La eficiencia del sector público, clave para la consolidación fiscal
Ante unas cifras de deuda pública que se sitúan en el 100% del PIB, resulta de vital importancia continuar con el proceso de ajuste fiscal. Para ello es clave asegurar el cumplimiento de la normativa en materia de estabilidad, tanto europea como española. Del mismo modo, en un contexto de reducción del déficit y de un crecimiento del PIB moderado, va a ser de obligada exploración la mejora de la productividad del sector público. En particular, la disminución de la brecha salarial público-privada, el avance en la gestión de las administraciones públicas mediante el uso de sistemas de incentivos y la incorporación de tecnología digital, y la mejora en la eficiencia recaudatoria a través de reformas.
¿Por qué Europa genera poco crecimiento y empleo?
Este documento examina por qué la Eurozona ha registrado durante los últimos quince años unos pobres resultados en términos de crecimiento económico y empleo. La comparación con los Estados Unidos permite argumentar que el problema de la Eurozona no reside en el modelo europeo de economía social de mercado. Asimismo, el examen de la crisis financiera muestra que la causa tampoco radica en las restricciones a la política económica que comporta la existencia de una política monetaria única. El documento resalta que las debilidades de Europa tienen una raíz política. Por un lado, porque la Unión Económica y Monetaria es incompleta por falta de voluntad política y, por otro, porque el espacio económico europeo continúa altamente fragmentado ante las resistencias de muchos países miembros a permitir una verdadera apertura de sus mercados nacionales en los numerosos sectores económicos en los que la regulación pública es aún muy significativa.
La prociclicidad del sistema financiero tras las reformas
El sistema financiero, a través de su política crediticia, tiene la capacidad de acentuar el ciclo económico y de provocar oscilaciones muy acusadas. Las sufridas en esta última crisis han sido de tal magnitud que se ha puesto de manifiesto la conveniencia de introducir medidas regulatorias que influyan sobre el comportamiento de las entidades a lo largo del ciclo económico y así prevenir sus excesos. El presente artículo describe brevemente los principales mecanismos que explican esta prociclicidad del sistema y repasa las múltiples reformas que se están introduciendo en Europa para desactivarlos. Finalmente, el artículo argumenta que para juzgar la efectividad de cada una de las medidas es necesaria una evaluación de su robustez ante los distintos incentivos que pueden mover a los agentes. En particular, es necesario buscar los mecanismos que las doten de una mayor consistencia temporal y que refuercen la independencia de los supervisores frente a las presiones de los distintos grupos de interés.
Unión Bancaria: ¿de hormigón o de paja?
The vicious loop between sovereign and bank debt threatens the integrity of the euro zone. This article examines why the banking union is a prerequisite to break this loop and concludes that the current design is clearly insuffi cient to achieve this goal. In particular, the transitional phase poses serious risks for the euro zone as fi nancial markets remain fragmented and the crisis is far from being resolved. The article discusses the components of a solid banking union, what we call a banking union made of concrete. Current plans by the euro area envisage a union that seeks to limit the use of taxpayer funds by extending the principle of bail-in. It is a banking union that runs the risk of being insuffi cient to face a systemic crisis. This banking union, albeit limited, is diffi cult to implement in the short term given the current legal framework of the economic and monetary union. As a result, the union designed for the transitional period, which can be lengthy, will lack key elements such as a pan-European backstop that operates as a lender of last resort for sovereigns. Therefore, it is far from being a banking union made of concrete. This can be a fl imsy construction, not even made of wood but of straw. The risk is that it may be unable to withstand the challenges of the current crisis.
Latin American Lessons for a European Crisis
The seriousness of the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area has led to a study of historical precedents that can provide insight into which solutions might be the most appropriate. This Economic Paper explores the analogies that might be drawn between the present episode and the Latin American debt crisis three decades earlier. After reviewing its origins and development and the strategies employed to resolve this crisis, two broad conclusions appear to be applicable to the current situation in Europe. Firstly, it will probably take a relatively long time for the euro area's debt crisis to be resolved once and for all. Secondly, the measures taken to resolve the crisis should avoid depressing growth as this is crucial to improving the future sustainability of debt.
Capital Requirements under Basel III and Their Impact on the Banking Industry
This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical arguments behind the increase in capital requirements proposed by the Basel III regulations. The detailed analysis of both theory and evidence casts doubt on the benefi cial effects of Basel III. It is shown that the new regulations are unlikely to diminish risk taking in the banking industry and that the increased capital requirements most likely will lead to increased costs of funding for the industry with adverse consequences for the real economy.
Deleveraging Outlook for Spain
This paper seeks to delimit the depth and duration of the deleveraging process that is taking place in most of the developed countries and, specially, in the Spanish economy. To this end, two different approaches are used. First, we obtain the leverage ratio that can be sustained in the long term using data from 16 developed countries. Results show that the Spanish leverage ratio exceeds the level set by the long term trend, as it is the case in most countries. Second, we characterize the deleveraging processes that have occurred in the last 30 years. A typical deleveraging process lasts for 5 years, period in which the leverage ratio falls around 19 percentage points. Those episodes triggered by a real-estate plus a banking crisis are severer: they last for 7 years on average and the leverage ratio falls around 32 percentage points. These estimates are then used to assess the possible length and pace of the deleveraging process in Spain.
Inflation Differential with the Euro Area: Sustainable Improvement?
Since the launch of the euro in 1999 the inflation differential of Spain relative to the euro area was persistently unfavorable to the Spanish economy, with an average annual rate of one point until 2008. This was a problem, as it entailed a loss of competitiveness. However, since the end of 2008 to the end of 2009 the inflation differential with the euro zone was negative according to the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), thus revealing a changing pattern. In 2010 the inflation differential has been positive anew, but more moderately. The aim of this paper is to determine the principal drivers of this differential recently and to forecast the next developments. The fragility of the recent improvement is discussed.
The recovery of International Trade. The Aftermath of the Crisis
The fall in economic activity during the Great Recession was followed by a sudden and severe plunge in international trade flows around the globe. Between July 2008 and February 2009, the nominal value of world exports fell by 36%. Despite the pro-cyclical nature of trade, such a drop distills traits of exceptionality that our analysis underscores. The drop in international trade during the crisis was fundamentally due to a synchronized and generalized fall in global demand with a greater impact on sectors that weigh more in trade than in gross domestic product. On the other hand, although credit shortages seem to have played a minor role, we cannot rule out an adverse impact on trade during the crisis. Regarding future perspectives, we foresee a moderation in the recent pace of the recovery of trade flows and a change in trend with respect to the pre-crisis cycle.
Immigration and the Labour Market: before and after the Recession
The second half of the nineties saw the start of a wave of immigration to Spain of an intensity that has brought about far-reaching changes in Spain's demographics, society and economy. Inmigrants have come to represent 16% of the active population, this fi gure surpassing most of the countries that traditionally have more foreign residents. The bulk of this migratory fl ow has primarily been attracted by the opportunities offered by an expanding labour market. This paper focuses on the impact of this phenomenon on the labour market, through available statistics and studies, and reaches three broad conclusions. First, the infl ux of foreigners has helped to enhance the growth cycle of the Spanish economy at the expense of growth in the apparent productivity of labour. Second, despite the size of this phenomenon, the great wave of immigration does not seem to have altered the parameters within which the labour market operates. Finally, the high unemployment among foreigners as a result of the economic downturn threatens to continue for some time.
Globalisation and Decoupling. Towards an Emerging World Decoupled from the Advanced Economies?
The hypothesis that emerging economies are decoupling from industrialised countries has aroused a lot of controversy. However, part of the problem in this debate is that it's still difficult to define and measure decoupling per se. This paper creates and calculates a precise indicator for decoupling and applies it both to the dynamics existing between advanced economies and large regions of emerging economies (Asia, Europe and Latin America), and also to the trends observed within these regions. Based on this exercise we can state that, in the last few years, the economy has tended to combine a high degree of globalisation with a tendency to reduce decoupling, although this has been affected by the Great Recession. However, the decoupling indicators calculated suggest that the Chinese cycle is starting to consolidate its position as a benchmark for emerging Asia, while the cycle in emerging Europe is becoming more synchronised with that of industrialised countries.
Towards a New Financial Architecture
In light of the enormous implications of the international financial crisis that broke out in 2007, it is essential to consider whether this is going to entail a deep transformation of the financial industry and its players. To this end, the present paper reviews the mechanisms that destabilized financial systems around the world and describes the regulatory changes aimed to ensure their proper functioning in the future. Although the proposed changes move in the right direction, some of the proposals depart from their fundamental objective and could have non-desired effects. In this respect, the paper analyses the influence of all these changes in the formation of a new competitive structure. The result will probably be a financial system with, on average, larger institutions and less horizontal and geographical diversification. The effects on the real economy could be significant during the transition period towards the new model and thus, both the final details and the implementation periods of the new regulations will be crucial. In the long term, nevertheless, the greater resilience of the financial sector should have a positive effect for the robustness of GDP growth.