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Macroeconomics and European Economic Policy

Books, journals and papers (878 hits)

We assess the effectiveness of the financial sector stabilisation measures taken by the Austrian authorities in the wake of the global financial crisis. Employing an event study methodology, we evaluate domestic and cross-border effects involving Central, Eastern and South-eastern European economies. We identify recapitalisations and public guarantees as the most effective sovereign interventions. Both mitigate financial market stress at home and abroad. However, a risk-shifting effect emerges at the sovereign's expense which undermines their effectiveness relative to monetary policy interventions. Moreover, in complement to the actual implementation, the mere announcement of interventions already mitigates financial market stress, underscoring the extent of policy credibility.
Journal of Economic Surveys, 2022, 36 pages, pp.1-36, https://doi.org/10.1111/joes.12531
Commissioned by: European Commission
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research – ECORYS Holding BV
In view of the challenges posed by climate change and the increasingly ambitious climate targets around the world, the search for effective climate policy instruments is gaining momentum. Carbon pricing, for example, in the form of a carbon tax, and its effects are therefore attracting increasing attention in academic as well as policy discussions. We review the empirical effects of carbon taxes with regard to several impact dimensions commonly studied in the literature: environmental effectiveness, macroeconomic effects, impacts on competitiveness and innovation, distributional implications, and public acceptance. An increasing body of empirical studies shows that carbon taxes can effectively reduce carbon emissions or at least dampen their growth while not negatively affecting economic growth, employment, and competitiveness. The existing empirical evidence suggests that the distributional impact of carbon taxes depends on the type of energy use and the indicators to capture distributional effects, as well as on household characteristics. Lump-sum transfers are shown to be better suited to mitigate regressive effects for lower incomes, while higher incomes benefit more from a reduction of labour taxes. Public acceptance of carbon taxes can be increased by providing public information, avoiding negative distributional effects, and channelling part of the revenues into "environmental projects".
European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, 2022, 19, (1), pp.103-118, https://doi.org/10.4337/ejeep.2022.01.08
Timo Wollmershäuser, Stefan Ederer, Friederike Fourné, Robert Lehmann, Max Lay, Sascha Möhrle, Radek Šauer, Lara Zarges, Klaus Wohlrabe, Sebastian Link
Commissioned by: ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich
Die Konjunktur in Deutschland wird in diesem Jahr von zwei sehr unterschiedlichen konjunkturellen Triebkräften geprägt. Auf der einen Seite dürften die vollen Auftragsbücher der Industrieunternehmen und die allmähliche Normalisierung der Corona-Situation der Konjunktur einen kräftigen Schub geben. Auf der anderen Seite dämpfen die Folgen des russisch-ukrainischen Krieges die Konjunktur über deutlich gestiegene Rohstoffpreise, die wirtschaftlichen Sanktionen gegen Russland, zunehmende Lieferengpässe bei Rohmaterialien und Vorprodukten sowie erhöhte wirtschaftliche Unsicherheit. Um den Unwägbarkeiten im Hinblick auf den weiteren Verlauf des Krieges Rechnung zu tragen, wurden für die Prognose zwei Szenarien in Betracht gezogen. Das Basisszenario geht nur von einer vorübergehenden Zunahme der Rohstoffpreise, Lieferengpässe und Unsicherheit aus. Im Alternativszenario verschärft sich die Situation zunächst noch, bevor ab der Jahresmitte eine allmähliche Entspannung einsetzt. Unter diesen Annahmen dürfte das Bruttoinlandsprodukt in diesem Jahr nur noch um 3,1% (Basisszenario) bzw. 2,2% (Alternativszenario) zulegen und damit spürbar weniger als bislang erwartet (3,7%). Im kommenden Jahr dürfte das Wachstum dann mit 3,3% (Basisszenario) bzw. 3,9% (Alternativszenario) höher liegen als in diesem Jahr. Die Verbraucherpreise werden in diesem Jahr mit 5,1% (Basisszenario) bzw. 6,1% (Alternativszenario) deutlich schneller steigen als bislang erwartet (3,3%). Im kommenden Jahr wird sich die Inflationsrate zwar wieder verlangsamen, aber mit etwa 2% immer noch deutlich höher sein als in den Jahren vor der Corona-Krise.
Mitte 2022 wird in Österreich im Rahmen der "ökosozialen Steuerreform" mit der Bepreisung von CO2 ein neues Werkzeug im Mix der klimapolitischen Instrumente verfügbar. Österreich folgt mit dieser Bepreisung von Treibhausgasen einer sowohl in Europa als auch global immer stärker werdenden Tendenz. Dieses Instrument soll Anreize für die Restrukturierung des Wirtschafts- und Lebensstils setzen, die nicht nur den Klimawandel eindämmen hilft, sondern auch Wohlstand, Resilienz und Wettbewerbsfähigkeit stärkt.
This article reports on the most recent update of Austria's effective exchange rate indices, which serve to aggregate data on bilateral exchange rates and relative prices or costs into indicators of Austria's short- to medium-term international competitive position. As before, the weighting scheme builds on bilateral trade data for Austria's 56 most important trading partners and a three-year averaging period, which we were able to move forward to the period 2013-2015. Upon recalculation of existing observations from January 2013 onward, we find confirmation for the medium-term worsening of Austria's competitive position, but in a less pronounced form than suggested by the previous weighting scheme. On the tail end of the curve, the COVID-19 crisis in general and short-time work subsidies in particular have distorted several indicators in 2020 and 2021. With regard to the geographical focus of Austria's international trade relations, we observe a shift away from the large EU economies towards the USA and China, plus a weaker shift from Northeastern Europe towards Eastern Europe and Turkey. Given the economic relevance of tourism for Austria, we newly created a real effective exchange rate for the tourism industry. In this segment of the economy, we see a more pronounced appreciation than in the service sector as a whole from 2015 onward, which would normally imply a decline in tourism services output. That Austria's tourism industry clearly continued to thrive indicates that the appreciation coincided with an upward shift of prices and supply toward higher quality segments.
Timo Wollmershäuser, Przemyslaw Brandt, Stefan Ederer, Friederike Fourné, Max Lay, Robert Lehmann, Sebastian Link, Sascha Möhrle, Radek Šauer, Stefan Schiman, Klaus Wohlrabe, Lara Zarges
ifo Schnelldienst, 2021, 74, 52 pages, https://www.ifo.de/node/67010
Commissioned by: ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich
in: Long-Term and Pension Savings – The Real Return
Book chapters, contributions to collected volumes, Better Finance, October 2021, pp.71-89, https://betterfinance.eu/publication/real-return-of-long-term-and-pension-savings-report-2021-edition/
With around 90 percent of the average retirement income received from public pension entitlements, the Austrian pension system is very reliant on the first pillar. Occupational pensions are primarily offered through pension funds and insurance companies. Direct commitments are an alternative vehicle, but their usage stagnates. The option for defined contribution plans with favourable tax treatment offered either by pension funds or insurance companies boosted the prevalence of occupational pensions in Austria. While occupational pensions have become more popular over time, low interest rates and a high liquidity preference dampened demand for individual life insurance contracts. Over the years 2002 through 2020, the performance of pension funds in real net terms has been positive, with an annualised average return of 1.4 percent before tax. The life insurance industry followed a distinctly more conservative investment policy and achieved an average annual net real return before tax of 2.1 percent.
in: Irmi Seidl, Angelika Zahrnt, Post-Growth Work
Book chapters, contributions to collected volumes, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London, September 2021, pp.160-175
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