Sekularna stagnacija: Prenašanje šokov med državami prek trgovine

Eggertsson, Mehrotra, Singh & Summers (2016) z modelom odprtega gospodarstva pokažejo, kako se stanje nizke rasti in ničelnih obrestnih mer (sekularna stagnacija) prenaša med državami prek trgovinskih neravnotežij. Države s trgovinskimi presežki v normalnih časih “izvažajo” nizke obrestne mere, v času sekularne stagnacije pa (zaradi omejitve obrestnih mer navzdol) “izvažajo” recesije. Če v času krize želi država okrevanje doseči prek enostranskih politik, ki vodijo k zviševanju trgovinskega presežka (neomerkantilizem), ima to na državo pozitiven učinek, na trgovinske partnerice pa negativnega (zaradi “siromašenja sosedov“, t.j. napajanja iz tujega agregatnega povpraševanja). Podoben učinek ima politika zniževanja plač in strukturnih reform na trgu dela, ki sicer lahko poveča BDP v državi, ki te politike izvaja, vendar ima negativen učinek na trgovinske partnerice.

V situaciji sekularne stagnacije je monetarna politika neučinkovita, medtem ko ima ekspanzivna fiskalna politika pozitiven učinek tako na domače povpraševanje, kot tudi pozitivne eksternalije na ostale države. Fiskalna politika je zaradi povečanja povpraševanja vzdržna (tudi fiskalni prilivi se posledično povečajo) in samo-financirajoča (povečanje deficita se izniči s povečanimi fiskalnimi prilivi).

Eggertsson, Mehrotra, Singh & Summers propose an open economy model of secular stagnation and show how it can be transmitted from one country to another via current account imbalances. While current account surpluses normally lower interest rates in the recipient country, in a secular stagnation, surpluses transmit recessions due to the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates.

While in the simple endowment economy in section 2 then current account imbalances transmitted low real rate, in the general model then capital markets may propagate output shortfalls and a binding zero lower bound rather than lower real interest rates. This insight allows us to formalizes the idea of neomercantilism – a policy regime that encourages exports and discourages imports, with the aim of increasing a country’s net foreign asset position. If a country targets a positive net foreign asset position vs its trading partner (e.g. by running large trade surpluses), this policy will exert a negative externality on the trading partner. A policy of this type can, in principle, generate a recovery at home, depending on the details of how the increase in net asset holdings is financed. Neomercantilism is therefore example of a beggar-thy-neighbor policy.

Another example we illustrate is what happens if a country increases wage flexibility. While this policy raises output in the country undertaking the reform, it comes at the expense of its trading partner. Moreover, aggregate world output declines as a consequence. This finding is suggestive that ”structural reforms” of this form in Southern Europe may not be the magic bullet for restoring growth in Europe.

In general monetary policies and those directed at competitiveness have negative externalities on trading partners in these circumstances, while fiscal policies and those directed at stimulating domestic demand have positive externalities. This, in a positive sense, explains why the world has relied so much on monetary policies relative to fiscal policies in the wake of the financial crisis and in a normative sense points towards the desirability of fiscal policies. Fiscal policies in response to a secular stagnation are self-financing, as in De Long and Summers (2012) in the authors’ numerical experiments, and a one shot increase in debt will raise demand and is fiscally sustainable. While expansionary monetary policy only provides for a possibility of a better outcome without excluding the possibility of continuing secular stagnation, appropriate fiscal policy eliminates secular stagnation by directly raising the natural rate of interest as in Eggertsson and Mehrotra (2014).

Vir: Eggertsson, Mehrotra, Singh & Summers (2016), A Contagious Malady? Open Economy Dimensions of Secular Stagnation

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