This paper investigates the microeconomic origins of aggregate economic fluctuations in Europe. It examines the relevance of idiosyncratic shocks at the top 100 large firms (the granular shocks) in explaining aggregate macroeconomic fluctuations. The paper also assesses the strength of spillovers from large firms onto SMEs. Using firm-level data covering over 14 million firms and eight european countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain), we find that: (i) 40 percent of the variance in GDP in the sample can be explained by idiosyncratic shocks at large firms; (ii) positive granular shocks at large firms spill over to domestic SMEs’ output, especially if SMEs’ balance sheets are healthy and if SMEs belong to the services and manufacturing sectors.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes whether cyclical factors, including the large real exchange rate appreciation in recent years in New Zealand, can account for the rapidity of the recent rise in import penetration, or whether more lasting structural changes, such as the effects of globalization, may have played a role. The paper also looks at New Zealand’s vulnerabilities from two angles. It evaluates the external position of the country, and then assesses the health and soundness of various sectors of the economy by looking at their balance sheets and the key vulnerability indicators.
Mr. Kenneth H Kang, Ms. Hong Liang, Mr. Henry Ma, Mr. Anthony J. Richards, Mr. Ajai Chopra, and Ms. Meral Karasulu
This paper reviews and draws lessons from the stabilization and reform program that Korea implemented in response to the 1997-98 crisis. The economy recovered quickly from the deep recession in 1998 and its vulnerability to a balance of payments crisis has been reduced sharply. Significant progress has also been made in stabilizing the financial system and addressing corporate distress, and wide-ranging reforms have made Korea’s economy more open, competitive, and market driven. Notwithstanding these achievements, more needs to be done before the soundness of the corporate and financial sectors is firmly established.