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Reforming in a difficult macroeconomic context: A review of the issues and recent literature

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  • Aida Caldera Sánchez

    (OECD)

  • Alain de Serres

    (OECD)

  • Naomitsu Yashiro

    (OECD)

Abstract

This paper reviews the main issues related to the short-term impact of structural reforms in different macroeconomic contexts and takes stock of existing theoretical and empirical studies. Taking reforms introduced in “normal” times as a benchmark, it reviews the available evidence on the impact of reforms that are implemented in “bad” times - i.e. in the presence of a sizeable negative output gap and persistently weak demand - as well as under different assumptions regarding the availability or effectiveness of macroeconomic policies in supporting the reforms. In doing so the paper focuses on the key channels through which different reforms influence short-term activity via the main components of demand and discusses how these channels operate under different macro conditions. Overall, the evidence suggests that in a context of weak demand, structural reform strategies will have significantly better chances of being successful if they put more weight on measures that in addition to stimulate employment or productivity in the medium term can best support demand in the short term. La mise en oeuvre de réformes structurelles en conjoncture défavorable : Une revue des enjeux et de la litérature récente Cette étude passe en revue les principales questions concernant l’impact à court terme des réformes structurelles introduites en conjonctures différentes et fait état de la litérature théorique et empirique récente sur le sujet. Prenant le cas des réformes introduites en conjoncture « normale » comme base de référence, les effets des réformes mises en oeuvre dans une conjoncture caractérisée par une demande anémique, un important déficit de production par rapport au potentiel ainsi qu’en présence de fortes contraintes sur les politiques macro-économiques sont ensuite passés en revue. L’étude met l’accent plus particulièrement sur les principaux mécanismes par lesquels les réformes affectent les principales composantes de la demande agrégée et discute dans quelle mesure ces mécanismes opèrent différemment selon le contexte macro-économique. Dans l’ensemble, les résultats des principales études passées en revue indique qu’en conjoncture défavorable, les stratégies de réformes doivent privilégier les mesures qui en plus de stimuler l’emploi et la productivité à moyen terme sont le plus susceptible de soutenir la demande à court terme.

Suggested Citation

  • Aida Caldera Sánchez & Alain de Serres & Naomitsu Yashiro, 2016. "Reforming in a difficult macroeconomic context: A review of the issues and recent literature," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1297, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1297-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jlzgj45b3q0-en
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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Stráský, 2016. "Priorities for completing the European Union's Single Market," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1315, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    reform packaging; reform sequencing; réforme structurelle; stratégie de réformes; structural reforms; séquençage des réformes; zero-lower bounds;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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