Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Prospects for growth in the Euro area
    (Central Bank of Ireland, 2006-11) ;
    We review the recent performance of the Euro area economy, focusing in detail on the separate roles played by labour input, capital input, and total factor productivity (TFP). After a long period of catching up with US levels of labour productivity, Euro area productivity growth has, since the mid-1990s, fallen significantly behind. We show that this recent divergence has accelerated since 2000, and that this is mainly due to the poor rate of Euro area TFP growth. Based on prevailing trends, we estimate that potential output growth in the Euro area currently may be running as low as 1.5 percent per year. In addition, if TFP growth stays at recent levels, the output growth rate will decline further due to weaker capital deepening. To consider future Euro area prospects for growth, we examine a set of alternative scenarios, each of which posits a potential increase in a determinant of output growth. One of these scenarios focuses on the potential effects of greater labour market deregulation.
  • Publication
    Are some forecasters really better than others?
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2010-04) ; ;
    In any dataset with individual forecasts of economic variables, some forecasters will perform better than others. However, it is possible that these ex post differences reflect sampling variation and thus overstate the ex ante differences between forecasters. In this paper, we present a simple test of the null hypothesis that all forecasters in the US Survey of Professional Forecasters have equal ability. We construct a test statistic that reflects both the relative and absolute performance of the forecaster and use bootstrap techniques to compare the empirical results with the equivalents obtained under the null hypothesis of equal forecaster ability. Results suggests limited evidence for the idea that the best forecasters are actually innately better than others, though there is evidence that a relatively small group of forecasters perform very poorly.
  • Publication
    Europe's Long-Term Growth Prospects: With and Without Structural Reforms
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2015-03-25) ;
    Even before the financial crisis of 2007/08, there were significant questions about Europe's long-term growth prospects. After a long period of catching up with US levels of labour productivity, euro area productivity growth had, from the mid-1990s onwards, fallen significantly behind. Using data for the period 1970 to 2006, McQuinn and Whelan (2008) identified declining rates of total factor productivity (TFP) growth and weaker capital accumulation as areas for concern in an European context. In updating this earlier analysis, we find that the growth prospects of the euro area have deteriorated further. With TFP growth continuing to fall, Europe's demographics are now also contributing to a decline in the workforce. Against this backdrop, we provide a long-term projection for euro area GDP based on unchanged policies and discuss the possible impacts of certain structural reforms including potential changes in the unemployment rate, pension reform and the successful implementation of a significant wider programme of regulatory reform that boosts TFP growth. We argue that, even with the successful adoption of these measures, the European economy is still likely to grow at a slower pace than it has in the past.
  • Publication
    Conditional convergence revisited : taking Solow very seriously
    (Central Bank of Ireland, 2006-07) ;
    Output per worker can be expressed as a function of technological efficiency and of the capital-output ratio. Because technology is exogenous in the Solow model, all of the endogenous convergence dynamics take place through the adjustment of the capital-output ratio. This paper uses the empirical behaviour of the capital-output ratio to estimate the speed of conditional convergence of economies towards their steady-state paths. We find that the conditional convergence speed is about seven percent per year. This is somewhat faster than predicted by the Solow model and is significantly higher than reported in most previous studies based on output per worker regressions. We show that, once there are stochastic shocks to technology, standard panel econometric techniques produce downward-biased estimates of convergence speeds, while our approach does not.
  • Publication
    Solow (1956) as a model of cross-country growth dynamics
    (Central Bank of Ireland, 2007-02) ;
    Despite the widespread popularity of the Solow growth model, much of the recent empirical work based on the classic framework misrepresents a crucial feature of the model. Namely, the growth rate of technological progress, assumed to be exogenous in the Solow model, is often identified as being constant across countries. This simplification of the behaviour of technological progress runs counter to the evidence and has had a number of significant implications for the interpretation of the Solow model. One implication has been an overemphasis on the role of factor accumulation in explaining cross-country income differentials. In addition, the commonly-cited empirical result that the speed of conditional convergence is slower than predicted by the Solow model is a function of this inaccurate assumption about technology rather than due to a failure of the model itself.