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2010, vol. 58, br. 5-6, str. 201-218
Anti-crisis program and sustainable development: An economic practitioner's perspective
(naslov ne postoji na srpskom)
Univerzitet u Beogradu, Ekonomski fakultet + Deloitte
Ključne reči: combined crisis; competitiveness; sustainable development; transition conundrum; anti-crisis program; strategic initiatives; tactical initiatives; reindustrialization; investments; new economic model; and multi-tenet monetary policy
Sažetak
(ne postoji na srpskom)
It has become clear in recent years that Serbia's economy suffers from a structural crisis. This is the consequence of two different stressors: transitional stressors and the stressors triggered by global economic crisis. There are strong interactions among them. Namely, local transitional recession associated with a significant output gap and disproportionately high currency risk is compounded by the global recession manifested through credit crunch and demand squeeze. Consequently, Serbia's economy is in a combined crisis (transitional downturn + global recession). Economists define a recession as two or more quarters of negative growth, so when growth turns positive, no matter how anemic, they declare the end of the recession. In 3Q 2010 Serbia's economy formally left recession, after two subsequent quarters of positive economic growth. This encouraging fact poses two related questions. First, is there a risk of recession reversibility? Second, do policy responses to combined crisis secure sustainable growth? Pondering over these questions one finds more hidden issues than answers. For Serbia the end of recession is not the same as return to prosperity. The GDP growth rate for 2010 now projected at 1.5 percent is not nearly sufficient to compensate for the 3.0 percent reduction in GDP recorded in 2009 (2008 base) caused by the global economic crisis. Furthermore, the question is how will Serbia compensate for the loss of ⅓ of GDP and ⅗ of industrial production owed to transition downturn in the last two decades (1989 base)? The answer to both questions is through increased competitiveness. Even if we assume that competitiveness of the financial sector was fully restored during the last stage of transition, the problem with real sector competitiveness still remains. In a crisis the government should address the root problems. But, adjustment to the new economic reality must be carefully crafted. In crisis, a full transparency of anti-crisis program and policy actions are crucial due to elevated social sensitivities. Transparency assumes complete clarity: identifying the problems, formulating the road map (or scenario), understanding the consequences of proposed initiatives (outcomes), and defining responsibilities in implementation. Without transparency, the core accountability of the government to key stakeholders could be lost, thereby increasing the risk of reform reversals under pressures from special interest groups pursuing individual gain at the expense of the country as a whole. Finding root causes is like peeling back a cabbage, it takes time and must be done one layer at a time. Consequently, this paper suggests a two step approach combining proactive strategic and passive tactical initiatives. The strategic initiatives are geared towards adopting a new investment-driven economic model supported by appropriate monetary policy with multiple tenets and development of a new institutional framework fully compatible with the EU. Large investment efforts aimed at triggering competitiveness growth will be based on a three-pronged strategy: strategic sectors, food-processing and agriculture, and infrastructure from physical to social (education and health). In the post crisis period, the monetary policy should continue to pursue the tenet of low and stable inflation. The crisis has made it abundantly clear, though, that policymakers have to monitor new tenets, including the output gap, asset prices and currency movements. Also, closing the institutional gap vis-a-vis the EU will help to eliminate the legacy of unfinished reforms during transition. Improving competitiveness across tactical dimension assumes many initiatives such as the establishment of a development bank, a project management center, a science and technology advisory group, a relocation operations program, etc. The proposed anti-crisis program is formulated from an economic practitioner's perspective. There is a difference between economic practitioners (including academic economists with practical experience, market leaders business executives and world class business advisors), who are deeply rooted in reality, and pure academic economists who are out of touch with reality. To make progress, economic practitioners need navigational guidelines and road maps anchored in economic theory as well as practical, albeit imperfect. Also, sense of timing is crucial. Majority of academic economists are good at identifying underlying forces that would eventually prevail, but are usually not very good at predicting precise sequencing and timing of events that may have a crucial role in shaping our reality today and in immediate future.
Reference
Blanchard, O., dellArica G., Mauro, P. (2010) Rethinking macroeconomic policy. IMF Position note, feb. 12
Đuričin, D., Vuksanović, I. (2010) The world after the crisis: Lessons for Serbia's exit strategy from permanent crisis. Ekonomika preduzeća, vol. 58, br. 1-2, str. 1-14
Grujić, B., Đuričin, D., Spasojević, T. (2010) How to succeed in new economic reality: Proposals to overcome the negative consequences of the economic crises. Position note addressed to the highest state officials, Jun. 9
Isenberg, D. (2010) How to start entrepreneurial revolution. Harvard Business Review, Jun
Kotler, P., Caslione, J. (2009) Chaotics: The business of managing and marketing in the age of turbulence. New York: Amacom
Stiglitz, J. (2010) Free fall. New York: Norton
 

O članku

jezik rada: engleski
vrsta rada: naučni članak
objavljen u SCIndeksu: 19.10.2010.