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Ms. Valerie Cerra, Mai Hakamada, and Mr. Ruy Lama
One of the most puzzling facts in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) is that output across advanced and emerging economies recovered at a much slower rate than anticipated by most forecasting agencies. This paper delves into the mechanics behind the observed slow recovery and the associated permanent output losses in the aftermath of the crisis, with a particular focus on the role played by financial frictions and investment dynamics. The paper provides two main contributions. First, we empirically document that lower investment during financial crises is the key factor leading to permanent loss of output and total factor productivity (TFP) in the wake of a crisis. Second, we develop a DSGE model with financial frictions and capital-embodied technological change capable of reproducing the empirical facts. We also evaluate the role of financial policies in stabilizing output and TFP in response to disruptions in financial markets.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

A year into the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the race between vaccine and virus entered a new phase in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the path to recovery in 2021 is expected to be long and divergent. The outlook will vary significantly across countries, depending on the pandemic’s path, vaccine rollouts, underlying fragilities, exposure to tourism and contact-intensive sectors, and policy space and actions. 2021 will be the year of policies that continue saving lives and livelihoods and promote recovery, while balancing the need for debt sustainability and financial resilience. At the same time, policymakers must not lose sight of the transformational challenges to build forward better and accelerate the creation of more inclusive, resilient, sustainable, and green economies. Regional and international cooperation will be key complements to strong domestic policies.