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Macroeconomic adjustment programmes in the euro area: an overall assessment

Cinzia Alcidi (), Ansgar Belke, Alessandro Giovannini () and Daniel Gros

International Economics and Economic Policy, 2016, vol. 13, issue 3, No 2, 345-358

Abstract: Abstract Since the start of EMU (Economic and Monetary Union), the euro area, and more broadly the global economy, experienced an unprecedented credit boom. The expansion of credit was particularly strong in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus and all of them subsequently needed official financial support. In each of the four programmes, financial assistance has been provided and promised against the commitment of each country to fulfil certain economic policy conditions contained in the macroeconomic adjustment programme. In general, a macroeconomic adjustment is a process driven by policies but also by changes in private spending behaviour (consumption, imports, investment) and improvement in competitiveness that countries are required to undertake after a large shock. In the case of the four countries, the shock emerged as a consequence of an excessive accumulation of imbalances in different parts of the economy: in the public sector in Greece, in the housing and banking sectors in Ireland, external imbalances in Portugal and in the banking sector in Cyprus. The paper looks at the feasibility of the fiscal adjustment comparing the macroeconomic conditions in the four countries and emphasising the role of the fiscal multipliers in the process. It also assesses the fall in the output in a comparative framework, stressing the role played by the different components of demand either in amplifying the effect of the fiscal consolidation or in offsetting it. In addition, it considers formulation of the programmes as well as their implementation with most attention devoted to reforms aiming at improving competitiveness, growth and employment in the framework of a cross-country approach.

Keywords: Macroeconomic adjustment programmes; Troika; European Monetary Union; Greece; Ireland; Portugal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E3 F4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1007/s10368-016-0350-6

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