The Intellectual Assets in Europe

In this article we investigate the determinants of the Intellectual Assets in Europe. We use data from the European Innovation Scoreboard of the European Commission in the period 2000-2019 for 36 countries. Data are analyzed using Panel with Fixed Effects, Random Effects, WLS, Pooled OLS, Dynamic Panel at 1 Stage. Results show that the presence of Intellectual Assets in Europe is positively associated with “Enterprise Births”, “Top R&D Spending Enterprises per 10 mln Population”, “Employment Share Manufacturing”, “Share High and Medium high-tech Manufacturing”, “Attractive Research Systems”, “Finance and Support”, “Innovators”, “Sales Impact” and is negatively..

European Economics

The Italian nominal interest rate conundrum: a problem of growth or public finance?

In the economic literature, there has been a large heterogeneity of results in relation to the impact of fiscal variables on interest rates. Focusing on the Italian economy and considering the nature of our interest rate determinants (public finance variables and nominal GDP growth), we decided to undertake a cointegration analysis relying on the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bound test approach, a particular suitable procedure within this peculiar framework, able to disentangle short-run and long-run dynamics. Our results are quite controversial, shedding new light on the role of gross debt and primary balance as a share of GDP in relation to the long-term Italian nominal interest r..

European Economics

Does money growth tell us anything about inflation?

Economists and central bankers no longer consider monetary aggregates relevant for inflation forecasts. We explain this neglect by advancing and testing the hypothesis that monetary aggregates are only relevant for inflation in unsettled monetary and inflationary conditions. When inflation is basically stable around the central bank target (1.9 percent), as it has been in most of the last two decades, there is no apparent relationship between monetary aggregates and inflation....

European Economics

Euro area time-varying cyclicality of fiscal policy

We assess the cyclicality of fiscal policy in the 19 Euro area countries, notably during recessions, for the period 1995-2020. We use a time-varying measure of fiscal cyclicality to describe fiscal policy developments. The results suggest that during recessions discretionary fiscal policy becomes more pro-cyclical, but the overall budget balance becomes more counter-cyclical. Hence, pursuing a Ricardian fiscal regime by more indebted countries leads to higher counter-cyclicality of fiscal policy. Government size reduces counter-cyclicality, as well as trade openness, and financial development has a positive impact on counter-cyclicality.

European Economics

Structural change and productivity growth in the European Union: Past, present and future

The aim of this paper is to investigate the interplay between structural change, interpreted as the secular process of sectoral transformation, and labour productivity growth in the EU in several new dimensions. First, based on the latest data, we document the size of the negative effect that structural change has exerted onto productivity growth over long time horizons. We provide a comparative analysis of these and present-day trends with respect to the US. Second, we develop a general equilibrium model calibrated to match these empirical observations to analyse the potential impact that projected structural change may have on future productivity growth. This model generates structural cha..

European Economics

COVID-19 financial aid and productivity- has support been well spent?

This Policy Contribution is an output from the MICROPROD project, which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 822390. The authors thank colleagues at Bruegel for valuable comments and suggestions. Lionel Jeanrenaud and Maddalena Conte provided valuable research assistance. Opinions are those of the authors. Most European Union countries have made good progress with vaccinating their populations against COVID-19 and are...

European Economics

EU Exports to the World: Effects on Employment

The Trade Policy Review also specifies areas and actions that are critical to achieving the EU’s objectives in the medium term. One of the headline actions is to support an informed discussion on trade policy by inter-alia conducting analytical work on the impact of trade policies on employment. Against this background, DG TRADE and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) have prepared a new updated version of two published studies in 2015 and 2018 based for the first time on reliable and comparable official statistics to understand how global trade flows affect employment in the EU. This report illustrates in detail the relationship between trade and employment for the EU ..

European Economics

A Convenient Representation of the Wealth Distribution and More Evidence on Homeownership and Wealth Inequality in Euro Area Countries

This note proposes a convenient graphical representation of the wealth distribution and illustrates it with data from the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS). We also present more evidence on the role of homeownership for wealth inequality in euro area countries.

European Economics

Natural rate chimera and bond pricing reality

We build a novel macro-finance model that combines a semi-structural macroeconomic module with arbitrage-free yield-curve dynamics. We estimate it for the United States and the euro area using a Bayesian approach and jointly infer the real equilibrium interest rate (r*), trend inflation (π*), and term premia. Similar to Bauer and Rudebusch (2020, AER), π* and r* constitute a time-varying trend for the nominal short-term rate in our model, rendering estimated term premia more stable than standard yield curve models operating with time-invariant means. In line with the literature, our r* estimates display a distinct decline over the last four decades. JEL Classification: C11, C32, E43, G12, ..

European Economics

Brexit: Trade diversion due to trade policy uncertainty

During the long process of negotiation after the 2016 Brexit referendum there was a high uncertainty about the final shape of bilateral trade relations between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), especially for particular sectors and firms. Given this context, the paper explores whether a fraction of Spanish trade with the UK was diverted to other markets after the referendum as a function of Spanish firms’ exposition to the British market. The paper shows that firms more exposed to that particular market (above 10% of foreign sales and purchases) were able to almost fully divert the shock in their sales and purchases, mostly to other European countries. Instead, there was..

European Economics

The COVID-19 Consumption Game-Changer: Evidence from a Large-Scale Multi-Country Survey

Prospective economic developments depend on the behavior of consumer spending. A key question is whether private expenditures recover once social distancing restrictions are lifted or whether the COVID-19 crisis had a sustained impact on consumer confidence, preferences, and hence, spending. The elongated and profound experience of the COVID-19 crisis may durably affect consumer preferences. We conducted a representative consumer survey in five European countries in summer 2020 after the release of the first wave’s lockdown restrictions. We document the underlying reasons for households’ reduction in consumption in five key sectors: tourism, hospitality, services, retail, and public tran..

European Economics

Institutional Integration and Productivity Growth: Evidence from the 1995 Enlargement of the European Union

This paper studies the productivity effects of integration deepening. The identification strategy exploits the 1995 European Union (EU) enlargement, when all candidate countries joined the Single Market but one — Norway — did not join the EU. Our synthetic difference-in-differences estimates on sectoral and regional data suggest had Norway chosen deeper integration, the average Norwegian region would have experienced an increase in yearly productivity growth of about 0.6 percentage points. This method also helps determining the sources of heterogeneity, apparently inherent to integration, highlighting higher costs of the missed deeper integration for more peripheral regions and industria..

European Economics

The Impact of the ECB Banking Supervision Announcements on the EU Stock Market

We study the impact of ECB’s supervisory announcements on the Bank Stock index, from 2013 through 2017. Our evidence shows that the news, related to supervisory actions, do have highly significant effects on the market price of banks, contributing to the volatility of the Bank Stock Index for Europe and Italy. Most announcements signal the need to raise more regulatory capital and lead to negative returns in the stock market, thus increasing the cost of raising new capital. Our study is related to previous ones (by Bernanke and Kuttner) focusing on the impact of monetary policy announcements on the stock exchange.

European Economics

Conventional and Unconventional Monetary Policy Rate Uncertainty and Stock Market Volatility: A Forecasting Perspective

Theory suggests the existence of a bi-directional relationship between stock market volatility and monetary policy rate uncertainty. In light of this, we forecast volatilities of equity markets and shadow short rates (SSR) - a common metric of both conventional and unconventional monetary policy decisions, by applying a bivariate Markov-switching multifractal (MSM) model. Using daily data of eight advanced economies (Australia, Canada, Euro area, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the UK, and the US) over the period of January, 1995 to March, 2021, we find that the bivariate MSM model outperforms, in a statistically significant manner, not only the benchmark historical volatility and the univa..

European Economics

Asylum Recognition Rates in Europe: Persecution, Policies and Performance

A minority of applicants for asylum in Europe gain some form of recognition as refugees, and this has been a controversial issue. From the early 2000s the EU introduced a series of directives to prevent a race to the bottom in asylum policies and to harmonise policy between destination countries but the results have not been fully assessed. In this paper I examine the determinants of recognition rates for asylum applicants from 65 origin countries to 20 European destinations from 2003 to 2017. The outcomes of the EU directives have been mixed, but taken together they are associated with increased recognition rates. These made a modest contribution to the trend increase in recognition rates m..

European Economics

Chinese supply chain shocks

In structural vector autoregressive models of US and euro area manufacturing, we use sign restrictions to identify shocks that alter the frictions to Chinese supply chain trade. We find a quantitatively significant role of such shocks for the decline of US manufacturing output at the height of the Sino-American trade tensions in 2019. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, the results point towards large spillovers from the shutdown in China to manufacturing in the US and the euro area. Moreover, during the recovery in 2020 and 2021, positive Chinese supply chain shocks related to the shift of preferences towards goods with a large China valued-added content played a role. ..

European Economics

Learning about Unprecedented Events: Agent-Based Modelling and the Stock Market Impact of COVID-19

We model the learning process of market traders during the unprecedented COVID-19 event. We introduce a behavioral heterogeneous agents’ model with bounded rationality by including a correction mechanism through representativeness (Gennaioli et al., 2015). To inspect the market crash induced by the pandemic, we calibrate the STOXX Europe 600 Index, when stock markets suffered from the greatest single-day percentage drop ever. Once the extreme event materializes, agents tend to be more sensitive to all positive and negative news, subsequently moving on to close-to-rational. We find that the deflation mechanism of less representative news seems to disappear after the extreme event.

European Economics

The Effectiveness of Job-Retention Schemes: COVID-19 Evidence From the German States

Kurzarbeit (KA), Germany’s short-time work program, is widely credited with saving jobs and supporting domestic demand during the COVID-19 recession. We quantify the impact by exploiting state-level variation in exposure to the pandemic shock and KA take-up. We construct a shift-share measure of the labor demand shock and instrument KA take-up using the pre-existing, state-specific share of workers eligible for KA. We find, first, that KA was crucial in mitigating unemployment: absent its expansion the unemployment rate would have increased by an additional 3 pp on average at the trough of the recession. Second, KA also bolstered domestic demand: the contraction in consumption could have b..

European Economics

From SMP to PEPP: a further look at the risk endogeneity of the Central Bank

This paper examines the evolution of credit risk arising from monetary policy operations and ELA on the Eurosystem balance sheet over the last decade. We employ a dynamic, market-driven risk model relying on the expected default frequencies for sovereigns, banks and corporates provided by Moody’s Analytics. Dependence between defaults is modeled with a multivariate Student t distribution with time-varying parameters. We find that at the end of 2020, risk is slightly above its average value in 2010 and approximately equal to one quarter of the value measured at the peak of the sovereign debt crisis in 2012, notwithstanding the threefold increase in the Eurosystem monetary policy exposu..

European Economics

The macroeconomic impact of euro area labour market reforms: evidence from a narrative panel VAR

Using new quarterly narrative evidence, this paper examines the macroeconomic impact of reforms of unemployment benefits (UB) and employment protection legislation (EPL) in the euro area from a Bayesian narrative panel VAR. The approach complements existing micro-econometric evidence by aligning short- and mediumterm effects in a unified framework and assessing state dependencies. Liberalising reforms result in temporary wage declines and highly persistent increases in economic activity and employment. In contrast to UB reforms, the effects of EPL reforms on employment emerge only gradually. JEL Classification: E32, J08, O43

European Economics

Banks' risk-taking within a banking union

We study the relationship between banks’ size and risk-taking in the context of supranational banking supervision. Consistently with theoretical work on banking unions and in contrast to analyses emphasising incentives underpinned by the too-big-to-fail effect, we find an inverse relationship between banks’ size and non-performing loan growth for a sample of European banks. Evidence is provided that the mechanism operates through the enhanced organisational efficiency of the supranational set-up rather than incentives alignment among the supervisors and the banks. JEL Classification: F33, G21, G28, G32, C20

European Economics

Do liquidity limits amplify money market fund redemptions during the COVID crisis?

Regulation of Money Market Funds (MMFs) in the EU requires some categories of MMFs to consider applying liquidity management tools if they breach a minimum ‘weekly’ liquidity requirement. Anticipation of the application of such tools is a plausible amplifier of run risks. Using a larger European dataset than previously studied, we assess whether proximity to liquidity thresholds explains differences in redemptions both at the start of the COVID-19 crisis and in the following months. We assess this effect for MMFs subject to and exempt from the liquidity regulation. The evidence shows that outflows can be robustly associated with proximity to minimum liquidity requirements in the peak of ..

European Economics

Central bank communication with non-experts: a road to nowhere?

Central banks have intensified their communication with non-experts – an endeavour which some have argued is bound to fail. This paper studies English and German Twitter traffic about the ECB to understand whether its communication is received by non-experts and how it affects their views. It shows that Twitter traffic is responsive to ECB communication, also for non-experts. For several ECB communication events, Twitter constitutes primarily a channel to relay information: tweets become more factual and the views expressed more moderate and homogeneous. Other communication events, such as former President Draghi’s “Whatever it takes” statement, trigger persistent traffic and a diver..

European Economics

Sudden stops and asset purchase programmes in the euro area

This paper analyses the incidence and severity of sudden stops in euro area countries before and after the introduction of the ECB’s asset purchase programmes. We define sudden stops as abrupt declines in private net financial inflows, i.e. total flows adjusted for EU and IMF loans and changes in TARGET2 balances. Distinguishing between mild and severe sudden stops, we document that sudden stops were overall more frequent and more severe in euro area countries compared to other OECD economies over the period 1999–2020. On the basis of a multinomial logit model, we find that the susceptibility of euro area countries to severe sudden stops mainly reflects domestic fundamentals whereas ther..

European Economics

The impact of the euro on trade: two decades into monetary union

The consensus back in 2008 – ten years after the introduction of the euro – was that the adoption of a common currency had made a limited impact of around 2% in total on the trade flows of the first wave of euro area countries (Baldwin et al., 2008). Since then, six more countries have joined the euro area, and firms have internationalised their production processes. These two phenomena are interrelated and may have changed the way the common currency affects the euro area economy. Therefore, with the common currency now into its third decade – and with more countries queuing to adopt it – this paper revisits the trade effects of the euro, focusing on the newer euro adopters (i.e. th..

European Economics

Global models for a global pandemic: the impact of COVID-19 on small euro area economies

This paper analyses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic shock on small open economies in a monetary union with an application to the euro area. Accounting for a high degree of openness and a strong dependence on intra and extra union trade, we focus on the size and the direction of international spillovers - both from the shock itself and from the ensuing fiscal response. To do so, we use a unified modelling framework: The Euro Area and the Global Economy (EAGLE) model. Furthermore, within this general framework, we assess the extent to which specific modelling features shape the dynamic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The main messages are as follows. First, fiscal spillovers from the ..

European Economics

Small firms and domestic bank dependence in Europe’s Great Recession

After the inception of the euro, the real economy in most member countries remained dependent on credit by domestic banks, which increasingly funded themselves through cross-border interbank funding. We find that this pattern of ‘double-decker’ banking integration exposed domestic banks to sharp declines in cross-border interbank lending during the eurozone crisis. As a result, domestic banks reduced lending which led to large declines in output in sectors with many small (bank-dependent) firms. We propose a quantitative small open economy model to account for these patterns and conclude that a global banking shock leading to a sudden stop in cross-border interbank lending in the eurozon..

European Economics

Investment funds, risk-taking, and monetary policy in the euro area

We examine the transmission of monetary policy via the euro area investment fund sector using a BVAR framework. We find that expansionary shocks are associated with net inflows and that these are strongest for riskier fund types, reflecting search for yield among euro area investors. Search for yield behaviour by fund managers is also evident, as they shift away from low yielding cash assets following an expansionary shock. While higher risk-taking is an intended consequence of expansionary monetary policy, this dynamic may give rise to a build-up in liquidity risk over time, leaving the fund sector less resilient to large outflows in the face of a crisis. JEL Classification: E32, G11, G23

European Economics

A mixed frequency BVAR for the euro area labour market

We introduce a Bayesian Mixed-Frequency VAR model for the aggregate euro area labour market that features a structural identification via sign restrictions. The purpose of this paper is twofold: we aim at (i) providing reliable and timely forecasts of key labour market variables and (ii) enhancing the economic interpretation of the main movements in the labour market. We find satisfactory results in terms of forecasting, especially when looking at quarterly variables, such as employment growth and the job finding rate. Furthermore, we look into the shocks that drove the labour market and macroeconomic dynamics from 2002 to early 2020, with a first insight also on the COVID-19 recession. Whil..

European Economics

Market finance as a spare tyre? Corporate investment and access to bank credit in Europe

We estimate a FAVAR with Bayesian techniques in order to investigate the impact of loan supply conditions on euro area corporate investment and its financing structure. We identify shocks to overall demand and loan supply with sign and impact restrictions. Although tightened financial conditions have adversely impacted corporate investment during and after the sovereign debt crisis, the resulting impediments in loan supply, illustrated by lower loan volumes and higher spreads, have been partly alleviated by strengthened corporate debt issuance. We show that (1) part of the protracted increase in debt to loan ratio since the crisis reflects bottlenecks in the provision of bank credit and (2) ..

European Economics