Structural analysis

From this page you can access thematically grouped Analytical Articles published in the Economic Bulletin from 1999, ordered by date of dissemination within each year.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • 08/11/2021
    Bigtechs and financial services: some challenges, benefits and regulatory responses (322 KB) Sergio Gorjón

    The pandemic has speeded up the digital transformation of Spanish society. Cloud computing, data analytics and remote interactions have become even more essential, forming the basis for a new industrial and commercial reality in which large technology companies (BigTechs) are at an advantage. Against this background, financial services are increasingly attracting the attention of these market players; they allow them to diversify their income and offer them channels to boost their main activity. BigTechs are gradually gaining ground in the financial arena, becoming more prominent in the most profitable segments and strengthening their position as the providers of essential services for banks. In response to this challenge, financial authorities are building a new regulatory and supervisory framework for financial platforms. Although still in its early stages, the specific character of this framework is beginning to become clear. In combination with other cross-sectoral frameworks (e.g. for competition), it will discipline the behaviour of these agents in the financial sector. This article analyses the current situation of BigTechs in the financial industry, as well as the most important legislative initiatives taking shape in the European Union in this area.

  • 14/10/2021
    An empirical analysis of the determinants that can boost Next Generation EU'S effectiveness (252 KB) Silvia Albrizio and José Federico Geli

    The use of Next Generation EU can become one of the main determinants of Spanish economic developments in the coming years. This article analyses the economic impact of the European Regional Development Fund over the last 20 years, on account of the similarity between its goals and those of Next Generation EU and the available information. The findings suggest that those structural reforms that reduce barriers to competition in the product market and some labour market rigidities can scale up the European funds’ expansionary effect (fiscal multiplier) in the medium and long term.

  • 16/07/2021
    Consumption recovery in 2021: an analysis drawing on consumer expectations (329 KB) Pablo Aguilar

    Consumers’ expectations of economic developments are a fundamental determinant of their spending decisions. This article estimates, using simple expectation formation rules in the context of a general equilibrium model, the degree of persistence that households assign to the economic impact of the pandemic. The findings show that households have perceived that the COVID-19 shock has a lower degree of persistence than other previous negative shocks. According to the model used, this would signal an uptick in private consumption, once the health crisis is over, that would tend to offset the decline observed during the pandemic.

  • 01/07/2021
    The impact of the efficacy of justice on business investment in Spain (440 KB) Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti

    One of the main determinants of the level of dynamism of business investment is the efficacy of the legal system, as an essential element of the institutional framework of an economy. This article sets out an empirical approach to the impact of the efficacy of justice on the investment decisions of a sample of Spanish firms. Drawing on the cross-provincial heterogeneity in the court congestion rate, and how it changes over time, this analysis suggests there is a positive and significant correlation between efficacy in the civil justice system and business investment in Spain.

  • 25/03/2021
    Personal loan rates and household characteristics: Spain compared with other euro area countries (319 KB) Cristina Barceló, Ernesto Villanueva and Elena Vozmediano

    Interest rates on new lending to households for purposes other than house purchase are generally higher in Spain than in other euro area countries. This may be because borrowers have different characteristics, or because Spanish households pay higher interest rates than similar households in other countries, owing to regulatory aspects, different competition levels or other factors.
    Data from the Eurosystem’s Household Finance and Consumption Survey, which compiles data on household wealth, debts and income in each euro area country, show that borrowers in Spain have fewer assets and are more likely to be unemployed than those in the other countries analysed. However, these differences between borrowers explain only a small part of the difference between Spanish personal loan rates and those applied in the other euro area countries. In consequence, most of the difference is due to the different way in which Spanish financial institutions assess household characteristics. One possible explanation for the higher interest rates in Spain is that, even when comparing employed persons with similar characteristics, Spanish households have a higher risk of job loss than German and French households and, for the same income level, greater income instability than German households. The survey data also show that Spanish indebted households that pay higher interest rates are also more likely subsequently to fall behind in their debt payments and to experience income declines. In Spain, therefore, high interest rates reflect this greater future income instability.

  • 09/03/2021
    The cost of electricity for Spanish firms (461 KB) María de los Llanos Matea Rosa, Félix Martínez Casares y Samuel Vázquez Martínez

    This article analyses the cost of electricity for Spanish firms. This cost is compared with other expenditure by Spanish industrial firms on goods and services and with their turnover, distinguishing by firm size and sector. Generally, in the industrial sector, the ratio of electricity expenditure to spending on goods and services increases as firm size diminishes, while the ratio of electricity expenditure to turnover is much higher for micro enterprises than for others. By sector, cement, lime and plaster manufacturing posts the highest ratios, followed by several extractive industries, some intermediate goods-producing basic metal industries and the energy, water and waste group.
    Regarding the price of electricity, the article examines, in particular, the importance of the regulated cost component – paid through what are known as access charges – for medium-sized and large electricity consumers by sector. Owing to the design of the access charges, the highest average prices correspond to the lowest consumption bands. The average access charge by supply voltage has been stable since the last tariff review in 2014. In real terms, access charges decreased in the period 2014 to 2019.

  • 01/03/2021
    The gender gap in financial competences (556 KB) Laura Hospido, Sara Izquierdo and Margarita Machelett

    The Survey of Financial Competences shows that men are better at answering financial literacy questions than women. This article documents the magnitude of the gender gap in this area, reviews the hypotheses that, according to the academic literature, might explain the gender gap and quantifies the contribution of each hypothesis in the case of Spain. The findings suggest that a significant gender gap in financial literacy remains when considering the differences between men and women in terms of their socio-demographic characteristics, numeracy and reading comprehension skills, attitudes as measured by interest in finance, specialisation in household tasks and risk preferences. However, the gender gaps are significantly smaller in regions with more egalitarian financial arrangements for custody and marriage, suggesting that social norms may be important in explaining these disparities. Finally, the article advises treating any measurement of financial competences that merely adds up the correct responses to financial literacy questions with caution. The use of alternative measures of financial competences changes the size of the gap usually observed.

  • 25/02/2021
    The economic impact of COVID-19 on Spanish firms according to the Banco de España Business Activity Survey (EBAE) (517 KB) Alejandro Fernández Cerezo, Beatriz González, Mario Izquierdo and Enrique Moral-Benito

    The COVID-19 health crisis had a highly uneven impact across sectors and regions in 2020. However, there is hitherto little evidence regarding the heterogeneous impact of the crisis on
    different firms within each sector and region. This article provides an initial description of the characteristics determining how severely firms have been affected by the pandemic. To this end, it uses the responses (just over 4,000) given in the first round of the Banco de España Business Activity Survey (EBAE), launched in November 2020. The results show that turnover and employment declined more markedly at smaller-sized firms. Moreover, within each sector and region, the crisis has had more adverse effects on younger firms, less productive firms and those located in urban areas. In the case of jobs, higher temporary employment ratios are associated with larger reductions in employment.

  • 10/02/2021
    The economic performance of Spanish provinces during 2020 and its determinants (513 KB) Alejandro Fernández Cerezo

    This article presents an estimation of changes in provincial GDP over the course of 2020. The pandemic’s impact on activity has been highly uneven across Spain’s provinces, with the island provinces and those on the Mediterranean coast being the most affected. The factors that lie behind this disparity are also explored. The steepest declines in activity were associated with a greater weight of tourism – particularly inbound tourism – in provincial activity, a higher proportion of temporary employment, a lower weight for the public sector and lower levels of public mobility. However, after controlling for the effects related to mobility and economic structure, the excess mortality prompted by the pandemic does not appear to be a significant variable in explaining the cross-province differences in GDP change during 2020.

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