Samouničujoča fiskalna konsolidacija

Antonio Fatas & Larry Summers sta v junija objavljeni študiji Permanent Effects of Fiscal Consolidations (NBER, 2016) šla še korak naprej pri pojasnjevanju vpliva povpraševalnega šoka na dolgoročno dinamiko dejanskega BDP in potencialnega BDP. Medtem ko sta najprej obravnavala samo vpliv dolgo trajajoče krize na umik zaposlenih iz aktivne delovne sile oziroma razvodenitev njihovih znanj, kar seveda povzroča dolgoročno nižjo rast (dejanskega in potencialnega) BDP, pa v tej zadnji študiji dodatno vključita še vpliv dolge krize (prek zmanjšanja kapitalskih investicij, investicij v R&R ter inovacij) na dolgorčno zmanjšanje proizvodnih kapacitet, kar seveda spet vpliva na dolgoročno nižjo rast (dejanskega in potencialnega) BDP.

(Za tiste, ki niste iz “foha”: do sedaj so ekonomisti konvencionalno predpostavljali, da potencialno (trendno) rast BDP eksogeno določajo faktorji na strani ponudbe (produktivnost in rast delovne sile), medtem ko povpraševanje vpliva zgolj na začasne odmike od trenda). Fatas & Summers pa ta stališča revidirata in pravita, da ima dolga kriza zaradi povpraševalnega šoka tudi negativni učinek na sam potencial za rast, ker se delo in kapital skrčita oziroma se ne povečujeta kot prej.)

Spodaj je nekaj odlomkov iz njunega članka za širšo javnost v VoxEU. Predvsem pa bodite pozorni na njun point, da je podaljševanje sedanje krize zaradi napačnih političnih odločitev v letih 2010-2011 za politiko zategovanja pasu (politiko fiskalne konsolidacije za vsako ceno), vplivalo na to, da se je zmanjšal ne samo dejanski, pač pa se je trajno zmanjšal tudi dolgoročni potencialni BDP, zaradi česar se je razmerje med dolgom in BDP povišalo. Bolj preprosto rečeno: če so vlade EU držav v letih 2010-2011 na silo zniževale javne izdatke, da bi zmanjšale deficite in s tem javni dolg, so se s tem ustrelile v koleno – absolutni deficiti so se morda nekoliko zmanjšali, toda trajno se je zmanjšal potencial za rast BDP, kar seveda zvišuje relativno zadolženost (dolg/BDP), namesto da bi ga zniževalo. Fiskalna konsolidacija v času povpraševalnega šoka je torej “samouničujoča”.

But there is a recent empirical literature that shows that hysteresis effects are common and large. For example, Haltmaier (2013) and Martin et al. (2015) have shown that all US business cycles are very persistent and have long-term effects on GDP. Blanchard et al.  (2015) go even further and identify, in a sample of advanced economies, the source of different shocks to show that recessions more likely caused by demand shocks such as ‘intentional disinflations’ are also persistent and permanently lower GDP levels – strong evidence in favour of hysteresis.

What about the persistence of the Global Crisis? Was it caused by cyclical or structural factors? As with any other empirical study that tries to separate the sources of macroeconomic shocks and their relative contribution, we face the challenge of properly identifying exogenous events. The work of Anzoategui et al. (2016) shows that the recent slowdown in productivity can be explained by a model where growth reacts to the contraction in demand. In our paper, we also present supporting evidence of this hypothesis by looking at the persistence of a particular demand shock (Fatás and Summers 2016). A candidate for such a shock is the large fiscal consolidation that took place during the 2010-11 period.

We know from the work of Blanchard and Leigh (2013) that changes in fiscal policy in those years led to significant changes in short-term GDP. But how persistent were those changes? We follow their methodology to study the effects on GDP over long horizons. We look at actual GDP in 2015, GDP forecasts for 2021, as well as estimates of potential GDP for the same horizon.

In all cases we confirm that the effects of the fiscal consolidation identified by Blanchard and Leigh (2013) extend over longer horizons, up to the latest data available (2015) or even to current projections for 2021. What is more interesting is that the same effects are present when we replace GDP with measures of potential output.

Our results show that in advanced economies, every 1% decline in GDP during the years 2010-11 caused by fiscal policy consolidation translated into a 1% decline in potential output (as estimated at the beginning of 2016). The results are stronger for the Eurozone. The large size of these long-term fiscal policy multipliers is likely to be a consequence of the specific circumstances during these years. We are looking at a very large crisis and one where monetary policy was constrained by the zero lower bound.

The fact that the effects of fiscal consolidation on GDP during these years were permanent and large raises the question of how effective they were at reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio. Following the analysis of DeLong and Summers (2012), we show that given the size of our estimates, it is very likely that that the 2010-11 fiscal consolidation was self-defeating. Contrary to its goals, it led to an increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio via its negative long-term effects on GDP.

Vir: Antonio Fatas & Larry Summers, VoxEU

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