Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Financial crises, Financial contagion, Economic volatility, Fiscal Policy
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated January 31, 2023
Friederike (Fritzi) Köhler-Geib is KfW Group’s chief economist and head of Research. In this capacity, she analyses with her team economic developments and growth trends in Germany, Europe, and the world. A particular focus lies on small and medium enterprises, the role of innovation and digitalization in improving productivity, as well as issues related to the goal of a climate-neutral economy. Previously, she spent more than 10 years at the World Bank, most recently as lead economist and program leader for Central America. She has published research and worked with policy makers in various countries on reforms regarding economic growth, financial crises, and fiscal policy with a focus on public expenditures and fiscal rules. She holds a PhD in Economics from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and two master’s degrees from University of St. Gallen, HEC Paris, and the University of Michigan.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06-23) Koehler-Geib, Friederike ; Scott, Kinnon ; Soliman, Ayat ; Lopez, J. HumbertoPanama has made significant progress in reducing poverty in recent years, progress that compares positively to that of the rest of the Latin America and Caribbean region. This report takes stock of this progress and reflects on the constraints and opportunities that Panama faces in continuing on its path of shared prosperity and poverty reduction. The education and skills agenda, energy, public sector reform, the inclusion of indigenous peoples, and water management are identified as areas that will require attention to ensure the sustainability of Panama’s success story. Following a detailed analysis of poverty—recent trends, drivers of poverty reduction, and demographic factors—the report provides foundations to answer three main questions: • What has driven growth in Panama in recent years? • To what extent has this growth been, or not been, inclusive? • How sustainable is the growth and more generally, the development model of Panama?
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Hnatkovska, Viktoria ; Koehler-Geib, FriederikeThis study investigates the role of domestic and external shocks in business cycle fluctuations in Paraguay during 1991–2012. Time-series methods and a structural model-based approach are used to conduct an integrated analysis of business cycles. First, structural vector autoregression is used to assess the role played by external factors and domestic shocks in driving fluctuations in gross domestic product through impulse response functions and variance decompositions. The analysis finds that external shocks such as terms of trade, world interest rate and foreign demand account for over 50 percent of real gross domestic product fluctuations. Given Paraguay’s strong dependence on agriculture, an analysis is also done for the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors separately. The analysis finds that non-agricultural gross domestic product is to a large extent driven by external shocks, which account for over 50 percent of its volatility. In contrast, the volatility in agricultural gross domestic product is primarily due to shocks to domestic variables, mainly shocks to agricultural output. A further difference between the sectors is that shocks to government consumption are more important for agricultural gross domestic product, while shocks to the domestic real interest rate play a larger role in the volatility of non-agricultural gross domestic product. Second, the paper investigates the sources of business cycle fluctuations through the lens of a neoclassical growth model with an agricultural and non-agricultural sector. The analysis finds some signs of improvements, as labor market distortions have declined, firms’ access to credit improved, and agricultural efficiency rose over time. Nevertheless, challenges remain, as gaps in labor and capital returns between agriculture and non-agriculture remain large, efficiency in the non-agricultural sector shows no signs of improvement, and households’ access to finance has deteriorated.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015-06-05) Koehler-Geib, Friederike ; Sanchez, Susana M. ; Koehler-Geib, Friederike ; Sanchez, Susana M.For Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic-Central America-free trade agreement (CAFTA-DR) has been more than a trade agreement. Costa Rica has used trade liberalization and promotion of international trade as a core development strategy for decades. CAFTA-DR consolidated benefits that had previously been unilaterally extended under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) into a multilateral FTA, providing a much more stable environment for trade relationships. Beyond just being a trade agreement, CAFTA-DR brought about the opening of state monopolies in telecommunications and insurance, which polarized the country. No other trade agreement has generated as much controversy as this one about the potential impacts on the economy. Following a referendum with a small margin in favor of the agreement, Costa Rica was the last member country to ratify CAFTA-DR in 2009. Given the controversy at the time, the current study takes stock of the early impacts of CAFTA-DR during the five years since its ratification, addresses the following questions: What actual changes did the agreement bring about and what was their context? What was the impact of those changes on trade and FDI flows? How have the high tech, insurance, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical sectors been impacted?
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-09-23) Blanco, Fernando ; Saavedra, Pablo ; Koehler-Geib, Friederike ; Skrok, EmiliaFollowing the collapse of commodity prices in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 2014-15, many countries in the region were unable to cushion the impact of the shock in order to experience a more gradual adjustment, to a large extent because they had not built adequate fiscal buffers during the commodities’ windfall from 2010-14. Many LAC countries entered 2020 and the COVID-19 crisis in an even more difficult position, with rising debt and limited fiscal space to smooth the negative impacts of the pandemic and adequately support their economies. Fiscal policy in most LAC countries has been procyclical. Public expenditure and debt levels have expanded in good times and contracted in severe downswings due to insufficient fiscal buffers, making crises deeper. Fiscal rules represent a promising policy option for these and other economies. If well-designed and implemented, they can help build buffers during periods of strong economic performance that will be available during rainy days to smooth economic shocks. This book—which was prepared before the COVID-19 crisis—reviews the performance and implementation of different fiscal rules in the region and world. It provides analytical and practical criteria for policy makers for the design, establishment, and feasible implementation of fiscal rules based on each country's business cycle features, external characteristics, type of shocks faced, initial fiscal conditions, technical and institutional capacities, and political context. While establishing new fiscal rules would not help to attenuate the immediate effects of this pandemic crisis, higher debt levels in the aftermath of COVID-19 will demand rebuilding better and stronger institutional frameworks of fiscal policy in LAC and emerging economies globally. Having stronger fiscal mechanisms that include fiscal rules can help countries prepare for the next crisis and should be on the front burner for policy makers in coming years. The findings and lessons discussed apply to economies of different sizes, with some differences under certain scenarios in terms of the technical design and criteria needed for implementation. In this book, policy makers will find that fiscal rules, if tailored to country characteristics, can work and be an essential fiscal tool for larger and particularly smaller economies.
Publication( 2010-07-01) Caner, Mehmet ; Grennes,Thomas ; Koehler-Geib, FritziPublic debt has surged during the current global economic crisis and is expected to increase further. This development has raised concerns whether public debt is starting to hit levels where it might negatively affect economic growth. Does such a tipping point in public debt exist? How severe would the impact of public debt be on growth beyond this threshold? What happens if debt stays above this threshold for an extended period of time? The present study addresses these questions with the help of threshold estimations based on a yearly dataset of 101 developing and developed economies spanning a time period from 1980 to 2008. The estimations establish a threshold of 77 percent public debt-to-GDP ratio. If debt is above this threshold, each additional percentage point of debt costs 0.017 percentage points of annual real growth. The effect is even more pronounced in emerging markets where the threshold is 64 percent debt-to-GDP ratio. In these countries, the loss in annual real growth with each additional percentage point in public debt amounts to 0.02 percentage points. The cumulative effect on real GDP could be substantial. Importantly, the estimations control for other variables that might impact growth, such as the initial level of per-capita-GDP.
Publication( 2009-08-01) Caner, Mehmet ; Koehler-Geib, Fritzi ; Vincelette, Gallina AndronovaThis paper analyzes the drivers and consequences of sudden stops of capital flows. It focuses on the impact of external vulnerability on the depth and length of sudden stop crises. The authors analyze 43 developing and developed countries between 1993 and 2006. They find evidence that external vulnerability not only significantly impacts the probability of a sudden stop crisis, but also prolongs the time it takes for growth to revert to its long-term trend once a sudden stop occurs. Interestingly, external vulnerability does not significantly impact the size of the instantaneous output effect in case of a sudden stop but prompts a cumulative output effect through significantly diminishing the speed of adjustment of output to its trend. This finding implies that countries financing a large part of their absorption externally do not suffer more ferocious output losses in a sudden stop crisis, but take longer to adapt afterward and are hence expected to suffer more protracted crises periods. Compared with previous literature, this paper makes three contributions: (i) it extends the country and time coverage relative to datasets that have previously been used to analyze related topics; (ii) it specifically accounts for time-series autocorrelation; and (iii) it provides an analysis of the adjustment path of economic growth after a sudden stop.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-07) Hnatkovska, Viktoria ; Koehler-Geib, FritziThis paper aims to document a set of stylized facts characterizing business cycle dynamics in smaller economies. The paper uses a large sample of countries spanning 1960-2014 to show that country size is a significant factor affecting countries' volatility, comovement with gross domestic product and real interest rate, and persistence. Specifically, analysis finds that smaller countries (i) tend to have more volatile gross domestic product; (ii) have more volatile, less procyclical, and less persistent investment; (iii) exhibit more volatile trade balance and current account, have more procyclical exports, and thus less countercyclical trade balance; (iv) have more volatile government consumption and more procyclical public revenues and fiscal balance; and (v) possess more procyclical inflation. The effects of country size remain robust even after we control for the level of economic and institutional development, the presence of fiscal rule(s) and fixed exchange rates, and the commodity exporting status.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-07) Hnatkovska, Viktoria ; Koehler-Geib, FritziDo sources of volatility differ by country characteristics such as the level of development, country size, quality of institutions, and presence of restrictions on fiscal policy? This paper sets out to answer this question in a quarterly panel of 48 developed and developing countries for 1960-2015. Using individual country and panel vector autoregressions, the paper shows that factors affecting gross domestic product volatility differ systematically by country size, development level, and whether a country has adopted fiscal rule(s). The role of country size is particularly pronounced in developing countries. The paper shows that small developing countries are more prone to domestic output shocks, while shocks to the world interest rate and real exchange rate are more important in large developing countries. Small countries are also more susceptible to terms of trade shocks. These results suggest that stabilization policies must be designed with these country characteristics in mind.