This program aims to strengthen the coherence and lengthen the time-horizon of decentralized market action, and government policies, by filling a major gap in Serbia’s knowledge of its peculiar economic structure and performance, and by generating the knowledge needed to develop an evidence-based dialogue about development and sector strategy visions for the country.
Studying the real economy
Generating information/public policy recommendations
Create more decent employment
Identify concrete project initiative opportunities for CEVES under its “Growth Incubator” Program
The program principally studies Serbia’s economic structure and monitors the performance of the real economy, by sector and type of enterprise, to generate and disseminate information about sector performance and competitiveness that currently public institutions or think tanks do not produce.
It uses this information to:
- Identify strategic/policy options, and targeted policy proposals for economic sectors (under its 2nd subprogram),
- Generate fiscal and other productivity/saving enhancing policies (under its 3rd subprogram),
- Study the competitiveness of sector markets (under its 4th subprogram).
More public knowledge about the economy and its performance would go a long way in improving Serbia’s growth and investment environment. Sharing reliable and abundant relevant information brings greater coordination of individual decision making, and reduces risk, in turn enhancing investment and growth. As it is, little is known about the actual performance, let alone growth potential, of different economic sectors/company types, or about their mutual linkages. Individually and as an aggregate, entrepreneurial efforts are almost completely invisible to a society where only the state matters.
CEVES expects that its production and dissemination of real sector data will reduce the knowledge gap, and provide some of the inputs needed to develop risk reduction tools and strategies both at the macro and corporate level. In addition, such data would provide much needed input into policy debate and for public monitoring of government policy effectiveness, thus providing the tools for public participation in a democratic policy shaping process.
The first study to be conducted under this program, The Stylized Facts of Serbia’s Real Economy, will generate information for all other CEVES’s programs. This study will serve to obtain a detailed understanding of the export and employment growth potential of different industries, and to provide the necessary knowledge foundation from which CEVES will be able to subsequently design tools for regular monitoring and projections of key sector economic activity and competitiveness.
Projects under this subprograms:
- Stylized Facts of Serbia’s Real Economy,
- Quarterly Growth & Competitiveness Monitor (Regular Publication),
- The Need for Better Economic Data Analysis & Advocacy.
Serbia needs shared strategic development visions to provide both coordinated government action horizontally and over time, and synergies between private and public sector engagement, both of which are sorely missing. At the moment, officially adopted strategies in Serbia are seldom a true guide for action.
A think-tank cannot do the visioning job that is needed from a government.
However, CEVES plans to analyze sector structure and issues, identify key policy options, and develop strategic outlines that will allow it to ask questions about policy choices that are, or are not being made, as well as to develop specific sector policy proposals.
In this, CEVES will always strive to connect, include and engage stakeholders in the analysis of their needs.
Projects under this subprograms:
- Adding Up Serbia’s Economic Strategies,
- Rural development as an engine of inclusive economic growth,
- Assessment of sector potential & strategy outline.
Studies under the Program emphasize:
- Macroeconomic policies, particularly fiscal spending from the need to promote savings and growth,
- Raise the quality of government, especially social services,
- Serbia’s political economy: a large share of the population living of pensions/public employment, and a relatively small share depending directly on economic growth – and the short-termism of the political cycle conspire to put enormous pressure on public funds to be spent on consumption, crowding out the macroeconomic space for investment, both public and private,
- CEVES sees itself partnering with FREN & Fiscal Council as an independent voice ready and able to open up controversial or politically sensitive issues for public debate, or to roll out public advocacy campaigns. Moreover, CEVES plans in partnership with FREN to study the gains that could be attained with better allocation of public resources and popularize this understanding.
It is broadly held by the public and the professional community, that Serbia’s markets are monopolized, i.e. that an uncompetitive market structure is a major explanation for the proneness of Serbia’s economy to inflation, and price inflexibility downwards. There is anecdotal evidence to this effect, but no thorough investigation to date.
CEVES plans to fill this gap by applying rigorous econometric methods and developing case studies.