Der Forschungsschwerpunkt Internationale Wirtschaft (FIW) (https://www.fiw.ac.at/) ist eine Kooperation zwischen der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU), der Universität Wien, der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz und der Universität Innsbruck, WIFO, wiiw und WSR. FIW wird von den Bundesministerien BMBFW und BMDW unterstützt.
Abstract: e raise the hypothesis that aid specifically targeted at economic infrastructure helps developing countries attract higher FDI inflows through improving their endowment with infrastructure in transportation, communication, energy and finance. By performing 3SLS estimations we explicitly account for dependencies between three structural equations on the allocation of sector-specific aid, the determinants of infrastructure, and the determinants of FDI. We find fairly strong and robust evidence that targeted aid promotes FDI indirectly through the infrastructure channel. In addition, aid in infrastructure appears to have surprisingly strong direct effects on FDI.
Abstract: Increased globalization over the last two decades has led to strong growth in international business activity and international financial integration. This phenomenon covers a wide array of economic activities, including regional and international integration, investment and trade, international financial shocks and disturbances. This paper takes stock of current trends in regional financial integration and trade liberalization processes for the case of Maghreb countries. It aims also to examine the effects of these recent trends on economic growth in an era of growing globalization and frequent financial shocks. Using Multivariate Threshold Vector Autoregressive (MVTAR) estimation with data from 1990 to 2012, this study argues that the greater and deeper regional financial integration and trade will have positive repercussions for each Maghreb country. In addition, estimation results show that the regional financial integration process plays a positive role in enlarging the borders of countries as well as the market size of each country and, consequently, in stimulating economic growth. Finally, we can assert that the study argues that political and structural impediments continue to hamper regional integration.
Abstract: Using novel data on individual euro area banks' balance sheets this paper shows that exposure to stressed European sovereigns manifested in a liquidity shock to their international funding through two channels: (i) a contraction in cross-border funding, and (ii) a contraction in US wholesale funding. The effectiveness of the ECB's unconventional monetary policy measures, in the form of the 3-year Long-Term Refinancing Operations (VLTROs), in mitigating effects of the European sovereign debt crisis on the supply of private sector credit is assessed. Controlling for banks' risk factors and credit demand, the first round of VLTROs in December 2011 is not found to have been successful in offsetting the decline in credit supply to Households and non-financial corporates. In contrast, the VLTROs in February 2012 are found to have mitigated the effect of the European sovereign debt crisis on credit supply. Moreover, a contraction in credit supply to non-financial corporates, but not households, is documented for euro area banks affected by the international liquidity shock and that drew on ECB liquidity under the VLTRO facilities.
Abstract: The paper analyzes the sources of exchange rate movements in emerging economies in the context of monetary tapering by the Federal Reserve. A structural vector autoregression framework with a long-run restriction is used to decompose the movements of nominal ex-change rates into two components: one component driven solely by the adjustment of the real exchange rate to permanent shocks and one resulting from transitory shocks such as monetary policy measures. Imposing the restriction that temporary shocks should not affect the real exchange rate in the long run, the analysis shows that the recent depreciation of the Russian ruble and the Turkish lira is largely driven by transitory shocks, like for instance monetary policy measures. Furthermore, the response of the lira to transitory shocks is sluggish and further depreciation is possible in the next months. In Brazil and India, on the contrary, nominal exchange rate behavior is mainly driven by permanent shocks. The recent depreciation is not caused by short-lived shocks but rather by changing long-term macroeconomic fundamentals. The foreign exchange interventions of the central bank to avoid large depreciation are therefore largely misplaced, especially in Brazil. They aggravate the use of nominal exchange rate flexibility as an efficient adjustment mechanism for real exchange rate changes, i.e. changes in relative prices across borders, and efficient allocation of resources.
Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the relationship between export performance and economic growth in Russian regions. We propose a methodology for decomposition of export growth into intensive and extensive margins and distinguish between product- and geographic extensive components within extensive margin. An empirical analysis suggests that higher growth rates in Russian regions are associated with higher intensive margin. We reveal significant differences in export survival of differentiated and homogeneous flows and find evidence of strong effects of distance and institutions on export survival. We argue that Russian regions would experience higher economic growth if they were able to improve their export performance at the intensive margin by providing lower transport costs to the business and by enhancing higher quality of institutions.
Abstract: This paper analyzes changes in the monetary policy in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland following the policy shift from exchange rate targeting to inflation targeting around the turn of the millennium. Applying a Markovswitching dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model, switches in the policy parameters and the volatilities of shocks hitting the economies are estimated and quantified. Results indicate the presence of regimes of weak and strong responses of the central banks to exchange rate movements as well as periods of high and low volatility. Whereas all three economies switched to a less volatile regime over time, findings on changes in the policy parameters reveal a lower reaction to exchange rate movements in the Czech Republic and Poland, but an increased attention to it in Hungary. Simulations for the Czech Republic and Poland also suggest their respective central banks, rather than a sound macroeconomic environment, being accountable for reducing volatility in variables like inflation and output. In Hungary, their favorable developments can be attributed to a larger extent to the reduction in the size of external disturbances.
Abstract: This paper investigates how the European integration process of central eastern European countries, which has been taking place since the 1990’s, affects their GDP growth. Based on an augmented Solow model, I estimate a convergence equation for a panel of ten countries over 16 years (1995-2010). In the regression, trade with the other European Union member states as a share of total trade serves as a measure of European integration. I find a small, but significant medium-run growth bonus from integration, which is robust to alternative specifications of the regression equation and of the variables of interest. The results are confirmed by a supplementary analysis at the industry level using a difference-in-difference type of estimation strategy. The paper thus provides an argument in favour of European integration.
Abstract: In this paper, we empirically assess how economic sanctions imposed by the UN and the US affect the target states’ GDP growth. Our sample includes 68 countries and covers the period 1976–2012. We find, first, that sanctions imposed by the UN have a statistically and economically significant influence on economic growth. On average, the imposition of UN sanctions decreases the target state’s real per capita GDP growth rate by 2.3–3.5 percentage points (pp). These adverse effects last for a period of 10 years. Comprehensive UN economic sanctions, that is, embargoes affecting nearly all economic activity, trigger a reduction in GDP growth by more than 5 pp. Second, the effect of US sanctions is much smaller and less distinct. The imposition of US sanctions decreases GDP growth in the target state over a period of 7 years and, on average, by 0.5–0.9 pp.
Abstract: Deviations of policy interest rates from the levels implied by the Taylor rule have been persistent before the financial crisis and increased especially after the turn of the century. Compared to the Taylor benchmark, policy rates were often too low. This paper provides evidence that both international spillovers, among them dependencies in the interest rate setting of central banks, and nonlinear reaction patterns can offer a more realistic specification of the Taylor rule of four major central banks.
Abstract: The Paper assesses the export competitiveness of top fifteen textile products (different for each export destination) at 6 digit level of HS classification exported by India to top seven textile export destinations by using both price and income export elasticities. The export elasticities are estimated using dynamic panel data approach for each country separately. Commodity specific elasticities are further estimated to forecast the exports of commodities exported to respective export destinations. The resulting estimates can be used in designing destination specific export promotion policies for India.
Abstract: We estimate the effects of trade facilitation on export diversification, as measured by two extensive margins: the number of products exported by destination and the number of export destinations served by product. To address the issue of causality, we employ an identification strategy whereby only exports of new products, or exports to new destinations, are taken inton account when computing the respective margins of trade. We find a positive impact of trade facilitation on the extensive margins of trade. The results are robust to alternative definitions of extensive margins, different sets of controls and various estimation methods. Simulation results suggest substantial extensive margin gains from trade facilitation reform in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Abstract: We develop a dynamic general equilibrium trade model with comparative advantage, heterogeneous firms, heterogeneous workers and endogenous firm entry to study wage inequality during the adjustment after trade liberalization. We find that trade liberalization increases wage inequality both in the short run and in the long run. In the short run, inter-sectoral wage inequality is high but then recedes. The skill premium does not change much in the short run but increases substantially in the medium and long run. Incorporating worker training in the model considerably reduces the effects of trade liberalization on wage inequality. The effects on wage inequality are much more adverse when trade liberalization is unilateral instead of bilateral or restricted to specific sectors instead of including all sectors.
Abstract: This paper sheds new light on the role of inflation regime in explaining the extent of exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) into import prices. In order to classify his sample of 24 developing countries by regimes of inflation, Barhoumi [(2006), “Differences in long run exchange rate pass-through into import prices in developing countries: An empirical investigation”, Economic Modeling, 23 (6), 926-951.] chose an arbitrary threshold of 10% to split sample between high and low inflation regimes. For more accuracy, our study proposes to use a panel threshold framework where a grid search is used to select the appropriate threshold value. In a larger panel-data set including 63 countries over the period 1992-2012, we find that there are two thresholds points that are well identified by the data, allowing us to split our sample into three inflation regimes. When estimating the ERPT for each group of countries, we point out a strong regime-dependence of pass-through to inflation environment, that is, the class of countries with higher inflation rates experiences the higher degree of ERPT.
Abstract: This paper measures the pass-through of exchange rate changes into domestic inflation within a cointegrated VAR (CVAR) framework. This issue is of particular interest for the euro area (EA) as Member Sates cede their national currencies and no longer have options of using monetary policy to respond to local conditions. In fact, a common exchange rate shock, in the absence of a national monetary policy, may have differential impact on EA countries, leading notably to possible divergence in inflation levels. Using quarterly data for 12 EA covering 1980:1 to 2010:4, we report a large degree of heterogeneity in the rates of pass-through across our sample, especially, between "peripheral" and "core" EA economies. For instance, prices rise by 84% in Portugal following one percent depreciation of exchange rate, while for the German economy the extent of pass-through is not exceeding 0.20%. This outcome would have important implications for the general risk perceived by foreign firms and investors regarding the inflationary environment within each EA country.
Abstract: We show that exported products exit the US market sooner if they violate the Heckscher-Ohlin notion of comparative advantage. Crucially, this pattern is stronger when exporting country has a well-developed banking system, measured by a high ratio of bank credit over the GDP. Banks thus push firms away from exports that are facing an uphill battle on a competitive foreign market due to a suboptimal use of the domestic factor endowment. Our results imply a disciplining role for bank credit in terminating inefficient trade flows. This constitutes a new channel through which finance improves resource allocation in the real economy.
Abstract: Recent events emphasize the role of cross-border linkages between banking systems in transmitting local developments across national borders. This paper analyzes whether international linkages in interbank markets affect the stability of interconnected banking systems and channel financial distress within a network consisting of banking systems of main advanced countries for the period 1993-2009. Methodologically, I use a spatial modelling approach to test for spillovers in cross-border interbank markets. The results suggest that foreign exposures in banking play a significant role in channelling banking risk: I find that countries which are linked through foreign borrowing or lending positions to more stable banking systems abroad are significantly affected by positive spillover effects. From a policy point of view, this implies that especially in stable times linkages in the banking system can be beneficial, while they have to be taken with caution in times of financial turmoil covering the whole system.
Abstract: In this study, we employ the novel measure of a VAR-based spillover index, developed by Diebold and Yilmaz (2012) to investigate the time-varying relationship between tourism and economic growth in selected European countries. Overall, the findings suggest that (i) the tourism-economy relationship is not stable over time in terms of both its magnitude and direction, (ii) the relationship exhibits patterns in its magnitude and/or direction during major economic events, such as the Great Recession of 2007 and the Eurozone debt crisis of 2010, and (iii) the impact of these economic events on the relationship between the tourism sector and the economy is more apparent to Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Spain, which are the European countries that have experienced the most severe economic downturn since 2009. These results are important to tourism actors and policy makers, suggesting that they should pay particular attention to this time-varying relationship and the factors that influence it when designing their tourism strategies. In addition, the findings of this study carry significant implications for researchers, as they underline a strand of the literature which deserves further attention.
Abstract: Innovation, mark-ups and the degree of trade openness vary substantially across sectors. This paper builds a multi-sector endogenous growth model to study the influence of asymmetric trade liberalisation and sectoral differences in the degree of product market competition on the effect that trade has on R&D investments at a …firm level. I find that differences in the degree of competition generate large differences in …firm innovative responses to trade liberalisation. A movement from autarky to free trade promotes innovation and productivity growth in those sectors which are initially less competitive. However, when the initial tariff level is common across sectors, a homogeneous tariff reduction promotes innovation in those sectors which are initially more competitive. The paper suggests that trade liberalisation could be a source of industry productivity divergence: firms that are located in industries with greater exposure to foreign trade, invest a greater amount in R&D contributing to industry productivity growth. Finally the paper outlines the importance of reallocation effects within industry and across industries that are the result of these asymmetries. An asymmetric trade liberalisation has a small but negative impact on aggregate productivity growth.
Abstract: In a two-country general oligopolistic equilibrium model, I study how cross-sector strategic trade policy affects wages, countrywide profits, and welfare. Firms face resource constraints and wages are simultaneously determined. Relative to free trade, cross-sector protectionism generates a reduction in the foreign wage without affecting the domestic wage. Domestic countrywide profits benefit from small import tariffs, whereas the foreign counterpart is hit, but when sectors share the same technology. Domestic welfare is unambiguously penalized. Hence, the general-equilibrium cross-sector perspective goes against the textbook version theory of the optimal tariff in partial equilibrium. Rationalization of these effects suggests a political-economy view on tariff formation in general equilibrium.
Abstract: We develop a two-factor, two-sector trade model of monopolistic competition with variable elasticity of substitution. Firm profit and firm size may increase or decrease with market integration depending on the degree of asymmetry between countries. The country in which capital is relatively abundant is a net exporter of the manufactured good, while both firms' size and profits are lower in this country than in the country where capital is relatively scarce. By contrast, the pricing policy adopted by firms does not depend on capital endowment and country asymmetry. It is determined by the nature of preferences: when demand elasticity increases (decreases) with consumption, firms practice dumping (reverse-dumping).
Abstract: This paper investigates whether the exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) to CPI inflation is a nonlinear phenomenon for five heavily indebted euro area (EA) countries, namely the so-called GIIPS group (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain). Using logistic smooth transition models, we explore the existence of nonlinearity with respect to sovereign bond yield spreads (versus German) as an indicator of confidence crisis/macroeconomic instability. Our results provide strong evidence that the extent of ERPT is higher in periods of macroeconomic distress, i.e. when sovereign bond yield spreads exceed some threshold. For all the GIIPS countries, we reveal that the increasing of macroeconomic instability and the loss of confidence during the recent sovereign debt crisis has entailed a higher sensibility of CPI inflation to exchange rate movements.
Abstract: This paper empirically assesses how democratization affects real exchange rates. By doing this, we combine so far separated strands of the economic literature and argue that democratization reduces currency undervaluation leading to a real exchange rate appreciation. We test this hypothesis empirically for a sample of countries observed from 1980 to 2007 by combining a difference-in-difference (DID) approach with propensity score matching (PSM) estimators. Our results reveal a strong and significant finding: democratization causes real exchange rates to appreciate. Consequently, the ongoing process of democratization observed in a few Arabic and Moslem countries is likely to reduce exchange rate distortions.
Abstract: One third of Chinese exporters sell more than ninety percent of their production abroad. We argue that this distinctive pattern is attributable to the widespread use of subsidies that require firms to export the vast majority of their output. We study this type of subsidy in the context of a heterogeneous-firm model, and show that it is worse from a welfare standpoint than a regular export subsidy, partly because it increases protection of the domestic market. A counterfactual analysis suggests that eliminating these subsidies would result in a welfare gain for China comparable to that of halving its trade costs.
Abstract: This paper is interested in linking formally external disequilibriums to the sovereign debt crisis the EMU is experiencing since 2009. Relying on the CHEER approach that connects the goods market to the capital market, we show that when a country belonging to a monetary union faces external disequilibrium relative to its main partner, the corresponding interest rate differential increases. Moreover, when these imbalances are persistent, it may trigger a balance of payments crisis. Our findings indicate that this phenomenon seems to be at play for the European countries under international assistance.
Abstract: We address the question of whether foreign aid helps attract foreign direct investment (FDI). This could be achieved if well targeted aid removed critical impediments to higher FDI inflows. In particular, we test the hypothesis that aid for education is an effective means to increase FDI flows to host countries in Latin America where schooling and education appears to be inadequate from the viewpoint of foreign investors. We employ panel data techniques covering 21 Latin American countries over the period from 1984 to 2008. We find that aid for education has a statistically significant positive effect on FDI. This effect is robust to potential outliers, sample selection, alternative specifications and different estimation methods.