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  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes four key drivers behind the adjustment difficulties in the periphery of the eurozone: The adjustment will be particularly difficult for Greece and Portugal, as two relatively closed economies with low savings rates. Both of these countries combine high external debt levels with low growth rates, which suggest they are facing a solvency problem. In both countries fiscal adjustment is a necessary condition for overall sustainability, but it not sufficient by itself. A sharp cut in domestic consumption (or an unrealistically large jump in exports) is required to quickly establish external sustainability. An internal devaluation (a cut in nominal wages in the private sector) is unavoidable in the longer run. Without such this adjustment in the private sector, even continuing large-scale provision of official funding will not stave off default. Ireland's problems are different. They stem from the exceptionally large losses in the Irish banks, which were taken on by the national government, leading to an explosion of government debt. However, the Irish sovereign should be solvent because the country has little net foreign debt. Spain faces a similar problem as Ireland, although its foreign debt is somewhat higher but its construction bubble has been less extreme. The government should thus also be solvent, although further losses in the banking system seem unavoidable. Italy seems to have a better starting position on almost on all accounts. But its domestic savings rate has deteriorated substantially over the last decade.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Spain, Ireland
  • Author: Francesca di Mauro
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Economic integration between the EU and the CEECs has proceeded at high speed over the 90's, with the main channels of such integration being trade and FDI. Some authors believe that the 'commercial transition' is now complete and that a new, deeper phase of integration has started, with growing flows of FDI in the region. Following a gravity-type approach, in this paper I tackle two difficult issues surrounding the EU-CEECs integration: has FDI in the CEECs region substituted EU exports, therefore harming employment at home? Has FDI in the CEECs region been redirected away from similarly attractive countries, such as Spain and Portugal? By using a unique database on FDI broken down by country and by sector, which allows more detailed qualifications than possible in previous work, the answers to these two questions appear to be negative.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Portugal