27 Nov 2013
Miyako Ikeda, Emma García
09 Aug 2013
Towards global carbon pricing
Rob Dellink, Stéphanie Jamet, Jean Chateau, Romain Duval
Emissions trading systems (ETS) can play a major role in a cost-effective climate policy framework. Both direct linking of ETSs and indirect linking through a common crediting mechanism can reduce costs of action.We use a global recursive-dynamic computable general equilibrium model to assess the effects of direct and indirect linking of ETS systems across world regions. Linking of domestic Annex I ETSs leads to moderate aggregate cost savings, as differences in domestic permit prices are limited. Countries benefit directly from linking by either buying permits and avoiding investing in highcost mitigation options, or by exploiting relatively cheap mitigation options and selling permits at a higher price. Although the economy of the main permit sellers, such as Russia, is negatively affected by the real exchange rate appreciation that is induced by the large export of permits, on balance they also still benefit from linking. The costsaving potential for developed countries of well-functioning crediting mechanisms appears to be very large. Even limited use of credits would nearly halve mitigation costs; cost savings would be largest for carbon-intensive economies. However, one open issue iswhether these gains can be fully reaped in reality, given that direct linking and the use of crediting mechanisms both raise complex system design and implementation issues. The analysis in this paper shows, however, that the potential gains to be reaped are so large, that substantial efforts in this domain are warranted.
JEL classification: H23, O41, Q54
Keywords: Climate mitigation policy, emissions trading systems, general equilibrium models, linking carbon markets
31 July 2013
Demographic or labour market trends
Wen-Hao Chen, Michael Förster, Ana Llena-Nozal
This article assesses various underlying driving factors for the evolution of household earnings inequality for 23 OECD countries from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s. There are a number of factors at play. Some are related to labour market trends – increasing dispersion of individual wages and changes in men’s and women’s employment rates. Others relate to shifts in household structures and family formation – more single-headed households and increased earnings correlation among partners in couples. The contribution of each of these factors is estimated using a semi parametric decomposition technique. The results reveal that marital sorting and household structure changes contributed, albeit moderately, to increasing household earnings inequality, while rising women’s employment exerted a sizable equalising effect. However, changes in labour market factors, in particular increases in men’s earnings disparities, were identified as the main driver of household earnings inequality, contributing between one-third and one-half to the overall increase in most countries. Sensitivity analysis applying a reversedorder decomposition suggests that these results are robust.
13 Mar 2013
Technological effects of intra-OECD trade in manufacturing
This article seeks to study how intra-OECD trade in manufacturing goods has affected technological heterogeneity across member states during 1988-2008. To this aim, we derive a panel data version of the Eaton and Kortum (2002) normalised trade model to estimate, annually, the technological heterogeneity of OECD countries. We find a gradual technological convergence across the group as the sensitivity of intra-group trade to price factors increases over time. However, the results diverge when considering European and non-European OECD sub-samples, separately. We find that technological convergence is not an automatic result of intra-group trade but, for that, a more general programme of economic liberalisation, including free movement of capital and labour, is also required.
04 Jan 2013
Avoiding debt traps
Pier Carlo Padoan, Urban Sila, Paul van den Noord
In this article we develop a simple and stylised analytical framework, which is both tractable and feasible to estimate, capturing several key dimensions of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. We use it to examine if and how a combination of fiscal consolidation, structural reform and financial backstops can help countries, notably the southern euro-area countries, to escape from the debt trap. Our analysis confirms that the loss of fiscal policy space in countries trapped in bad dynamics inevitably requires that fiscal action be directed towards consolidation despite some output loss in the short run. In particular, reducing debt levels breeds stronger growth and results in lower sovereign risk premia. We identify also a very important role for structural reform to help countries escape from bad dynamics. Last but not least, we find that financial backstops are helpful, but only to "buy time". This additional time must be used productively, for fiscal consolidation and structural reforms to bear fruit as well as to make progress with institutional reforms of the European monetary union.
04 Jan 2013
Do investors disproportionately shed assets of distant countries during global financial crises?
Rudiger Ahrend, Cyrille Schwellnus
The global crisis of 2008-09 went hand in hand with sharp fluctuations in capital flows. To some extent, these fluctuations may have been attributable to uncertainty-averse investors indiscriminately selling assets about which they had poor information, including those in geographically distant locations. Using a gravity equation setup, this article shows that the impact of distance increases with investors’ uncertainty aversion. Consistent with a sudden increase in uncertainty, the negative impact of distance on foreign holdings increased during the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Host-country structural policies enhancing the quality of information available to foreign investors, such as strict disclosure requirements and prudential bank regulation, tended to mitigate withdrawals.
04 Jan 2013
ICT investments and productivity
This study uses an econometric approach to estimate the contribution of three types of ICT investments (computer, software and communication) in 26 industries (the whole business sector) in 18 OECD countries over 1995-2007, based on the EU KLEMS Database. The estimated contribution of ICT investments to value added growth in the business sector varies from 1.0% a year in Australia to 0.4% a year in Japan. In one-third of the countries considered, the contribution of ICT investment was bigger or equal to the contribution of non-ICT investments. In most countries, computing equipment provided the largest contribution and accounted for over 50% of the overall ICT contribution. The only exceptions are Finland, where investments in communication equipment exceeded those in computing equipment, and Japan, where software was the most dynamic component of ICT investments. ICT producing industries account for no less than two-thirds of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in Germany, Slovenia and the United Kingdom, about 60% in the United States and just below 50% in France and the Netherlands. In Denmark, the Czech Republic and Italy, TFP increased in the ICT producing industries whereas it decreased for the total business sector.
JEL classification: O47, E23, E22.
Keywords: Growth accounting, ICT, GMM, EU KLEMS.