The Appropriateness of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure for Central and Eastern European Countries
The experience of Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) during the global financial crisis and in the resulting European debt crises has been largely different from that of other European countries. This paper looks at the specifics of the CEEC in recent history and focuses in particular on the appropriateness of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure for this group of countries. In doing so, the macroeconomic situation in the CEEC is highlighted and macroeconomic problems faced by these countries are extracted. The findings are compared to the results of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure of the European Commission. It is shown that while the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure correctly identifies some of the problems, it understates or overstates other problems. This is due to the specific construction of the broadened surveillance procedure, which largely disregarded the specifics of catching-up economies.
The Impact of Preferences on Early Warning Systems - The Case of the European Commission's Scoreboard
European Journal of Political Economy,
The European Commission’s Scoreboard of Macroeconomic Imbalances is a rare case of a publicly released early warning system. It allows the preferences of the politicians involved to be analysed with regard to the two potential errors of an early warning system – missing a crisis and issuing a false alarm. These preferences might differ with the institutional setting. Such an analysis is done for the first time in this article for early warning systems in general by using a standard signals approach, including a preference-based optimisation approach, to set thresholds. It is shown that, in general, the thresholds of the Commission’s Scoreboard are set low (resulting in more alarm signals), as compared to a neutral stand. Based on political economy considerations the result could have been expected.
The Impact of Institutional and Social Characteristics on Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Japan
Annals of Financial Economics,
We examine the determinants of Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) focusing on institutional and social factors. Using panel data on 59 countries from 1995 to 2008, we find that host countries with free and open markets and greater cultural distance from Japan attract Japanese FDI. Good institutions, such as a well-developed legal framework and an effective government, are important in promoting Japanese FDI to emerging economies, whereas fewer regulatory restrictions, lower tax burden, and more religious diversity attract Japanese FDI to developed countries. We find that corruption stimulates Japanese FDI to developed countries, which is contrary to most previous research.
The European Commission’s Scoreboard of Macroeconomic Imbalances – The Impact of Preferences on an Early Warning System
IWH Discussion Papers,
The European Commission’s Scoreboard of Macroeconomic Imbalances is a rare case of a publicly released early warning system (EWS). That allows for analyzing the preferences of the involved politicians with regard to the two potential errors of an EWS – missing a crisis and issuing a false alarm. This is done for the first time for EWS in general by using a standard signals approach including a preference-based optimization approach to set thresholds. It is shown that in general, the thresholds of the scoreboard are set low (resulting in more alarm signals) as compared to a neutral stand.
New IMF Lending Facilities and Financial Stability in Emerging Markets
Economic Analysis and Policy,
In the light of the current global financial and economic crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has undertaken some major reforms of its lending facilities. The new Flexible Credit Line and the High Access Precautionary Arrangements differ from what has been in place so far, by allowing for ex ante conditionality. This paper summarizes preconditions for effective last resort lending and evaluates the newly introduced measures, concluding that the Flexible Credit Line comes very close to what has been called an International Lender of Last Resort. The main obstacles are the low demand and slow progress in complementary reforms.
Three methods of forecasting currency crises: Which made the run in signaling the South African currency crisis of June 2006?
IWH Discussion Papers,
In this paper we test the ability of three of the most popular methods to forecast the South African currency crisis of June 2006. In particular we are interested in the out-ofsample performance of these methods. Thus, we choose the latest crisis to conduct an out-of-sample experiment. In sum, the signals approach was not able to forecast the outof- sample crisis of correctly; the probit approach was able to predict the crisis but just with models, that were based on raw data. Employing a Markov-regime-switching approach also allows to predict the out-of-sample crisis. The answer to the question of which method made the run in forecasting the June 2006 currency crisis is: the Markovswitching approach, since it called most of the pre-crisis periods correctly. However, the “victory” is not straightforward. In-sample, the probit models perform remarkably well and it is also able to detect, at least to some extent, out-of-sample currency crises before their occurrence. It can, therefore, not be recommended to focus on one approach only when evaluating the risk for currency crises.