Emerging Europe has undergone a major economic transformation over the past 25 years. Most countries experienced initial drops in output during transition, followed by recovery in the second half of the 1990s. The path of transition in the Western Balkans has however been particularly uneven. The effects of transition also seem to have been more traumatic and persistent in the Western Balkans, and nostalgia for the past appears to be more prevalent here than in other former communist regions. Such dissatisfaction has important implications for the political economy of further reforms. This paper aims to inform policy by complementing the analysis of standard macro-level measures of inequality and poverty with a household-level analysis of subjective perceptions of poverty. We find that many more people appear to feel poor than are classified as such using purely income-based measures. Uncertainty, in particular related to expectations of future income and vulnerability to shocks, appears to be a key driver behind this discrepancy.
This paper discusses Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sixth and Seventh Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Requests for Augmentation of Access and Modification of Performance Criteria (PC). Program performance became more uneven in late 2013 and early 2014, reflecting both economic factors and delays in policy implementation. Fiscal policies were broadly on track, but two end-December 2013 fiscal PCs were missed. As revenue collection steadily improved, all end-March 2014 PCs were met. Given the authorities’ overall performance and corrective actions, the IMF staff recommends the completion of the sixth and seventh reviews.
Mr. Jerome Vandenbussche, Ms. Ursula Vogel, and Ms. Enrica Detragiache
Several countries in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe used a rich set of prudential instruments in response to last decade’s credit and housing boom and bust cycles. We collect detailed information on these policy measures in a comprehensive database covering 16 countries at a quarterly frequency. We use this database to investigate whether the policy measures had an impact on housing price inflation. Our evidence suggests that some—but not all—measures did have an impact. These measures were changes in the minimum CAR and non-standard liquidity measures (marginal reserve requirements on foreign funding, marginal reserve requirements linked to credit growth).