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Antoine Berthou, John Jong-Hyun Chung, Kalina Manova, and Charlotte Sandoz
We examine the gains from globalization in the presence of firm heterogeneity and potential resource misallocation. We show theoretically that without distortions, bilateral and export liberalizations increase aggregate welfare and productivity, while import liberalization has ambiguous effects. Resource misallocation can either amplify, dampen or reverse the gains from trade. Using model-consistent measures and unique new data on 14 European countries and 20 industries in 1998-2011, we empirically establish that exogenous shocks to export demand and import competition both generate large aggregate productivity gains. Guided by theory, we provide evidence consistent with these effects operating through reallocations across firms in the presence of distortions: (i) Both export and import expansion increase average firm productivity, but the former also shifts activity towards more productive firms, while the latter acts in reverse; (ii) Both export and import exposure raise the productivity threshold for survival, but this cut-off is not a sufficient statistic for aggregate productivity; (iii) Efficient institutions, factor and product markets amplify the gains from import competition but dampen those from export access.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses recent trends in Hungary’s potential growth and medium-term growth prospects. It analyzes to what extent the recent moderation of GDP growth reflects structural factors. The paper lays out some stylized facts about the Hungarian economy that could explain the growth slowdown observed in recent years. It provides estimates of potential growth using various methods, identifies the sources of the growth slowdown, and offers forecasts of potential growth over the medium-term under the baseline scenario. A model-based approach is also employed to estimate potential growth over the medium term under a reform scenario.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper on Romania was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country. It is based on the information available at the time it was completed on September 13, 2012. The views expressed in this document are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the government of Romania or the Executive Board of the IMF.
Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Dustin Smith, and Mr. Albert Jaeger
A push-pull-brake model of capital flows is used to study the effects of fiscal policy changes on private capital flows to emerging Europe during 2000-07. In the model, countercyclical fiscal policy has two opposing effects on capital inflows: (i) a conventional absorptionreducing effect, as a tighter fiscal stance acts as a brake on capital flows; and (ii) an unconventional absorption-boosting effect, as a tighter fiscal stance increases investor confidence in the country. The empirical results suggest that push factors (low returns in flow-originating countries), rather than pull factors (high returns in flow-destination countries), drove most of the private capital flows to emerging Europe. And active countercyclical fiscal policy once the fiscal stance is adjusted for the automatic effects on the fiscal position of both internal and external imbalances acted as a brake on capital inflows. However, the empirical results also suggest that, even abstracting from political feasibility and fiscal policy lag considerations, countercyclical fiscal policy alone is unlikely to be an effective policy tool to put an effective brake on sudden capital flow surges.
International Monetary Fund
Selected issues of Poland are studied in this paper. The global projection model used to prepare the baseline inflation forecast and risk assessment for Poland is also explained. Baseline forecast, risk assessment, and policy communication are discussed. The pension reform has been a cornerstone of fiscal policies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Problems with the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) rules, a brief discussion of reform reversals, and policy options for both individual countries and those at the EU level are also discussed. Fiscal implications of pre-funding future liabilities are also studied.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Europe's contraction is ending, but the recovery is fragile. Policymakers should look beyond the crisis to secure a durable upswing and address the threats to potential growth from the crisis and the continent's well-known structural rigidities. The report's analytical work stresses the uncertainty surrounding potential growth estimates, and the more volatile environment faced by emerging economies in a tightly integrated region. In the near term, this calls for measures to restore the financial sector to health and for continued macroeconomic support, while preparing for the exit from extraordinary interventions in a coordinated and transparent fashion. Higher longer-term growth through structural change will support the recovery, smooth the exit, and help emerging markets to adjust to lower capital inflows in the crisis' aftermath. Published biannually in May and October.

Mr. Rudolfs Bems and Mr. Philip Schellekens
This paper examines the macroeconomic impact of migration on income convergence in the EU's New Member States (NMS). The paper focuses on cross-border mobility of labor and examines the implications for policymakers with the help of a general equilibrium model. It finds that cross-border labor mobility provides ample benefits in terms of faster and smoother convergence. Challenges, however, include containing wage pressures and better mobilizing and utilizing resident labor that does not cross borders.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Hungary highlights the monetary policy framework in Hungary and the models used by the central bank (MNB). The MNB’s Quarterly Projection Model combines neo-Keynesian features in the short term with neoclassical features in the long term. It is a two-sector small-open-economy model, estimated by Bayesian methods. Fiscal policy is modeled using various revenue and expenditure items. Rich in sectoral details and structural shocks, the model generates impulse responses of different variables to structural shocks.
Jesmin Rahman
This paper analyzes current account (CA) developments in the following 10 new EU members states: Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. During the last 15 years, these countries, on average, have run CA deficits that are considerably higher than the average CA deficit of other developing countries. However, more recently, a diverging pattern has emerged among these countries with one group, consisting of the Baltic countries, Bulgaria and Romania, experiencing rapid widening, while the others seeing a stabilization in their CA balances. Using panel data for 59 countries, this paper empirically investigates the following three questions: Are higher average deficits in EU-10 explained by medium-term macroeconomic fundamentals? What explains the diverging CA behavior among EU-10? And finally, how challenging is it for the group experiencing rapidly widening CA deficits to reverse the trend?
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on Hungary reports that the public enterprises may pose significant fiscal risks on account of their quasi-fiscal activities and contingent liabilities. More than 85 percent of the economy is in private hands. According to the Privatization Act, assets may remain in long-term state ownership if they belong to a national public utility provider or are considered to be of strategic importance for the national economy or defense. Capital-intensive and labor-intensive enterprises remain as state property.