Documents de treball


  • Creixement versus progrés

    Document de treball 01/11

    Jordi Gual
    • La controvèrsia sobre els límits al creixement econòmic i la distinció entre creixement i progrés és tan antiga com ho és la discussió racional sobre els grans proble-mes socioeconòmics als que s'enfronta la societat.

    • Fins a quin punt era possible el creixement econòmic sostingut ja s'ho plantejaven els primers economistes, com per exemple Adam Smith o el reverend Malthus. Ells probablement no veien gaire contradicció entre creixement i progrés, segurament perquè el baix nivell de vida de l'època per a la gran majoria dels habitants del planeta els feia pensar, amb raó, que el creixement econòmic comportaria algun tipus de progrés, d'un or-dre potser no sols material.

    • Tanmateix, fins i tot ja en els inicis de la ciència econò-mica, i en plena efervescència de la il·lustració i el mo-viment racionalista, es produeix una remarcable dico-tomia entre els pensadors optimistes, que com Condor-cet o Godwin creuen que la organització humana és perfectible, i que pot comportar un progrés de les per-sones, i els pessimistes com Malthus, que veuen im-possibles aquestes millores. Com és ben sabut, Mal-thus creia que "el poder de la població per multiplicar-se és infinitament superior al poder de la terra per produir els béns que permetin la subsistència de l'home".

    • Com molt bé ha dit Robert Lucas, un gran teòric con-temporani del creixement, la teoria de Malthus era pro-bablement apropiada per al món que ell havia vist fins al seu temps. Un món caracteritzat per la misèria i per uns estàndards de vida que s'havien situat als nivells de subsistència durant segles. Tanmateix, sembla clar avui que la teoria de Malthus era lluny de constituir una base sòlida per preveure l'evolució de l'espècie humana, en-cara que Malthus fos, de fet, un dels pensadors en els que es va inspirar Darwin.

  • The impact for Spain of the new banking regulations proposed by the Basel Committee

    Working Paper Series 01/10

    This document provides a preliminary assessment for Spain of the trans- ition costs arising from the adjustment to the new solvency and liquidity regulation of banks proposed by the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision on 17/12/2009. Based on publicly available data, we estimate the shortfall of core capital for the Spanish banking system and the need for additional liquidity. We discuss several corrective actions that credit institutions could take to adapt to these new requirements, as well as their implications for outstanding credit and GDP levels under three di¤erent scenarios of market openness and length of the transition period.

  • The Drivers of Housing Cycles in Spain

    Working Paper Series 02/09

    Oriol Aspachs, Pau Rabanal
    • In the last fifteen years, Spain has witnessed a large increase in housing prices and in the importance of the housing sector, which has refreshed the debate on the drivers of housing cycles. Since Spain joined the EMU, two main important factors behind the housing boom appear to be the decrease of nominal interest rates due to the disappearance of currency risk premia, and demographic factors related to immigration and changing patterns in household composition. In order to assess the importance of these and other factors, in this paper we estimate a New Keynesian model of a currency area with durable goods, using data for Spain and the rest of the EMU. We find that parameter estimates are similar to the ones estimated in the literature, in that, in particular, durable goods prices are more flexible than nondurable consumption goods. We find that housing demand and technology shocks are the main driver of the recent housing boom. Finally, we examine the role of different rigidities suggested in the literature to help the model fit the data. We find that labor market frictions, that in the model imply costly labor reallocation across sectors, 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.

  • What Matters for Education? Evidence for Catalonia

    Working Paper Series 01/09

    Alícia Adserà, Maria Gutiérrez-Domènech

    This paper studies the association between socioeconomic factors, school characteristics and children's cognitive and non-cognitive development in Cat- alonia. We find that children born later in the year, close to the December 31st cutoff date, persistently tend to have lower academic results than those born in the first two quarters. However, we do not observe any difference in non-cognitive development by quarter of birth. The analysis also shows that children who ever attended nursery school do generally better than those who first started at pre-school (P3) or later. Furthermore, we find that fam- ily structure matters since children raised in non-nuclear and low educated families tend to underperform others at school. Estimates also indicate that first generation immigrants, especially Africans, have worse academic perfor- mance than those born in Spain. There seem to be strong benefits associated to time spent reading and studying languages, computer science and music. Finally, there is inconclusive evidence that students who arrive late in the academic year and those with special needs generate negative peer effects in the classroom.

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