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The Trade-off Unemployment Rate/External Deficit: Assessing the Economic Adjustment Program of the Troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) for Portugal using an Input-Output Approach

Author

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  • João Ferreira do Amaral
  • João Carlos Lopes

Abstract

This article presents an evaluation of the economic adjustment program negotiated between the Portuguese government and the Troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) in May 2011, with an assessment different from the usual exercises. Instead of an ex-post comparison between the actual results and the proposed targets, an ex-ante assessment of the forecast errors is made. It is shown that these errors could be avoided if the productive (input-output) structure of the economy and the unemployment/external deficit trade-off were taken into account. The main conclusion of this assessment, a large under-estimation of the unemployment rate of about 4 percentage points, illustrates the technical incompetence of this adjustment program and the huge economic and social costs it unnecessarily caused. The methodology used can easily be replicated in assessing other similar programs, such those applied in Greece, Ireland and Cyprus.

Suggested Citation

  • João Ferreira do Amaral & João Carlos Lopes, 2015. "The Trade-off Unemployment Rate/External Deficit: Assessing the Economic Adjustment Program of the Troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) for Portugal using an Input-Output Approach," Working Papers Department of Economics 2015/04, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp042015
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    File URL: http://pascal.iseg.utl.pt/~depeco/wp/wp042015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carneiro, Anabela & Portugal, Pedro & Varejão, José, 2014. "Catastrophic job Destruction during the Portuguese Economic Crisis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 444-457.
    2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Daniel Leigh, 2013. "Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 117-120, May.
    3. Gros, Daniel & Alcidi, Cinzia & Belke, Ansgar & Coutinho, Leonor & Giovannini, Alessandro, 2014. "State-of-play in implementing macroeconomic adjustment programmes in the euro area," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100407, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Miguel Viegas & Ana Ribeiro, 2014. "The Economic Adjustment Program for Portugal: assessing welfare impact in a heterogeneous-agent framework," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 13(1), pages 53-70, April.
    5. Ansgar Belke & Daniel Gros & Alcidi Cinzia & Leonor Coutinho & Alessandro Giovannini, 2014. "Exit State-of-play in Implementing Macroeconomic Adjustment Programmes in the Euro Area," ROME Working Papers 201405, ROME Network.
    6. João Carlos Lopes, 2011. "High Employment Generating Industries in Portugal. An Input-Output Approach," Working Papers Department of Economics 2011/24, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    7. João Ferreira do Amaral & João Carlos Lopes & João Dias, 2011. "External dependency, value added generation and structural change: an inter-industry approach," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 33, pages 06-19, June.
    8. Hugo J. Reis & António Rua, 2006. "An input-output analysis: linkages vs leakages," Working Papers w200617, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    9. Laurence Seidman, 2012. "Keynesian stimulus versus classical austerity," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 1(0), pages 77-92.
    10. George Soros, 2013. "Fallibility, reflexivity, and the human uncertainty principle," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 309-329, December.
    11. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Adjustment within the euro. The difficult case of Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; External deficit; Input-output analysis; Economic adjustment program; Troika; Portugal;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models
    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis

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