Browsing by Author "Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT)"

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  • Lintunen, Julia (2021)
    BOFIT Policy Brief 1/2021
    Since becoming a WTO member in 2001, China has negotiated numerous regional trade agreements with astonishing speed. This paper provides an overview of China’s current free trade agreements and examines the economic importance of two major Asian regional trade agreements for China. The academic literature often treats China’s free trade agreements as driven more by political, rather than economic, interests. The agreements are seen as shallow and concluded with minor economic partners. In fact, China’s approach to trade agreements has evolved over time and cumulative impact of these agreements has been positive for trade between China and its agreement partners. The recently concluded Asian regional free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), should positively influence trade for both China and other participating Asian countries. China could also benefit economically from joining the other major regional trade agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
  • Barker, Jamie; Herrala, Risto (2021)
    BOFIT Policy Brief 8/2021
    Since embarking on economic reform in 1991, India has experienced three decades of rapid economic development. Recently, however, there has been significant uncertainty about the growth outlook of the Indian economy in the mid-term perspective. In this paper we use standard regression techniques to project the path of the Indian economy over the next 4 years. The analysis, which abstracts from the pandemic period, mainly serves as support to forecasting the global economy. After the pandemic, GDP growth is projected to rebound this year and then slide to-wards 6 ‒ 7% in the medium term. The analysis broadly agrees with the recent projections of India’s mid-term growth rate by other institutions.
  • Li, Xiaoming; Liu, Zheng; Peng, Yuchao; Xu, Zhiwei (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 15/2021
    We study the impact of China’s 2013 implementation of Basel III on bank risk-taking and its responses to monetary policy shocks using confidential loan-level data from a large Chinese bank. Guided by theory, we use a difference-in-difference identification, exploiting cross-sectional differences in lending behaviors between high-risk and low-risk bank branches before and after the new regulations. We find that, through a risk-weighting channel, changes in regulations significantly reduced bank risk-taking, both on average and conditional on monetary policy easing. However, banks reduce risk-taking by increasing lending to ostensibly low-risk state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under government guarantees, despite their low average productivity.
  • Newton, David P.; Ongena, Steven; Xie, Ru; Zhao, Binru (2022)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 5/2022
    Is bank- versus market-based financing different in its attitudes towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risk? Using a novel sample covering 3,783 U.S. public firms from 2007 to 2020, we study how firm-level ESG risk affects its financing outcomes. We find that companies with higher ESG risk borrow less from banks than from markets, potentially to avoid bank monitoring and scrutiny. The Social and Governance components, in particular, matter. Furthermore, firms suffering higher numbers of negative ESG reputation shocks are less likely to continue to rely on bank credit in response to lenders' threats to end the lending arrangements. Finally, our results indicate that firms' ESG risk reduces after borrowing from banks but increases after bond issuance, suggesting that banks are more effective than public bond markets in shaping borrowers' ESG performance.
  • Bank of Finland; Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) (2021)
    BOFIT Forecast for China 1/2021
    In the second half of 2020, China witnessed a rapid recovery from the covid-19 outbreak. Growth was supported by robust exports and economic stimulus measures geared to boosting fixed investment. China’s overall growth prospects, however, remain clouded by persisting structural imbalances further undermined by economic stimulus measures during the covid crisis. Due to the low base of 2020, the apparently strong economic growth this year will settle back to lower levels in the years ahead. Despite rapid recovery, the covid crisis has left the economy more vulnerable. Moreover, external uncertainties have increased, particularly with the efforts of the United States to lessen the interdependence of the two countries. China continues to postpone necessary policy reforms that would improve productivity. The latest five-year plan (2021–2025) calls for increased self-sufficiency and even more government intervention in the economy.
  • Bank of Finland; Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) (2021)
    BOFIT Forecast for China 2/2021
    Stimulus spending on the corporate sector and fixed investment, together with a strong export performance, have helped China recover rapidly from a pandemic-induced slowdown in the first half of 2020. While rapid recovery and last year’s low basis assure high on-year GDP growth figure this year, the speedy phase of economic recovery is over and lower growth lies ahead. China is struggling with a shrinking working-age population and high levels of debt that hinder deployment of capital to other uses. Moreover, there has been little progress in productivity enhancing reforms. While higher-than-expected growth is possible if consumer demand strengthens markedly, the risk of below-forecast growth has also increased during the pandemic. Growth could be severely impacted if debt becomes unsustainable, financial market disruptions generate uncertainty that spreads to the real economy or foreign relations hit an impasse.
  • Bank of Finland; Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) (2022)
    BOFIT Forecast for China 1/2022
    China’s economic growth slowed sharply towards the end of 2021. Despite subsequent stimulus efforts this winter, this year’s growth trend will be determined by the major covid outbreak and strict efforts all over China to suppress the outbreak. Recent worsening of the covid situation has complicated government attempts at reviving growth and strikes hard at an already struggling real estate sector. As a result, we now expect considerably lower economic growth this year than indicated in earlier forecasts, while 2023 growth is bolstered by rebound in consumption demand and the stimulus efforts in the second half of this year. Uncertainty related to the covid outbreak and government policy to control it are substantial. A prolonged covid wave could easily lead to even weaker growth than expected. However, if the situation quickly improves with infection rates brought under control or adoption of covid policies similar to those of other countries dealing with current virus variants, the economic damage could be mitigated. Moreover, real estate developers’ woes will continue to deepen, which might spill over more widely to the financial sector. The economic outlook would also be altered by further deterioration of relations with the West depressing growth, or conversely, a rapprochement with the West that boosts growth.
  • Bank of Finland; Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) (2021)
    BOFIT Forecast for Russia 1/2021
    We have raised our economic forecast for Russia from last autumn to reflect the rise of oil prices and price expectations. The impacts of covid-19 on Russia were also less severe than anticipated. We see Russia’s GDP recovering from last year’s dip to growth of almost three per cent this year and next. Significant uncertainties continue to surround the outlook. Russia and the rest of the world may struggle longer with covid, oil markets remain sensitive, and, like many economies, the Russian economy is at an inflection point with regards to recovery. Growth will slow after next year, approaching its long-term future trajectory.
  • Bank of Finland; Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) (2021)
    BOFIT Forecast for Russia 2/2021
    The forecast for the Russian economy has been revised upward on improved prospects for global economic growth and Russian exports. Oil prices and the expectations are also higher than in March. GDP should rise more than 3.5 % this year from last year’s low basis, before settling in 2022−2023 to slightly over 2.5 % p.a. on average. Several uncertainties surround the forecast. There could be unexpected changes in the course of the covid pandemic, global growth and oil prices. The return of international travel and the release of assets piled up by households last year can also significantly affect private consumption. Improved government revenues create opportunities for more generous budget spending.
  • Bank of Finland; Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) (2022)
    BOFIT Forecast for Russia 1/2022
    Russia’s war on Ukraine is hurting the Russian economy. In light of instability and uncertainty in Russia, increased international economic and trade sanctions, as well as Russia’s own countersanctions, we expect Russian GDP to contract by about 10 % this year and remain in the next few years at levels seen a decade ago. The ruble’s exchange rate has fallen sharply, and Russia’s imports are expected to halve to levels reminiscent of the mid-2000s. The volume of Russian exports will decline, particularly as the EU reduces its energy imports from Russia. High inflation will depress household consumption, and fixed investment will suffer. The risks to this forecast are exceptionally large and concern e.g. the war, sanctions, inflation and fixed investment. Government budget spending could grow strongly.
  • Bank of Finland; Kaaresvirta, Juuso; Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) (2021)
    BOFIT Weekly : Yearbook
  • Bank of Finland; Kaaresvirta, Juuso; Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) (2022)
    BOFIT Weekly : Yearbook
  • Simola, Heli (2021)
    BOFIT Policy Brief 10/2021
    With the EU adopting more ambitious emission reduction targets this year, the European Commission in July published a proposal on measures for adjusting EU climate policy. Measures include a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) that imposes a price on emissions embodied in products imported to the EU. In this policy note, we review the main lines of the CBAM proposal and discuss its potential economic effects on China, India, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine – the EU’s largest import sources for products subject to CBAM. We calculate illustrative estimates for the potential cost effectsof several specifications of the CBAM for these countries and compare them against earlier estimates. We also discuss the potential aggregate economic effects of the CBAM for these economies based on earlier literature. Despite considerable variation across countries and sectors, our analysis suggests that the aggregate economic effects of the CBAM would be limited for most exporting countries.
  • Kaaresvirta, Juuso; Laakkonen, Helinä (2021)
    BOFIT Policy Brief 5/2021
    China became the world’s largest lender to emerging and developing economies over the past decade. At the same time, concerns on the debt sustainability of many of these countries have grown. Some countries have found themselves struggling to repay their loans and China has had to renegotiate debt restructurings bilaterally. As covid-19 pandemic hit many of the borrowers hard in 2020, China committed with all other G20 countries to the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to temporarily suspend official bilateral debt payment of 73 beneficiary countries. While China’s overseas lending remain opaque, there is little evidence that China intentionally practices “debt-trap diplomacy.”
  • Kaaresvirta, Juuso; Kerola, Eeva; Nuutilainen, Riikka (2021)
    BOFIT Policy Brief 13/2021
    China’s real estate and construction sector has served as a major engine of economic growth in recent decades and the sector now plays an oversized role in the economy. Much of that growth has been debt-fuelled, with the indebtedness of developers climbing to unprecedented levels. After officials turned off the money spigot last year, housing markets cooled and a wave of financial difficulties washed over builders during autumn 2021. The entire sector found itself under heavy stress, and in December two major developers, Evergrande and Kaisa, defaulted on their offshore debt. In this brief, we consider the current conditions in China’s real estate and construction sector and how a possible sectoral crisis could spread to the national economy and the euro area. While the direct financial impacts on the euro area’s financial sector is likely to be minor, China’s real estate sector problems could spill over widely into the domestic real economy and thereby increase uncertainty internationally. In such case, the indirect impacts on the euro area could be severe.
  • Kang, Shulong; Dong, Jianfeng; Yu, Haiyue; Cao, Jin; Dinger, Valeriya (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 4/2021
    This paper investigates how government-led banking liberalization affects credit allocation by banks using as a quasi-natural experiment the establishment of city commercial banks (CCBs) in China. Based on more than three million corporate financial statements spanning over 16 years, we find that the establishment of CCBs led to a 6–14 % drop in debt funding for private firms, as well as a 1–2 % rise in their funding costs. At the same time, private infrastructure firms enjoyed a nearly 6 % increase in debt funding and more than 100-basis-point drop in interest costs despite their inferior credit quality. The debt financing of private firm appears most severely affected in municipalities where officials face high promotional pressures or fiscal constraints.
  • Borisova, Ekaterina; Ivanov, Denis (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 09/2021
    In this study, we use random assignment of vignettes that feature optimistic and pessimistic scenarios with respect to vaccine safety and efficacy on a sample of roughly 1,600 Russians in order to gauge public support for anti-pandemic measures under various scenarios. Negative information on vaccine safety and efficacy reduces support for the anti-pandemic measures among individuals who fear Covid-19 and were initially supportive of government restrictions. These individuals tend to be old, and therefore vulnerable to Covid-19, and politically active. This loss of support is strongest for economically costly measures such as banning of large gatherings and the shuttering of non-essential businesses. Mask-wearing, which involves only minor costs, finds broad acceptance. We interpret the reactions in light of adaptation, fatigue over Covid-19 restrictions, and fatalism. The political consequences of non-pharmaceutical measures to deal with a pandemic include loss of public support over time, erosion of trust in government, and political backlash.
  • Mäkinen, Mikko (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 8/2021
    Can a major financial crisis trigger changes in a bank’s risk-taking behavior? Using the 2008 Global Financial Crisis as a quasi-natural experiment and a difference-in-differences approach, I examine whether the worst crisis-hit Russian banks – the banks that have strong incentives to behavior-altering changes – can decrease their post-crisis exposure to risk. A shift in risk-taking behavior by these banks indicates the learning hypothesis. The findings are mixed. The evidence concerning credit risk is inconsistent with the learning hypothesis. On the other hand, the evidence concerning solvency risk is consistent with the learning hypothesis and corroborates evidence from the Nordic countries (Berglund and Mäkinen, 2019). As such, bank learning from a financial crisis may not depend on the institutional context and the level of development of national financial market. Several robustness checks with alternative regression specifications are provided.
  • Fungáčová, Zuzana; Kerola, Eeva; Weill, Laurent (2021)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 3/2021
    Accepted for publication in in Emerging Markets Review
    This work examines the impact of bank efficiency on the bank lending channel in China. Using a sample of 175 Chinese banks over the period 2006–2017, we investigate how the reaction of the loan supply to monetary policy actions depends on a bank’s efficiency. While bank efficiency does not exert an impact on the effectiveness of monetary policy transmission overall, it does favor the transmission of monetary policy for banks with low loan-to-deposit ratios. In addition, the expansion of shadow banking activities has been associated with a positive impact of bank efficiency on monetary policy transmission. These results suggest that bank efficiency may influence the bank lending channel in certain cases.
  • Léon, Florian; Weill, Laurent (2022)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 3/2022
    To analyze whether the occurrence of elections affects access to credit for firms, we perform an investigation using firm-level data covering 44 developed and developing countries. The results show that elections impair access to credit. Specifically, firms are more credit-constrained in election years and pre-election years as elections exacerbate political uncertainty. While lower credit demand is a tangible negative effect of elections, their occurrece per se does not seem to affect credit supply. We further establish that the design of political and financial systems affects how elections influence access to credit.