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Mr. Sonali Das, Giacomo Magistretti, Evgenia Pugacheva, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
This paper examines the role of sectoral spillovers in propagating sectoral shocks in the broader economy, both in the past and during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we study how shocks that occur within a sector itself and spillovers from shocks to other sectors affect sectoral activity, for a large sample of countries from 1995 to 2014. We find that both supply and demand shocks—measured as changes in, respectively, productivity and government purchases at the sector level—have large spillover effects on sector-level gross value added and on a sector’s share of the economy. We then use these historical estimates, together with the network structure of global production, to quantify the spillovers from the economic shock associated with the pandemic. We find spillover effects to be sizeable, making up a significant fraction of the overall decline in activity in 2020.Our results have implications for the design of policies with a sectoral dimension.
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.
Nina Biljanovska and Alexandros Vardoulakis
We study how financial frictions amplify labor supply shocks in a macroeconomic model with occasionally binding financing constraints. Workers supply labor to entrepreneurs who borrow to purchase factors of production. Borrowing capacity is restricted by the value of capital, generating a pecuniary externality when financing constraints bind. Additionally, there is a distributive externality operating through wages. The planner’s allocation can be decentralized with two instruments: a credit tax/subsidy and a labor tax/subsidy. Labor shocks, such as the COVID-19 shock, amplify the policy responses, which critically depend on whether financing constraints bind or not.