subsequent years from deferred economic activity. The associated rise in wholesale gas prices could increase inflation by about 2 percentage points on average in 2022 and 2023. Our simulations suggest that the economic impacts can be reduced significantly by having households voluntarily share a small part of the burden, and by rationing gas supplies more to more gas-intensive and downstream firms. We also suggest other ways to enhance German energy security.
Oumar Diallo, Steve Loris Gui-Diby, and Patrick A. Imam
This paper assesses how monetary policy outcomes affect fragility. Diving into the universe of the most prominent combinations of pursued monetary policy objectives across fragile settings, we examine the relationships between monetary policy outcomes and fragility and find the combination of reduction of inflation and lower unemployment to be the one that delivers the highest payoff in terms of promoting peace and cohesion. Setting aside challenges of monetary policy transmission, results from our analysis broadly confirm the above “winning” combination, with low inflation as a primary desired outcome and low unemployment rate as a secondary one. We also carry out a series of robustness tests, which confirm our findings. Overall, our results lend credence to the importance of paying attention—in the context of reducing fragility—to monetary policy outcomes.
Mr. Philip Barrett
I use a monthly panel of provincially-collected central government revenues and conflict fatalities to estimate government revenues lost due to conflict in Afghanistan since 2005. I identify causal effects by instrumenting for conflict using pre-sample ethno-linguistic share. Headline estimates are very large, implying total revenue losses since 2005 of $3bn, and future revenue gains from peace of about 6 percent of GDP per year. Reduced collection efficiency, rather than lower economic activity, appears to be the key channel. OLS estimates understate the causal effect by a factor of four. Comparing to estimates from Powell’s (2017) generalized synthetic control method suggests that this bias results from omitted variables and measurement error in equal share. The findings underscore the considerable economic loss due to conflict, and the importance of careful identification in measuring this loss.
Mr. Pau Rabanal and Oriol Aspachs-Bracons
Since Spain joined the EMU, two main important factors behind the housing boom appear to be the decrease of nominal interest rates and demographic factors. In this paper we estimate a New Keynesian model of a currency area, using data for Spain and the rest of the EMU to study the importance of those factors. We also examine the role of different rigidities and find that labor market frictions are crucial to explain main features of the data. On the other hand, financial frictions that impose a collateral constraint on borrowing do not appear to be relevant.