T17bP18 - Rethinking and Designing Macroeconomic Policy

Topic : Sectorial Policy - Economics

Chair : Yağcı Mustafa - myagci215@gmail.com

Second Chair : Mehmet Kerem Coban - coban.kerem@gmail.com

General Objectives, Research Questions and Scientific Relevance

Call for papers

Session 1

Thursday, June 29th 10:30 to 12:30 (Block B 3 - 7 )


Yağcı Mustafa - myagci215@gmail.com - Istanbul Bilgi University - Turkey

Colin Thain - c.thain@bham.ac.uk - University of Birmingham - United Kingdom

Radical Change hidden inside incrementalism: the case of UK macroeconomic policy-making 1997-2017

Colin Thain - c.thain@bham.ac.uk - University of Birmingham - United Kingdom

This paper reviews and assesses successive changes to the institutional arrangements and policy design of macroeconomic policymaking in the United Kingdom from the labour Government of Tony Blair to the current administration of Theresa May.  Economic policymaking has undergone dramatic change and counter-change through ideological shifts and changes in ideational influences over this twenty year period.  The role of key institutions has altered with greater independence to the central bank (the Bank of England) and a more strategic role being played by the Ministry of Finance and Economics (HM Treasury).  The interaction of fiscal and monetary policy has evolved with and through the response to the Great Recession but this has coincided with considerable debate amongst parties, pressure groups and bureaus about the nature and speed of fiscal consolidation. We have seen a great deal of policy innovation – the use of QE, arms-length bodies to manage banking assets, new fiscal rules, changes to the public spending and planning regime, devolution of fiscal and economic power to regions, and an evolving set of protocols about the role of the Central Bank. Yet there has been considerable divergence between policy rhetoric and reality. The UK case study is a fascinating one in that it allows some analytical and theoretical speculation about how much easier it is to evolve policy when the constitutional structures are so malleable and in a jurisdiction where one key institution has been historically the lead actor invested with a great deal of autonomy. The paper benefits from the findings of a research project on the Treasury under New Labour.


Impacts of Public Debt on Economic Growth: Evidence from ASEAN countries

Phuong Tran Thi - phuongtr@iuj.ac.jp - Yokohama National University - Japan

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This paper examines the relationship between public debt and economic growth by using a panel dataset of 10 countries in Southeast Asia over the period 1990-2010. Borrowing money from foreign sources such as other governments or international organizations as well as domestic markets can create a momentum for economic growth, especially for developing countries. On the other hand, continued borrowing by emerging countries will lead to an increase in public debt stock and cause some difficulties for the economy such as high debt service and pressure to raise taxes in the future. The question about the impact of public growth on the economy has been studied by many economists and policy makers. However, the various pieces of research have specific approaches whose results are rather not consistent. 

Public indebtedness has strong influences on the country’s credit worthiness and the perspective of investors. Given this, especially for developing countries, the question of whether or not high public debt level is good for economic growth should be a pressing one. And, if it is not, then what would be an appropriate threshold of debt threshold? How appropriate is it to set the baseline at such levels for public debt?  What is the appropriate threshold level of public debt that would have negative impacts on economic growth? These are critically important issues that this research attempts to address. In 2015 the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was established as the target of regional economic integration, the macroeconomic policies of all members should be consistent. Debt blueprint is one of important necessary guidelines that will guide ASEAN nations to reach the consensus of AEC. Therefore, studying the public debt issue in ASEAN is very relevant in that it will help member’s governments integrate a debt policy for AEC in the near future. The objectives of the current study include the followings: (a) to discover the accurate relationship between public debt and economic growth in ASEAN countries; (b) to find the appropriate threshold level of public debt beyond which economic growth will decline if there is a non-linear relationship between public debt and growth in ASEAN. 

Using two-way fixed effects model, the paper reports that gross public debt and domestic public debt are negatively correlated with economic growth; on the other hand, external public debt has a positive correlation with per capita GDP growth. The relationship between public debt and economic growth is linear, and no evidence of non-linear relationship is found in this study.

Evaluating Central Bank Policies with Qualitative Data Analysis

Yağcı Mustafa - myagci215@gmail.com - Istanbul Bilgi University - Turkey

In the aftermath of Global Financial Crisis (GFC) central bank policies especially unconventional monetary policy measures such as quantitative easing, zero lower bound and negative interest rates have occupied the economic policy debates in many countries around the world. While political economy studies utilizing qualitative, case study methodology have scrutinized why and how central banks have engaged in different policies in different contexts, the impact of central bank policies and their evaluation have been largely left to researchers employing quantitative methodology. Different methodological approaches have both strengths, weaknesses and trade-offs, however studies that explore and evaluate central bank policies with systematic, rigorous qualitative methodology is almost non-existent. This paper attempts to fill this gap in the literature by offering qualitative data analysis (QDA) approach to evaluate central bank policies in an emerging economy. Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) started to actively follow financial stability objective in addition to its mandate of achieving and maintaining price stability in 2010 as a response to the surge of capital flows. For this purpose, CBRT actively used reserve requirements, shifted from symmetric interest rate corridor to asymmetric interest rate corridor, utilized one-week repo rate as policy interest
rate, employed Reserve Option Mechanism (ROM) as a novel tool to offer liquidity to the banks and changed operational framework for flexible use of liquidity management. These policies received mixed responses from private sector representatives and prominent politicians harshly criticized CBRT’s policies and interest rate decisions. In order to evaluate CBRT policies’
effectiveness and impact on the real and banking sector, 20 semi-structured expert interviews are conducted with current and former CBRT officials, real and banking sector representatives and academics with divergent views. Utilizing QDA methodology with NVivo 11 software, all the interviews are transcribed, responses are coded, emerging themes are categorized and results
are displayed transparently. Evaluation of central bank policies with QDA reveals different preferences of private sector representatives and illustrates that while Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been negatively influenced by CBRT policies big holding companies were not affected, banking sector profitability reduced due mainly to macro-prudential policies
of Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) not CBRT policies, high commercial interest rates is only one of the financing problems of SMEs and policy interest rate became irrelevant for banks because of over-reliance on liquidity policy. Besides, CBRT’s unconventional monetary policies resulted in communication problems with the real and banking sector and also with the ruling AKP government. CBRT’s active financial stability pursuit revealed the political coalitions advocating divergent economic policy visions within the ruling AKP government. While some ministers aligned with CBRT’s financial stability orientation, others heavily criticized it and advocated a more developmentalist role for CBRT. Thus, this study reveals political and economic consequences of CBRT’s active financial stability pursuit with QDA methodology and presents the challenges central banks are facing in adapting to their new roles in national economies. 

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