Determinants of the growth and sovereign debt correlation
Matthijs Lof, Tuomas Malinen, 25 May 2014
Public debt and economic growth are historically negatively correlated. This column discusses new evidence that rejects the debt-to-growth causality. After estimating the effects between debt and growth in both directions, there is no evidence that high indebtedness suppresses economic growth. The effect of growth on debt is the main driver of the negative correlation.
Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, the relationship between debt and growth has been an issue of heated debate among both academics and policymakers.
Topics: Macroeconomic policy
Tags: economic growth, public debt
UK macroeconomists see potential for higher growth: results of the first Centre for Macroeconomics survey
Angus Armstrong, Francesco Caselli, Jagjit Chadha, Wouter den Haan, 14 April 2014
Fears that the financial crisis will have a significant negative impact on long-term UK economic growth are unfounded, according to a majority of the UK macroeconomics profession surveyed by the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM). What’s more, the inaugural CFM survey, summarised in this column, indicates some optimism about the UK’s immediate capacity for higher growth: while roughly half of the respondents share the views of the Office of Budget Responsibility, the other half is substantially more optimistic about the capacity for the economy to recover.
The Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) – a partnership between the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics (LSE), University College London (UCL), the Bank of England and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) – is today publishing the results of a new monthly survey to inform the public about the views held by leading UK based macroeconomists on
Topics: Europe's nations and regions, Global crisis
Tags: economic growth, output gap, UK
Efficient retail payments: An untapped source for reviving growth in Europe?
Iftekhar Hasan, Tuomas Takalo, 24 January 2014
Efficient retail payments are associated not only with lower direct costs but also with indirect benefits, and ultimately – with enhanced economic growth. This column presents research on different retail payment habits in the Eurozone. A correlation exists between the forms of payment in a country and its recent economic fortune. There are a number of methods to promote more efficient payments. The biggest challenge to increase the efficiency of retail payments in Europe is the heavy regulation and barriers to entry of new payment methods.
Retail payments are an inherent part of most adults’ daily life in Europe. But promotion of efficient retail payments is seldom an inherent part of European growth agendas. It should be.
Topics: Microeconomic regulation, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: economic growth, efficiency, Europe, retail
Growing out of corruption
Jie Bai, Seema Jayachandran, Edmund J. Malesky, Benjamin Olken , 22 November 2013
Eliminating corruption is a central policy goal of policymakers around the globe. It is known that corruption is a barrier to economic development because it increases the costs and risk of business activity, and deters investment. This column discusses a new study analysing the opposite causal relationship – the effect of economic growth on corruption. Both theoretical and empirical evidence show that economic growth causes the amount of corruption to fall.
Eradicating corruption ranks among the central policy concerns of economic development practitioners around the globe. Then-World Bank President James Wolfenson made the case for combatting corruption in a 1996 speech now known as the “Cancer of Corruption” address. In it, he spelled out a theoretical mechanism connecting corruption and poverty:
Topics: Development, Poverty and income inequality
Tags: bribes, Corruption, developing countries, economic growth
Are the golden years for Latin America over?
Ignacio Munyo, Ernesto Talvi, 7 November 2013
In recent years, the growth rates of Latin American countries have been cooling-off in comparison to the period of 2004-08. This column argues that the cooling-off is not due to a change in external factors because these have remained favourable. Persistent economic growth can be achieved by internal transformations. It cannot be sustained solely by the external conditions.
Latin American growth is cooling –off sharply.
Topics: Development, Global economy
Tags: economic growth, Latin America
Reduced policy uncertainty and the Japanese economy
Masayuki Morikawa, 2 November 2013
Reduced policy uncertainty can contribute to a country’s economic growth. This column highlights the negative influence of policy uncertainty and political instability on the growth of Japan. A survey shows that international trade and tax polices pose the greatest uncertainty on Japanese companies. The column concludes with a discussion of the mechanism via which uncertainty affects corporate behavior.
While the effects of the 'three arrows' of the Japanese Abenomics policy mix – bold monetary easing, flexible fiscal policy, and the growth strategy –have attracted worldwide attention, reduced policy uncertainty is also expected to contribute to the country’s economic growth by stimulating long-term investments in the private sector.
Topics: Institutions and economics
Tags: economic growth, Japan, uncertainty
Finance and growth: Too much of a good thing?
Thorsten Beck, 27 October 2013
A well-functioning financial system is critical for economic growth. However, some studies find a negative relationship between the two at high levels of financial development. This column discusses why this is the case and suggests some policy implications. It argues that reforms that refocus the financial system on enterprise credit and on internalising the downside risks can be beneficial.
Over the past 20 years, economists have accumulated a substantial body of empirical evidence that financial sector deepening is a critical part of the economic development process. This shows a well-functioning financial system is a conditio sine qua non for modern market economies to flourish.
Topics: International finance
Tags: economic growth, financial development
Commentary on UK Budget 2012: Wanted – A real budget for growth
John Van Reenen, 29 March 2012
The UK’s recent budget reflects tensions felt throughout Europe – how to stem massive budget deficits while not choking off growth. The UK is often held up as a model for voluntary austerity, but this column argues that its policies are a poor model for growth. It asserts that there is a deep intellectual vacuum at the heart of the budget and the government’s approach to economic growth in general.
What was the problem with the 2012 UK budget? The problem with the budget was not so much what the Chancellor did but rather what he did not do. There was precious little in this budget to address the most pressing need of the British economy, and indeed the world economy: the need for growth.
Topics: Europe's nations and regions, Macroeconomic policy
Tags: Budget 2012, economic growth, UK
Finance, long-run growth, and economic opportunity
Ross Levine, 25 October 2011
Financial systems support and spur economic growth. But does financial innovation foster financial development? While recent innovations have done damage, this column says the long-run story is that financial innovation is essential for economic growth.
Finance is powerful. The financial system can be an engine of economic prosperity – or a destructive cause of economic decline and misery.
Topics: Financial markets, International finance
Tags: economic growth, financial development, financial innovation
The finance-trade-growth nexus and lessons from the past
Michael Bordo, Peter L Rousseau, 26 May 2011
How interconnected are finance, trade, and economic growth? This column looks to the past in search of an answer. Examining economies that traded across the Atlantic, it finds that finance and trade reinforced one another between 1880 and 1914 but these links were absent in the post-war period. Financial development has been strongly related to growth throughout the last 130 years, whereas trade had a direct effect on growth only after 1945.
Developing and operating a financial system that fosters and sustains growth is one of today’s most pressing policy questions. The correlation between financial development and growth is well established (Levine 2005), and the roles of trade and export orientation in growth are likewise well accepted (e.g., Dollar 1992; Ben-David,1993; Edwards 1998).
Topics: International finance, International trade
Tags: Atlantic, economic growth, international finance, international trade