Pitfalls of Coordination?
I argue that the rather unfavorable conclusions of the three papers in the session on "Coordination and Tradeoffs" might not be as bad as they seem. In particular, I dwell on challenges facing the central bank using an interest rate that is different from the risk-free rate in its Taylor rule, and show that proper redefinition of the intercept and the slope of the rule allows avoidance of inflationary bias and preserves the stability of equilibrium.
Since 2008, the world economy has been facing consequences of the global financial crisis. One of them is rapid growth in public debt in most advanced economies, which resulted from an overoptimistic estimate of fiscal situation before the crisis, declining government revenue and increasing social expenditure during the crisis, costs of the banking system restructuring, countercyclical fiscal policies, etc.
For this reason, many governments are trying to determine a ‘safe’ level of fiscal deficit and public debt. However, this is not an easy task. There is no single standard of fiscal safety for all economies. Besides, a globalized economy and irregular business cycle make it difficult to find out in which phase of the cycle a given economy is at the moment, while this is essential to assess fiscal indicators.
Historical experience shows that default risk may materialize at different levels of public debt, sometimes seemingly very low. In fact, a ‘safe’ borrowing level is country-specific and depends on many factors and often unpredictable circumstances. However, given the tense situation in global markets, the ‘safe’ level of public debt is lower than it used to be a decade ago. Another argument for a cautious approach concerns a highly pro-cyclical nature of such measures as the fiscal deficit to GDP or public debt to GDP ratios.
Lessons of the latest crises also indicate importance of more accurate estimation of countries’ contingent fiscal liabilities, particularly of those relating to the stability in the financial sector. If looking into the future, a correct estimation of other contingent liabilities, particularly those related to social welfare systems (implicit debt of the public pension and health systems) are of primary importance in the context of the ageing society and population decline. These liabilities far exceed official statistics on the public debt in some counties. As a result, such statistics does not present an adequate picture of the nation's public debt and actual fiscal burden that will be imposed on the shoulders of the following generations of taxpayers.
This paper studies fiscal policy in Russia 2004–2010 with the aid of structural budget balance and fiscal impulse measures. To check for robustness several methods estimating the potential GDP are employed. The research suggests a hypothesis that the output in Russia is subject to two types of shocks: persistent outward shocks and short-term internal shocks. In 2004–2010, fiscal policy coped with the internal shocks but could not smooth outward instability. Fiscal policy in Russia is procyclical; it does not stabilize the output.
Despite the impressive economic growth in Russia between 1999 and 2007, there is a fear that Russia may suffer the Dutch disease, which predicts that a country with large natural resource rents may experience a de-industrialisation and a lower long term economic growth. In this paper we study if there are any symptoms of the Dutch disease in Russia. Using a variety of Rosstat publications and the CHELEM database, we analyse the trends in production, wages and employment in the Russian manufacturing industries, and we study the behaviour of Russian imports and exports. We find that, while Russia exhibits some symptoms of the Dutch disease, e.g. the real appreciation of the rouble, the rise in real wages, the decrease in employment in manufacturing industries and the development of the services sector, the manufacturing production nonetheless increased, contradicting the theory of the Dutch disease. These trends can be explained by the gains in productivity and the recovery after the disorganisation in the 1990s, by new market opportunities for Russian products in the European Union and in CIS countries, by a growing Chinese demand for some products and by a booming internal market. Finally, investments in many manufacturing industries were largely encouraged, whereas those in the energy sector were strongly regulated, which contributed to the economic diversification.
The historical changes in Central and Eastern Europe demanded suitable paths for the transition from centrally planned to market based economies. The lack of relevant experience added to the challenge, giving rise to the incalculable risks of implementing untested policies. By focusing on monetary policy, trade, and convergence, this volume addresses some of the most urgent economic policy issues in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.
The author traces the analysis evolution of the monetary shocks effects on the economy, exploring the key approaches to modeling of the monetary transmission mechanism. The article emphasizes the necessity of the monetary transmission mechanism modification in the conditions of current financial crisis: the active role reflection of the financial intermediaries, accounting of the development degrees of institutional capacity in the economy.
This paper analyzes a stylized model of an export-oriented economy. It investigates the impact of macroeconomic policies on the dynamics of the exchange rate, inflation, output and stabilization fund and consider different forms of strategic interaction between the government and the central bank. It is shown that the effective interaction of fiscal and monetary policies is possible under Stackelberg interaction with the government as leader and under cooperation.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.