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  • BLOT Christophe (63)
  • HUBERT Paul (54)
  • LE CACHEUX Jacques (32)
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in International Journal of Finance and Economics Publication date 2019-12
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Although the literature has provided evidence of the predictive power of credit for financial and banking crises, this article aims to investigate the grounds of this link by assessing the interrelationships between credit and banking fragility. The main identification assumption represents credit and banking fragility as a system of simultaneous joint data generating processes whose error terms are correlated. We test the null hypotheses that credit positively affects banking fragility—a vulnerability effect—and that banking fragility has a negative effect on credit—a trauma effect. We use seemingly unrelated regressions and 3SLS on a panel of European Union (EU) countries from 1998 to 2012 and control for the financial and macroeconomic environment. We find a positive effect of credit on banking fragility in the EU as a whole, in the Eurozone, in the core of the EU but not at its periphery, and a negative effect of banking fragility on credit in all samples.

Time is ripe for a review of the ECB strategy: the economic context and the audience for communication have changed, and the tools for policy decisions and for analysing the environment have expanded. The definition of the inflation target, the twopillar strategy and the use of “non-standard” policy measures need discussion. A change in the ECB mandate is also worth discussing for it would permit to evaluate the current strategy and mandate against an alternative. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

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With the economic slowdown in the euro area, questions arise as to whether the ECB retains some economic and political margins for manoeuvre after a decade of active policies. In this note, we highlight three possible monetary policy developments. We discuss their pros and cons according to four dimensions: political constraints, technical constraints, independence and interactions with fiscal policy.

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The sustainability of US public debt has been widely discussed since the Great Recession. Using annual data since 1940, we estimate and compare different specifications of fiscal rules. Estimates of constant-parameter fiscal rules show no evidence of sustainability. This may be due to the instability of government's behaviour over time. Thus, we estimate a Markov-switching fiscal rule in order to identify periods of unsustainable and sustainable fiscal policies. First, we show that the government stabilizes public debt only periodically. Second, during these periods, the government's reaction is sufficiently tight to stabilize public debt over the entire horizon. We conclude that a relatively short-lived but tight fiscal contraction can be sufficient to ensure long-run US debt sustainability.

Publication date 2019-09 Collection OFCE Working paper : 2019-15
EL HERRADI Mehdi
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This paper examines the distributional effects of monetary policy, either standard, nonstandard or both, on income inequality in 10 EA countries over the period 2000-2015. We use three different indicators of income inequality in a Panel VAR setting in order to estimate IRFs of inequality to a monetary policy shock. Results suggest that: (i) the distributional effects of ECB’s monetary policy have been modest and (ii) mainly driven in times of conventional monetary policy measures, especially in peripheral countries, while, overall, (iii) standard and non-standard monetary policies do not significantly differ in terms of impact on income inequality.terms of impact on income inequality.

in OFCE Le Blog Publication date 2019-09
EL HERRADI Mehdi
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Au sommet de la zone euro de décembre 2018, les chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement ont donné un sérieux coup de frein aux réformes de la gouvernance budgétaire : parmi les objectifs assignés au budget commun de la zone euro qu’ils appelaient de leurs vœux, la fonction de stabilisation économique a disparu. C’est dommage dans la mesure où cette fonction est le point faible des règles budgétaires effectivement poursuivies par les Etats membres. Dans un article récent, nous avons évalué comment les gouvernements répondent, par les outils budgétaires à leur disposition, aux informations sur l’évolution de la dette publique ou de la conjoncture dont ils disposent au moment de prendre leurs décisions budgétaires. Ainsi, au lieu d’évaluer les propriétés des règles budgétaires sur des données éventuellement révisées a posteriori, nous les évaluons « en temps réel ».[1]

We investigate the role of both ECB’s asset purchases and financial stress during the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. We explain the evolution of long-term interest rates for the euro area as a whole and for some Member States since the ECB started to purchase securities for monetary policy purposes. We address the potential endogeneity between unconventional monetary policies and financial stress, and control for four categories of fundamentals: macroeconomic, international, financial and expectations. We find that expansionary unconventional monetary shocks have reduced the level of sovereign yields, whereas exogenous shocks to financial stress have had no effect. This result is robust to an ARCH representation, to a longer sample and to a panel estimation. In addition, we show that country-specific financial stress has had a positive impact on the change in sovereign yields, while unconventional monetary shocks have had a negative effect. Our results suggest that ECB’s unconventional policies have been effective in mitigating sovereign risks across the different Eurozone countries.

In the euro area growth is holding up but the general outlook is less bright than in recent years. The anticipated slowdown largely results from the gradual attenuation of the post-Great Recession recovery momentum and the convergence of growth rates towards a lower potential growth path. It also coincides with a revival of political turmoil, consequently emphasizing the urgency to deal with external downsize risk by strengthening internal sources of growth—investment and private consumption. The sun has been shining but the opportunity for structural repair has not been taken. Hence, imbalances within the euro area need to be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development. The increase of public debt is one of the main legacies of the crisis. While it is currently declining, long-run simulations suggest that without further consolidation, the public debt-to-GDP ratio will not reach the arbitrary 60% target by 2035 in a number of countries. To top it off, countries that are concerned are those whose unemployment rate remains above its pre-crisis level, yet the implementation of a new fiscal consolidation would result in higher employment. It thus raises the question of this rule's sustainability. The euro area as a whole has a large trade surplus, which favors pressures for the appreciation of the euro, which can reduce growth prospects. Unlike the period before the crisis, the imbalance is clearly concentrated in surplus countries. Finally, the aforementioned imbalances make governance reforms more urgent than ever. Until now, progress in this area has proved rather timid. This work led us to three key policy insights. First, the structural adjustment needed to bring back public debt to its target would weigh on the reduction of unemployment. Euro area countries can pursue an additional fiscal consolidation provided output gap is closed, and countries with fiscal leeway should use it to sustain growth in the euro area as a whole. Secondly, the ongoing debate on the reform of the economic governance of the euro area must pay more attention to the evolution of nominal prices and wages, in order to reduce the sources of divergence. In the same time, the need to strengthen wage bargaining systems by giving the social partners a greater role is important. Finally yet importantly, the need for a greater automatic stabilization, including of a cross-border nature, in monetary union is undisputed. The proposals under discussion do go to some extent in this direction and deserve support.

in OFCE Le Blog Publication date 2019-03
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