Occasional Papers

The Occasional Papers series seeks to disseminate the work carried out by the Banco de España within its sphere of competence that is considered to be of general interest for knowledge of the functioning of the Spanish economy and of its international environment.

The opinions and analyses published in the Occasional Papers are the responsibility of the authors and are not necessarily shared by the Banco de España or the Eurosystem.

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  • 2107
    Dating and synchronisation of regional business cycles in Spain (5 MB) Eduardo Byrés, María-Dolores Gadea and Ana Gómez-Loscos

    The analysis of the regional business cycles in Spain highlights a high degree of similarity in the developments of most regions, but also shows idiosyncratic behaviour that mainly affects the duration and intensity of recessions. Such idiosyncratic behaviour would advise complementing national policies with specific policies aimed at certain territories. This paper adopts two complementary approaches in order to comprehensively date and analyse regional business cycles: the first uses an annual aggregate indicator such as GDP, for which a long series is available; the second focuses on a set of specific monthly indicators for a more recent period and provides a more accurate characterisation of the reference cycle.

  • 2106
    The Spanish pension system: an update in the wake of the pandemic. Banco de España contribution to the Committee on the Monitoring and Assessment of the Toledo Pact Agreements. 2 September 2020 (720 KB) Pablo Hernández de Cos

    In 2017 the Banco de España published an Occasional Paper (DO 1701) describing the institutional framework of the pension system, setting out the main medium-term challenges and analysing some reform alternatives. In this paper the Governor updates the foregoing analysis for the Committee on the Monitoring and Assessment of the Toledo Pact Agreements on the basis of the latest figures and regulatory developments. He considers alternatives for reforming the pension system based on their impact on its financial sustainability and overall public finances; on employment, productivity and the economy’s potential growth; and on the system’s sufficiency and inter- and intra-generational equity.

  • 2105
    The independence of economic authorities and supervisors. The case of the Banco de España. Testimony by the Governor of the Banco de España before the Audit Committee on Democratic Quality / Congress of Deputies, 22 December 2020 (389 KB) Pablo Hernández de Cos

    In his testimony, the Governor’s analysis of the impartiality and autonomy of independent economic authorities contributes to the Committee’s review of the “measures needed to strengthen the impartiality and independence of independent authorities and regulatory agencies”. He first reviews the arguments warranting the independence of economic authorities and supervisors. He then goes on to address the features that conform an institution’s formal independence, detailing their specific form in the case of the Banco de España. Next, he reflects on the status of independence as a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the proper performance by independent agencies of their functions. He then highlights possible measures for strengthening the independence of the Banco de España, and identifies potential improvements to the financial supervision model in Spain. Lastly, he refers to the Bank’s control mechanisms and transparency standards, and certain aspects of its governance.

  • 2104
    Draft state budget for 2021. Testimony before the Parliamentary Budget Committee, 4 November 2020 (954 KB) Pablo Hernández de Cos

    In discussing the first Draft State Budget to address the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor begins with an analysis of the economy’s recent behaviour and how it may evolve in the coming quarters, drawing on the Banco de España’s projections. Against this background, he assesses the Government’s macroeconomic forecast underpinning the Draft State Budget. He proceeds to calibrate the Budget’s main proposals in terms of the fiscal policy stance, the composition and appropriateness of public revenue and expenditure, and the risks to meeting the budget deficit target. Lastly, he sets out what he considers to be the key challenges for Spanish fiscal policy in the medium term.

  • 2103
    Cyclical patterns of the Spanish economy in Europe (974 KB) Luis J. Álvarez, M.ª Dolores Gadea and Ana Gómez Loscos

    The main aim of this paper is to provide a set of stylised facts on the regularities of cyclical patterns in Spain compared with those of the major European countries and to analyse the synchronisation of the main real variables of these economies, which have close trading and financial relationships. A sectoral approach is used to take into account the heterogeneous behaviour of the different supply and demand components.

  • 2102
    Taxation challenges of population ageing: comparative evidence from the European Union, the United States and Japan (684 KB) Fructuoso Borrallo, Susana Párraga-Rodríguez and Javier J. Pérez

    Using microdata from the European Union, the United States and Japan, we show that the elderly bear lower effective tax rates than the young. This difference is explained by the income gap and the different generational consumption baskets. However, tax reforms enacted in recent decades have led to an increase in the relative contribution of the elderly to public finances.

  • 2101
    Una taxonomía de actividades sostenibles para Europa (556 KB) Luna Azahara Romo González

    The EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities was created with the goal of becoming a crosssectional law for all current and future EU regulations on sustainable finance. The initial
    proposal for an EU Taxonomy was in 2018, and the final regulation, containing its basic
    principles and foundations, was released in June 2020. In this article I describe the main
    characteristics of the taxonomy: how it works, its influence on the future EU Green Bond
    Standard and its foreseeable future development. I also reflect on the importance of the
    EU Taxonomy for Central Banks from the standpoint of their investments, the relevance
    of the Taxonomy for the EU and sustainable finance, and the benefits it entails and the
    challenges it poses if companies and investors are to use it. Ultimately, a successful
    implementation of the Taxonomy will be key to Europe achieving its ambitious climate
    and environmental objectives and to future generations enjoying a more sustainable and
    habitable world.

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