The 2008 Article IV Consultation analyzes the promise of fiscal discipline and debt relief that has boosted investor confidence and growth in the Kingdom of the Netherlands—Netherlands Antilles. Although exports moderated temporarily, tourism was a bright spot owing to improvements in competitiveness as a result of infrastructure investments, and cost controls from immigration. Executive Directors encouraged the authorities to take the opportunity provided by the large debt relief from the Netherlands government under the dissolution agreement to set the budget and the economy on a more sustainable footing.
The two newly autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands face substantial challenges. Growth has been low, and unemployment high. The current account deficit has widened to worrisome levels, increasing the vulnerability of the peg to the U.S. dollar and stimulating calls for dollarizing or dissolving the currency union. A substantial adjustment is needed to bring the underlying current account deficit to historically sustainable levels over the medium term. This could be facilitated by measures to restrain credit growth, supported by fiscal consolidation.
This paper constructs a general-equilibrium model of an open economy and to develop a computational technique for deriving a market-clearing solution to the model. The model will allow for disaggregated commodities, taxes, and tariffs, so that the individual parameter changes that are often considered by a government may be examined. The model includes a government that is an active participant in the economy as a producer of public goods and that may influence the rate of savings by its actions. Private firms are assumed to have linear technologies in intermediate and final goods, but have the possibility for substitution among the scarce factors that enter their value added, and are assumed to maximize profits at given market prices subject to taxes on profits, defined as returns to capital. It is the normal procedure in work on general-equilibrium models to deal separately with the supply and demand sides of the economy in question, and to then construct excess demand functions.