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Responses to Economic Crisis in Eastern and Central Europe set in a Comparative Context Prof. Martin Myant University of the West of Scotland OP VK Inovace.

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Prezentace na téma: "Responses to Economic Crisis in Eastern and Central Europe set in a Comparative Context Prof. Martin Myant University of the West of Scotland OP VK Inovace."— Transkript prezentace:

1 Responses to Economic Crisis in Eastern and Central Europe set in a Comparative Context Prof. Martin Myant University of the West of Scotland OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

2 Introduction Interested in policy responses, not just course of crisis Countries with similar conditions, responded differently (never identical conditions) Response from how crisis is interpreted (financial failure, lower demand, competitiveness, budget deficit...) Response not the only one possible, not necessarily solving the problems (pensions, cutting spending on unemployed) Separate issues; budget deficit and cutting state. Different ways to solve crisis, different importance to budget deficit and different ways to balance OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

3 Comparative perspective Mainly policy responses in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia Comparative context, references to other countries; esp Estonia, Russia, Germany Differences in past histories, but central Europe fairly similar, also similar international positions (EU members), economic levels and structures Some differences in how crisis hit them OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

4 Crisis transmission mechanisms 2008, financial crisis in USA, cut in credits All those dependent on external credit (ee, hu, some in ru: less cz, sk, pl, de) Manufacturing dependent on credit (cars, but very short term) (both exports and domestic) Construction (longer term) Budget deficits (lower tax, higher spending), spending prevents depression potential threat (NOT debt level, or deficit) OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

5 Emphasis on the political factors in explaining the differences in reactions: in particular, the partisan composition of the government Reactions linked to the ideology of ruling parties: how they interpret the nature and causes of shocks, what seen as solution Party ideologies determine also access of interest groups to power OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

6 Wider comparisons Germany: similarities in economic conditions, but some quite different responses, maintaining employment, clearly neo-liberal agenda less prominent Baltics: will see similarities in economic trends, but response much more about cutting gvt Russia: importance of measures NOT used in EU, helping specific firms, but claiming it is normal and done in the ‘West’ (maybe the most natural response?) OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

7 Hard constraints … severely limited options in Hungary only Difficulties in financing debt (as in hu) makes countries dependent on IMF financing Financial sector problems (as in HU) -> gvt will help -> likely to need IMF financing -> Otherwise not necessarily constraints, more fears (engineered?) over constraint from state debt OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

8 Why GDP fell Immediate fall in GDP, due to fall in financial inflows, fall in exports, fall in gvt spending (or held in check by rise in gvt spending Fits with econometric model OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

9 The impact Source: Myant/Drahokoupil 2012 OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

10 The impact GDP growth, Fiscal balance, % of GDP, Czech Republic (3/4) Hungary Poland Slovakia (3/4) Germany Estonia Table 1 Main economic indicators, I, Source: Eurostat OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

11 Gvt spending and exports important Gvt spending Exports, growth Czech Republic Hungary Poland Slovakia Germany Estonia Table 2 Main economic indicators, II, Source: Eurostat (real GDP growth and total gvt spending/GDP), EBRD, national statistical offices and central banks. OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

12 Credit has not recovered, gvt debt increase an issue Credits Gvt debt % GDP, Czech Republic Hungary Poland Slovakia Germany Estonia OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

13 Construction, % growth cz hu pl sk OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

14 Policy responses Enormous range of policies and pointing in different directions eg, increase state spending (infrastructure, education, benefits, stadiums, subsidise jobs) Cut state spending, cut taxes Support particular firms (ru) or sectors (de, sk) Maintain jobs, make it easier to lose jobs... OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

15 Characterise by politics Or by economic theory? Neither quite fits Politics: ‘social-democratic response’, likely to increase demand Keynesian: cannot balance budget by cuts, can increase GDP by spending, logical to step in where private credit has failed (construction) But also: listen to interests to maintain jobs. OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

16 The hesitant semi-Keynesian response Counter-cyclical policies accepted by the left And where societal constraints (elections, pl) Can include sectoral support (Kurzarbeit, employment creation), particularly when interest representation pushes for it But none of the political forces in CEE willing to pursue counter-cyclical policies in the longer term Includes also a different approach to balancing the budget, more likely by progressive taxation OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

17 ‘neo-liberal’ response Outwardly, priority is budget deficit, crisis seen as crisis of state budget Solve by cutting, and by higher taxes But not by more progressive tax system – likely to be the reverse Really two separate issues: priority to balancing budget can mean taxes on companies and high incomes Cutting taxes, private pensions – a separate agenda, using opportunity of crisis Do come into conflict (hu and pl) OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

18 Other methods – Estonia and Baltics All Baltic Republics faced enormous problem because of past dependence on financial inflows, also falling exports ‘internal devaluation’, cut spending and wages, ‘neo- liberal’ Reality: no financial collapse, thanks to Swedish banks, enormous drop in domestic demand, but not much fall in wages Export recovery, because of demand in Sweden/Poland Emigration Gvts reelected OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

19 Other methods - Russia Had enormous reserves, thanks to oil exports Big firms had borrowed from western banks and suddenly in trouble State reserves used to help out ‘oligarchs’, to support jobs and firms, company towns - selective measures reflecting how politics works? Which interests are heard? Plans for new growth, high-tech etc Doesn’t fit into soc-dem.v.neo-lib? OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

20 Other methods - Germany Must protect industry and competitiveness, sets context for interests that have an influence Consensus on nature of crisis, also pressed by interest representation Education, employment protection (but not costless to employees) But against ‘printing money’, because of experience last century, and not for big budget deficits More ‘pragmatic’ then soc-dem or neo-lib? OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

21 Hungary History of higher gvt spending, but hit by IMF conditions foreign currency debt (household and corporate), Left gvt: agrees to cuts (until 2008: consolidation mainly through revenue increases); assistance to banks and borrowers Interim gvt (left-supported, business input): implement cuts (benefits, pensions, salaries, other spending); regressive tax restructuring Right-wing (Fidesz): first balances through unorthodox one-off measures (tax on MNCs, bank levy, pension nationalization); supports banks and borrowers; regressive tax restructuring (flat tax, VAT hike); spending cuts, including a very limited unemployment protection and punitive/populist measures Neo-liberal under nationalist cloak? OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

22 Slovakia Left ( ), Right ( ) Left – tripartite fora, pensioners – Keeping social standards despite crisis, protecting – Stimulus (tax, aut. stabilisers, lab. mark., sectors) Right – no anti-crisis policy, just fiscal consolid. – wage cuts, VAT rise, debt brake Pendulum back on the Left in 2012 Balance budget by progressive taxation, reversing ‘flat tax’ OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

23 Poland Easier economic situation, maybe caught boasting about this? Hypothesise particular features of politics: right-wing gvt, but aware of history of failure by being too ideological Pragmatic: listens to interests, IS gvt spending Handles growing debt level by reversing neo- lib pension reform to bring funds back to state Back to normal after elections? OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

24 Czech Republic Changing gvts: right-wing at start, caretaker gvt, right- wing again Not scared of losing elections: thinking of ‘now’s the time to implement...’ Anti-crisis prog  cut business taxes, cut job creation (interests? But not individual firms – in this) Caretaker gvt: listens to interests, contradictory prog Right gvt, 2010: cut benefits, public sector, not just to balance budget, uses Greek fears Constraints? Protests, against ‘reform’ agenda (univs) Will they get reelected? OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

25 Why not Germany, Estonia, Russia? Economic policy in CEECs has much in common, but differs from all of these Stronger social constraints than in Baltics: protests over public sector pay, election results, general level, not individual policies? More ideological than Russia? Won’t help individual firms, but cannot within EU. Less commitment to state role to improve competitiveness, less interest representation on individual policies than Germany? Fate of car scrap, Kurzarbeit, weaker on technology, research, education... OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)

26 Same as before? How countries responded reflected deeply- rooted thinking, structures, who has influence Not seen as showing failure to create competitive economies? Questions are how far budget deficit matters and who should pay for it Doesn’t change economic thinking Maybe shifts locus of political debate towards left-v-right? Although labels never quite fit... OP VK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů (Geoinovace)


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