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Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Veronika Penciakova, and Nick Sander
We estimate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on business failures among small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in seventeen countries using a large representative firm-level database. We use a simple model of firm cost-minimization and measure each firm’s liquidity shortfall during and after COVID-19. Our framework allows for a rich combination of sectoral and aggregate supply, productivity, and demand shocks. We estimate a large increase in the failure rate of SMEs under COVID-19 of nearly 9 percentage points, ab-sent government support. Accommodation & Food Services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Education, and Other Services are among the most affected sectors. The jobs at risk due to COVID-19 related SME business failures represent 3.1 percent of private sector employment. Despite the large impact on business failures and employment, we estimate only moderate effects on the financial sector: the share of Non Performing Loans on bank balance sheets would increase by up to 11 percentage points, representing 0.3 percent of banks’ assets and resulting in a 0.75 percentage point decline in the common equity Tier-1 capital ratio. We evaluate the cost and effectiveness of various policy interventions. The fiscal cost of an intervention that narrowly targets at risk firms can be modest (0.54% of GDP). However, at a similar level of effectiveness, non-targeted subsidies can be substantially more expensive (1.82% of GDP). Our results have important implications for the severity of the COVID-19 recession, the design of policies, and the speed of the recovery.
Mr. Jaromir Benes, Kevin Clinton, Asish George, Joice John, Mr. Ondrej Kamenik, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Pratik Mitra, G.V. Nadhanael, Hou Wang, and Fan Zhang
India formally adopted flexible inflation targeting (FIT) in June 2016 to place price stability, defined in terms of a target CPI inflation, as the primary objective of monetary policy. In this context, the paper draws on Indian macroeconomic developments since 2000 and the experience of other countries that adopted FIT to bring out insights on how credible policy with an emphasis on a strong nominal anchor can reduce the impact of supply shocks and improve macroeconomic stability. For illustrating the key issues given the unique structural characteristics of India and the policy options under an FIT framework, the paper describes an analytical framework using the core quarterly projection model (QPM). Simulations of the QPM are carried out to illustrate the monetary policy responses under different types of uncertainty and to bring out the importance of gaining credibility for improving monetary policy efficacy.
Mr. Rudolfs Bems and Robert C. Johnson
We examine the role of cross-border input linkages in governing how international relative price changes influence demand for domestic value added. We define a novel value-added real effective exchange rate (REER), which aggregates bilateral value-added price changes, and link this REER to demand for value added. Input linkages enable countries to gain competitiveness following depreciations by supply chain partners, and hence counterbalance beggar-thy-neighbor effects. Cross-country differences in input linkages also imply that the elasticity of demand for value added is country specific. Using global input-output data, we demonstrate these conceptual insights are quantitatively important and compute historical value-added REERs.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
KEY ISSUES 2014 marked the tenth anniversary of accession to the EU of the first group of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The first NMS Policy Forum was launched in the fall of 2014 as a platform for discussing policy frameworks and issues relevant for non-euro area NMS. It brought together representatives of the six CEE countries that are EU members but are not yet in the euro area - Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania (NMS-6), as well as the ECB, the European Commission and the IMF. Discussions focused on four themes: Euro adoption: A once sizeable country risk premium associated with joining the euro area has mostly vanished, as the euro crisis has exposed flaws in the euro area’s institutional framework. Further, the crisis has illustrated both risks and benefits from adoption: monetary autonomy has proven helpful for absorbing shocks, while foreign currency mismatches—that can be much reduced with euro adoption—have shown to be a key vulnerability. Flexible labor markets, fiscal and macro-prudential policy space, and income convergence are prerequisites for successful adoption. Opting into the Banking Union (BU) before euro adoption: The lack of equal (or fully equivalent) treatment of the BU members and non-euro area opt-ins—regarding their role in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), as well as access to common liquidity and fiscal backstops—makes opting into the BU before euro adoption less attractive. Countries that would benefit most from early opt-in are those that see the BU as a way to enhance the quality and credibility of bank supervision or to gain access to larger industry-funded common backstops. The EU’s fiscal framework and pension reform: In the wake of the crisis, many NMS abolished second pillar pension funds. Further reforms to the EU’s fiscal framework are warranted to remove disincentives for setting up and maintaining second pension pillars and, more generally, for structural reforms. Making the most of the EU single market and EU Services Directive: Structural reforms to strengthen human capital, skills match, labor market efficiency, and foreign investment environment will help NMS to reap full benefits from EU integration. Further liberalization of trade in services will likely benefit the NMS-6 more than other EU members.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines how durable goods and financial frictions shape the business cycle of a small open economy subject to shocks to trend and transitory shocks. In the data, nondurable consumption is not as volatile as income for both developed and emerging market economies. The simulation of the model implies that shocks to trend play a less important role than previously documented. Financial frictions improve the ability of the model to match some key business cycle properties of emerging economies. A countercyclical borrowing premium interacts with the nature of durable goods delivering highly volatile consumption and very countercyclical net exports.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi, Mr. Hamid Faruqee, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Mr. Philippe D Karam, Mr. Alessandro Rebucci, Mr. Jaewoo Lee, Mr. Benjamin L Hunt, and Mr. Ivan Tchakarov

Abstract

Over the past two years, the IMF staff has been developing a new multicountry macroeconomic model called the Global Economy Model (GEM). This paper explains why such a model is needed, how GEM differs from its predecessor model, and how the new features of the model can improve the IMF’s policy analysis. The paper is aimed at a general audience and avoids technical detail. It outlines the motivation, structure, strengths, and limitations of the model; examines three simulation exercises that have been completed; and discusses the future path of GEM.

International Monetary Fund
An important aim of this paper is to take shifts in the long-term anchor in the empirical specifications. The study examines exchange-rate pass-through and external adjustment in the euro area. The impact on third-country trade and investment is also discussed. A better understanding of the economic behavior underlying limited pass-through is an important consideration for investigating the implications of currency fluctuations and the pattern of external adjustment. The impulse-response patterns suggest a high degree of local currency pricing in import prices and producer currency pricing in export prices.
Mr. Michael Frenkel and Mr. Christiane Nickel
In this paper, we use a structural vector autoregression model to identify and compare demand and supply shocks between euro area countries and central and eastern European countries (CEECs). The shocks and the shock adjustment dynamics of these countries are also compared to EU countries that currently do not participate in the EMU. Focusing on the period 1993-2001, we find that there are still differences in the shocks and in the adjustment process to shocks between the euro area and the CEECs. However, several individual CEECs exhibit shocks and shock adjustment processes that are fairly similar to some euro area countries.
Mr. Helge Berger
The likely enlargement of euro-area membership will radically change the environment under which monetary policy will be made in the euro area. Within less than a decade, the number of member countries in the euro area could more than double, with the vast majority of accession countries being relatively small in economic terms, compared with current members. Absent reforms, such a significant but asymmetric expansion could impede the effectiveness of the institutional policymaking process of the European Central Bank (ECB) and be seen by some as resulting in the overrepresentation of small member countries in the ECB Council. The paper illustrates these issues, describes the principles on which reforms of the ECB statute could build, and discusses four specific institutional reform scenarios. The analysis coincides with the ECB Council being scheduled to present suggestions for reform by late 2002.