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A crisis not wasted – Institutional and structural reforms behind Norway’s strong macroeconomic performance

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This paper draws the line between the Norwegian boom-bust cycle and crises in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the succeeding institutional and structural reforms and the strong macroeconomic performance and stability of the last two decades. The systemic banking crisis and speculative attack on the Norwegian krone in the early 1990s were the last in a series of blows to Norway’s macroeconomic policy regime. In addition to the recession after 1988, the underlying growth potential of the Mainland economy was also weak, despite financial deregulation and the gains in competitiveness. The large oil price fall in the mid-1980s had demonstrated the risk of uncertain oil revenues as an important source of income to the government. The political awareness of an economic crisis paved the way for a series of structural reforms and changes in the macroeconomic policy regime. Some of these reforms were implemented quickly, such as a tax reform, an energy market reform and a new incomes policy framework. In 2001 a new framework for monetary and fiscal policy was put in place, involving a flexible exchange rate and inflation targeting, as well as a new fiscal policy rule designed to facilitate consumption smoothing and a build-up of a sovereign wealth fund. We discuss possible reasons why Norway’s political system has been able to learn from previous policy failures and reach the necessary consensus, and determination, to implement institutional and structural reforms in economic policy.

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  • Steigum, Erling & Thøgersen, Øystein, 2013. "A crisis not wasted – Institutional and structural reforms behind Norway’s strong macroeconomic performance," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 18/2013, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2013_018
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    1. Michael Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Daniela Klingebiel & Maria Soledad Martinez-Peria, 2001. "Is the crisis problem growing more severe?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 51-82, April.
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    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    5. Steigum, E.Jr., 1992. "Financial Deregulation, Credit Boom and Banking Crisis: The Case of Norway," Papers 15-92, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
    6. Erling Steigum & Øystein Thøgersen, 2003. "Borrow and Adjust: Fiscal Policy and Sectoral Adjustment in an Open Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 699-724, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ramírez-Cendrero, Juan M. & Wirth, Eszter, 2016. "Is the Norwegian model exportable to combat Dutch disease?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 85-96.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Norwegian boom-bust cycle; banking crises; attack on the Norwegian krone;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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