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Persistent macroeconomic imbalances in the Euro area: causes and consequences

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  • Nils Holinski
  • Clemens Kool
  • Joan Muysken

Abstract

In this paper, the authors document a growing divergence between current account imbalances in northern and southern euro area countries from 1992 to 2007. The imbalance occurred without a concomitant rise in productivity and growth in the southern (deficit) countries. The authors argue that systematic monitoring of external imbalances and implementation of better coordinated policies to prevent the emergence of unsustainably large imbalances in the euro area is advisable because (i) country heterogeneity and the absence of optimal currency area characteristics may lead to the emergence of large cur- rent account imbalances without automatic gains in productivity and economic growth to sustain these imbalances, (ii) the absence of sufficient market-based adjustment mechanisms substantially increases the costs of ultimate adjustment toward more sustainable current account positions, and (iii) large external imbalances—particularly through the major role of the banking system—potentially have strong negative consequences for fiscal policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2012)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
Pages: 1-20

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2012:i:jan:p:1-20:n:v.94no.1

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Keywords: Balance of payments ; Macroeconomics ; European Union countries;

References

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  1. Solomon Tadesse & Chuck Kwok, 2005. "National Culture and Financial Systems," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp884, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferreti, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," Trinity Economics Papers 2000516, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  4. Michael G. Arghyrou & Georgios Chortareas, 2008. "Current Account Imbalances and Real Exchange Rates in the Euro Area," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 747-764, 09.
  5. Anders Aslund & Marek Dabrowski, 2008. "Challenges of Globalization: Imbalances and Growth," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4181, July.
  6. Florence Jaumotte & Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon, 2010. "Current Account Imbalances in the Southern Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 10/139, International Monetary Fund.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. M. Castro Campos & C. Kool & J. Muysken, 2013. "Cross-Country Private Saving Heterogeneity and Culture," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 101-120, June.
  2. Georg Dettmann, 2014. "Determinants of Internal and External Imbalances within the Euro Area," Working Papers 01/2014, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  3. Alison Johnston & Bob Hancké & Suman Pant, 2013. "Comparative institutional advantage in the European sovereign debt crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53177, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Hubert Gabrisch & Karsten Staehr, 2014. "The Euro Plus Pact: Cost Competitiveness and External Capital Flows in the EU Countries," WWWforEurope Policy Paper series 15, WWWforEurope.
  5. Alison Johnston & Bob Hancké & Suman Pant, 2013. "Comparative Institutional Advantage in the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," Europe in Question Discussion Paper Series of the London School of Economics (LEQs) 6, London School of Economics / European Institute.
  6. Hubert Gabrisch & Karsten Staehr, 2012. "The Euro Plus Pact: Competitiveness and External Capital Flows in the EU Countries," Working Papers 324, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  7. Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala Lorda & Hector José I. Silva, 2014. "Real unit labour costs in Eurozone countries: Drivers and clusters," Working Papers wpdea1405, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  8. Clemens Kool & Erik de Regt & Tom van Veen, 2013. "Money Overhang, Credit Overhang and Financial Imbalances in the Euro Area," CESifo Working Paper Series 4476, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Harris Dellas & Goerge Tavlas, 2012. "The road to Ithaca: the Gold Standard, the Euro and the origins of the Greek sovereign debt crisis," Working Papers 149, Bank of Greece.
  10. Silvio Contessi, 2012. "An application of conventional sovereign debt sustainability analysis to the current debt crises," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 197-220.
  11. Alison Johnston & Bob Hancké & Suman Pant, 2013. "Comparative Institutional Advantage in the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 66, European Institute, LSE.
  12. Joong Shik Kang & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2013. "The Evolution of Current Account Deficits in the Euro Area Periphery and the Baltics," IMF Working Papers 13/169, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Sergio Cesaratto, 2012. "Controversial and novel features of the Eurozone crisis as a balance of payment crisis," Department of Economics University of Siena 640, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  14. Isadora LAZAR & Madalina Ecaterina ANDREICA, 2013. "Current Account Balance, Private Debt And Euro Area Sovereign Debt Crisis: A Comparison Of North And South," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 37(2(46)), pages 40-52, December.
  15. Ruben Atoyan & Jonathan F Manning & Jesmin Rahman, 2013. "Rebalancing," IMF Working Papers 13/74, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Gabrisch, Hubert & Staehr, Karsten, 2014. "The euro plus pact: cost competitiveness and external capital flows in the EU countries," Working Paper Series 1650, European Central Bank.

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