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.
R&D Offshoring and the Productivity Growth of European Regions
CIRCLE Working Papers, No. 20,
The recent increase in R&D offshoring have raised fears that knowledge and competitiveness in advanced countries may be at risk of 'hollowing out'. At the same time, economic research has stressed that this process is also likely to allow some reverse technology transfer and foster growth at home. This paper addresses this issue by investigating the extent to which R&D offshoring is associated with productivity dynamics of European regions. We find that offshoring regions have higher productivity growth, but this positive effect fades down with the number of investment projects carried out abroad. A large and positive correlation emerge between the extent of R&D offshoring and the home region productivity growth, supporting the idea that carrying out R&D abroad strengthen European competitiveness.
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.
Are the Central and Eastern European Transition Countries still vulnerable to an Financial Crisis? Results from the Signals Approach
IWH Discussion Papers,
The aim of the paper is to analyse the vulnerability of the Central and Eastern European accession countries to the EU as well as that of Turkey and Russia to a financial crisis. Our methodology is an extension of the signals approach. We develop a composite indicator to measure the evolution of the risk potential in each country. Our findings show that crises in Central and Eastern Europe are caused by much the usual suspects as in others emerging markets. In particular an overvalued exchange rate, weak exports and dwindling currency reserves have good predictive power for assessing crisis vulnerabilities.