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Chen Chen, Koralai Kirabaeva, Danielle N Minnett, Ian W.H. Parry, Emanuele Massetti, Tjeerd Tim, Sylke von Thadden-Kostopoulos, and Geoffroy Dolphin

The Netherlands has committed to the EU’s ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and emissions neutrality in 2050 but at the same time is also vulnerable to sea-level rise and flood risks. This paper reviews recent mitigation policy initiatives in the Netherlands, including carbon levies for the industry and power sectors, energy and car tax reforms, and air passenger taxes, and recommends some modifications to these initiatives. The paper also provides assessments of hazards and macroeconomic risks from weather shocks and climate change and assesses the adaption plan against key principles on mainstream climate change into macro-fiscal planning.

Seho Kim, Pablo Lopez Murphy, and Rui Xu

In Japan, corporate savings have risen since 2000 in line with profits. A large share of the additional savings was kept as cash holdings (i.e., cash and short-term investments) rather than used for investment. Building on a rich literature, this paper identifies two additional drivers of corporate cash holdings using financial data of public and private Japanese firms. First, a higher share of intangible capital is associated with more cash holdings. This indicates the presence of financial frictions as intangible capital is not easily collateralizable. Such financial friction could be alleviated by shifting towards cash flow-based lending that is prevalent in the United States (US). Second, corporate tax cuts are associated with more cash holdings while having no significant effect on investment. Given the significant fiscal cost, the efficiency of corporate tax cuts should be re-evaluated.

Estefania Cohn-Bech, Karim Foda, and Agustin Roitman

Though high and rising inflation has been a challenge for most economies across Europe in 2022 and into 2023, it has accelerated in Hungary to the highest level in Europe. This paper examines how and why Hungary reached historically high inflation. It draws on an augmented Phillips Curve to estimate the impact of common drivers of inflation, examines the role of labor market tightness and policy stances, and analyzes possible changes to the degree of exchange rate pass-through in recent years. Overall, a rapid recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, a series of exogenous shocks, and too loose a policy mix fueled inflation to its highest level in decades. Though monetary and fiscal policies are now tightening, regulatory price caps undermine those efforts. Going forward, a consistently and persistently tight overall policy mix is needed to drive inflation back to the central bank’s target.

Saioa Armendariz and Ms. Alla Myrvoda

Global inflation surged in 2022, driven by high gas price growth. With Russia being a key supplier of energy products, the start of the war in Ukraine has led to strong inflationary pressures in the euro area (EA), given the region’s significant exposure to the Russian gas. The price shock has been particularly strong in the Netherlands, largely due to the larger share of gas on the energy mix compared to other peers, making the country vulnerable to changing market conditions.

Diogo Miguel Salgado Baptista, Yoro Diallo, and Mr. Arsene Kaho

Niger’s exposure to recurrent shocks, including climate shocks, increases its vulnerability to food insecurity. This paper aims to quantify the combined effects of climate shocks and food insecurity on key economic variables and identify the most effective mitigation policy responses using a general equilibrium model. Results indicate that rural households would be the most affected by a climate shock resulting in a decline in domestic agricultural production, which would reduce their consumption, erode their capital, and thus increase urban-rural inequalities. Simulations show that cash transfers and the reduction of internal mobility costs appear to be more effective in mitigating the impact on households of a climate shock on agricultural production.

Yoro Diallo

As livelihoods in Niger still depend to a large extent on agricultural production, shocks related to climate change and insecurity present a threat for the country’s development path and are the main sources of vulnerability for the population in rural areas. This paper uses data from the latest household living standard survey to quantify the effects and interactions of these shocks on household welfare before proposing policy recommendations to enhance the resilience of households and the economy more generally. Our results show that when rainfall decreases by one standard deviation, per capita income falls by 11 percent. Furthermore, the impact of shocks on households depends on their adaptive capacity, which includes sufficient agricultural capital and income diversification. Without concrete adaptation measures, vulnerability to climate change is expected to increase in Niger, and human capital accumulation in poor household is also expected to deteriorate and could lead to a poverty trap.