Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Veronika Penciakova, and Nick Sander
We estimate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on business failures among small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in seventeen countries using a large representative firm-level database. We use a simple model of firm cost-minimization and measure each firm’s liquidity shortfall during and after COVID-19. Our framework allows for a rich combination of sectoral and aggregate supply, productivity, and demand shocks. We estimate a large increase in the failure rate of SMEs under COVID-19 of nearly 9 percentage points, ab-sent government support. Accommodation & Food Services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Education, and Other Services are among the most affected sectors. The jobs at risk due to COVID-19 related SME business failures represent 3.1 percent of private sector employment. Despite the large impact on business failures and employment, we estimate only moderate effects on the financial sector: the share of Non Performing Loans on bank balance sheets would increase by up to 11 percentage points, representing 0.3 percent of banks’ assets and resulting in a 0.75 percentage point decline in the common equity Tier-1 capital ratio. We evaluate the cost and effectiveness of various policy interventions. The fiscal cost of an intervention that narrowly targets at risk firms can be modest (0.54% of GDP). However, at a similar level of effectiveness, non-targeted subsidies can be substantially more expensive (1.82% of GDP). Our results have important implications for the severity of the COVID-19 recession, the design of policies, and the speed of the recovery.
Ján Klacso, Eugen Tereanu, Marco Forletta, and Mr. Marco Gross
We develop a semi-structural quantitative framework that combines micro and macroeconomic data to assess the effectiveness of combinations of borrower-based macroprudential measures in Slovakia. We expand on the integrated dynamic household balance sheet model of Gross and Población (2017) by introducing an endogenous loan granting feature, in turn to quantify the potential (ex-ante) impact of macroprudential measures on resilience parameters, compared with a counterfactual no-policy scenario, under adverse macroeconomic conditions. We conclude that (1) borrower-based measures can noticeably improve household and bank resilience to macroeconomic downturns, in particular when multiple measures are applied; (2) those measures tend to complement each other, as the impact of individual instruments is transmitted via different channels; and (3) the resilience benefits are more sizeable if the measures effectively limit the accumulation of risks before an economic downturn occurs, suggesting that an early, preemptive implementation of borrower-based measures is indeed warranted.
Ms. Elva Bova, João Tovar Jalles, and Ms. Christina Kolerus
This paper explores conditions and policies that could affect the matching between labor demand and
supply. We identify shifts in the Beveridge curves for 12 OECD countries between 2000Q1 and
2013Q4 using three complementary methodologies and analyze the short-run determinants of these
shifts by means of limited-dependent variable models. We find that labor force growth as well as
employment protection legislation reduce the likelihood of an outward shift in the Beveridge curve,.
Our findings also show that the matching process is more difficult the higher the share of employees
with intermediate levels of education in the labor force and when long-term unemployment is more
pronounced. Policies which could facilitate labor market matching include active labor market policies,
such as incentives for start-up and job sharing programs. Passive labor market policies, such as
unemployment benefits, as well as labor taxation render matching signficantly more difficult.
The Selected Issues paper examines policy challenges for inflation targeting in Hungary. It highlights that inflation targeting has been met with much initial success. A well-defined policy framework helped guide inflation expectations and provided an initial impetus toward resuming disinflation. The paper also focuses on the impact of aging on the public pension system. It describes the background underlying Hungary’s current pension system, and provides a review of some of the recent work assessing Hungary’s pension system viability.