Catching-up Strategies in CESEE Economies
Edited by Ewald Nowotny, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald
Although the crisis which started in 2008 does not seem to have been overcome yet and the economy is still struggling as this book goes to press, it is time to make a first analysis. In this vein, this book tackles the highly relevant question of ‘What next?’ with a special focus on the catching-up process in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE). Do we have to change all our conceptual frameworks, all our models and all our forecasts, or did the crisis merely put a temporary halt to developments, so that things will proceed in the future more or less as they did in the past? This is not only a serious academic concern but a question of high immediate relevance also for policy-makers and private investors, for central bankers and commercial ones, and for regional developers and other agents. Specifically, the book covers four main topics, each dealing with the postcrisis scenario from a different angle. The first part deals with the very fundamental question of whether post-crisis growth is going to be the same as pre-crisis growth. Will we see structural breaks in the growth models? Or was the crisis a mere outlier? Given the new, less favourable external environment, many economists expect recovery to be sluggish and catching-up to slow down. In addition, consolidation necessities will dampen growth prospects. Fiscal debt increased in all CESEE countries as a result of the crisis, although public debt levels were still lower in CESEE than in the euro...