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Makroökonomie und europäische Wirtschaftspolitik

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Monographien, Juni 2019, 30 Seiten
Studie von: Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
Online seit: 19.06.2019 0:00
 
Euro area reform has been at the center of much needed discussions throughout recent years. The Euro area crisis has made it clear that significant vulnerabilities still exist in the current architecture of the European Monetary Union. This has opened an intellectual and policy debate on how to make the EMU more crisis-resilient and whether the Euro area requires more risk-sharing or more market discipline to this end. Along these lines, numerous proposals have been presented by institutions and academics such as the introduction of a common fiscal policy instrument, possible reforms of the current fiscal rules, the creation of a Euro area safe asset to break the sovereign-bank nexus and a common European Deposit Insurance Scheme. This policy brief summarises the discussions and policy proposals for EMU reform of recent years. After intensive debates, the necessary consensus was not found and no significant breakthrough on EMU reform has been achieved to reinforce the ability of the monetary union to withstand future crises. These intellectual discussions have however laid the ground-work for finding the right answers at the particular moment in the future when political compromises will make it feasible to strengthen the Euro area in a healthy and efficient manner.
We estimate a quantile structural vector autoregressive model for the Euro area to assess the real effects of uncertainty shocks in expansions and recessions using monthly data covering the period of February 1999 to May 2016. Domestic and foreign (US) uncertainty shocks hitting during recessions are found to produce a relatively overall stronger negative impact on output growth than in expansions, with US shocks having more pronounced effects. Inflation, in general, is unaffected from a statistical perspective. Our results tend to suggest that policy-makers need to implement state-dependent policies, with stimulous policies being more aggressive during recessions – something we see from our results in terms of stronger declines in the interest rate during bad times.
In the Kreisky era (1970-1983), Austrian government debts increased strongly. Historically, the attitude of Kreisky and the Social Democrats towards Keynesian fiscal policy measures to fight unemployment during the oil crises has been held to be responsible for the successive budget deficits. Kreisky's ideological debt policy has become a narrative that has strongly influenced Austrian fiscal policy until today. While this explanation for the strong increase in public debt during the Kreisky era is widely accepted, it is not necessarily true. In this paper, we assess a different explanation: the deficits might simply have resulted from forecast errors of GDP growth in those turbulent times. We find that about one-third of the increase in the debt-over-GDP ratio is directly explained by short-run forecast errors, i.e., the difference between the approved and the realised budget, and an additional one-fifth is the lower bound of forecast error regarding the long-run growth rate.
In this study we use agents' expectations about the state of the economy to generate indicators of economic activity in 26 European countries grouped in five regions (Western, Eastern, and Southern Europe, and Baltic and Scandinavian countries). We apply a data-driven procedure based on evolutionary computation to transform survey variables in economic growth rates. In a first step, we design five independent experiments to derive a formula using survey variables that best replicate the evolution of economic growth in each region by means of genetic programming, limiting the integration schemes to the main mathematical operations. We then rank survey variables according to their performance in tracking economic activity, finding that agents' "perception about the overall economy compared to last year" is the survey variable with the highest predictive power. In a second step, we assess the out-of-sample forecast accuracy of the evolved indicators. Although we obtain different results across regions, Austria, Slovakia, Portugal, Lithuania and Sweden are the economies of each region that show the best forecast results. We also find evidence that the forecasting performance of the survey-based indicators improves during periods of higher growth.
 
This policy brief summarises the main points of our detailed study on the concept of a financial transaction tax (FTT), the theoretical and empirical evidence in favour and against introducing it and the results of estimations of potential revenues from such a global FTT. We analyse the benefits and challenges of introducing a tax on financial transactions, putting special focus on the introduction of such a tax on a world-wide scale. For a number of reasons, international cooperation is deemed a central prerequisite for an efficient FTT. The purpose of the tax is to raise substantial revenues and help dampen excessive financial market speculation and market volatility. An FTT would ensure that the financial sector contributes more substantially to government revenues. In its optimal form, the tax would be broad-based and there will be no financial instrument types exempted. In a second step, we analyse from a political economy perspective the prospects, the current status, and the lessons learnt from the European discussion on the implementation of an FTT. Finally, we calculate the revenue potential of a global FTT and report how much revenues would accrue to specific countries and regions. We estimate that the tax, if imposed globally and taking into account evasion, relocation and lock-in effects, can bring significant revenues – between 237.9 and 418.8 billion $ annually. The baseline case delivers 326.9 billion $ overall for the global economy, which corresponds to 0.43 percent of global GDP. These are lower bounds for potential revenues due to missing data on a number of financial instrument types. For specific countries, in the baseline case this would result in 72.57 billion $ annual potential revenues for the USA (0.37 percent of GDP), 119.46 billion $ for the European Union (0.69 percent of GDP), 10.00 billion $ for Germany (0.27 percent of GDP), 9.99 billion $ for France (0.39 percent of GDP) and 19.99 billion $ for Japan (0.41 percent of GDP).
WIFO Working Papers, 2019, (582), 59 Seiten
Online seit: 29.05.2019 0:00
This study presents in detail the concept of a financial transaction tax (FTT) and the theoretical and empirical evidence in favour and against introducing it, the potential revenues, different implementation designs and its ability to correct various market failures. We analyse the benefits and challenges of introducing a tax on financial transactions, putting special focus on the introduction of such a tax on a world-wide scale. For a number of reasons, international cooperation is deemed a central prerequisite for an efficient FTT. The purpose of the tax is to raise substantial revenues and help dampen excessive financial market speculation and market volatility. An FTT would ensure that the financial sector contributes more substantially to government revenues. In its optimal form, the tax would be broad-based and there will be no financial instrument types exempted. In a second step, we analyse from a political economy perspective the prospects, the current status, and the lessons learnt from the European discussion on the implementation of an FTT. Finally, we calculate the revenue potential of a global FTT and report how much revenues would accrue to specific countries. We estimate that the tax, if imposed globally and taking into account still evasion, relocation and lock-in effects, can bring significant revenues – between 237.9 and 418.8 billion $ annually. The baseline case delivers 326.9 billion $ overall for the global economy, which corresponds to 0.43 percent of global GDP. These are lower bounds for potential revenues due to missing data on a number of financial instrument types. For specific countries, in the baseline case this would result in 72.57 billion $ annual potential revenues for the USA (0.37 percent of GDP), 119.46 billion $ for the European Union (0.69 percent of GDP), 10.00 billion $ for Germany (0.27 percent of GDP), 9.99 billion $ for France (0.39 percent of GDP) and 19.99 billion $ for Japan (0.41 percent of GDP).
The existing EU system of own resources financing EU expenditures does not make any positive contribution to the various EU strategies and policies implemented to cope with the manifold long-term challenges confronting the EU. It is against this background that the European Commission as well as the High Level Group on Own Resources, but also the European Parliament have (repeatedly) called for the introduction of tax-based own resources to partially substitute national contributions to the EU budget. Our specific contribution to this debate consists in the exploration of sustainability-oriented options for tax-based own resources which are able to support sustainable growth and development in the EU. Based on a concept of sustainability-oriented taxation in the context of own resources for the EU, we develop sustainability-oriented evaluation criteria to assess the suitability of specific candidates for tax-based own resources. We then present various options for tax-based own resources and estimations of their revenue potential. Moreover, a summary evaluation of these options based on our evaluation criteria is undertaken. Finally, we address implementation aspects. In particular, we briefly present and discuss potential models to implement tax-based own resources in the EU within the existing legal framework.
WIFO-Monatsberichte, 2019, 92(5), S.306-318
Online seit: 29.05.2019 9:00
 
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